Ron Burton’s, Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair, Ron Burton's letter to Rotarians reminds us of the real impact of the Rotary Foundation and the impact we as Rotarians make with our Contributions to the Foundation. Please take a moment and read or re-read his letter as it reminds us that we are making “REAL” change in our world through the work of the Rotary Foundation. Thanks for your continuing contributions to the Rotary Foundation.
Dear fellow Rotarians,

The work that Rotary does, with the support of The Rotary Foundation, is not abstract. It is real, and it changes the lives of real people, in ways that are so fundamental that it’s hard to explain. You have to see it for yourself. And when you understand the Foundation’s power to transform, you can’t help but become passionate about it.

When I became a district governor in 1987, Rotary’s largest-ever fundraising campaign at that time was underway. We were raising money to fight polio. In those days, poliovirus ran rampant. We had 350,000 cases in more than 125 countries in 1988. Also that year, Rotary and some partners founded the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. As we all got to work fighting polio, real progress began to happen. Thanks to our commitment, since then, cases of polio have been reduced by more than 99.9 percent. We’re witnessing history, and the Foundation is part of that real change.

There are countless other ways the Foundation changes real lives — families who enjoy clean water thanks to a global grant, or children who learned to read through a literacy project funded by a district grant. Today in Rotary, we have opportunities to change the world like never before, if we choose to rise to our own potential. 

The Rotary Foundation is the way Rotary accomplishes amazing things on a global scale. The Foundation is there for us now, and will be there for the talented and dedicated Rotarians of the future. They will look back at our work today, if we do it right, and thank us for leaving them with a legacy to help fix the problems of their time.

Giving to the Foundation is the way we make all of these dreams — today’s and tomorrow’s — possible. For me, true philanthropy is not measured by the size of one’s gift but rather by the gift in relation to one’s financial ability. Imagine the impact we could make if each and every Rotarian gave whatever they could today.

We Rotarians care about service and giving back. We are also careful planners. Donating to The Rotary Foundation is, without a doubt, a wise investment. For 10 years straight, our Foundation has received the highest possible score from the independent evaluator Charity Navigator, for its strong financial health and its commitment to accountability and transparency.

Let’s reaffirm our commitment to tangible change in the world by mobilizing everyone in our clubs and districts to support The Rotary Foundation generously today. Though we may never know who our gift helped, we will be sure that our donation was invested well and the impact of our gifts was real.


Ron D. Burton
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair