Rotary International is the world’s first service club organization. Founded in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris, Rotary International has grown to 1.2 million members serving in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary Club members volunteer to improve their communities through service projects that focus on promoting peace and understanding between people, improving health, supporting education and alleviating poverty. The organization’s motto is “Service above Self.” Every year, clubs provide grants and make donations to provide scholarships and fund projects that support its focus areas.
Locate your local Rotary Club. If you live in a larger city, you likely will have more than one Rotary Club in your area. Go online to rotary.org and search for a club near you. Enter your city and state and search through the results for contact information. You also can search for rotary club websites. Enter your city and click search. Then click on results to view the list of websites.
Research your local club’s objectives, projects and speakers. If your local club has a website, spend time finding out what the club supports and examine whether their objectives line up with the project for which you are seeking a donation. Consider attending a meeting to introduce yourself to members.
Contact your local Rotary Club’s president or secretary to discuss the project or the reason you are seeking a donation. Ask if you can meet in person to describe your project in more detail. If your project lines up with one of the Rotary International’s six areas of focus (peace, disease prevention, sanitation, maternal/child health, education and community development) you are more likely to receive a donation. The Rotary’s number one goal is eradicating polio. If your donation request supports the elimination of polio, you might gain a positive response from your local chapter.
Frame your request within one of the Rotary’s six focus areas. Discuss specifically how your project or donation request supports the Rotary’s objectives. Have a presentation prepared and practice giving it before you meet with your local Rotary Club official so that you communicate your donation request clearly and efficiently.