The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Global Grants program was first introduced in 2013 to Rotarians anxious to do “bigger, better, bolder service” addressing significant humanitarian needs in the world.  TRF, districts and participating clubs can be very proud of what has been accomplished through this amazing partnership, but the demand for global grant funding has grown much faster than the contributions to the Annual Fund which funds them.  

As Rotarians know, half of the contributions to TRF’s Annual Fund-SHARE are returned to clubs after being invested for three years – the other half goes to the World Fund, which is the funding source for match to Global Grants.  

In RY2020-21, The Rotary Foundation has funded 1644 Global Grants in the amount of $46 million but in RY2021-22, TRF expects to see the number of Global Grant applications jump to 1775.  With this increase of 131 applications, TRF anticipates a gap in funding of $17.6 million.

As such, the following four policy changes, recently approved by The Rotary Foundation’s Board of Trustees, will take effect on July 1, 2021:

  1. Reduce the World Fund match for a District Designated Fund transfer to Polio Plus to 50% – although the Gates Foundation match remains unchanged.
  2. Reduce the World Fund match for Global Grants from 100% to 80%, which will then allow this finite resource to support more Global Grants
  3. Currently there is a 5% charge for administration and fundraising taken from the World Fund.  Going forward, this cost will be shared by the World Fund and DDF (2.5% each)
  4. Limit DDF rollover to 5 years.  Districts will have a choice as to where their unexpended funds are transferred, but if no choice is made, these funds will be transferred to the World Fund.

For clubs still finalizing a RY2020-21 Global Grant, please note, for as long as funds are available, DDF will continue to be matched at 100% for applications submitted by May 31, 2021.  Applications not approved this Rotary year, will need to be resubmitted with the budget adjusted for the change in match amount.

Trustees of The Rotary Foundation have spent considerable time on these issues. These policy changes are the result of careful thought and planning to balance financial resources with demand for funding, a challenge for any non-profit organization.  

For general questions about these changes, please contact  For questions specific to your club’s Global Grant, contact your regional grants officer directly.

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