District Governor Jay Jones introduced our speaker of the day.  Jim Bissonet is a member of the eClub of the Southwest.  He has served Jay's administration as the district's Grants Chair and Jay expressed his deep gratitude for Jim's excellent service to District 5510.
 
Jim's topic was The Rotary Foundation(TRF).  Jim reviewed the 6 focus areas of the Foundation - 1. Clean Water 2. Peace and Conflict Resolution 3. Women and Children 4. Education and Literacy  5. Disease Prevention and Control and 6. Economic and Community Development.  TRF is one of the highest rated charitable organizations in the world - it puts 89% of donations into programs, 9% into fund raising and 2% into administration.
 
He explained the 3 funds that make up The Rotary Foundation.  They are the Annual Fund, the Polio Plus Fund and the Endowment Fund.  
 
The Annual Fund is where most of our annual giving goes including Every Rotarian Every year donations.  50% of what clubs in 5510 donate in a given year comes back in three years to the district where it is used for District Designated Funds.  These funds underwrite club projects at the local level typically in the form of grants in the range of $500-$1,000.  The other 50% comes back to the district to help fund Global Grants.  Global grants target one of the 6 emphasis areas of TRF.  They have a host club and an international partner club.  Grants are for a minimum of $30,000.  The projects they fund have to be sustainable and have measurable outcomes.  Packaged grants fund volunteers with needed technical expertises going abroad to assist on development projects.  The costs of sixteen weeks of service are borne by these grants. 
 
Polio Plus Funds are received from donors who specify this use for their donation.  The money is used for the world wide fight to eradicate Polio.
 
The Endowment Fund receives money from wills or trusts via bequests.  Only the interest from the Endowment Fund is spent.  
 
Last year worldwide, the Annual Fund received $115 million in donations, the Polio Plus Fund received $98 million in donations and the Endowment Fund received $20 million in bequests.