One thing that keeps me up at night (well…lately lots of things keep me up at night. Notably, Connor the dog seems to need to go out in the middle of the night a lot more than he used to. Sound familiar, guys? ….but I digress) is the concern that we are going to create a lot of enthusiasm for Annual Program Fund giving, and with it enthusiasm for participating in District grants. And when we do create this new appreciation for the Rotary Foundation and how we, as a District, fund our good works, clubs that meet the new $200 per cap eligibility requirement for $3,000 District grants are going to flock to our Grants Committee with grant requests next year. The problem is the money won’t be there. I’m worried that club’s are going to be genuinely disappointed when their grant requests can’t be met, even though they worked hard to meet the eligibility requirements by being generous to the Foundation.
The issue is fully understanding how the SHARE program works with Annual Program Fund giving. When we contribute to the APF the money returns to our District in three years. So money contributed this year, the 2013-2014 year will return as SHARE dollars in the 2016-2017 year, which is the year Anna Mae Kobbe will be DG. Today our District Rotary Foundation Chair, Claude Morissette, informed us of the District Designated Fund (DDF) amount we will get through the SHARE program in my year as DG in 2015 – 2016. The number is $135,888. The amount is determined by how much we collectively gave to APF in the Rotary year 2012-2013, subject to certain minor adjustments. You see? We are making a short-term investment in the amount of humanitarian service dollars we will have to “do good in the world” just three years after we make our contributions.
I created the chart (above) to show Rotarians this flow of money from our contributions to “buckets” that constitute our SHARE totals. You can see that each District Governor and Foundation Chair is working with SHARE funds determined by Foundation contributions that occurred years before they took office. The point of the chart is to (hopefully) clearly show the enormous impact we can have if we all meet our new goals for APF giving. The “bucket” of SHARE funds returning to the District will be HUGE and the number of grants awarded in the District, and the size of the grants in our District, is sure to increase by a significant amount.
So please remember that the funds you give to APF this year won’t be in our coffers until 2016-2017. We are ALL making a very short-term investment in our future “do-gooding.” When you make this year’s contribution, please be patient and know that the funds available for next year’s grants were contributed three years ago. By contributing at higher levels today and in every year thereafter, we are investing in a program that will significantly increase our DDF every year ….beginning in 2016-2017. The question is….do we collectively have enough vision to pull this off? I’m sure we do!
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