NOTE: The 10% Solution article can be found in the NEW EDITION of the District 7620 ENGAGE Foundation Newsletter. Each quarter you will find the best ideas, best practices, best projects, and latest messages from TRF about how to develop funds for the Foundation, and how to initiate and build service projects for the local and international community. See the ENGAGE Foundation newsletter link in your inbox, sent to you by PMail. (PMail is the strange form of Rotary communication that you usually don’t open. Go ahead….give it a try.)
The 10% Solution
Clubs that step up to District 7620’s strategic goal of $200 per capita giving to the Annual Program Fund believe that our fellow Rotarians in the District are doing a great job of “doing good in the world,” which is one of the goals of The Rotary Foundation (TRF). Because of the SHARE program, where 100% of our contributions come back to District 7620 in the form of cash, credits, or available matching dollars, our generosity in giving to the Rotary Foundation ends up helping to fund our local District grant projects as well as humanitarian projects that our clubs are implementing worldwide. You will find stories about some of these fantastic programs in this edition of Engage. Our goal of $200 per capita contributions is a simple statement that we have a lot more work to do to make our local communities better places, and of course, a lot more work to do in our quest for world peace. Our contribution acknowledges that our collective efforts deserve to be funded.
But once a club decides to target the $200 giving goal, how do they go about building contributions from our traditional $100 per capita Sustaining Member goal set by Rotary International, to the new $200 per cap giving goal set here at home? There are a variety of Foundation development strategies that are being successfully implemented by clubs that perennially meet the $200 per cap level of club giving. Some of the ideas include: 1) having a Foundation Minute each meeting to raise Foundation awareness, 2) use Paul Harris recognition points as matching programs to incentivize Foundation giving, 3) including Foundation contributions on dues invoices, and 4) encouraging members to take advantage of Rotary Direct where the Foundation will charge your credit card for the $17 per month needed to reach the $200 per year goal.
By far, the most important strategy for clubs that routinely meet their Foundation giving goals is to develop a robust Paul Harris Society (PHS) in their club. Paul Harris Society members give $1,000 every year to the Rotary Foundation providing that they can meet the financial commitment. Clearly not everyone in your club is capable of making such a substantial financial commitment, although many are surprised that you can join the PHS by making monthly contributions of only $85 per month. (NOTE: Did you know you can join the PHS by pledging to give $1,000 per year even if you’ve just started your monthly, quarterly, or annual giving commitment?) If clubs want to easily meet and exceed the $200 per cap giving goal, then they should target having 10% of their members join the PHS. Why 10%? Because if 9 out of 10 members can’t afford PHS status, and 1 out of 10 can, then the 10% of the club that makes the PHS commitment can fund 50% of the club’s annual giving goal!
I know it sounds amazing but let’s look at a table and do the math:
Members $200 per cap goal 10% PHS Members PHS Giving % of goal
20 $4,000 2 $2,000 50%
30 $6,000 3 $3,000 50%
40 $8,000 4 $4,000 50%
50 $10,000 5 $5,000 50%
100 $20,000 10 $10,000 50%
PHS members not only have the satisfaction of giving to the best charity on the planet, they also have the incredible satisfaction of taking the pressure off of their fellow club members each year as the club strives to meet their annual Foundation giving goal. With 10% of members in the PHS every other member of the club could, ON AVERAGE, give $100 per cap and the club would far exceed the $200 per cap goal. (NOTE: These are average giving goals. Most clubs will have members that either don’t give or give some amount less than $100 every year.)
Of course no Rotarian is required to give to the Rotary Foundation. Those who give hopefully do so because they believe in Rotary’s goal of “doing good in the world” through the Foundation’s six areas of focus, including peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention, maternal and child healthcare, fresh water, literacy programs, and economic development. And everyone recognizes that we can only give what we can afford, no matter what is in our hearts. But the clubs that identify that 10% of members who can afford to give $85 per month to the Rotary Foundation and join the Paul Harris Society are the clubs that meet and exceed the $200 per cap giving goal every year.
If you have questions about the Paul Harris Society, please contact Anna Mae Kobbe, Paul Harris Society Chair and District Governor Nominee, at 443-280-0311, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or Ken Solow, Annual Programs Fund Chair and District Governor Elect, at 410-952-9743, email@example.com.
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