The Rotary Foundation launched Rotary Grants, Formerly known as the Future Vision Plan, on July 1, 2013.
We encourage all Rotarians to become educated on the new grant structure by using the available RI training materials augmented by the additional information provided on this website. If, after considering all of the facts, you wish to support our informational effort or provide other feedback, please click as appropriate. More importantly, please make your feelings known to your district leaders.


For a number of years, The Rotary Foundation has operated with a complicated grant structure consisting of twelve grant types. For the purposes of this discussion, three of these grants have been used to provide funding for Community and International Service Projects.  Under TRF's Future Vision Model, they are replaced by narrowly defined packaged grants plus a less restrictive two grant structure. 

For funding purposes, the centerpiece of the new model is the Global Grant.

 Global Grant Strip

Under the Traditional Grant Model, the Health, Hunger, and Humanity (3H) Grant is the top level grant. It is awarded on a competitive basis for long term projects designed to enhance the lives of intended beneficiaries. The minimum grant size is US$ 30,000 and the maximum is US$ 200,000. These grants were suspended prior to FV roll out due to financial constraints imposed by the flagging worldwide economy.

Matching Grants are administered by The Rotary Foundation under guidelines and procedures developed by TRF. Matching Grants are awarded as a dollar for dollar match to clubs or districts who complete a successful grant application. They are designed to fund smaller projects that can be completed within twelve months. The minimum size for a matching grant is US$ 5,000 and the maximum is US$ 150,000. TRF increased the Matching Grant maximum to US$ 200,000 when it suspended its top level 3H Grant. The average Matching Grant award in 2010-11 was approximately US$ 20,000.

District Simplified Grants are small grants that are administered by Rotary Districts under broad guidelines established by TRF and specific procedures determined by the districts. Essentially, a district could allocate up to 20% of its available District Designated Funds (DDF) to these grants. This works well for districts that have provided substantial contributions to TRF, but districts with minimal contributions (many in poor under developed countries) have minimal access to such grants. The average District Simplified Grant award in 2010-11 was approximately US$ 2,000. 

Separate grants are available for Group Study Exchange (GSE) and Certain Scholarships.

Under Future Vision, Matching Grants and 3H Grants are replaced by a single Global Grant. The Global Grant is designed to fund large high impact projects that address one or more of Rotary's Six Areas of Focus. The project must be sustainable, and the grant must include elements that will allow sustainability to be monitored and evaluated. Grants are awarded on a dollar for dollar match against a district's DDF, and on a one for two basis against cash contributions. The minimum grant award is US$ 15,000 to support a minimum project budget of US$ 30,000 and the maximum is US$ 200,000. According to TRF sources, the average grant size is expected to be US$ 45,000.  During the pilot period, the average grant size was US$ 55,000.

District Simplifed Grants are replaced by the District Grant. These grants will be awarded by Rotary Districts under guidelines established by TRF and rules as determined by the district. As with the DSG, the amount of funding available for District Grants will be determined by DDF available within the district, and a district may allocate up to 50% of its DDF to District Grants. There is a longer planning cycle when compared to the District Simplified Grant, and there are increased levels of governance. According to TRF's October, 2012 Future Vision Presentation, the average project amount in 2011-12 was US$ 2,696 and we believe a typical maximum project size will be US$ 5,000. This number could be substantially greater for Districts with large DDF, or Districts that elect to fund one or two mid sized projects instead of numerous smaller projects. The opposite is true for Districts with little or no DDF.  
 Although we do not know the average project size for the entire pilot duration, we do know that the average block grant for the pilot duration was slightly higher than 2011-12, therefore the average project size will likely be closer to US$ 3,000 and we believe the practical maximum will remain at US$ 5,000.

Under the new model, Group Study Exchange must be funded through District Grants, however Global Grants for Vocational Training Teams are available. 

The net result for an "average" or "below average" district is a funding gap that effectively excludes mid-sized projects from receiving grant funding.  Such projects are too large for the average District Grant, and too small to qualify for a Global Grant.


Commitment Curve

In addition to the funding gap, elimination of the Matching Grant introduces a barrier to the natural progression of individual clubs and districts ability to participate in large International Service Projects. In countless seminars, it has been taught that the best way for a club to become involved in International Service is to start small, partner with other clubs, and gradually increase its ability and confidence to work with larger projects. Without the mid-sized projects funded by Matching Grants, a huge "leap of faith" will be required.  


An often overlooked consequence is that elimination of mid-sized projects also eliminates opportunities for grass roots Rotarians to perform "boots on the ground" service. The large multi-year projects envisioned by Future Vision will frequently be performed by partnering NGO's with minimal direct involvement of Rotarians. With fewer Rotarians performing hands on service, there are fewer Rotarians who realize the life changing experiences that such activites provide. There are fewer Rotarians who will gain a global perspective; and most importantly, there are fewer Rotarians who will bring their passion back to their clubs.

The Rotary Foundation will lose one of its most effective promotional tools with the strong probability that reduced foundation giving will result.  

The suggestion that Future Vision encourages clubs to band together to form larger projects has implications of its own.  Under such a plan, clubs must abandon or postpone their own small projects to join with another club in their larger project.  If the need is for five clubs to join together, the result could be four unhappy groups and one VERY happy group.  

Click here to view the added layers of bureaucracy this arrangement introduces.

There is a major gap in project size that can be funded under the Future Vision Model.
This is a major drawback to the program that we believe our foundation must address.