By Quentin Wodon, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington D.C.
This is November — Foundation month for Rotary. As the co-chair of my club’s Rotary Foundation committee, together with my other co-chairs Nancy Riker and Kenneth Kimbrough, I have been asking members to donate. As an economist, I had to give clear reasons why. So here are my top five reasons to donate:
- The Rotary Foundation allows clubs like mine to have a much larger impact than we could ever have on our own. My club has had the privilege of taking part in many great projects over the years. Recently, we have partnered with a nongovernmental organization that is working to reduce malaria-related child mortality in an area of Mali. They have had a ten-fold impact in the target area. Your giving helps qualify your club to take part in global grant projects like these.
- Donations to the Rotary Foundation are tax deductible for US taxpayers.
- The impact of every dollar you give is multiplied thanks to the grant system and Rotary’s partnerships with other organizations. For instance, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is matching every dollar committed to polio eradication 2:1, tripling your donation.
- When you give to The Rotary Foundation, you know your money is in good hands. In the United States, Charity Navigator is a trusted evaluator of nonprofits, measuring charities on their financial health, accountability, and transparency. The Rotary Foundation has consistently received four stars, the highest possible rating. It does well on both financial performance (rating of 89.76 out of a maximum of 100) and accountability and transparency (rating of 97.00).
- The above four reasons spell out why giving to the Foundation is the smart thing to do. It is also the right thing, as Rotarians, to do. We are committed to making a difference in our communities and putting service above our own ambitions. And there is no better way to do that than by supporting our Foundation. As members of Rotary, we ought to give.
We tend to give to charities we know, and we often give on the basis of events or stories that move us. As Mother Theresa once said, “it’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” How could we not agree? But giving with love does not imply giving blindly.
Giving to the Rotary Foundation is both right and smart. If you are not convinced, browse the many projects Rotarians have shared on Rotary Showcase, read about projects Rotary members have written about on this blog, or check out the project stories on Rotarian Economist, a blog I started. You will be convinced to support our Foundation.