Trustees refine Future Vision Plan
By Janis Young
Rotary International News -- 13 November 2008
Rotary Foundation District Grants will retain much of the flexibility of the current District Simplified Grants Program. Photo courtesy of Rotary District 7020
At their October meeting, The Rotary Foundation Trustees took significant steps to refine the Future Vision Plan before the pilot application period begins in January. Reflecting the plan’s goal of simplification and flexibility, their decisions establish specific policies that fill in the broad outline of the plan.
In the area of Rotary Foundation Global Grants, the Trustees set initial policies designed to help clubs and districts work within the six areas of focus. For example, the Trustees agreed that there will be no age requirements for vocational training team members and that teams may be made up of three or more members, with no maximum. In addition, qualified past and current district governors and governors-elect may serve as team leaders.
Policies for selecting global grant scholars will also be flexible. Scholarships can be awarded for one to four years of graduate-level study. Applicants must demonstrate either unconditional or conditional acceptance to their chosen university. The Rotary Foundation will vet each scholarship proposal before a formal application is submitted to determine whether it fits within an area of focus. This process, which will be used for all club- and district-developed global grant applications, is designed to increase the acceptance rate of grant applications.
To further simplify the grant-making process, the Foundation will accept all club- and district-developed global grant applications throughout the year. Under this system, for example, a scholarship application showing proof of admission could be submitted months, not years, before the term of study begins. The Foundation will assess each application based on its support of the areas of focus. Additional assessments may be required depending on the award amount or complexity of the project. Only club- and district-developed global grants over US$100,000 will require approval by the Trustees.
Rotary Foundation District Grants will retain much of the flexibility of the current District Simplified Grants Program. Districts may receive one district grant per Rotary year. Districts will be encouraged to submit applications during the planning year for immediate payment at the start of the program year; however, applications may be submitted during either year. Within 12 months of receiving the grant, districts must submit a final report to the Foundation listing the distribution of the funds. As part of the qualification process, districts must also report the use of all district grant funds to their clubs.
The application period for the pilot will begin immediately after the 2009 International Assembly in January and continue through 15 May. Selected districts will be notified and announced to the Rotary world in June.