A few months ago, I raised the question, "What do the Trustees do, anyway?" I reflected that a critical role of ours is to listen. This month, Rotary Foundation Month, I can happily report that you speak volumes – and that you are heard.
The late RI President-elect Sam F. Owori said he saw in Rotarians "an incredible passion to make a difference" and wanted to "harness that enthusiasm and pride so that every project becomes the engine o...f peace and prosperity."
From your letters, reports, and wonderful stories, we know you share Sam's vision of a world where Rotarians unite and take action to create sustainable change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. Last year we saw an increase in the number of global and district grants initiated and another record high in Rotary Peace Fellowship applications. We also saw increased totals in overall giving, reflecting your passion for what we do as "People of Action." A special thanks to Rotary's club and district leaders for providing continuity in all our endeavors.
Recognition as the World's Outstanding Foundation by the Association of Fundraising Professionals at its international convention affirms the work you are helping make possible. AFP's committee of judges cited Rotary's comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major factor in the Foundation's selection.
To Benefactors, Bequest Society members, and all levels of Major Donors, thank you! You are building financial stability for the future. Our Endowment Fund continues to grow because of your belief in the Foundation and its continually evolving programs. We are well underway with our "Building TRF Endowment: 2025 by 2025" initiative – to achieve $2.025 billion in gifts and commitments by 2025.
As one Rotarian to another, from my heart to yours, please accept my personal thanks for your unflagging work and many accomplishments over the years. One of the genuine privileges of serving in a key leadership role in Rotary is being able to continue learning from Rotarian friends as passionate and committed as you.
Let us celebrate Rotary Foundation Month together!
Paul A. Netzel
Trustee Chair 2017-18