Table Speech

Rotary Foundation: Significance of its 100 Years of Achievement

November 9, 2016

Mr. Masato Mizuno
RID2580 Rotary Foundation Committee
Chairman, Mizuno Corporation

 The Rotary Club of Tokyo renders a great service to the District 2580 Rotary Foundation Committee, with our member Rotarians Mr. Tsuno serving as Vice-Chairman and Mr. Tanaka as a Committee member. The Rotary Foundation Committee of Tokyo Rotary Club is led by Mr. Tanabe and implements various activities together with 9 members. I am grateful to the generous contributions made by our Club to the Foundation worth 7.6 million yen during the last RY.

 The Rotary Foundation was founded in 1917, initiated by the then Rotary International President Arch Klumph who made a proposal to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta to establish a foundation “for the purpose of doing good in the world, in charitable, educational or other avenues of community progress.” Its Centennial anniversary Convention will be held in June 2017 once again in Atlanta.

 The mission of Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians “to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through improvement of health, support of education and alleviation of poverty.” The Foundation grants support different projects that can generate synergy effect and bring significantly positive consequences. Contributions to the Foundation totaled 26.9 billion yen for RY 2014-2015 while its expenditure was 26.6 billion yen. A charity rating organization, “Charity Navigator”, has given the Foundation the best four-star evaluation based on “Financial Health” and “Accountability and Transparency,” making us one of the top 2% organizations with superior administrative structure and financial management.

 As for District 2580, it raised contributions worth 45 million yen for RY 2014-2015 and 50 million yen for RY 2015-2016. Thanks to the generous contributions from all the 324 Rotarians of Tokyo RC, our Club raised 7.22 million yen for the last RY. Sharing some financial information of District 2580 for RY 2015-2016, its income totaled 35 million yen while expenditure was 23 million yen. The District spent 10 million yen as District Grants (23 projects and 2 scholars), 6 million yen as Global Grants (3 scholars) and contributed 6.7 million yen as District Designated Funds (DDF: 4.2 million yen to PolioPlus Fund and 2.5 million yen to Rotary Peace Fellowships).

 All the programs implemented by the Foundation center around the three areas of eradicating polio, promoting peace and providing grants. As for polio eradication, we are close to rooting it out, but we must keep securing financial resources for its complete eradication. The second area is the Rotary Peace Fellowship Programs launched in 2002 which provide scholarships up to 100 Peace Fellows to study subjects related to conflict prevention and resolution at 6 partner universities around the world. In Japan, the International Christian University has the Rotary Peace Center where in total 128 Fellows have studied since 2002. The Grant Programs are the third area, which are classified into District Grants and Global Grants.

 District Grants total 10 million yen to fund small-scale, one-year humanitarian projects implemented by a single RC as well as to provide scholarships to students studying abroad. 23 projects are being implemented during this RY as in-kind donations, equipment installations and events. Global Grants support large international humanitarian activities exceeding 3 million yen, implemented jointly between the host Club/District where the activity takes place and sponsoring Club/District outside the country. The activities are expected to bring significant and sustainable results in Rotary’s six areas of focus: Peace and conflict prevention/resolution; Disease prevention and treatment; Water and sanitation; Maternal and child health; Basic education and literacy; Economic and community development. Tokyo RC used the Global Grant to implement a 20-million-yen “Tohoku Kesennuma Sukusuku Project” in areas stricken by the Great East Japan Earthquake, in partnership with Ardmore RC, USA.

 Under the governorship of Mr. Kamiyama, District 2580 aims to collect contributions worth 23,000 yen during this RY (15,000 yen to Annual Fund, 3,000 yen to PolioPlus, 3,000 yen to Endowment Fund and 2,000 yen to Rotary Peace Center). Contributions made by RCs in Japan are first sent to a public interest incorporated foundation the Rotary Japan Foundation and then sent to the headquarters in the USA. Therefore, contributions made by individuals and corporations are given preferential tax treatment, including tax exemption and income deduction.

 I want to remind you that the Rotary Foundation Centennial Anniversary Commemorative Symposium will be held in Tokyo on 27 November, 2016. We will invite alumni from around the world, including Syria, Sudan and Palestine, who take a leadership role in providing international humanitarian assistance. RI President Mr. John Germ will also attend the Symposium to present the Rotary Global Alumni Service to Humanity Award to Ms. Sadako Ogata, the former High Commissioner for Refugees and Rotary Scholar sponsored by Tokyo RC in 1951.

 Before I close my speech, let me reiterate the mission of Rotary Foundation. It is to enable Rotarians “to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through improvement of health, support of education and alleviation of poverty.” I hope you gained a clear picture on the Foundation and better understanding on the significance of its 100 years of achievement. Let me thank you, in advance, for your generous contributions that enable all the service activities to be implemented.