Rotary Foundation

The Rotary Foundation supports an array of projects that save and invigorate the lives of people around the world and enhance international friendship and understanding.  Foundation programs provide educational opportunities, food, potable water, health care, immunizations and shelter for millions of persons.  These activities are funded, implemented and managed by Rotarians and Rotary clubs around the globe. 


Polio Plus is one of the primary initiatives of the Rotary Foundation.  Its goal is to eradicate Polio throughout the world. 


When Rotary took up the fight, 350,000 kids were infected by polio annually. By 2012, polio had been eradicated in all but three countries (Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan). Rotary continues to work to eradicate polio throughout the world with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which pledged 200 million dollars in 2008. In February 2012, Rotary surpassed its Challenge fundraising goal more than five months earlier than planned.


The June 2013 Harvard Business Review featured an article by Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko about lessons learned in taking on such a huge effort as the eradication of polio - read the article here.


Find more information about Rotary’s fight against polio.


The Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905.  The Fellowship was established in his honor in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution of $1,000 to the humanitarian and educational programs of The Rotary Foundation.


Rotarians who contribute $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation receive a commemorative certificate and a Paul Harris Fellow pin.   Paul Harris Fellows who continue to contribute are awarded higher designations for each $1,000 given.    For example, if someone contributes $2,000, they are acknowledged as a PHF+1.  Rotarians who commit to giving $1,000 annually are inducted into the Paul Harris Society.  Rotarians who contribute $10,000 or more to the Foundation receive Major Donor status.


The Rotary Club of Milwaukee (RCM) has a long history of supporting the Foundation.  RCM has within its ranks of current members and alums nearly 300 Paul Harris Fellows.  Click here for a list of current Paul Harris Fellows.