Matching Grants

What are Matching Grants for International Humanitarian Projects?

Matching Grants assist Rotary clubs and districts in carrying out humanitarian World Community Service projects in cooperation with Rotarians in another country. The Rotary Foundation provides matching funds to clubs and/or districts for relatively small, one-time-only humanitarian service projects. Grants are awarded for a wide variety of projects such as agriculture, water, medical care/equipment, combating diseases, aiding the disabled, literacy and numeracy, and educational/occupational training. The project must involve active personal Rotarian participation.

The Foundation provides up to a one-to-one match of club and district funds, with a maximum grant of US$50,000. Starting 1 July 2002, the Foundation will provide a US$0.50 match for every US$1 cash contribution. It is important to note that this change does not effect District Designated Funds that are used as Matching Grant sponsor contributions.

The most important point to remember about Matching Grants is that they are a tool for Rotarians to use to complete humanitarian service projects. Each project represents a partnership between Rotarians in different countries — a partnership struck with the ideal of service as the goal.

The Matching Grant process

The following information shows the steps involved in the Matching Grant process. Generally, complete applications take about 15 weeks to be processed. Submitting complete applications and all other requested information will expedite the processing of your request.

Phase I

• Identify and design project

Phase II

• Submit complete Matching Grant Application

• Receipt of application acknowledged by Foundation

• Application reviewed by Matching Grant staff to double-check for completeness and eligibility

Phase III

• Application forwarded to Rotary Foundation Trustees for their review and decision

Phase III

• Application forwarded to Rotary Foundation Trustees for their review and decision

Phase IV

• Trustee decision forwarded to Rotarian cosponsors. If the grant is approved, the primary project contacts listed in the application will receive an “announcement letter” which gives instructions on the cosponsors’ next steps in the payment process. Once all the necessary forms, contributions, and payee information is received, grant payment is made. If the request was not approved, the cosponsors will also be informed.

Phase V

• Grant funds released

• Project implemented

• Interim Reports submitted every six months for the duration of the project until it is


• Final Report submitted no later than two months after the project’s completion

• Receipt of Final Report acknowledged by Matching Grant staff

• Matching Grant file is closed

Competitive and noncompetitive Matching Grant requests

Competitive Matching Grant requests

Grant applications of US$25,001-US$50,000 are considered twice a year by the full Board of Trustees. To strengthen your competitive grant application, be sure to answer the following questions:

• What is the role of the community in the project?

• How will the project be sustained?

Application deadline

Trustee decision

1 August

October/November Trustee meeting

1 January

March/April Trustee meeting



Noncompetitive Matching Grant requests

Grant applications requesting US$25,000 or less from the Foundation are considered by the Trustee chairman on behalf of the full Board of Trustees on an ongoing basis. (See Matching/Helping Grants Business Cycle, page 52). For example, an application requesting a Foundation match of US$23,500 in contributions would be a noncompetitive request. If the Rotarians were asking the Trustees for US$35,000, this would be considered a competitive grant application as they are asking for more than US$25,000.

District Rotary Foundation Grants Subcommittee

The district Rotary Foundation Grants Subcommittee is responsible for assisting clubs in developing ways to participate in international service projects. It also informs Rotary clubs and/or district project committees of the Foundation grants that can help them. As of 1 July 2003, the committee is also responsible for reviewing and certifying the accuracy of all humanitarian grant applications before the applications are submitted to The Rotary Foundation. The committee will also help ensure that satisfactory Final Reports are submitted to the Foundation.

Finding partners

Rotarians frequently ask if the Matching Grant program can help their Rotary club or district find a partner for their project. While The Rotary Foundation does not currently have a program in place to match interested partners, it has several suggestions that will help your club find a cosponsor on its own.

• Meet with your district governor-elect (DGE). The DGE will be attending the International Assembly, and briefing him/her on the project proposals beforehand will enable him/her to speak with other DGEs there about the possibility of working together on a project.

• Rotarians from your district who plan to attend the International Convention should be made aware of potential projects for which your district or its clubs might be seeking international participation. During the convention, your local Rotarians can discuss the possibilities for project collaboration with other convention participants.

• Your district has the opportunity to send a Group Study Exchange (GSE) team to another country. Supply team members with information about a potential project for which your club or district is seeking an international partner. Team members can discuss the project with their host Rotarians. When your district hosts a GSE team, inform team members about potential projects so that when they return home, they can inform other Rotarians about your ideas.

• You can find international partners for service projects by registering a project with the World Community Service (WCS) Projects Exchange, which facilitates project contacts between clubs and districts in different parts of the world. Clubs or districts can register a project by submitting a completed “Project Data Form.” Forms and other WCS information can be obtained from RI World Headquarters or RI’s Web site, The Web site also has the WCS Projects Exchange database, which lists projects seeking assistance.

• You may also find international partners for potential projects through business contacts and business or personal travel. When traveling abroad, Rotarians who attend make-up club meetings have a good opportunity to discuss their projects with Rotarians from other countries.