In keeping with the guiding principle of the RCC program, the preferred method of funding projects is through financial input from corps members themselves, even if the amount of money is minimal. The sponsoring Rotary club or district also can be a source of financial aid. And through the sponsoring Rotary club or district, the RCC can apply for an array of Rotary Foundation assistance that might support corps projects or enable corps members to learn from other service projects. Following are some sources of support for projects:
Community Assistance Program (CAP)
CAP provides an opportunity for Rotarians to use their District Designated Funds (DDF) to undertake service projects in their communities and nations as a way of furthering The Rotary Foundation’s objective of world understanding and peace. Each Rotary district will have the option of using part of its SHARE allocation for the Humanitarian Category to fund CAP projects. The maximum amount available for each district to use for CAP each year is 10 percent of the district’s annual giving in the prior year, up to US$10,000. Funds must be spent within the current Rotary year; they cannot be rolled forward to build up a larger amount for the following year. CAP will provide funding for one-time only community service projects that involve the active, personal participation of Rotarians. The projects must enhance the community and/or improve the lives of disadvantaged people where Rotary clubs and districts exist. CAP projects must also be Rotary sponsored, publicly identified as such, and expected to be completed within one year.
These grants provide “seed money” to Rotary clubs and districts for travel, planning, and research necessary to develop — but not implement — international service projects. There are two types: Carl P. Miller Discovery Grants, which are funded by income from the Carl P. Miller World Community Service Endowment Fund and are awarded on a competitive basis twice a year; and SHARE-funded Discovery Grants, which are funded through District Designated Funds and are awarded on a rolling basis, noncompetitively. The maximum Carl P. Miller Discovery Grant award is US$3,000, and the maximum SHARE-funded Discovery Grant award is US$5,000.
Grants for Rotary Volunteers
Rotary Foundation stipends cover travel and per diem expenses for Rotarian, Rotary Foundation alumni, and Rotaractor volunteers who serve for a minimum of four weeks on a service project in another country. To be eligible for funding, prospective volunteers must first be registered with the Rotary Volunteers program.
Group Study Exchange (GSE)
Awards are given to Rotary districts to send teams of four non-Rotarian business or professional people to visit another country for four to six weeks to study its business institutions, observe professions as practiced in the host country, and experience a different way of life. The Rotary Foundation provides funding for roundtrip transportation, and hosts pay on-site expenses. Having gained new ideas and insights abroad, some GSE teams return home to start RCCs in their own communities.
Matching Grants for International Humanitarian Projects
Grants of up to US$50,000 double the size of Rotary club or district contributions for international service projects. Matching Grants support water projects, educational training, assistance to disabled persons, provision of medical care and equipment, and other kinds of projects RCCs undertake. Rotary clubs or districts in at least two countries must work together to plan, implement, and complete a Matching Grant project. This ensures that projects receive active volunteer support, in addition to financial contributions.
New Opportunities Grants
New Opportunities Grants are funded through District Designated Funds (DDF) and provide districts with the resource to design and undertake creative international service projects which do not meet the eligibility criteria for funding through existing Foundation programs. Rotary districts may apply annually for a New Opportunities Grant to use up to US$10,000 of their DDF for an international humanitarian service project that falls within the mission of the Rotary Foundation and meets Rotary ideals, but does not duplicate existing programs.
World Community Service
World Community Service (WCS) occurs whenever a Rotary club in one country assists a club in another country with a service project. An RCC project seeking international funding may be considered a WCS project. A valuable resource for RCCs seeking assistance from abroad is the World Community Service Projects Exchange, available at www.rotary.org, describing hundreds of Rotary club projects needing assistance. Each Rotary club is entitled to list one project, unless its second is an RCC project, in which case both are eligible.
Compile an asset inventory by having members list the particular skills and capacities that would be most useful within the context of an RCC. Consider the following skills and assets:
· Community resources (financial, donated goods, space)
· General individual skills and capacities
· Availability to participate
· Mastery of local knowledge or traditions (e.g., traditional agricultural methods)
· Formal experience
· Entrepreneurial experience
· Training and educational experience
· Civic or community-based experience
· Talents and ideas
· Enthusiasm and energy