Rotary Foundation top-rated once more

For the 14th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating — 4-star — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S.

The Foundation earned the recognition for adhering to sector best practices and executing its mission in a financially efficient way, demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only 1% of the organizations Charity Navigator evaluates have received 14 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

“We are honored to have been recognized and to be among the top 1% of charities evaluated,” said Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair John Germ. “Our donors can feel proud knowing that their gifts will allow them to make an impact in their communities and the world for years to come.”

The rating reflects Charity Navigator’s assessment of how the Foundation uses donations, sustains its programs and services, and practices good governance and openness.

Adding the details to Foundation Dinner invite

Each year, District 7190 holds its Foundation Dinner as a fundraiser for the Rotary Foundation. This year, the Roaring Twenties-themed gala is scheduled for …

Wait a minute! The flyer below, just emailed to Rotarians throughout the District, provides some reservation information but omitted key bits of data.

Well, here they are: The dinner will be held on Thursday, November 18, at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia. Now, you can take it from there to select which level of reservation you’d like to make.

Boat House selloff to benefit Rotary Foundation

A Glenville Rotarian is using his business closing as a way to raise funds for The Rotary Foundation.

Bud Halsey is the owner of the Boat House in Niskayuna. He is closing the operation, located on the Mohawk River, near the Rexford Bridge, where he sells a wide range of kayak/canoe/crew accessories and water sports equipment. 

Bud says he is selling everything, and all money raised will be donated to The Rotary Foundation.

So, for you water sports enthusiasts, this is a great opportunity to help this fellow Rotarian sell down his inventory while at the same time making an investment in Rotary at the same time.  If you do visit, be sure to identify yourself as a Rotarian.

The Boat House is located at 2855 Aqueduct Road. Phone: 518-393-5711.

Global Grant OKd for Honduras Clean Water Project

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Marker shows Honduran town receiving Rotary clean water aid.

The Rotary Foundation global grant effort for the Honduras Clean Water Project that began last year has received approval.

Last fall, the Colonie-Guilderland Rotary Club got the ball rolling with a goal of building a community bio-sand filter that would provide clean water to more than 1,500 people and a school with more than 500 children in Trojes, Honduras. The total project cost is approximately $77,000.

Southern Rensselaer committed $500 to the effort, with the help of students in the East Greenbush schools who held a kickball fundraiser. District 7190 agreed to commit $19,733 of District Directed Funds to the project. By this January, the project was fully funded with more donations coming in, so it was decided to expand the project to include WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) programs at four schools. Those programs would include construction of water filters and latrines at the schools, and provide curriculum and education on sanitation and hygiene. As more funds were raised, the project expanded to include a study of the water boards and best practices in the region.

Kirk Pogge of the Colonie-Guilderland club explains the process thereafter.

“The grant application was first submitted in July 2019, and was returned to draft mode about a month later. In addition to several requests for more information and details, the Rotary Foundation rejected the study portion and suggested that the WASH program be eliminated for the application to simplify it.

“Initially, we had determined that we could fund the filter project using the club and district donations that qualified for Foundation matching funds and fund the WASH programs without the help of the Foundation matching funds. Since that time, the WASH programs for the schools received funding from another source.

“So now, Pure Water for the World will be using the $18,500 in excess funds we raised to provide training in hygiene, install 35 individual home filters, and construct 21 latrines and five rainwater harvesting tanks in Las Mieles.

“The grant was resubmitted at the end of August, based on the filter project alone. On October 25, we were notified that the grant was approved. Funds for the project will be transferred to our local Global Grant Project account in the next few weeks.”

The contributors or pledged funds:

District 7190
Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club
Rotary Club of Springfield, IL
Trinity, FL, Rotary Foundation
Poultney, VT, Rotary Club
Colchester Milton, VT, Club
Rutland South, VT, Rotary
Past District Governor 2012-2013
Rotary District 7870
Capital City, NH, Sunrise Rotary
Albany Rotary Club
Shenendehowa Rotary
Rotary Club of New Port Richey, FL
Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs
Rotary Club of Glens Falls
Scotia Rotary
Twin Bridges Rotary Foundation
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Rotary
Niskayuna Rotary
Colonie-Guilderland Rotary
Grassland Equipment
Loudonville Presbyterian Church

Rotary Foundation gets 4-star rating, again

Screen Shot 2019-09-17 at 3.35.45 PMFor the 12th consecutive year, The Rotary Foundation has received the highest rating possible —  four stars — from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the United States.

The Foundation earned the recognition for demonstrating both strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency. Only one percent of the organizations Charity Navigator evaluates have received 12 consecutive four-star evaluations.

“Attaining a four-star rating verifies that The Rotary Foundation exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in your area of work”, says Michael Thatcher, president and chief executive officer of Charity Navigator. “This exceptional designation sets the Foundation apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

The rating reflects Charity Navigator’s assessment of how the Foundation uses donations, sustains its programs and services, and practices good governance and openness.

District Foundation gala returning to Proctors

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Inside Key Hall at Proctors. (photo courtesy of Proctors)

Several years ago, the annual District 7190 Foundation Dinner gala was held literally on the main stage of Proctors theater in downtown Schenectady. This year, it will return to Proctors, but in a different part of the entertainment complex.

The venue for the Wednesday, November 13, event is Key Hall at Proctors, a lavish event space catered by the iconc Mazzone Hospitality organization.

Details about theme, reservation information, and the like are being worked on, and we’ll share them with you as they are received. Meanwhile, please reserve the date for an evening that always provides good food, entertainment and Rotary fellowship.


SRC takes first step toward District grant

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Becky Raymond and Bill Dowd at grant training on Saturday.

flagSRC is officially able to apply for a District Grant for the 2019-20 Rotary Year as a result of Saturday’s Grants Management Seminar in Schenectady.

Rotary requires at least two members of a club to participate in the annual training seminar for their club to become eligible. Becky Raymond and Bill Dowd represented SRC and signed the event-closing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) necessary to complete the process.

The seminar was part of the District 7190 Training Assembly that also included new member orientation, discussion of the District’s draft strategic plan, and other business.

While clubs are restricted to one District grant application per year, they are not prohibited from bundling requests into one request. SRC is hoping to apply for a grant to cover part of its annual youth scholarship awards as well as its ongoing support the Freedom From Fistula Foundation. Specifics of the application will be discussed at the April 18 SRC Board meeting. The deadline for filing applications is Sunday, June 1.

Foundation Committee Chair Sandy McAlonie explains the process.

District Governor-elect Larry Jones give the 7190 perspective.


A message from our District Governor

By TAMMY HECKENBERGScreen Shot 2018-12-01 at 1.20.07 AM
District 7190 Governor

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. During the past 100 years, our Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

Here in District 7190, we have a strong history of supporting The Rotary Foundation. Our clubs donate well over $100,000 each year, and every year we receive District Designated Funding — typically more than $25,000 — that clubs can use to support local grants and projects.

Every donated dollar helps. It takes only 60 cents to protect a child against polio. Local Rotarian donations are used to support Global Grants as well as our local grants, and we love to use our District Designated Funds to make our local communities and the folks that live in them perhaps a little better off.

The only thing holding us back for bigger, better, bolder projects is, well … nothing. The sky is our limit.

How did our international Foundation start? At the 1917 Rotary convention in Atlanta, outgoing Rotary International President Arch Klumph set up an endowment “for the purpose of doing good in the world.” That one idea, and an initial contribution of $26.50, set in motion a powerful force that has transformed millions of lives around the globe.

What does our international Foundation do today? Using Rotary grants, 34,000 clubs across the globe develop and carry out sustainable humanitarian projects that provide scholarships and professional training opportunities that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sustain mothers and children, improve education, and strengthen local economies.

What about our signature effort, the PolioPlus program? We are a worldwide leader in the efforts to eradicate polio through our partnerships with the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

We have made a promise to the children of the world that we will conquer this disease, and Rotarians will keep their promise. We must!

Thank you to our current Rotarians for the way you continually give very generously to The Rotary Foundation! And, if you are interested in joining our efforts, send me an email at and I will assist you in becoming a Rotarian supporting the Foundation.  You’ll be joining an organization committed to community service, both here and around the world, backed by one of the world’s most respected and honored foundations.

Learn more about the Rotary Foundation by clicking here. Globally and locally, we are stronger because we have said yes to improve the lives of many with our donations.

Be the inspiration!

Foundation Dinner: ‘People of Action’

The SRC contingent (from left foreground): Dick Drumm, Mary Drumm, Maggie Forth, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Caroler Spencer, Roberto Martinez, Bill Dowd, April Dowd, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown.

Program Cover
Program cover

District 7190’s annual Foundation Dinner drew a crowd of about 175 Rotarians and guests to downtown Albany on Thursday night.

The site of the gala was the 90 State Street event space; the keynote speaker was Rotary Peace Scholar Anne Riechert who is currently providing technical job training to Syrian refugees in Germany; the honorees were individual club members designated by the District and by their clubs as “People of Action” (Bill Dowd was SRC’s designee), and major donors to the Rotary Foundation were introduced.

Southern Rensselaer County had 10 members and one guest in attendance (see photo above) and contributed a theme basket to the lineup of donated items for the silent auction.

Here are a few other scenes from the evening:

Seven of the 10 Rotary Youth Exchange students currently living and studying in the District joined Rotarians and other guests for the festivities.

SRC’s silent auction gift basket.

A touch of atmosphere at the eponymous 90 State Street event space, formerly home to the Mohawk National Bank.

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Rotary Peace Scholar Anne Riechert delivers remarks.

A strolling barber shop quartet performs for attendees.

A lot of smiles all around.

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Ready for their closeup.

Getting to know the Rotary Foundation and how it works

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 3.38.49 PMSeveral weeks ago, our club began a series of “working meetings” designed to better inform and involve SRC Rotarians in the workings of their club, a particularly important effort because we have welcomed so many new members over the past few years. (The next one will be the 7 a.m. Thursday breakfast session hosted by the Greenbush YMCA this week.)

Part of that has, of course, to do with the local finances that pay for the many public service initiatives we undertake on a regular basis. And, part of the financial information is what we are required to provide to Rotary International for the Rotary Foundation.

We often find that even veteran Rotarians are not entirely clear on the status, reach, and reputation of the Rotary Foundation. Here are a few salient points:

• In 2016, for the ninth consecutive year, the Foundation received the highest possible score — 100 of a possible 100 points — from Charity Navigator for its strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, a distinction only 1% of charities have attained.  (Charity Navigator is the leading independent evaluator of charities across the U.S.,)

• The Association of Fundraising Professionals likewise named the Foundation the World’s Outstanding Foundation for 2016, an award previously given to other familiar names such as Kellogg and MacArthur.

• Even the smallest of gifts to the Foundation can be donated to a specific fund –- a global grant, polio immunization, or an area of focus within the World Fund.

• In the 2015-16 Rotary Year, 91% of the money the Foundation spent went to programs and grants, with only 9 % of expenses going toward administration.

These are only a quick sampling of things you may want to know about the Foundation.  But, there is so much more. If you would like to know more you can educate yourself by clicking here.