I wish a prosperous and Happy New year 2021 to all my fellow Rotarians and your families.
Over the last several years, our Annual fund contributions have consistently deteriorated putting the Foundation’s World Fund under tremendous pressure. Our Annual Fund contribution is the lifeline of Foundation contributions, which paves a future for all the Rotary District and Global grants we implement creating impactful, meaningful and methodical impact on communities, we serve.
We are pleased to note that during 2019-20, India was phenomenal in yet again holding its number 2 position as contributing country worldwide (which is the new trend over the last five years), despite the Covid19 pandemic. This is a major achievement for each Rotarian of our zone, which makes us proud as World no.2 in contributions over the years. Congratulations to every Rotarian in our four zones.
Are we inclined and serious to fund our Global grants from District Designated funds (DDF)? If so, lets pool, donate, remit our funds towards Annual fund, which gives an option to the club/district to get a match of 100% from World fund for Global grants funded from DDF (in the longer run would be a win-win situation to the donor/club/district).
So the essence is to donate to the Annual fund today to have a better tomorrow for the Community service, which is our passion to do good in the world and in the words of Benjamin Franklin “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” And even GOLDMAN SACHS TARGET states to “Invest Today for Your Tomorrow”.
As a Rotarian, our choice for a better tomorrow is to contribute to strengthen our Foundation’s – “Annual Fund”.
Since the past 5 years, thanks to the generosity of donors, Rotary Foundation (India) have had adequate INR funds enabling us to disburse grant payments from our RF(I)-INR account. Over the last two years, we funded 30% to 34% more grants than we anticipated. In addition, due to the incredible efforts of Rotarians to address the COVID-19 pandemic, global grant application submissions rose as Rotarians moved into action. While we are delighted to see this increase in grant activity, it also meant that we completely spent down the available World Fund as well as depleted funds in the RF(I)-INR account much faster than anticipated.
We believe that the number of grant disbursements may again considerably increase in the years to come, as compared to the previous years. One of the options to meet the possible funding gap was to disburse grant payments from the RF(I)-FCRA account to those entities/clubs that are FCRA registered (and controlled by the concerned Rotary Club), which RF(I) had been paying out prior to 28th September 2020. However, due to a new law that was passed on 28 September 2020, RF(I) is no longer able to do this. However, in such a scenario, Foundation has worked out an alternative channel to pay the grants to the FCRA registered clubs/and its associated trusts (without any delay) from The Rotary Foundation, Chicago.
There is a possibility that the clubs that are not registered under FCRA, may experience a delay in grant payments based on INR funds available from the contributions made within India. Consequently, grants will be placed in a queue and paid on a first-come, first-serve basis only thus delaying the implementation of their projects.
Rotary clubs and districts in India are strongly encouraged to register themselves or their fully controlled trust or society under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), not only to receive foreign funds from The Rotary Foundation, Chicago but also enable them to receive direct contributions from International Partners or other foreign sources, if they chose to do so.
The clubs may get in touch with their local Chartered Accountant in exploring how to register themselves with the FCRA authorities or directly browse through the FCRA website https://fcraonline.nic.in/home/index.aspx for any information on FCRA registration.