The Rotary Foundation Recognized
The Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation at its 2017 conference in San Francisco. The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.
The announcement came on 15 November, known to industry professionals since the 1980s as National Philanthropy Day. The award was presented 2 May at the AFP’s annual conference.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul Netzel accepted the award on Rotary’s behalf, and Eric Schmelling, Rotary's chief philanthropy officer, also attended the conference. The event drew more than 3,400 senior-level fundraising professionals from 33 countries.
“In our Centennial year, we are deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Association of Fundraising Professionals,” said Netzel.
AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection.
“With the generous support of our members and partners, we’ve taken on some of the toughest humanitarian challenges in the world, none more so than the devastating disease of polio,” said Netzel. “We will defeat polio, and it will be a landmark achievement for global public health.”
The committee also mentioned that Rotary applies a methodical, purposeful approach to support a wide variety of causes, from providing clean water to educating the next generation of peace professionals.
“This award helps to spread our belief that service to humankind truly changes our world, and for that reason, it is the greatest work of life,” said Netzel.