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Approved by Board of Directors: March 14, 2017 

Rotary is a worldwide organization dedicated to the principle of service to others, creating good will and fostering cooperation. Rotarians engage in beneficial activities and charities, serve in positions of leadership and donate time and resources to public and private service. Donations of Rotary time, money and other resources must focus on advancing the principals and goals of Rotary. 

Themes and Objectives of Club Giving

1. Requests should meet the spirit of the Rotary Four Way Test.

2. Proposals must fall within at least one of the Rotary objectives: Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service or International Service.

3. The Park Rapids Rotary Club does not fund operating expenses. Donations may furnish seed money for new organizations, encourage capacity building for existing organizations, meet emergency humanitarian needs, or address special needs of the community or world. 

Donations Budget and Objectives 

1. Each standing committee (Club Service, Vocational Service, Community Service, International Service, and New Generations) is responsible for making an annual recommendation by January 31 for funding in its area to the Board of Directors.

2. The Board of Directors will consider the recommendations and set annual giving goals and annual contributions budgets for the Park Rapids Rotary Club. The Board may set an annual maximum amount for individual donations based on money available. Typically, the Board will budget for:

   Local Club Projects (such as Fireworks, the Annual Community Awards Banquet) Note that some projects, like the Fireworks, may have dedicated fundraisers and restricted funds. The Board respects these restrictions.

   Rotary International Projects (such as Model UN, RYLA, Rotary Youth Exchange)

   Community Service Projects (Little League, Cub Scouts, etc.) 

   Club discretionary giving The Board may set goals, themes and a budget for club discretionary giving that does not fall within the preceding categories. The Donations Committee (see below) will have responsibility for screening and selecting applications for these discretionary funds. When all of the budgeted funds have been granted, donations will cease for the year unless the Board allocates additional money. 

3. By vote at a meeting of the general membership, the Board will obtain Club approval of the annual giving goals and budget.

Donations Committee

A Donations Committee consisting of a Chair and four or more other Rotarians will be appointed annually by the Club Board to consider requests for discretionary funds. The Chair of the Donations Committee will be a member of the Club Board of Directors and will represent the Donations Committee. The Donations Committee will screen applications and to make recommendations to the Board and Club to grant or deny applications.  The Board will present an annual budget and possibly with a list of types of projects for the Committee.  The Donations Committee will also screen nominations for recipients from the “fines and happy dollars” fund. 


Discretionary donations may be made to individuals, organizations and units of government which present projects that further the goals of the Club.  Collaborative projects with other organizations (such as Lions Club, Park Rapids Community Foundation) are acceptable in cases of large projects, as long as they meet the Rotary criteria for club donations.  Rotary donations shall not be used for general support or operating expenses of other community service organizations.



Requests for donations will be usually be submitted using an application form. Application forms will be available from the Club Secretary, the Chair of the Donations Committee, or the Club website. Applications should describe clearly the project, the budget, the timeline, the persons affected, and how the project fits Rotary objectives.  (The Four Way Test will be written on the application form.) 

Committee Procedures  

The Donations Committee will meet quarterly (1) to consider applications received since the previous meeting, and (2) to screen proposed recipients from the “fines and happy dollars” fund. At the discretion of the Committee Chair or of the Club Board of Directors, the Committee may meet at other times to take up requests which require rapid decisions.

1. Donation Applications: The Committee Chair should forward copies of donation applications to the other Committee members before each meeting. The Chair may request additional information from applicants or request presentations by applicants to the Committee.  Committee decisions should always be made without the presence of the applicants. The Committee will make recommendations to the Board of Directors for donation applications.  In cases of grants over $500, the Committee Chair will present the selected finalists to the general membership for approval by vote. It is the responsibility of the Committee Chair to make timely notification to applicants of the status of their applications.  

2. Fines and Happy Dollars: “Fines” and “happy dollars” collected during regular club meetings will be accumulated in a fund. Every three months the balance will be donated to a recipient proposed by club members. Recipients must be Rotary projects, individuals, organizations or other causes which meet Club giving objectives. The Donations Committee Chair will solicit nominations at regular club meetings. The Committee will screen the nominees at their quarterly meetings.  

3. Requests by members: Rotarians are often active in many community activities and often assume leadership roles in other organizations. These organizations may make requests for donations, but Rotarians should make known their associations with these organizations. If possible they should let other representatives of the organizations address the Donations Committee and they should refrain from taking an active role in the Club decision about the project or activity they are promoting for donations.  

4. Hat Passing: Spontaneous collections of money at club meetings for causes or projects which are not part of the annual Club giving plan is discouraged. In cases of natural disasters or other emergencies, spontaneous unplanned proposals may be made directly to the Board which must approve them before they are presented to the membership. All such collections must meet Rotary objectives.