Posted on Oct 31, 2019
The hallmark of Rotary is addressing basic humanitarian needs worldwide.  One way they do this is by awarding large Global Grants to partnerships between a local host Club with a need and an international partner Club with resources to address it.  A Rotary Global Grant provides additional matching funds to projects that are a minimum of $15,000 from Rotary Clubs.  For most Rotary Clubs, this threshold is often impossible to meet.
Jeboy Koshy is a member of our Club who recently published an article in the District 5170 The Rotary Foundation Newsletter that explains how even small clubs can join together to qualify for Rotary Global Grants.  Jeboy is a current member of the District 5170 World Community Service Committee and the Past District 5170 International Service Chair.  Here's how...
(Jeboy Koshy's article as published in the District 5170 TRF Newsletter)
Doing World Community Service projects – your options
A host Rotary Club is the Rotary club that is located in the country where the project is to be done, and that club would like to partner with your club as International Rotary Club to do a RI Global Grant project. Here you are presented with a great opportunity to serve the world beyond your local community if your club is willing to learn the processes of an RI Global Grant (GG). However, your club may not have enough Global District Designated Funds (DDF). If so, you would not be alone in this dilemma. In fact, very few Rotary clubs in District 5170 have the minimum $15,000 Global DDF to do a stand-alone RI Global Grant project with a project cost of $30,000.
Yet, our District 5170 is known in the Rotary World as one of the most active Rotary Districts in the world doing projects in all corners of the world. How do Clubs in our District accomplish such success year after year? Here are a couple of options to complete the project.  One option is partnering with other Rotary clubs in the district or anywhere in the world, including the Host Rotary club, to come up with $15,000 DDF or a combination of DDF and cash to fund the project. Funds could be global DDF that would be matched by TRF $1 to $1, or cash donations that would be matched by TRF $0.50 to $1.00. This option requires quite a bit of leg work on your part. There are several clubs in our District that do International Projects following this format. Finding DDF contributors can be challenging when you want to do Global projects.
But, there is another option successfully implemented in Area 3, Area 4 and Area 6. The option is called “Area World Community Service Committee (Area WCSC)”. This Committee is a collaborated effort by Rotary Clubs within an Area.
How does an Area WCS Committee work?
Rotary Clubs in an Area can form a WCS Committee (WCSC) by creating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the clubs in that Area. The MOU provides for a willingness on the part of the clubs in that Area to allocate Global DDF each year to pool into a common Global DDF account. Once the pooled account collects $15,000 minimum, the “Area WCSC” can proceed to do at least one Global Grant project. By way of MOU, each Rotary club in that Area will have the option of presenting Global projects to the Area WCSC. Depending on the total Global DDF or Cash contribution available in the pooled Account of Area WCSC for each year, the Committee members vote for the best presented project(s). The MOU restricts one vote to each club in your Area regardless of DDF contribution or membership numbers in the club (large club vs small club) to select Global project(s) for that Rotary year.
Advantages of having an Area WCSC:
There are several advantages of forming an “Area WCSC” in your Area.
  1. Clubs within an Area are partnering to do International projects year after year.
  2. Even a small club in your Area with a small amount of Global DDF will have an opportunity to present its project, and if Area WCSC selects it that club gets to lead the project.
  3. RI Global Grant requires a time commitment. The Area WCSC, by doing projects each year, builds GG experts within your Area.
  4. As a Committee, you resolve issues that come up during the GG writing.
  5. Through the year’s DDF allocation, project selection and Grant writing all become fluid processes.
  6. An Area could consider conducting fundraising to raise funds specifically for
  7. International Projects. As an example, “Area 3 Chili Challenge” raises funds for “Area 3 WCSC” yearly.
  8. Regardless which project is selected, the credit and satisfaction of doing a WCS project is shared among all clubs in that Area.
  9. Your Area WCSC has the option to support other clubs outside of your Area by contributing DDF or Cash to their project.
Area 3 and Area 6 have gone through the initial experience of forming an Area WCSC. Therefore, they now have well-documented processes that can be used as a template to form an Area WCSC in other Areas in the District. Also available are the experts in the “District International Service Team” to provide your Committee consulting and guidance while forming an Area WCSC in your Area.