Securing support for The Rotary Foundation from corporations and local companies

By Greg Stowers, district Annual Fund subcommittee chair, Zone 26

This Rotary Foundation month, explore some fresh, new ideas about ways to raise money that doesn’t involve nagging all your members. Today I want to talk to you about considering “Other People’s Money” – specifically gifts from corporations and local companies.

The following are some ideas for attracting corporate donations or donations from local companies:

  • Leverage your contributions by engaging your company’s workplace giving program.  When you make a gift or volunteer, many companies will match it with their own donation to Rotary.  Visit to see if your company has previously given to Rotary.  If they haven’t, be the first to ask your HR department about your company’s workplace giving program and double the good you do!
  • Show a possible corporate donor how Rotary projects achieve sustainable results. For example, our projects provide micro loans to women or provide computer-aided-learning to young adults with a guarantee that the majority will be employed at the end of their schooling.
  • Consider offering a publicity opportunity to a local company or corporate donor. Offer ways for them to turn their donation and the results achieved into a business story.
  • Appeal to a donor’s personal interests by connecting the product the company makes to the results achieved. For example, if a firm creates software, it could contribute to a district or global grant which sponsors a scholarship for students majoring in Computer Science. If a firm manufactures water filtration systems, it could contribute parts to a water project in Kenya or Honduras which can provide training and jobs to the local population.
  • Almost any economic and community development effort will trigger related activities, improving the local economy beyond our initial efforts. Secure joint promotion from one of your donor’s trade journals and make sure everyone in their industry knows about these activities. This type of publicity is free and can have wide-ranging impact.

Too often, when we ask corporations or local companies for a contribution, we talk about the good things that the donor’s money will do for those in need around the world, but fail to connect how a corporation or local business can benefit from this relationship.

Learn more about Rotary’s Workplace Giving Programs.

Keep in mind that if a corporation contributes to the Annual Fund, your club receives recognition credits AND it increases District Designated Funds, so that you can do larger, more impactful programs, in line with your donor’s mission.


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