(from the January, 2019 issue of the Zone Newsletter - Beyond Borders - by Pat Chernesky, E/MGA Advisor, Zone 24 West)
Mid-Rotary year is a time to reflect upon how we are doing in various areas of our wonderful organization. Two areas near and dear to my heart are Major Giving and Endowment of course! Rotarians in Zones 24/32 are stepping up to the plate to make our world a better place in both, compelled by a desire to share their fortune with others. Since July 1, 2018 we have 99 new or level-up Major Donors and 38 new or level-up Bequest Society members!
A Major Gift is a powerful catalyst for empowering Rotarians both at home and abroad, improving quality of life in the Six Areas of Focus and fulfilling the donor’s philanthropic goals - a win/win situation! The path to making a major gift is highly personal and we strive to be donor-centric in all our dealings in the journey toward the gift. With the stellar rating our Foundation has received, how can we not make it our Charity of choice in creating that positive change in the world!
Major Gifts Initiative Committees have been created by our Foundation to provide leadership and coordination to raise funds for each Area of Focus, the two areas of Health being grouped together in one committee; the area of Economic Development is being launched soon. Below is an updated “Progress against Goals” summary.
Our Rotary motto “Service Above Self” to me evolves into thoughts of “Service After Self” when I think of Endowment and how we are able to help future generations of Rotarians carry on the good work we do. By creating our personal legacy, again in a very donor-centric way, we ensure that the high impact and sustainable projects which we do today will carry on long after we are gone, for generations to come! The Trustees of our Foundation have created a goal of 2025 by 2025 for the Endowment fund - $2.025 Billion that is! This includes both commitments and assets (cash). By June 30 2018, there were $804.9 million in commitments and $466.5 million in assets, totaling $1.271.4 billion. And remember, a gift of cash to the Endowment fund will generate spendable earnings which can be directed back yearly to an area of focus or to SHARE, which will provide funding back to your District!
There are many options and ways to direct a gift and personalize your legacy. These were nicely summarized by PRID and Foundation Trustee Julia Phelps in our August Newsletter. We as E/MGA’s along with our very capable Major Gifts Officers Carolyn Ferguson and Amanda Lawson, stand to assist Rotarians after seeing their financial planner. Many are also having discussions with their families prior to making that final decision. As leaders, let us encourage those of our fellow Rotarians who are able to make these gifts, and to fill in the notification cards promptly so that the Foundation staff is aware of their intent. I am told that when many Endowment gifts are realized, they are not even in the records at RI!
Most of all, let us BE THE INSPIRATION and lead by example!