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.
“We are honored to receive this recognition from the AFP, which gives us even more reason to celebrate during our Foundation’s centennial year,” says Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Kalyan Banerjee. “The continued strong support of Rotary members will help us keep our promise of a polio-free world for all children and enable the Foundation to carry out its mission of advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. We look forward to another 100 years of Rotary members taking action to make communities better around the world.”
The announcement came on 15 November, known to industry professionals since the 1980s as National Philanthropy Day. The award will be presented in early 2017 at the AFP’s annual conference in San Francisco.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul Netzel is set to accept the award on Rotary’s behalf, and Eric Schmelling, director of fund development at Rotary, will speak at the conference. The event is expected to draw more than 3,400 senior-level fundraising professionals from 33 countries.
“While almost everyone is familiar with Rotary, not everyone may realize just how much of an impact Rotary and The Rotary Foundation have had on countless people and communities across the globe,” says Jason Lee, AFP president and CEO. “On behalf of the entire charitable sector and people around the world, all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize The Rotary Foundation as our 2016 Outstanding Foundation.”
AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection. They 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.