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Foundation News, April 2021

April is a time of renewal and hope.  The Rotary Foundation represents hope in many ways to people around the world who benefit from projects representing each of the 7 areas of focus that improve their lives.  April 22 is Earth Day.  It is important to note that Rotary’s 7th and newest area of focus is the environment.  Effective July 1, projects seeking grant funds can now use this area of focus. 

Spring also means tax time.  One way to make your donation to The Roary Foundation for those 70 1/2 is to make a transfer directly from your IRA to the Foundation.  There are  user-friendly forms at  You can save on income taxes by taking advantage of this gift type.  This is a great way to make the world a better place with Rotary.

We are 3/4 of the way through our Rotary year and we are at 80% of our goal of $121,650 toward the Annual Fund.  We are at 92% of our goal of $36,350 for PolioPlus.  Let’s push to surpass our goal and encourage our fellow club members to work with us to accomplish this.  I would love to see every club become an Every Rotarian Every Year club.  This means a minimum contribution of each member of $25 to the Foundation and an average per capita of at least $100.  This is very doable.

Congratulations to our top 3 Annual Fund per capita giving clubs for this month:

Ottawa Sunrise is in the lead with a per capita of $167.27.

Rockford East is second with a per capita of $164.13.

Dixon is third with a per capita of $120.38.

Join our District Rotary Foundation Committee in the challenge of reaching beyond our goals as we strive to be part of doing good throughout the world!

Kathy Kwiat-Hess

District Rotary Foundation Chair


Illinois Valley Sunrise Offers Members Options
Inspired by District Governor Tom Brooks' message during his club visit that Zoom was here to stay, members of Illinois Valley Sunrise Rotary took his message to heart with the purchase of a 55in flat screen TV and stand. Not only can members near and far participate, but now the potential for speakers for Club meetings has expanded.  It is no longer necessary for a speaker to travel to present at a club meeting.  Pictured with the new membership tool are IV Sunrise Rotary President Frank Kobilsek and PE Rick Hildebrand
Is Your Club a 501C3?
This question often comes up....Is our Rotary Club a 501c3 or is Rotary International a 501c3?  I went to our District expert, Scott Shore to find the answer.  It's an interesting story so please keep reading....if you just can't wait that long.......   The short answer is that RI's 501C3 status is still in limbo because they want a pre-determination from the IRS before they finalize that. When or if it is finalized, it will not apply to Clubs or Districts, or Rotaract Clubs, each of which must still establish its own 501C3 before donations to each entity would be tax exempt.   Here is the story that goes with the explanation.
Per John Hannes at RI: At the 2019 Council Of Legislation (COL), there was a proposal that allowed the Board of Directors to explore whether or not Rotary International could/would change its tax exempt status from a 501c4 to a 501c3. This decision has no effect on the clubs in the US and US territories, and each club’s status would stay as it is.
From my review of the actual COL resolution and discussion, the concept is, that 501(c)(3) status would open more doors for RI tax savings and for donations and corporate partners and sponsorships -- donors and vendors ALL favor 501(c)(3)s. 
Just me speaking (Scott Shore), but it seems that a lot of that business could go through Rotary Foundation under which all those benefits are already available. 
RI has been working on this since 2017 at least. They formed a "shell" corporation to test the waters, called Rotary International Holdings (RIH) and applied for 501(c)(3) with the intent to (1) get IRS approval and (2) then merge RIH and RI into one organization called Rotary International, giving RI the same 501(c)(3) status. 
BUT their intent is to ALSO maintain 501(c)(4) status for RI and for all US member clubs. 
If IRS does not approve RI having both designations, or does not permit US member Clubs to maintain our group 501(c)(4) designation, then they will apparently abandon the effort, NOT merge RIH and RI, and will then seek to reinstate the single designations of  RI as a 501(c)(4).
So the last known status in 2020 was that IRS had approved RIH's 501(c)(3) status, but had not yet approved RI's maintaining dual status -- 501(c) (3) status for itself and  501(c)(4) status for itself and member US Clubs. 
Just me speaking again, (Scott Shore) but it would seem that the IRS is unlikely to give any organization BOTH designations -- you usually have to choose between the two. It also seems that, like Rotary Clubs, we can't get 501C3 status while our administrative functions benefit our members -- vs.  our philanthropic side which is under TRF. 
I have not heard yet that IRS has since approved the merger of RIH and RI with a shared 501(c)(3) designation -- we should watch for that news. 
It appears that while all this is pending, clubs can continue to operate as member 501(c)(4)s.
(Thank You Scott Shore and all District members involved to obtain this great information!)
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Kathy Schmidt, Newsletter Editor
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