Harnessing the power of partnerships

Dear fellow Rotarians,

I’d like to talk to you about the power of partnerships. While we are motivated to do good in our local and global communities and have the resources to do so, joining forces with like-minded organizations helps strengthen Rotary’s presence around the world. The greatest impact can be achieved by working together.

We recently entered a strategic partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace. Together, we’ll work to create an online learning portal for Rotarians and Peace Fellows to build on their current expertise, apply new methods and mobilize communities to address the underlying issues behind conflicts. We’ll also be creating workshops around the world that will provide person-to-person training on the insights of the Institute.

We also have signed a one-year partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to help promote eye health to needy communities. Rotary clubs can now partner with IAPB member agencies to provide access to much-needed eye care and blindness prevention services. You learn more about this partnership here.

And of course, our many partners in the fight against polio have made all the difference. This month, I’d like to highlight one of these partners: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In February, Bill and Melinda Gates emphasized Rotary’s leadership in polio eradication in their annual letter: “And we’re inspired by the infinite persistence of Rotary International. They were leading this fight long before we joined it, and they’ve just kept moving forward. They know that going from 350,000 cases to 37 is amazing, but success is zero.”

In June, Bill joined us at our convention in Atlanta, where he announced an expanded match agreement with Rotary. His foundation will match our contributions, up to US$50 million on a 2 for 1 basis, each year for the next three years. This will effectively triple the amount of money raised for polio eradication.

And on 24 October, the Gates Foundation will cohost our World Polio Day event at their headquarters in Seattle, Washington, USA. World Polio Day is an annual occasion for us to celebrate our progress, as well as raise awareness and funds. I hope that you’ll join us via our livestream at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time and that you’ll take the opportunity to donate as well. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to register your World Polio Day event.

To stop polio for good, we need everyone’s help and involvement. Together, we can make a difference on World Polio Day and help End Polio Now.


Ian Riseley
Rotary International President, 2017-18