The ROTARY/One Foundation, Inc.

Another year, another chance to change history – Support Rotary’s Charitable Projects. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation, with assets of $3.55 million.



The ROTARY/One Foundation, Inc. is the foundation of the Rotary Club of Chicago. The mission of the ROTARY/One Foundation is to secure the resources necessary to support the Service Mission of the Rotary Club of Chicago.

The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that is supported solely by voluntary contributions from members of the Rotary Club of Chicago and friends of the Foundation. They share the commitment to service that began in 1905 with the founding of the Rotary Club of Chicago – the Worlds’ first service club.


Incorporated in the State of Illinois on January 10, 1938, the Foundation’s stated object is “to dispense charity, to encourage, maintain and assist in the maintenance of educational, benevolent and charitable activities, agencies and institutions, and for the purposes above specified, to receive, manage, take hold and use real and personal property, or the proceeds thereof or income there from, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or purchase and invest, sell, convey, pledge and dispose of the same.”

Since its inception, the Foundation has given over six million dollars to support service projects of the Rotary Club of Chicago, who have primarily focused on youth, including:

  • rehabilitation services for children with physical disabilities;
  • scholarships for students attending Chicago area colleges and universities;
  • employment opportunities for Chicago high school students;
  • eradication of polio;
  • clean water in Haiti; and,
  • life-saving or life-altering surgery for children with congenital abnormalities.


Supporting the Foundation

Contributions to the ROTARY/One Foundation are tax-deductible within the limitations of the law and provide opportunities for both Rotarians and friends of the R/O Foundation to support the service projects of the Rotary Club of Chicago. Individuals can support the Foundation through contributions of cash, securities, or property. People who have access to matching giving programs are encouraged to use those to maximize their contribution.

The Foundation takes pride in recognizing contributions of any size. Those who give $1,000 or more (or in whose name a donation of $1,000 or more is made) are acknowledged as Chesley R. Perry Fellows. Perry, an early member of the Rotary Club of Chicago, was the first General Secretary of Rotary International and is credited by Paul Harris as “ the builder of Rotary International.”  There are many ways to donate to the ROTARY/One Foundation: recurring monthly donations, a memorial gift, through a Donor-Advised Fund or Qualified Charitable Distribution, or appreciated stock.

In addition, the Foundation’s Legacy Award is given to individuals who commit to bequest $25,000 or more to the ROTARY/One Foundation in their will. A gift made in a person’s will is deductible from the estate in computing federal and Illinois estate taxes. Donations may also be made at any time in recognition of an individual or event, or as a memorial to a loved one, friend, or colleague.

Women of Rotary Scholarship Fund – Prior to women being invited to join Rotary the wives of the members of the Club formed the Women of Rotary Foundation. They raised a lot of money yearly through events to support the causes they felt important which among them were scholarships and the children outpatient clinic and free care fund at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Today the funds principal is preserved and annual earnings used for college awards to support students from Chicago.

While the Foundation conducts an Annual Drive each autumn, donations are accepted throughout the year. Donations may be made by credit card or check. Additionally, special efforts are made to seek support for the ROTARY/One JOB1 Summer Internship Program.

For further information about how you can support the service projects of the Rotary Club of Chicago through donations to the ROTARY/One Foundation, please contact the Rotary office at (312) 372-3900 or Office@RotaryOne.Club.

Foundation Board of Trustees

Marshall Schmitt

Michael Faris
Vice Chair

Jim Buik

Trustees Include:

Sarah Buck
Shelby Edwards
Nancy Kalchbrenner
Ted Nebel
Jodi Santeford
Steve Weihmuller