Funding for Rotary projects comes from The Rotary Foundation in a variety of ways. Are you aware funding for many of our clubs local projects comes from The Rotary Foundation of Bedford? The two are very different. From time to time we’ll present information regarding both in an attempt to keep you up to date. I hope.

Sze-Wen Kuo This year’s chair of the Rotary Foundation of Bedford was our guest speaker this week. What she said in just a few minutes spoke volumes of what we are all about.  We owe a great deal to Sze-Wen and her husband Victor Tom. Month after month, year after year, this amazing couple are giving of their talents (which are many), their time, and their financial resources to make our Rotary club and all its projects successful.

 Sze-Wen started off her presentation by showing us a video, created by Victor, showing some of the many projects our club has participated in both locally and internationally.


This is by no means “all” the projects we have done, but it is a good representation of why our club is considered one of the best when it comes to The Rotary Foundation. She emphasized this is “our” foundation. It exists to provide the financial resources achieve our goal of helping others. She also reminded us that although our projects are vastly different they all start the exact same way “with one Rotarian, with an idea, and the tenacity to make it happen.”

Three members of our club who were among the original group of Bedford Rotarians that started the Rotary Foundation of Bedford way back in 1988, were in attendance today (Nat Brown, Jim Harrill, and Bob Cassidy).  During the discussion Nat pointed out the main reasons for establishing our Foundation:

  • was to provide the club with a financial resource to continue our philanthropy during times when fundraising was difficult
  • Finance our scholarships
  • Provide a tax-exempt location to receive financial gifts to our club. This is something Bob Cassidy has been saying for years but it is not in writing in our foundation’s bylaws. (Thank you Nat)
  • In later years this list was modified to include “providing a source of matching funds for our members contributions to Rotary International’s Foundation

Over the years “our” Rotary Foundation of Bedford has grown into a substantial sum! Which prompted the question “ with such a large sum, why are we continuing to contribute 25% of each year’s fundraising to our corpus? This led to an interesting discussion of how these funds can be used. Nat pointed out the members and trustees should use caution in tapping these accumulated funds for worthwhile projects in Bedford and not to just “spend” the money for the sake of spending it.

No definitive answers were given to the questions discussed but it did provide Sze-Wen with good feedback to discuss with “our” Foundation’s Trustees.