STEP 1 of the District Grant process: Welcome!

You are now on your way to accessing available funding to do an amazing project or service during the 2021-2022 Rotary year.  Carefully read this overview and then you’ll be ready to move to Step 2.   

In order for District 5150 to continue qualifying to receive grant funding from The Rotary Foundation (TRF), each Club must understand and comply with TRF’s strict rules regarding the grant process.  Those requirements are included in District 5150’s District Grant application. 
As you read through the District Grant process, if you have questions or need assistance, please contact District Grants Coordinator Cyndy Simms at or 909-544-9966.
Let’s begin…

Where does District Grant funding come from?

District Designated Funds (DDF) provide funding for District Grants and Global Grants.  Each Club is allocated DDF annually by District 5150 based on the Club’s prior 3 years of donations to The Rotary Foundation’s (TRF) Annual Fund.   Estimated DDF allocations for the coming Rotary year are sent to Club Presidents and President-Elects by the end of April each year.

What is the difference between a District Grant and a Global Grant?

Global Grants support large international projects with long-term, sustainable outcomes in one or more of Rotary’s 7 Areas of Focus:

  • Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution
  • Disease Prevention and Treatment
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Basic Education and Literacy
  • Economic and Community Development
  • Supporting the Environment

While it is possible for the project to be completed within a single Rotary year, typically a Global Grant spans several years depending on the size and scope. Global Grants range from $30,000 to $400,000, and your Club as Lead Club is responsible for arranging the funding to access the Global Grant program. The Rotary Foundation will match an approved Global Grant project $1 for $1 of DDF allocated to the project.  The minimum budget for a Global Grant is $30,000 and Global Grants are administered by The Rotary Foundation.

For more information about Global Grants, refer to or contact Global Grants Coordinator Steve Wright at or 650-208-4819.

District Grants, on the other hand, fund smaller-scale short-term projects that address immediate needs in your community or internationally.  These grants are usually completed within a Rotary year and are easier to obtain than Global Grants, with fewer restrictions and requirements.  District Grants are administered by the District 5150 District Grants Committee. 

What can a District Grant be used for?

A District Grant can be used to fund local community or international humanitarian projects in the areas of youth, elderly, literacy, or community or Rotary International’s 7 Areas of Focus.

Here are some examples of District Grant projects in District 5150:

Community Projects

  • Teacher Mini-Grants 
  • Dictionary Distribution for 3rd Grade Students 
  • RYLA Scholarships
  • Community Food Banks
  • Community Needs-Based Scholarships
  • Rotary Park Improvement
  • Furnishings for Center for Domestic Peace
  • Rotacare
  • SPARK Program
  • Thanksgiving Dinners for Low-Income Families
  • Bay Cruise and Movie for Low-Income Children with Disabilities
  • Hams for Single Moms
  • Solar car project

International Projects

  • H2Open Doors water purification projects
  • Yurok Tribe Playground Installation 
  • Sanitary Products for Girls in Uganda 

Here are some examples of District Grant projects in other Rotary Districts

Community Projects

  • Fund transportation of elementary students to visit downtown library and provide each with a book
  • Build and place “Little Free Library Book Stations” throughout neighborhoods for book exchanges
  • Create a walking path to encourage residents to exercise and combat obesity
  • Provide comfort bags to Alaskan children in the foster care system
  • Provide backpacks and school supplies for low income children
  • Build outdoor gardens at local elementary schools
  • Provide bikes and helmets for underprivileged and low income children
  • Provide books to a local library

International Projects

  • Solar lighting, sanitation and creation of room for school children in India
  • Build ten toilets for girls in a public school in Nepal
  • Provide laptop computers to scholarship students from Project Amigo in Colima, Mexico
  • Partial funding to build a community center in Tijuana with focus on youth, children and women
  • Fund wheelchair lift for school bus to bring disabled children from surrounding areas into city to attend school
  • Provide treated mosquito nets at an orphanage in Uganda
  • Provide food, school supplies and utility bill assistance to a school for the deaf in Mexico
  • Purchase tuktuk to provide meals to homebound seniors in Guatemala
  • Vocational Training Teams (VTT) of professionals who travel internationally to teach local professionals about their field or to learn more about the field themselves
  • Fund Global Grant community assessments

Wow! Can I use my DDF for more than one District Grant project?

Yes. You’ll need to complete a District Grant application for each project.

What can a District Grant NOT be used for?

District Grants cannot be used for:

  • Unrestricted cash donations to a beneficiary or cooperating organization
  • Operating, administrative, or indirect program expenses of another organization
  • Matching funds for any other project
  • Reimbursement for previously completed projects 
  • Purchasing land or buildings
  • Construction or rehabilitation of buildings except for water and sanitation projects
  • Fundraising activities and expenses related to Rotary events such as conferences, institutes, anniversary celebrations, or entertainment activities

I want to apply for a District Grant! What do I do now?

Congratulations! You’ve just completed Step 1 by reading the overview. Now you are ready for Step 2.


STEP 2 of the District Grant process: Get Qualified before April 1

  1. The Club President-Elect and President-Elect Nominee must complete the Rotary International Learning Center a) Grants Management course and b) Rotary Foundation Basics course by February 28, 2021.
  2. The Club’s Rotary Foundation Chair must complete the Rotary International Learning Center Grants Management course by February 28, 2021.
  3. The Club President-Elect, President-Elect Nominee, and Rotary Foundation Chair must complete the District 5150 Grants Management course by February 28, 2021.
  4. If the Club does not have a President-Elect Nominee, one of the following Club Officers must complete the required trainings:
    1. International Service Chair
    2. Community Service Chair
    3. Rotary Foundation Chair
  5. The signatures of the President-Elect and President-Elect Nominee are required on The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the District 5150 MOU Addendum by April 1, 2021.   If the Club does not have a President-Elect  Nominee by April 1, one of the Chairs (4a, 4b, 4c) who completed the Grants Management and Rotary Foundation Basic courses may sign in lieu of the President-Elect Nominee.
  6. The Club President-Elect must enter goals into Rotary Club Central for The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund no later than April 1, 2021.
  7. The Club must be in good standing with Rotary International and District 5150 membership reporting, financial obligations, and dues, as well as State and Federal tax filing requirements by April 1, 2021. 
  8. Qualification requirements must be completed for the 2021-2022 Rotary Year and the Club Qualification Requirements checklist submitted to the Club’s Assistant Governor by April 1, 2021.

NOTE: You must complete Step 2 before advancing to Step 3.

STEP 3 of the District Grant process: Compete the District Grant Application before June 1, 2021

  1. Work with your Club or Board of Directors to determine DDF grant projects for your Club in 2021-2022.
  2. Click on District 5150 Grant application and follow the directions to complete the application.
  3. Allow enough time to complete the application and secure the signatures of the 2020-2021 President-Elect (2021-2022 President) and 2020-2021 President-Elect Nominee (2021-2022 President-Elect) before June 1.
  4. Completed on-line applications will automatically be emailed to Cyndy Simms, District 5150 Grants Coordinator.   
  5. Applications must be received by June 1, 2021.
  6. Need help? Contact District Grants Coordinator Cyndy Simms at or 909-544-9966.

Seems obvious, but all information in the District Grant application must be true and accurate.

STEP 4 of the District Grant process: Implement your Project!

Once your District Grant application is approved, you are ready to implement your project.  Do not begin implementation of your project until you have received written notification from District Grants Coordinator Cyndy Simms that the application has been approved by the District 5150 Grants Committee and The Rotary Foundation.   Notification usually occurs by mid-September.


  • The Club must maintain a separate bank account for each District Grant over $2,000.
Implement your project and the savor the good work your Club members will do to make a positive difference in so many lives!

STEP 5 of the District Grant process: Final/Interim Report due by May 1

Once your project is finished, complete your Final/Interim Report on line at 2020-2021 District Grant Final Report (for 2020-2021 District Grants due by May 1, 2021) or 2021-2022 District Grant Final Report (for 2021-2022 District Grants due by May 1, 2022). 

  1. It is a good idea to complete the Final Report as soon as the project is finished.  The Final Report can be submitted anytime prior to May 1.
  2. If your project covers more than one Rotary Year (July 1st to June 30th), you must file an Interim Report for the first year of the project by May 1.
  3. All District Grant projects must be completed by April 30 of the second Rotary Year of the project.
  4. If the project spans a second Rotary Year, the Final Report must be submitted by May 1, 2022 (2020-2021 District Grants) or May 1, 2023 (2021-2022 District Grants).


  • The Final/Interim Report must include receipts for the project’s costs and signatures from both the President and President-Elect.

Questions?   Contact District Grants Coordinator Cyndy Simms at or 909-544-9966.