The Rotary Club of Washington D.C. established the Rotary Foundation of Washington DC in 1922 to engage in works of charity. This year the Foundation celebrates its 96th year of dedicated support to local and international non-profit organizations engaged in a wide range of community development and charitable activities. Members of the Rotary Club of Washington DC are directly engaged in over 20 community projects annually, and through the Foundation, support another 40-60 organizations and projects through contributions.

Grants Offered

The Rotary Foundation makes available two types of grant opportunities for DC non-profit organizations:

  • Community Service Grants of $1,000 to $5,000 per organization supporting projects that demonstrate need for small capital items or “seed money” for special services that provide direct and tangible benefits principally within the District of Columbia.
  • Foundation Special Project Grants of $20,000 supporting larger projects that demonstrate long-term sustainability and impact and offer opportunities for Rotary members to volunteer and raise the profile of the organization and Rotary in the DC community.
Invitation to Apply

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for one or both grant opportunities, noting that only one grant will be awarded to any applicant. While several $1,000-$5,000 Community Service Grants will be awarded, only a few $20,000 Foundation Special Grants are able to be awarded. Grants are solely awarded to projects that principally serve District of Columbia residents. Funding is available for eligible nonprofit organizations for specific-identifiable program activities. General operating or overhead funding requests are not supported.

How to Apply

The 2020 grant cycle is open from December 1, 2019, with the deadline for Grant Applications January 31, 2020. The 2020 application is available for download here. Be sure to download the linked file rather than writing your edits into the browser! To submit your application, and if you have any questions, please email grants@dcrotaryclub.org. The Foundation hopes to issue 2020 award decisions by June 2020.

Below are a sample of the community service projects that our club members do every year.

Grate Patrol – Attend, publicize and coordinate the Club’s participation in the Salvation Army Grate Patrol. The Grate Patrol Homeless Outreach Program brings an evening meal and the opportunity for professional help to the homeless on the streets of Washington, DC. Members volunteer with twice a month with our Rotaract Club.

Trees for the Capital – Attend, publicize and coordinate tree plantings with the National Park Service to recognize weekly speakers and special occasions. We host tree planting ceremonies 1-2 times per year on the Tidal Basin or in Farragut Park in Northwest.

Walter Reed Bingo – The Club’s manages a bingo game monthly at Walter Reed National Military Hospital in Bethesda for military veterans and their families. The club has been hosting this event since World War II.

2019 Dictionary Project A Success!

After weeks of diligent planning, the Rotary Club of Washington DC, with the help of the Federal City Rotary Club and the Washington DC Rotaract Club, rallied 90 volunteers to successfully deliver 4,700 dictionaries to elementary students in 105 Washington DC public and charter schools. Additionally, members provided 1000 Spanish-English dictionaries to ESL (English as a Second Language) 3rd graders at these schools.

The Rotary Club of Washington DC has been an active participant in The Dictionary Project for more than 10 years, providing over 48,900 dictionaries to students in the District of Columbia. We appreciate the dedication of the Washington DC Rotarians and their years of service. By giving students their own personal dictionary, members are providing the building block for a greater culture of literacy in the community.

Bill Dent, Dictionary Project Chair


The Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. helps to select World Peace Fellowship and Global Grant (formerly Ambassadorial) Scholars for our Rotary District, District 7620.

Applications for the World Peace Fellowships can be found on Rotary International’s website. The deadline to submit an application to our club for a Peace Fellowships is May 31.

Applications for the Global Grant Scholarships can be found on the 7620 District website (www.rotary7620.org).

Please contact Mr. Octavian Ionici  for more information.

District Grant Scholarships

District grants can be used to sponsor secondary school, undergraduate, or graduate students studying any subject, either locally or abroad. In addition, the scholarship may cover any length of time — from a six-week language training program to a year or more of university study. Districts may ask scholars to make presentations to local Rotary clubs and participate in Rotary service projects, but such involvement is not required by the Foundation.

The district is responsible for all administrative support for district grant scholars. No host counselor is provided for international district grant scholars. Districts may request assistance from Rotarians in the area where the scholar will be studying, but those clubs are under no obligation to act as hosts. It is recommended that districts appoint a scholarships subcommittee chair to manage the logistics of identifying and approving candidates, making payments, and coordinating with the district in which the scholar will be studying.


Global Grant Scholarships

Global grants support scholarships for graduate students studying abroad in one of the six areas of focus. Scholarships range from one to four years and therefore can include an entire degree program. Prospective scholars must show proof of admission to the chosen university before the grant will be approved.

Global grant scholars are expected to participate in club or district activities before, during, and after the scholarship.

Global grant scholarships are funded using cash and/or the District Designated Fund, matched by the World Fund. The global grant budget must total at least US$30,000, but a scholarship may be a component of a larger grant application — for example, a scholarship plus a humanitarian project.

Read more about global grant scholarships.

UNESCO-IHE Scholarships

The Rotary Foundation offers a limited number of scholarships annually for water and sanitation professionals to study at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands. Rotary clubs and districts interview applicants who have been admitted to the institute in one of three master’s degree programs and recommend scholarship candidates.