What is the Paul Harris Society?

Named after Rotary’s founder, the Paul Harris Society (PHS) recognizes Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who contribute US$1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus, or approved Foundation global grants. This recognition was administered by districts until the Paul Harris Society became an official Rotary Foundation recognition program in July 2013. The purpose of the Paul Harris Society is to identify, engage, and thank members who have the ability and desire to make substantial annual gifts that help communities around the world.

How is the money used?

PHS Members can allocate their annual pledge to any or all of these three areas of giving:
  • The Annual Fund - the workhorse fund of the Rotary Foundation which helps fund international projects greater than $30,000 and global scholarships. Half of all donations made to the annual fund come back to the district to be used for global projects and for smaller club projects which help their own local communities.
  • Polio Plus - while we are within a hair's width of ending polio worldwide, there are still millions of children being born each year which need to be vaccinated and disease surveillance  which needs to be funded. Polio donations are matched 3:1 by the Gates Foundation.
  • Global Grants - PHS members may select to apply some or all of their annual pledge to specific approved grants thus multiplying their donations with matching pledges by both the Rotary Foundation and the district.

How do I join?

Membership is open to anyone, Rotarian or not, who values the humanitarian work of our great worldwide organization and is willing to pledge at least $1,000 per year to the Rotary Foundation. First, notify the Rotary Foundation that you wish to become a member of the PHS by completing the  Enrollment Form. Fill out the form, print it, and send it to the appropriate address shown on the form (note: the form cannot be emailed).
Second, make your contribution(s). You may elect to send a cheque with the enrollment form for one of the options, Annual Fund,  Polio Plus or an approved project or you may give online and split your donations as desired. You may also choose to spread out your donations throughout the year either with automatic charges to your credit card or with manual inputs online.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there recognition for this commitment?
Yes. Upon receipt of the enrollment form, the Rotary Foundation will send a certificate and a PHS hang tag which can be attached to the Rotary pin or Paul Harris Fellow pin as shown at the top of this page.  Where appropriate this honor may be presented at a district or club gathering.
Is this a one time, one year pledge?
No, it is a long-term commitment to donate to our Rotary Foundation each and every year going forward.
Do I have to pay the initial donation when I join?
No, but you are asked to complete your first year donation during the Rotary year that they joined.
Do I have to pay my annual pledge in one lump sum?
No. Using the Donate Online link, you can set up your donations in recurring amounts or give individual donations in any amount and with any frequency.
Can I split my annual donation among the three purposes?
Yes, absolutely! The best way to do this is to go to Rotary's Donate Online where you can select the desired fund and amount.  Under "Featured Causes" select either Annual Fund-SHARE or PolioPlus Fund or under "Grants" enter the specific approved grant number you wish to contribute to.
Do I get tax receipts for my donations?
Of course! Whether you donate by mail or online, you will promptly receive a tax receipt for either US or Canada based on which currency the donation was made.
What if I can’t complete my pledge in a given year?
Rotary understands that in our life situations change. Rotary recommends that you contact the District PHS coordinator to advise of your interruption. When your financial situation improves you can resume your commitment.
More Questions or need help? Email jamiepole@hotmail.com