Rotarians are strongly encouraged to share the news of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's US$100 million challenge grant to Rotary International with their local media.

 Rotary has pledged to match the Gates grant dollar for dollar over the next three years, which will provide a much needed total of US$200 million to intensify the push to finish polio.

Here are four tools that can help publicize this shared commitment:

  • Press release - You can tailor this release to your own community by describing your club or district polio eradication activities, submitting photos of local participation in National Immunization Days, or including comments from local Rotary leaders pledging continued support for this vital effort.
  • Op-ed template - The template can be submitted by Rotarians to their local newspapers' opinion sections. Using the template helps ensure that a consistent message on polio eradication and the Gates grant is shared around the world. As with the press release, the op-ed piece can be localized by inserting information about area Rotary club and district polio eradication efforts.
  • PolioPlus Headliner Kit and fact sheet - Though not specific to the Gates Foundation grant, this resource can be used by clubs to publicize polio eradication. The kit contains a sample news feature, a press release, an opinion piece, and a letter to the editor, all easily adapted to local communities. (For additional languages, please e-mail )
  • Public service announcements - Designed for print and broadcast media, the PSAs are an effective supplement to the news release and op-ed piece. These PSAs focus on Rotary's commitment to finish polio and can be easily localized by adding information about club or district eradication efforts and club contact information. Many clubs have members who work in the local media or have strong media contacts. These Rotarians can often place PSAs with their communities' newspapers and television and radio stations.

The challenge grant is one of the largest ever made by the Gates Foundation and is a tremendous validation of the approach and success of Rotary's PolioPlus program. By getting the word out to the media and public about the grant, Rotarians can help keep the momentum going in the global battle to rid the world of polio once and for all.

Make a contribution to help eradicate polio