ImageThe Paul Harris Society

The Paul Harris Society recognizes Rotarians and friends of The Rotary Foundation who personally contribute US$1,000 or more to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus or an approved Foundation grant each year.


The Paul Harris Society was originally created in 1999 by Past District Governor Wayne Cusick from District 5340. PDG Cusick realized that giving US$1,000 annually to the Foundation was not possible for every Rotarian, but many could be encouraged to contribute at this level or above. PDG Wayne introduced the Paul Harris Society program to encourage and recognize these individuals. This idea gained momentum and quickly spread to other districts throughout the world. While this recognition was originally designed as a district administered program, the Trustees adopted the Paul Harris Society as an official recognition program of The Rotary Foundation effective 1 July 2013.

Benefits to Joining

Paul Harris Society members bring positive change to communities around the world. In any given year, less than 3 percent of Rotary Foundation donors contribute at the Paul Harris Society level or above, yet their contributions represent approximately 35 percent of all annual giving. As Rotary Foundation grants and activities are largely funded by Annual Fund contributions, Paul Harris Society members help determine how many individuals, families and communities Rotary can impact each year.


The Paul Harris Society has been, and will continue to be, one of The Rotary Foundation’s most important ways to thank and recognize continued generosity. Each Rotary district is encouraged to honor and recognize Paul Harris Society members in accordance to the individual donor’s wishes and as culturally appropriate. All members of the Paul Harris Society are eligible to receive a wearable recognition insignia in appreciation for their support. Displaying the PHS insignia with a Paul Harris Fellow or Major Donor pin can help build awareness and enthusiasm for the work that Rotary does locally and around the world. The Rotary Foundation also provides an optional Paul Harris Society certificate template as well as suggestions for organizing and inviting Paul Harris Society members to recognition events.

As a Paul Harris Society Member, you will enjoy the benefits of:

• A membership certificate recognizing your commitment to The Rotary Foundation. Recognition is normally awarded at a Rotary event of suitable importance, or as you may request.
• A cloisonné Paul Harris Society "flag" to be worn in conjunction with a Paul Harris Fellowship pin. Unlike most Rotary recognition pins that may be worn for life, the PHS flag is to be displayed only by those who have made or pledged a qualifying gift in the current year.
• The funding of a new Paul Harris Fellowship each year.
• The eventual attainment of "Major Donor" recognition for $10,000 cumulative lifetime support of The Rotary Foundation.
• Fellowship with other Society members who share your degree of support for such an important cause.

How to become a Member of the Paul Harris Society Member:

• Simply download and fill out the PHS Brochure and send it to Rotary International with your gift to The Rotary Foundation in the current year (by June 30) to fulfill your commitment. This can be done online, or by monthly "TRF Direct" bank transaction, Credit Card, or by check payable to The Rotary Foundation.  The contribution can be made to one of the three Foundation funds: the Annual Fund, Polio Plus or an approved Foundation Grant. You can also delivered it to your club Treasurer or Secretary and have them mailed your pledge form.
• If you are not yet a Society member, but have already made your gift (for which we thank you!), please submit your Pledge Form (PDF) now, because Society membership does not occur automatically. The Paul Harris Society District Coordinator must receive word of your commitment to recognize your support, and for you to receive all the benefits of Paul Harris Society membership.
• Once you have e-mailed or mailed out your PHS form and contribution, please inform the Paul Harris Society District Coordinator so that you may receive your PHS Certificate and cloisonné Paul Harris Society "flag" pin.

Membership is an annual choice, at your discretion.

• The timing of your $1,000 annual gift is at your discretion. It may be made at any time during the July 1 to June 30 fiscal year, and may be made in a lump sum or in multiple transactions.
• Membership in the Paul Harris Society may be as brief as one year, but usually continues annually as long as you wish to continue at the selected level of support for the Foundation. A member is entitled to continue to wearing the "PHS" recognition pin flag in every year in which the qualifying support is made.
• Should a Member elect not continue their support at the Society membership level in any year, they may return another year when ready to resume support of The Rotary Foundation at that level.
• Paul Harris Society membership is a non-binding commitment. It is simply a statement of your intent to support The Rotary Foundation. Rotarians are known for their integrity. Your word or handshake is all it takes to become a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Click here to visit the Past & Present Paul Harris Society Members page.