Here’s a question that comes up a lot.  What are Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) recognition points?

Other questions frequently follow.  How can these points be used?  Can we use them to help fund a grant project?

The answer to that last question is, unfortunately, no.  Let’s see why, and let’s answer the earlier questions as well.

Simply put, Paul Harris Fellow recognition points are assigned to a contributor to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) for dollar gifts given to the Annual Fund, to Polio Plus, or to an authorized Global Grant.  Fresh contributions add to a donor’s recognition point total at the rate of one point per dollar given.

Can the points themselves be used to fund a new Rotary Foundation grant project?  No, they cannot, as they represent prior contributions to TRF, in some cases made many years ago. Those dollars were used to fund projects then and are not available again to fund new projects.

So how can PHF recognition points be used?  The answer lies within the name.  Such points can be used to recognize any person – including a fellow Rotarian or a member of the community – as a new (or multiple) Paul Harris Fellow.

Let’s consider an example of a Rotarian (“Savi”), who previously received her PHF pin.  Savi currently has 1,500 PHF recognition points, earned from her prior contributions to TRF.

Suppose that a new Rotarian (“Dave”) in her club has no current PHF recognition points, but is considering a contribution to TRF.  Suppose that Dave cannot afford to donate a full $1,000.  But he could do $500.

As an incentive for Dave to proceed, Savi could offer to do a 50:50 match of Dave’s donation.  By signing a TRF Recognition & Transfer Request form 102-EN, Savi could transfer 500 of her recognition points to Dave’s account.  Dave would in turn combine Savi’s points with his own 500 points (earned through his $500 contribution) to receive his Paul Harris Fellow pin.

When you think about it, PHF Recognition points don’t do any good just gathering dust in a person’s account.  A much better use for them is to inspire others to contribute to The Rotary Foundation via any technique in the same spirit as the example shown above.

Rotary clubs (and even Rotary districts) also make contributions to TRF.  When they do, they too earn Paul Harris Fellow recognition points.  Just as in our example, such clubs can use their PHF recognition points to help members of their club earn their first Paul Harris Fellow pin.  Carried to an inspiring conclusion, a club might become a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club utilizing this strategy.

We’ll return to that very interesting topic soon.  Stay tuned!