Our district foundation, currently known as the 6820 Foundation, was started during the early 1940’s.

At the beginning it was a district project to raise money for the Crippled Adults Hospital located in Memphis. This project ended around 1961 when the hospital closed. At this point a decision was made to continue raising money for similar projects and the effort became known as the District Medical Foundation. The name was later changed to the District 682 Medical and Education Foundation.

The next project of the foundation was supporting the Mississippi Kidney Foundation with monetary contributions.

During the Rotary year 1992-93, District Governor Les Fletcher appointed a special committee to examine our foundation and develop a recommendation to continue it or abolish it. At that time, foundation dollars were being directed to the Mississippi Firefighters Burn Center. Problems existed primarily in three areas: (1) Club support of the foundation had become very weak. (2) Since the foundation was simply making contributions, clubs throughout the district were supporting the burn center directly as a club project rather than giving money to the foundation to give to the burn center. (3) Since the foundation was operating as an annual fund by donating all it was collecting, our foundation was in competition with RI’s Rotary Foundation for financial support from clubs.

This special committee made the following determinations, observations, and recommendations: The name of the foundation should be changed to the Rotary District 6820 Foundation, Inc. and should not be abolished, but should make certain changes. The foundation should be referred to as simply the 6820 Foundation to prevent confusion with district Rotary Foundation activities. The 6820 Foundation should not simply contribute to worthy causes, since individual clubs can do that. The 6820 Foundation should attempt to fill the gap between projects of the Rotary Foundation and projects that are too big for many clubs, but it should not compete with either the RF or club projects in fund raising. Projects supported by the 6820 Foundation should enhance educational and economic progress since this is the root of most problems and needs. The administration and financial activities of the 6820 Foundation, although generally in support of the Rotary goals of district 6820, should be separate from the administrative and financial activities of district 6820. To remove the financial competition for club project and Rotary Foundation support, the 6820 Foundation should move from an annual fund to an endowment with only earnings from the foundation being used for district projects. Disbursement of 6820 Foundation funds should cease until the foundation has a fund balance of $100,000. At that point, earnings accrued during a Rotary year can be used for district project disbursement during the following Rotary year. Any earnings not used should be added to the principal. Efforts should be made to grow the principal to a level sufficient to produce earnings adequate to meet the needs of the foundation.

At the 1992-93 district assembly, district 6820 adopted revisions to the Rules of Procedure preserving our district foundation, but with a new direction.