The Elks National Foundation announced several items of interest for members and Lodges as part of their e-news feed. These include the announcement of their Annual Report for 2022-23, a New Gratitude Grant Bonus, and information on the ENF’s Scholarship Programs.
ENF Annual Report
The Annual Report for the Elks National Foundation 2022-23 has been made available. According to ENF Chairman James McQuillan (PGER), During the past year, the ENF allocated nearly $40 Million Dollars, directly to its programs, and not to administrative or fundraising expenses [like so many other charitable organizations]. Every dollar donated helps Elks build stronger communities. During the past year, the ENF helped more than 850 high school seniors afford their college education and instilled the value of practice and hard work in tens of thousands of young people through the Hoop Shoot program. In addition, the ENF provided 4,340 Community Investment Grants, and 1,541 Lodges received at least one of those grants. An average total of $8,120.40 was granted per participating Lodge.
Last year, 504 New MVS Scholarship Awards were provided to deserving high school seniors, and 24 Emergency Education Grants were given as well. Did you know that the ENF also offers to specialized scholarships for deserving Elk Scholars who are pursuing a medical degree or osteopathic medicine degree? In 2022, the ENF awarded 20 scholars with $22,000 scholarships through the Gunther & Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarships.
Last year, a total of 1,037 Lodges hosted a Hoop Shoot competition where 110,749 kids participated. The contests were run by 12,779 Elks and volunteers. A total of 72 finalists made it to the Nationals after competing at the Lodge, District, State, and Regional Competitions. The National Event took place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
The ENF also funds the Elks National Veterans Service Commission, helping veterans in many ways, living up to the motto of “So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks will never forget them.” Through this program, homeless veterans were provided with welcome home kits upon moving them from the street or shelter to a new home. A total of 2,416 Welcome Home Kits were provided. These are essential household items needed to start a new life in a place they can call home. They also provided Emergency Assistance to help veterans exit or prevent homelessness. A total of 563 veterans were assisted through this part of the program. There were also 600 Freedom Grants issued to help Lodges serve veterans and military members in need. The Classic Freedom Grant Spark for $1,000, and Freedom Grant Classic for $3,000 were offered to Lodges to support veterans in their communities. The ENVSC also had 607 Elk members stationed as Representatives and Deputy Representatives in more than 360 veterans facilities to provide monthly support.
Overall, the ENF received $10,395,849 in contributions, bequests, and grants, and gave out the following:
- Community Investment Grants (CIP) in the amount of $12,649, 018
- State Grants in the amount of $10,798,330 (Maine received $208,120 from ENF for MCCP, Scholarships, and Veterans last year not including CIP Grants)
- Scholarships in the amount of $4,309,828 (MVS, Legacy, and others)
- Veterans Service in the amount of $5,098,306 (Elks National Veteran Service Commission)
- Youth Programs in the amount of $2,285,890 (Hoop Shoot & Drug Awareness)
- Veterans National Memorial in Chicago in the amount of $931,219
- Other program expenses in the amount of $15,214
All of this with management and general expenses of $1,772,468 to operate the Elks National Foundation office and support the program nationwide through Elk Lodges and their volunteers. This represents only 1.9% of the total assets of the ENF.
New Gratitude Grant Bonus
Thanks to the increase in donations to the Elks National Foundation, a new Gratitude Grant Bonus has been added that is worth $500 dollars, bringing the total possible in Gratitude Grant & Bonuses to $4,000. The new bonus grant will require Lodges to increase their fundraising over the previous year by 10 percent. As an example, if your Lodge raised $1,000 dollars for the Elks National Foundation, to obtain the bonus, you would need to raise $1,100 this year to qualify. Other bonuses include the membership bonus for Lodges with more than 15 percent of their membership donating to the Elks National Foundation last year, a Fidelity Club Bonus for Lodges in which 5 percent of the prior year’s donors were members of the Fidelity Club, and an ENF Chairmans Challenge Bonus for achieving 550 points or higher in the previous fiscal year.
Scholarship Deadline Reminders
The Most Valuable Student Scholarship application deadline is November 13 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. The ENF will award 500 four-year scholarships—ranging from $1,000 per year to $7,500 per year—to the highest-rated applicants. This year, the top 20 MVS Scholarship Finalists will each receive a $30,000 Scholarship, increasing the guaranteed scholarships for every finalist by 50 percent. This will undoubtably cultivate better relationships amongst the MVS Scholars, create opportunities for more engaging programming, and allow for more Champions of the Order. In addition, as part of this program, the ENF provides 480 four-year scholarships in the amount of $4,000 to deserving Scholars who are the top applicants in each State. This means that the ENF provides $2,520,000 in MVS Scholarships. Members are encouraged to reach out to high school seniors in your life to apply!
As a member, do you have a child, grandchild, stepchild, step-grandchild, or legal ward who is a High School Senior? There’s also a special scholarship opportunity available only to dues-paying Elks who have been members prior to April 1, 2021. These are $4,000 Four-Year Scholarships ($1,000 per year). Maine will be awarded with four (4) Legacy Award Scholarships to deserving scholars in this program. This is a great program that is exclusively for the families of Elk Members, so we ask that you encourage the high school seniors in your family, or of your fellow Elks to apply for the Legacy Awards scholarship. Applications are due February 5, but check them off your list before the new year.
The Legacy Award can also be used as a recruiting tool for new members, as it is one of the benefits of membership. It must be noted that any member who joins, must have been a member for at least two years prior to the application being submitted, and should be in good standing in the current year. Over that two-to-three-year period, the new member should be encouraged to learn all that Elkdom has to offer, beyond the scholarship programs.
Using Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) to Support the Elks National Foundation
There’s a special way of supporting the Elks National Foundation only available to Elks older than 70.5. These are called Qualified Charitable Distributions, which are tax wise gifts made directly from an IRA to a charity of your choice. These gifts can help alleviate tax burdens by helping people meet required minimum distributions. If you or another member of your Lodge is interested, they can give a QCD to the Elks National Foundation Online or by calling the ENF Development Department at 773-755-4762. These are simply an additional way to support the program.
The State of Maine receives back from the Elks National Foundation $1.467 for every dollar the ENF receives from Maine Elks. That’s a great return on the investment of our donations, allowing Maine Elks to better serve their communities and allowing Elks to build stronger communities. For more information on the Elks National Foundation, visit Elks National Foundation on Elks.org