Helping Elks Build Stronger Communities
The mission of the Elks National Foundation is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We provide tomorrow’s leaders, our youth, with lifelong skills; meet the needs of today’s veterans; help the state Elks associations accomplish their charitable objectives; and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities. Like all Elks, the Foundation values the belief that charity is the greatest of all virtues and that by sharing and giving, we have the power to replace sorrow and despair with hope and confidence. Donations to the Foundation help us fund programs that match our cornerstone values of knowledge, integrity and community.
At its February meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Elks National Foundation Board of Trustees approved appropriations and distributions for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaling $29.52 million. Appropriated $9.8 million to invest directly in Lodge communities. Community Investment Program grant projects improve the areas where Elks work and live. The Impact Grant pool will increase by $100,000, totaling $600,000 available for large-scale grants. Promise Grants are $2,500 each, continuing last year’s increase, and Lodges with 15 percent of their members donating to the ENF in 2015-16 will be eligible for a $500 bonus on the Gratitude Grant when the GER’s per-member-giving goal is met in 2016-17.
Scholarship Programs and Other Funds
Designated $2.75 million to fund the Most Valuable Student scholarship program, which includes 500 four-year scholarships. The contest features 20 top awards—10 for males, 10 for females—of at least $20,000. These 20 finalists will attend the MVS Leadership Weekend in Chicago, where they will interview for the $30,000, $40,000 and $50,000 MVS scholarships. Designated $1.13 million for the Legacy Awards scholarship program. This includes 250 four-year, $4,000 scholarships for children and grandchildren of Elks.
- Appropriated $739,330 to completely fund the Elks Drug Awareness Program, which promotes constructive and cooperative solutions to youth substance abuse through education.
- Granted $952,760 to fund the Hoop Shoot, helping young people develop grit, the ability to persevere when the odds are stacked against them.
- Granted $1.46 million to the Order’s Veterans Service Program, which provides aid and comfort for America’s veterans in need.
- Appropriated $2.18 million to fund the Foundation’s administrative and fundraising expenses.
At 7.4 percent, our fundamental expenses are far below the Better Business Bureau’s standard for charities of no more than 35 percent of total spending.