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.
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- Community Investments Program
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.
- State Grants
Granted $9.1 million to the state Elks associations through State Charities Grants, Special Project Grants and Bonus Grants, which help fund each state’s major charitable projects.
Today’s Elks scholars have the potential of becoming tomorrow’s Elks. Receiving an ENF scholarship is a first step, but we need to engage Elks scholars as part of the Elks family by including them in Lodge activities and volunteer projects. This year, up to 20 scholars will serve on each of the three Elks Scholar Service Trips funded by the ENF. Elks scholars served in Manistique, Mich., in Oakland, Calif., and Washington, DC in 2015-16. We have witnessed Elks scholars and Elks connecting and forging bonds on these trips. The Elks scholars serve the host community in the name of Elks.
- Most Valuable Student Scholarship Competition
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.
- ENF Legacy Awards
Designated $1.13 million for the Legacy Awards scholarship program. This includes 250 four-year, $4,000 scholarships for children and grandchildren of Elks.
- Emergency Educational Fund Grants
Reserved $322,240 for the Emergency Educational Grants program. Emergency Educational Grants are one-year educational grants to the children of deceased or totally disabled Elks.
- Elks National
Hoop Shoot Free Throw Program
Granted $952,760 to fund the Hoop Shoot, helping young people develop grit, the ability to persevere when the odds are stacked against them.
- Elks Drug Awareness Program
Appropriated $739,330 to completely fund the Elks Drug Awareness Program, which promotes constructive and cooperative solutions to youth substance abuse through education.
- Elks National Veterans Service Commission
Granted $1.46 million to the Order’s Veterans Service Program, which provides aid and comfort for America’s veterans in need.
- Elks Veterans Memorial Maintenance
Granted $705,900 to maintain the Elks Veterans Memorial in Chicago.
- Reserved $378,000 for miscellaneous grants, including the Gunther & Lee Weigel Medical School Scholarship.
- Fundamental Appropriations
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.
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