"I feel incredibly privileged to be among a collection of such gifted and hardworking students that made up the pool of national applicants. I have great faith that all the applicants will help bring the world into a bright new future with all the help the Elks Foundation has provided them… I have found a new family in the Elks association that will be cheering me on through both college and the future I decide to create for myself after college. I could not have asked for a better opportunity to help me thorugh college and will never be able to show my appreciation enough."
Gratitude Grants offer an opportunity for Elks to think about how best to serve their community and make it stronger. Gratitude Grants are the ENF's way of saying thank you to every Lodge that meets the National President's per-member goal for giving to the ENF. Last year, more than 77 percent of Lodges met the per-member goal for giving to the ENF, so start planning your grant today! The possibilities are endless!
“The response to our Lodge's grant project is overwhelming. People now know that we do good things for the community. Because of this, we have an increase in membership."
- Mike Mongelluzzo Project Manager at Ocala, Fla., Lodge No. 286
Gratitude Grants can be used to support local, charitable activities. Lodges use Gratitude Grants to do things like buy supplies for a homeless shelter, partner with D.A.R.E. to hold drug awareness programs in schools, or hold recreational events for people with disabilities.
Though donations do qualify, we encourage your Lodge to consider using its Gratitude Grant in an active way. We want you to serve your communities in ways that will raise the Lodge's profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that's doing big things.
Here's a look at projects Lodges have applied for, and ways to make that project more active.
Good for Them
Better for You
Donation to Food Bank
Have a food drive, and serve a meal to families in need
Donation to six youth groups
Hold monthly drug-free youth activities
Donation to restore city building
Partner with students to hold a community clean-up day
Donation to Veterans group
Volunteer at a Stand Down, or reach out to veterans in need
Purchase equipment for Fire Dept. and Police Dept.
Partner with both groups on a Community Safety Day
To encourage active projects, each Lodge that applies to use the Gratitude Grant for a donation will receive a follow-up email from the ENF asking the Lodge to consider more active ways to serve the community. Please read the entire email, and contact the ENF with any questions.
The Elks' Turn to Serve
If your Lodge is using a Gratitude Grant to serve veterans and military members in need, it must focus on one of these five areas of increased need.
ENF Grants should always be used for charitable purposes. Keep the following six broad categories (defined as charitable by the IRS) in mind when planning a grant project; relieve the poor, distressed or underprivileged; advance education or science, but not through scholarships; lessen the burdens of government; lessen neighborhood tensions; eliminate prejudice and discrimination; combat juvenile delinquency.
2014-15 Dates: Available online once your Lodge meets the National President's 2014-15 per-capita goal. Applications due May 31, 2015. Applications must be submitted and approved before the grant is used. Grant available for use between the date the Lodge reached the per-capita goal and July 31, 2015. Final Report Forms are due August 31, 2015.
2015-16 Dates: Applications for 2015-16 Gratitude Grants become available online to qualifying Lodges July 1, 2015. Applications must be submitted before the project takes place. Funds must be spent by July 31, 2016. Final Report Forms are due August 31, 2016.
How to Apply: The Lodge Secretary or ENF Grants Coordinator is able to process, complete and submit the online application. For detailed instructions on the application process, click here. To find out your Lodge's per-capita standing, click here.*
Restrictions: Gratitude Grants must be used for local, charitable projects. They cannot be used to donate to a national organization or to a State Major Project. They also many not be used to rent or repair Lodge buildings or only to benefit Lodge members. Grants cannot be used to fund scholarships, Hoop Shoot events, youth awards ceremonies, poster and/or essay contests, appreciation dinners, general community events, or fundraisers.
Process: Upon approval of a Lodge's online application, the ENF will mail the Lodge an approval letter, a grant check and a Final Report form to the Lodge address. A Lodge can use its $2,000 Gratitude Grant in conjunction with a Beacon Grant and/or a Promise Grant. Applications must be submitted separately.
Final Report Forms: After the grant has been used, mail in the Final Report Form, along with all grant-related receipts and photos. Lodges that do not complete this required form will not be eligible for any ENF grants the following year.
Click here to download an editable copy of the 2014-15 Gratitude Grant Final Report Form.
*In the event of a Lodge merger, the newly formed Lodge must meet the per-capita goal for the current Elk year under the new (merged) membership total to qualify for this grant. Lodges that qualify and apply for Gratitude Grants prior to the Lodge merger will not be penalized.
Ready to apply?
Lodge Secretaries or Grant Coordinators follow these three steps.
1. Go to the Member Login and enter your existing username and password.