Serve Your Community.
How to Best Serve Your Lodge CommunityBy participating in the Elks National Foundation Community Investments Program, your Lodge is committed to doing big things to benefit your community. By following the steps outlined in this toolkit, your Lodge can do even more to help others, while promoting your Lodge and the Elks.
|Watch this video ENF Director Jim O’Kelley explaining how CIP grants can help with membership.|
During the 2011 Elks National Convention in Phoenix, we held a seminar on using ENF grants to raise your community profile. If you missed it, click here to watch the video of the session.Step 1: Meet a Need
Step 2: Get Lodge Support
Step 3: Plan the Project
Step 4: Make the Most of the Project
Step 5: Celebrate Your Success
- Become familiar with the Community Investments Program. Learn the details of the different grants your Lodge can receive and how you can use them by visiting www.elks.org/enf/community.
- Compile a list of your community’s needs.
- Think about relationships your Lodge has or would like to have with community leaders, elected officials and other service organizations, and reach out to them to discuss the grant opportunity.
- Think about what causes are important to your Lodge: for example, youth, veterans or people with disabilities.
- Think about what resources your Lodge can offer your community: for example, a swimming pool or picnic area.
- Consider national events that your Lodge could participate in: for example, for Veterans Day, you could hold an event for veterans.
- Gather interested Lodge members to identify a focus for the grant project that will meet a community need.
- Run the idea past those who helped identify the need—e.g., the mayor’s office—to make sure the Lodge is on the right track.
|To hear more about how one Lodge took its passion for drug awareness and met a local need, view this short video featuring an ENF volunteer.|
Upon grant approval, you’re ready to put your plan into action!
Before the Project
|For information about how to use social media to promote your event, view this short video featuring an ENF volunteer.|
- Establish a project timeline.
- Contact the media.
- Think about your Lodge’s connections. Ask if members know anyone who works for a media outlet, such as a local TV station or newspaper.
- Invite local media (large and small) to attend. For example, if the Lodge is hosting a youth event, invite the high school newspaper to cover it.
- Talk to the community.
- Invite community leaders and elected officials to attend. Mayors and elected officials want to issue proclamations and pose for pictures.
- Publicize the project in as many places as possible, such as the Lodge bulletin, the Lodge’s Facebook page and website.
- Keep the ENF informed, so we can promote the project.
- Encourage other Elks program participants, such as Elks scholars, to volunteer for the project. Contact the ENF to connect with local Elks scholars.
- If the Lodge is partnering with another organization—e.g., the food bank—it is equally as important for them to promote the information through their channels, with the Elks logo clearly visible, so their constituents know the Elks are a driving force in the cause.
|For more about how ENF grants can help your Lodge can raise its profile and attract new members, view this video featuring an ENF volunteer.|
- Assign a volunteer to take photos and videos. Click here for photo and video guidelines.
- Be loud. Talk about the Elks. Click here for an elevator speech you can use when talking about the Elks.
- Be visible. Make sure the Elks logo is prominently placed throughout the project activity.
- Be proud. Show the community all the great things that the Lodge does. Think about your audience, and encourage them to participate in other Elks programs. For example, if you’re holding a fishing derby, be sure to talk about ENF scholarships and the Elks Hoop Shoot. Have Elks promotional items on hand to cross-promote programs.
|For tips about how your Lodge can get media attention, view this video featuring ENF Director Jim O’Kelley.|
- Tell your story to the media. Consider what aspects of your project are of interest to the public, e.g., the Lodge set a record collecting food for the food bank. Promote the Elks as well as the project to encourage your community to become more involved in your Lodge.
- Send out a news release. Click here to use our online News Release Generator to create a news release or view and edit saved releases. For tips on creating a release that will get your story in the news, click here. To view a sample press release written by Lebanon, N.H., Lodge No. 2099, click here.
- Share photos and videos of your project.
- Recap the project on your Lodge website, bulletin, etc., to keep members informed and engaged, and to build excitement for next time!
- Submit your final report form to the ENF—including photos, videos and media coverage—so we can share your story with all of Elkdom.
The Elks National Foundation will invest up to $6.5 million this year in Lodge communities through Gratitude Grants, Promise Grants and Impact Grants. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, click here.
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