Building stronger communities in 2021
Page Header with photos of ENF Programs In February, the Elks National Foundation Board of Trustees approved a massive $39.1 million budget for the ENF’s 2020-21 Fiscal Year. That $39.1 million—dedicated to building stronger communities—includes updates to every program the ENF supports.

The ENF allocated $14.6 million to the Community Investments Program. Since the CIP’s inception in 2005 as a $350,000 venture, the program’s budget has grown exponentially—the ENF has increased spending on Elks’ communities by 4,063 percent.

“That’s a testament to what [Elks] are doing with our grants,” said Jim O’Kelley, director of the ENF. “Our Board sees what you’re doing, and they keep giving you more money to do it.”

This year, the Beacon Grant got a boost to $3,000, a jump from $2,500. The $2,000 Spotlight Grant is back for another year with greater flexibility. Gratitude Grants are $2,000 ‘thank you’s’ from the ENF for Lodges that meet the National President’s per-member-giving goal. As additional thanks, Lodges that maintain more than 15 percent membership support of the ENF will receive an additional $500 on their grant. New in FY 2020-21 is an additional $500 bonus for Lodges that maintain 10 percent membership support, with 10 percent of Lodge donors being members of the Fidelity Club. Lodges that hit both metrics could receive a $3,000 Gratitude Grant.

The ENF’s second-largest program, scholarships, will receive $4.6 million to support the dreams of youth across the country. In 2021, 350 children and grandchildren of Elks will be eligible to receive a Legacy Award—50 more than in 2019.

“The Elks is a foundation to our national community,” said Cassidy Clark, a 2019 Legacy scholar sponsored by Westbrook, Connecticut, Lodge No. 1784. “I have witnessed the impact of the work that the Elks do and how this can change lives. Being a Legacy Award recipient means the absolute world to me.”

The Elks National Veterans Service Commission, funded by the ENF, provides grants and resources to Lodges to meet the needs of veterans, with a focus on veterans experiencing homelessness. Since the Welcome Home Initiative began, Elks have turned new houses into homes for veterans through nearly 4,000 Welcome Home Kits. In addition to continuing that program, the ENF will increase Freedom Grants, which are administered through the ENVSC, to $2,500.

The Drug Awareness Program includes a nationwide speaking tour featuring certified prevention specialist and drug and alcohol counselor Ray Lozano. For 2020-21, the DAP is working on a plan to expand its speaking tour to connect with more students, families and communities across the country and lay the foundation for healthy lifestyles.

Plus, the ENF allocated $10.1 million to state Elks associations through the State Charities Grants, Special Projects Grants and Bonus Grants, which help fund each state’s charitable activities.

The 2020-21 budget incorporates the Foundation’s administrative and fundraising expenses, too. The ENF requires just $2.6 million to operate. The ENF’s day-to-day expenses equal less than 7 percent of the budget—far below the Better Business Bureau’s standard for charities of no more than 35 percent of total spending thanks to the dedicated ENF Fundraising Chairs who volunteer to support the Foundation’s mission.

Learn more about the 2020-21 Grants and Appropriations here.

A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Elks National Foundation helps Elks build stronger communities through programs that support youth, serve veterans and meet needs in areas where Elks live and work. For more information on the ENF, visit

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