Not all Elks members donate to the ENF. In fact, only about 10 percent have donated this fiscal year. For percentage of individual members who donate to the ENF, Rhode Island boasts more than triple the national average, as does the state’s East District No. 8080. Leo Shiel, ENF Chair of the East District and Woonsocket Lodge No. 850, knows why—Rhode Island promotes the ENF to members and makes it convenient for donors to give.
“To be successful, you yourself need to attend every indoctrination if possible, and give regular updates to your general membership,” Shiel advises ENF Chairs.
For updates, Shiel recommends including a report on the ENF in every Lodge newsletter. He writes for the Woonsocket’s newsletter each month, sharing news, where the Lodge stands on ENF support, and ENF program highlights.
Sheil gives a talk to new members at every indoctrination, sharing ENF history and personal stories to demonstrate how ENF programs can affect them directly. He encourages members throughout the year and via the annual dues mailing, with the Lodge Secretary’s help, to start, continue and renew pledges.
“Talking about ENF programs and distributions seems to make an impression on everybody,” Shiel says.
Many members give because they know about the ENF and believe in it. Nevertheless, Sheil and his Lodge have a special way of using the charitable half of ENF 50/50 raffle winnings to motivate ENF support from new members—when new members make a pledge of $100 to the ENF over 10 years, the Lodge matches their first $10 donation on the pledge! That’s a good deal for the new donors and the ENF.
Set a goal to reach at least 15 percent in your area! To see what percentage of individual members support the ENF in your state, district and Lodge, visit the Membership Support report.