Chris Graves
Marshall County, Ala., Lodge No. 2869

Making the Most of Matching

A young Lodge, Marshall County, Ala., Lodge No. 2869, has strong support for the ENF. And it’s more than members donating—ENF Chair Chris Graves participates in his employer’s matching gift program.

“My employer doubles what I give to ENF and gives extra dollars to match my volunteer hours,” Graves explains. “It helps our Lodge per capita so we can apply for ENF grants to do more in our community.”

Graves keeps the ENF at the forefront in his Lodge all year round. He and his wife, Michelle, joined the Elks as charter members of their Lodge and were drawn to the work of the ENF. Prior to joining the Elks and becoming ENF Chair, Graves hadn’t utilized his employer’s matching gift program.

“It’s worth it,” Graves says. “They pay out on their own timeline so you have to practice a little patience, but my company has never failed to come through. We made a good showing for our first year as a Lodge.”

Less than two years since his first donation, Graves reached the Permanent Benefactor level of giving. His employer’s support to the ENF in matching Graves’ donations and his volunteer hours count toward his personal giving history and the Lodge’s per capita.

When asked for advice to other Lodge ENF Chairs, Graves says, “Get to know your givers. They may be the person eligible for a gift match. Then, demonstrate to members what their support has done.”

To Lodges, Graves says, “Recruit ENF Chairs and ENF programs volunteers wisely. Get the ones involved who work for these companies that offer a volunteer match. The ENF benefits from a volunteer’s time commitment and their company’s dollars.”

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