Mike Carroll
Bessemer, Ala., Lodge No. 721

Carroll Accepts the Chair Challenge

After holding the role of ENF Chair for only one year, Mike Carroll helped Bessemer, Ala., Lodge No. 721 finish 19th nationally in the 2011-12 Chair Challenge contest. This annual contest recognizes Lodges for having a successful fundraising program in support of the ENF. Their high standing motivated Carroll and the Lodge members, and in 2012-13, they set their sights on placing even higher.

Their hard work paid off. This year, the Bessemer Lodge, under Carroll’s guidance, finished first in the nation in the Chair Challenge contest.

Success in Bessemer

How did Carroll lead his Lodge from 19th to first in the nation in only one year? He shares some tips on having a successful fundraising program.

  1. Learn all you can. Use webinars, the Learning Center, online reports and other resources provided by the ENF to answer Lodge members’ questions. We as ENF Chairs have the best resources on the ENF website. Use them well!

  2. Get Lodge members involved as often as possible. The more members can get involved, the more success the Lodge will have. Give a short report at least once a month on how the Lodge is supporting the ENF. Donation totals, Lodge rankings, ways to give, and pledge reinstatements are all available online.

  3. Recognize members who support the ENF. Post their names on a board in the Lodge, present any awards, and recognize them when they reach a new level of giving. Give praise, especially when it is deserved.

  4. Lead by example. When ENF Chairs show they are involved and supportive, the members will follow. As Chair, how can I ask the members to do something that I am not willing to do myself?

  5. Know how each Chair Challenge category works. Keep up with accumulated points. Don’t wait for the updated report on the ENF website. Know where you stand now, then compare when the current reports are published online.

New Year’s Resolutions

With the 2012-13 Chair Challenge success under its belt, the Bessemer Lodge looks forward to accomplishing even more during the 2013-14 year.

“Our goal this year,” says Carroll, “is to exceed every accomplishment we have achieved in the past.”

The Lodge plans to hold more frequent fundraisers—including an ENF Month fundraiser in October. The Lodge also plans to promote the ENF Fidelity Club. Carroll, a member of the Fidelity Club, enjoys encouraging members to give a recurring gift.

“We already have eight members, including myself, who give a recurring gift,” he explains. “Our goal this year is to enroll 10 new members.”

When not busy as ENF Chair, Carroll participates in Community Investments Program grant projects which allow the Lodge to give back to the community. Thanks to CIP grants, the Lodge will host seminars for at-risk youth, compete in softball games for disabled community members, and support seniors and families in need during the holidays.

Modest Mike

Despite his outstanding success in the 2012-13 Chair Challenge contest, Carroll remains humble in his seat as first place Lodge in the nation.

“The Lodge members are the ones who accomplished our goals of winning the Chair Challenge,” says Carroll. “I couldn’t have achieved this by myself. My reward comes when I see a smile or hear ‘thank you’ from those that we help in the community.”


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