Program History

When John F. Malley founded the Elks National Foundation in 1928, he envisioned that it would “unite the forces of the Order into a mighty army for the service of mankind." Today, in many ways, the Community Investments Program is that army. Launched in 2005, this program has experienced remarkable growth ever since, thanks to the work of hundreds of thousands of Elks volunteers.

Since the Community Investments Program began, we’ve approved more than 16,000 grants to Lodges, each targeted toward helping Elks build stronger communities. Elks use grants to provide food to the hungry and clothes for the homeless, to serve veterans in need and support community members in crisis, to teach the value of service and be role models for youth, and to spread the goodwill of the Elks.

The Community Investments Program started in 2005-06 with a budget of $350,000. In 2016-17, the ENF will invest $9.8 million in the Community Investments Program to help Elks build stronger communities. If the past 10 years are any indication, ten years is only the beginning.

The Power of Volunteers
In 2011-12, we awarded the first annual Community Investments Program Volunteer of the Year Award to acknowledge all our volunteers by recognizing one outstanding Elk volunteer each year. Read about our Volunteers of the Year here!

2016-17: Gretchen Peterson, Hopkins, Minn., Lodge No. 2221

2015-16: Susan Good, Fresno, Calif., Lodge No. 439

2014-15: Jeff Mitchell, Bradenton, Fla., Lodge No. 1511

2013-14: Rick Shipley, Hillsboro, Ore., Lodge No. 1862

2012-13: Carolyn Shupe, Santa Barbara, Calif., Lodge No. 613

2011-12: Betty Archambault, St. George 'Dixie,' Utah, Lodge No. 1743

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