Overview

Gratitude Grants ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 are the ENF's way of saying thank you to every Lodge that meets the National President's per-member goal for giving to the ENF.

Gratitude Grant eligibility is based on whether the Lodge has reached the GER’s per-member-giving goal in the prior fiscal year. If the Lodge meets the 2020-21 goal, the Lodge will be able to apply for a 2021-22 Gratitude Grant on April 1.

The Elks' Turn to Serve

If your Lodge is using a Gratitude Grant to serve veterans and military members in need, it must focus on one of these five areas of increased need.

  • Employment
  • Homelessness and Housing
  • Military Families
  • Health
  • Educational Support

Visit our veterans webpage for more information.

Gratitude Grants must be used to support local, charitable activities such as hosting a community clean-up day, purchasing supplies for a homeless shelter, or organizing a school literacy fair.

Adapting to COVID-19

Donations qualify. Normally, if a Lodge proposed to donate its Gratitude Grant to another organization, we’d ask to consider a more active use of the funds. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we adapted that approach for now and will continue to encourage Lodges to think about donating to food pantries or other local organizations that are better equipped to directly serve the populations in need affected by the pandemic.

Basic CIP Grant Guidelines

Click here for a succinct, printable version of our general CIP grant guidelines.

Charitable: CIP Grants should always be used for charitable purposes. Keep the following six broad categories (defined as charitable by the IRS) in mind when planning a grant project; relieve the poor, distressed or underprivileged; advance education or science, but not through scholarships; lessen the burdens of government; lessen neighborhood tensions; eliminate prejudice and discrimination; combat juvenile delinquency.

Restrictions: CIP Grant guidelines state that Lodges may not use grants to support State Major Projects, national Elks programs, fund scholarships, Hoop Shoot/Soccer Shoot events, youth awards nights, poster and/or essay contests, appreciation dinners, fundraisers or general community events. Grants may not be used for Lodge maintenance and/or repairs, or to only benefit Lodge members and their families.

Resources

Click on the image above to view the Gratitude Grant Toolkit in fullscreen. Inside you'll find FAQs, Resources and more.

Applying

2021-22 Dates: Applications for 2021-22 Gratitude Grants opened on April 1, 2021. Applications will close January 17, 2022. Funds must be spent by March 31, 2022.

Per-Member-Giving Goal Bonus: Every Lodge that met the GER’s per-member-giving goal in the prior fiscal year is eligible for a $2,000 grant. Lodges in which more than 15 percent of its members donated at least $10 to the ENF in the prior fiscal year (per the ENF Membership Support Report) will be eligible for a bonus of $500. This bonus will be automatically added to your Lodge's Gratitude Grant application.

Fidelity Club Bonus: Every Lodge now has a goal for Fidelity Club membership. Reach the goal, which is based on 5 percent of the prior year's donors, and the Lodge will be eligible for a $500 bonus on its Gratitude Grant. Check out the Fidelity Club Goal Progress Report to track progress toward the goal.

Note: an eligible Lodge that applies for its Gratitude Grant before all 2020-21 fiscal year adjustments have been completed in early May may run the risk of not receiving one of the bonuses listed above.

Donate to the Elks National Foundation: Elks may donate to the Elks National Foundation online here.

How to apply: The Lodge Secretary or ENF Grants Coordinator is able to access, complete and submit the online application.

Process: Upon approval of a Lodge's online application, the ENF will mail an approval letter and a grant check to the Lodge mailing address. A Lodge can use its Gratitude Grant in conjunction with a Beacon Grant, and/or a Spotlight Grant. If Lodges intend to use their Gratitude Grants in conjunction with either the Beacon or Spotlight Grant, they will need to wait until the grant applications for each grant are open.

Final Reporting: Final Reports are now online. After the grant has been used, complete the Final Report and upload all grant-related receipts and photos. Final Reports will be due 30 days after the anticipated grant completion date provided by your Lodge. The Lodge will be locked out of applying for grants 60 days from that date until the report is submitted.

Special Circumstances

Lodge Mergers: In the event of a Lodge merger, the newly formed Lodge must meet the per-member-giving goal for one fiscal year to qualify for this grant. In that way, newly formed Lodges are not eligible for a Gratitude Grant in the first year. However, Lodges that qualify and apply for Gratitude Grants prior to the Lodge merger will not be penalized.

Dispensation of New Lodges: To be eligible for a Gratitude Grant in the next fiscal year, a newly formed Lodge must meet or exceed the per-member-giving goal during the fiscal year in which it is instituted, based on the Lodge's membership at the time of institution. For example, the Chicago Lodge No. 9005 is established June 1, 2019. The Lodge meets or exceeds the per-member-goal for giving to the Foundation by March 31, 2020, and will be eligible for a Gratitude Grant in FY2021. Note that per-member giving will be calculated by the ENF office after the fiscal year closes.

Questions? Email LodgeGrants@elks.org or call 773/755-4730.

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