COVID-19: Click here to learn how the CIP is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Lodges can select one of the projects listed to implement in its local community. It is mandatory to select a project and follow the project plan.
  • COVID-19 Relief
  • Warm Welcome to the Library
  • Suds & Stories
  • Community Baby Shower
  • Welcome Home
  • Stand Down
  • Adopt-A-Haven
On June 1, we will release $3.7 million for the Spotlight Grants. These $2,000 grants are available to every Lodge to shine the light on COVID-19 relief, for there is no more pressing issue facing American communities than the response to the pandemic. But the needs will look different in different communities, so we’ve built in more flexibility this year. Here are things to consider.

Act now.

In normal times, donating a Spotlight Grant would not be permissible. These are not normal times, so we’re adapting that approach this year. A Lodge can consider a more active use of funds, e.g. purchasing food and supplies and delivering items to a shelter or food pantry. However, if donating directly to an organization in the community that is better equipped to serve populations in need affected by the pandemic, it will be allowed. The funds must go to directly support pandemic relief and cannot be split between multiple projects.

Hold off.

Beacon Grants will likely open on August 1*. At that time, Lodges will have the option to supersize the $3,000 Beacon Grant with a Spotlight Grant, if planning and executing a large-scale project is safe and doable.

Ready Made.

In 2019-20, the Spotlight Grant debuted with off-the-shelf projects designed to give every Lodge the opportunity to shine a light on two important issues facing nearly every American community—family literacy and homelessness among our nation’s veterans. The pandemic is likely to intensify these issues moving forward.

A Lodge that received a Spotlight Grant and would like to continue the project is welcome to do so.

A Lodge looking for something ready-made can choose one of the project plans offered.

Caveat: if approved, grant funds will not be released until it is safe to hold a project where hands-on Lodge involvement is required.

Spotlight Grant funds cannot be split between multiple projects.

Lodges do need to be in grant compliance, but do not need to meet the GER's per-member-giving goal to apply.

Click here for a few causes that could benefit from Lodge grant support. Your Lodge may identify others. You know your community best.

*The next phase of the 2021 grant year rollout will likely be August 1. Beacon, Promise and Impact grants remain under consideration.


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, appreciations 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. Grant funds must serve a population in need, and cannot be donations of funds or supplies to individuals.


2020-21 Dates: Due to the rapidly accelerating COVID-19 pandemic, applications for 2020-21 Spotlight Grants will open June 1, 2020. Applications must be submitted before the project takes place. Applications close December 31, 2020. Funds must be spent by March 31, 2021.

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 address. A Lodge can use its $2,000 Spotlight Grant in conjunction with a Gratitude, Beacon or Freedom Grant.

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.

Questions? Email or call 773/755-4730.

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ENF Donor Bill of Rights