Again this year, Lodges had two options when applying for a Freedom Grant. Lodges could apply for a $3,000 grant to hold an active project that directly serves veterans in need, or Lodges could apply for a $1,000 grant to hold a smaller project with more flexibility. There will be 200 Freedom Grants available for the Classic option, and 400 available for the Spark option.
All 2023-24 Freedom Grants have been awarded. Click here for a list of this year's Freedom Grant recipients! .
This one-page Freedom Grant flyer offers a concise explanation of this year's process and is perfect for printing up and sharing with Lodge members.
Watch this video to see which Freedom Grant option is right for your Lodge:
Here are some questions to help you decide which grant to apply for.
If you have questions about the Freedom Grant as your Lodge is planning a project and preparing to apply, please contact the ENVSC office at Vets@elks.org or at 773-755-4736 with any questions.
As always, Freedom Grant projects must focus on one of these five areas:
Charitable: 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: 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.
**Click here for a succinct, printable version of our general CIP grant guidelines.**
2023-24 Dates: Freedom Grant applications will become available online April 1, 2023, at 12:01 AM Central Time. Applications will close on April 20 at 11:59 PM Central Time. Recipients will be announced in mid-May. Applications must be detailed, complete and follow all grant guidelines. Freedom Grants are available for use between April 1, 2023, and March 31, 2024. Final Report Forms are due one month after Freedom Grant projects are completed.
How to Apply: The Lodge Secretary or Grants Coordinator is able to process, complete and submit the online application.
Process: Upon approval of a Lodge's online application, an approval letter and grant check will be sent to the Lodge address.
Online Final Report: Final Reports are online and can be accessed on the Grants Dashboard. 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. The Lodge will be locked out of applying for grants 60 days from that date.
Questions? Email Vets@elks.org or call 773/755-4736.