On April 1, we released $3.7 million for the Spotlight Grants. These $2,000 grants are available to every Lodge to shine a light on pressing issues facing American communities, including COVID-19 relief which continues to be a significant need. The flexibility introduced in 2020-21 continues this year.
Here are things to consider.
Usually, donating a Spotlight Grant would not be permissible. However, the flexibility we introduced in 2020-21 will continue again 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. Donating directly to an organization in the community that is better equipped to serve populations in need affected by the pandemic will also be allowed. The funds must go to directly support pandemic relief and cannot be split between multiple project plans.
Beacon Grants open on April 1. Lodges have the option to merge the $4,000 Beacon Grant with a Spotlight Grant, if planning and executing a large-scale project is safe and doable.
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.
Spotlight Grant funds cannot be split between multiple project plans.
Lodges do need to be in grant compliance, but do not need to meet the GER's per-member-giving goal to apply.
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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.
2022-23 Dates: Applications for 2022-23 Spotlight Grants opened on April 1, 2022 and will close on January 17, 2023. Funds must be spent by March 31, 2023.
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.