With a grant of $100,000, the Elks National Foundation was established in 1928 as the charitable arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America. Today we boast more than 183,000 active donors and an endowment fund valuing $390 million. The ENF has contributed $235.7 million toward Elks' charitable projects nationwide. The Foundation is a public, non-profit, tax-exempt corporation as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Tax Reform Act of 1959. Donations to the Elks National Foundation are deductible for federal income and estate tax purposes.
What is the mission of the Elks National Foundation?
The mission of the Elks National Foundation is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We provide tomorrow's leaders, our youth, with a healthy beginning; honor the Elks' pledge to never forget our veterans; help the state Elks associations accomplish their charitable objectives and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.
How is the Foundation administered?
The Elks National Foundation is administered by a board of trustees composed of seven past national presidents of the BPO Elks of the USA, each serving a seven-year term. A director, who reports to the board, oversees day-to-day operations of the administrative offices in Chicago.
Who contributes to the Elks National Foundation?
Since inception, the Foundation has received almost $154 million in contributions and bequests from Elks, Lodges, state associations and other supporters of our philanthropic efforts. With a team of volunteers at the local, district and state levels, the Foundation raises more than $5 million each year.
How does the Endowment Fund work?
All unrestricted donations go into a permanent endowment fund, where each gift earns interest for lifetimes. Your gift will never be touched. Only the income earned by this fund can be used to support charitable programs. As the fund grows, the influence of your gift will grow with it, forever. Each year, the ENF Board of Trustees approves distributions from the fund for charitable projects. The current value of the fund is $390 million.
Who pays the Foundation's operating expenses?
The Foundation has an operating budget of $1,594,081. These expenses are borne by the Foundation.
How will this money be used?
State Elk Association Grants: The Foundation will distribute $3.13 million in State Charities Grants. These grants help fund each state's major charitable project, as well as state Hoop Shoot, Soccer Shoot and Drug Awareness Programs. In addition, the states will receive more than $2.32 million in special charitable project grants that help fund scholarship programs or other projects that best extend a state's philanthropic outreach, and a bonus grant of $1 million.
Community Investments Program: The new Community Investments Program allows the ENF to invest directly in Lodge communities by funding projects that have a significant and lasting impact on areas where Elks live and work. The Foundation budgeted $350,000 to launch the first two components of this program: Gratitude Grants and Promise Grants.
Scholarships: The Foundation reserved a total of $3.162 million for its five scholarship programs: The Most Valuable Student contest ($2.216 million); Emergency Educational Grants for children of deceased or totally incapacitated Elks ($350,000); ENF Legacy Awards ($500,000); National Eagle Scout Association Scholarships ($48,000); and Girl Scout Gold Award scholarships ($48,000).
Drug Prevention: The Foundation granted $534,510 for the Elks Drug Awareness Program.
Youth Athletics: The Foundation granted $645,480 to fund the Elks Hoop Shoot free throw contest. In addition, we granted $50,000 to the Youth Activities Committee to promote the Elks Soccer Shoot program at the grassroots level.
Veterans Service: The ENF granted $749,450 to the Elks National Veterans Service Commission.
Elks Veterans Memorial Maintenance: The Foundation granted $508,605 for building maintenance. In addition, a grant of $250,000 was approved for the Foundation's Elks Veterans Memorial Maintenance Reserve Fund.
Elks National Home: The Foundation granted $315,000 to the Elks National Home, a retirement facility for Elks located in Bedford, Virginia.
Pledge: To establish a pledge, a donor must tell us the total amount of the pledge and installment schedule. A donor can choose to receive a pledge reminder following one of these pledge schedules;annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and monthly. Installments must be at least $10. Donors can renew completed pledges through their pledge reminders.
OPTIONS FOR GIVING
Listed below are the methods for supporting the Elks National Foundation. Donations are payable by check, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card or American Express. For an easy to use donation form click on the PDF link "ENF Donor Form" on the Lodge News page or contact our Lodge ENF Chairperson; Russ Williams.
You can now support the ENF at any time of day from the convenience of your own home. To make your gift, go to www.elks.org/donate.