Freedom Grants

Great news! In 2019-20, the Elks National Veterans Service Commission awarded $2,000 Freedom Grants to 325 Lodges to hold projects that are serving veterans and active-duty military members. Grants were awarded on a rolling basis to the first 325 Lodges to submit qualifying projects that serve a population in need.

"So long as there are veterans, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks will never forget them."

Freedom Grant projects must focus on one of these five areas:

  • employment
  • homelessness and housing
  • military families
  • health
  • educational support

Applications must be detailed, complete and follow all grant guidelines. Expect follow-up for applications that do not provide enough information. Qualifying applications will describe in detail:

  • How many Elks will be involved and what they will do
  • How the project addresses the needs of veterans and/or military members
  • How the Lodge will budget the grant, including three or more expense categories

Basic Grant Guidelines

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

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.



2020-21 Dates: Freedom Grant applications became available online April 1, 2020, and were open until all 325 grants were awarded. Freedom Grants are available for use between April 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021. 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. A Lodge can use its $2,000 Freedom Grant in conjunction with a Beacon Grant, Anniversary Grant and/or a Gratitude Grant. Applications must be submitted separately.

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 or call 773/755-4736.

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