Elks National Foundation - ENF
Our Legacy to our Future
In 1928, one man's dream became a reality for all Elks and the communities we serve. Then-National President John F. Malley envisioned a plan that would “unite the forces of the Order into a mighty army for the service of mankind.” During the annual Grand Lodge Convention in Miami that year, Malley's call to service inspired delegates to take action by voting to establish the Elks National Foundation with an initial $100,000 grant.
Nearly 90 years after Malley shared his vision with the Order, the ENF continues to unite all Elks in service to their communities.
Helping Elks Build Stronger Communities
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 help youth develop lifelong skills, send students to college, meet the needs of today's veterans, support the charitable work of the state Elks associations, and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.
Like all Elks, the Foundation values the belief that charity is the greatest of all virtues and that by sharing and giving, we have the power to replace sorrow and despair with hope and confidence. Donations to the Foundation help us fund programs that match our cornerstone values of knowledge, integrity and community.
Watch the brief streaming video below that highlights the Foundation and its programs. You'll find more videos of our work here.
At the Massachusetts Elks Association Convention held in Haverhill, a very dedicated Past Grand Exalted Ruler from Massachusetts who was also known as the father of the Elks National Foundation saw his dream of a scholarship foundation become a reality. On June 6, 1927 our membership voted to organize a new corporation known as the Massachusetts Elks' Scholarship Foundation, Incorporated. The original plan was to raise a permanent fund of at least $100,000.00, which shall be invested and the income to be used for distribution in scholarship loans to worthy young men and women of Massachusetts to assist them in obtaining a college education.
PGER John F. Malley, who fathered the plan and was the new corporation's first president, hoped that in time the Scholarship Foundation would become an important factor in educational work in Massachusetts. In a 1928 edition of the Worcester Sunday Telegram, a staff writer stated, "the new foundation established by the Elks is a state-wide humanitarian movement which grants scholarship loans to worthy boys and girls, the out-growth of a new self-help movement instituted by the fraternity to assist higher education". Little did PGER Malley or the Telegram staff writer dream that this program would foster and grow to what we know it is today.
Although carried on quietly within the organization, and without the help of publicity, our permanent fund now exceeds seven and a half million dollars and no longer distributes scholarship loans, but rather scholarship grants. This current year the Scholarship Fund has received over 870 applications and will be awarding a total of $450,000 to worthy boys and girls in pursuit of their college degree.
While there is no compulsion upon any Lodge to contribute and support the foundation, except to urge its members to participate in the great work, this past year we did achieve 100% participation of all Lodges in the state making contributions of $21,786.25 to the fund. Also, this past year a number of Lodges and Districts held fund raising events to help increase the amount of donations made. Two Districts held Gong Shows and raised $6,946.00 and the New Bedford Lodge held a Testimonial Dinner for PSP Joe Antonietta raising $2,085.00, which Big Joe donated to the Scholarship Fund.
Unlike the Elks National Foundation, the Scholarship Fund does not have a suggested per capita donation; however, if every Lodge appointed a Massachusetts Elks Scholarship Fund Raising Chairman who promoted members making individual donations or holds a fund raising event in each lodges our fund will continue to grow and more funds would be available for scholarship grants.
We appeal to every Massachusetts Lodge and to every member thereof to join with us in the effort to build up the fund. Let us demonstrate that "Elks Care - Elks Share".
above written by: Michael F. Zellen, PSP, PGLC
Since inception, the ENF has contributed $453.9 million toward Elks charitable projects nationwide. Our programs continue to grow each year, allowing Elks to do even more to build stronger communities. Click here for details on all ENF programs.
This year, the ENF allocated $12.5 million to fund the Community Investments Program, investing in Elks communities through grants for Elks Lodges. Community Investments Program grants—which this year include a special Anniversary Grant to mark the 150th anniversary of the Elks—offer your Lodge an opportunity to serve your community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things.
How the ENF Works
The ENF is able to help Elks build stronger communities thanks to contributions from our generous donors. Since inception, we have received more than $251.6 million in contributions and bequests. Today we boast more than 100,000 active donors and an endowment fund valued at $641.9 million.
Thanks to the ongoing support of our donors, the ENF continues to expand on Malley’s vision, mobilizing Elks across the country into a force for positive change.
Join your local Lodge in service to your community. Click here to learn more about the Elks.