Elks National Foundation

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ENF Fast Facts

1. What is the Elks National Foundation?

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 $235.7million 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Who contributes to the Elks National Foundation?

Since inception, the Foundation has received more than $270 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 $6 million each year.

5. 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 $821.8 million.

6. Who pays the Foundation’s operating expenses?

The Foundation has an operating budget of about $2.5 million. These expenses are borne by the Foundation.

7. How much will the Foundation disburse this year?

The Elks National Foundation will disburse more than $36.4 million during the 2021-2022 year.

8. How will this money be used

  • State Elk Association Grants: The Foundation will distribute $10.3 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
  • Community Investments Program: The 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 $14.9 million for this year’s grant program: Gratitude Grants, Beacon Grants, Spotlight Grants, Freedom Grants, and Impact Grants. Since its inception, more than 27,000 grants have been funded to help Lodges build stronger communities.
  • Scholarships: The Foundation reserved a total of $4.2 million for its scholarship programs: The Most Valuable Student contest ($2.9 million); Emergency Educational Grants for children of deceased or totally incapacitated Elks ($130,340); ENF Legacy Awards ($1.6 million). These awards will help to send more than 3300 scholars to college.
  • Drug Prevention: The Foundation granted more than $1 million for the Elks Drug Awareness Program.  This allocation includes a $225,000 grant from the DEA.
  • Youth Athletics: The Foundation granted $1.1 million to fund the Elks Hoop Shoot free throw contest. In addition, we granted additional funds to the Youth Activities Committee to promote the Elks Soccer Shoot program at the grassroots level.
  • Veterans Service: The ENF granted $4 million to the Elks National Veterans Service Commission, $1.6 million of which will continue the Elks’ mission to end veteran homelessness.
  • Elks Veterans Memorial Maintenance: The Foundation granted $901,410 for building maintenance.

9. What are the Foundation’s primary giving methods?

Recurring Gift: Sign up for a recurring gift and allow us to debit your bank account or bill your credit card each month for a set donation amount. Contact us at 773/755-4728 or  for more information.

Annual Gift: You can make a donation to the ENF via check, Discover Card, Visa MasterCard, or American Express.

Online Gift: 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.

Corporate Gift: You can double the impact of your gift through matching gifts or sign up for payroll deductions through your employer. Many employers will match gifts given to charitable organizations by employees and their spouses, even if they’re retired.

Tribute: You can contribute to the Foundation in memory of or in honor of friends and loved ones, online or through the mail.

Planned Gift: Show your ultimate commitment through a planned gift, such as a bequest, gift of appreciated stock or life insurance. More information about planned giving is available online at www.elks.org/enf/plannedgiving.

MVS Named Scholarships: A $4,000 pledge over four years to the ENF Scholarship Fund results in your choice of a name on one runner-up Most Valuable Student scholarship. Donors and scholars engage with one another over four years.

Shop. Sell. Give. The ENF partners with AmazonSmile; eBay Giving Works; and online shopping websites iGive.com and GiveBackAmerica to provide you with opportunities to support the ENF with ease.

Donate by mail: Mail donations directly to the ENF office, with a completed donor card, to:

Elks National Foundation

2750 N. Lakeview Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614-2256

10. How can I get more information?

Contact the Elks National Foundation, 2750 N. Lakeview Ave., Chicago, IL 60614-2256; phone: 773/755-4728, fax: 773/755-4729, e-mail:

Legacy scholars

2022 Legacy Awards Scholarship

The 2022 Legacy Awards contest launched on September 1, 2021. Legacy Awards are $4,000 scholarships for high school seniors who are the children and/or grandchildren of dues-paying Elks.  Applications are due on or before February 7,2022.  Learn more about the Legacy contest at: enf.elks.org/Leg

MVS scholarship

2022 MVS Scholarship Contest

The 2022 Most Valuable Student scholarship contest deadline is November 15. The MVS scholarship is open to high school seniors who are U.S. citizens. The 500 four-year scholarships are awarded based on academics, service, leadership, and financial need.