Why was the Masonic Charitable Foundation formed?
The Foundation brings together the work of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Masonic Samaritan Fund and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution.
During their time of operation, the four charities each provided a specific type of support for Freemasons and their families and registered charities. The Masonic Charitable Foundation now provides the full range of grants and services previously provided by the four national charities.
For more information, visit the History page on the MCF website.
Who benefits from the Masonic Charitable Foundation?
Most of the support provided by the MCF takes the form of financial grants made to:
• Freemasons and their families – to assist those experiencing a financial, health or family need.
• National charities – to support the important work of national and regional charities of all sizes.
• Community services – special programmes of support help Hospices, Air Ambulances and disaster relief appeals worldwide.
What is a Masonic Charity Festival?
A Festival is the phase in time during which a Province devotes most of its energies to raising money in support of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. A Festival usually lasts between four and five years.
At the end of the Festival a Province usually has a Festival Finale to mark the end of the Festival and announce the total sum raised.
What is a Relief Chest?
The Masonic Charitable Foundation works closely with the Relief Chest Scheme, which helps Provinces and Lodges to maximise the value of the funds they collect for charitable activities. These funds are held in “Relief Chests” and when you make a donation to the Festival, the money is collected in the Buckinghamshire 2021 Festival Relief Chest which is number E2021. The Relief Chest Scheme still operates with the Freemasons’ Grand Charity registered charity number. This is why you will still see references to the Grand Charity on Relief Chest Scheme materials.
How do I make a personal donation?
You can read about the number of ways you can make a donation by visiting the Donate page. Whether you donate online, or using the Bucks 2021 donation form, be sure to tick the Gift Aid box if you pay tax (income tax, Capital Gains Tax or tax on bank/building society interest).
What are the advantages of using Gift Aid?
When a UK tax payer makes a donation under a Gift Aid declaration, the Charity is able to reclaim the tax paid on that donation from the UK government. The MCF can reclaim 25p for every £1 you donate and this will be credited to the donor and his Lodge.
Can I fundraise online for my sponsored events in aid of the 2021 Festival Appeal?
Yes. Members can fundraise for the 2021 Festival Appeal by organising sponsored events and setting up an online fundraising page by visiting https://e2021.everydayhero.com/uk/sign-up. Further information is available on the Fundraise page.
Who will know how much I have donated?
Only the Provincial Charity Steward and the Festival Treasurer have information as to how much each individual donor has contributed. This information is kept confidential. Each Lodge Charity Steward will maintain their confidential donation records as required for their appointed duties.
How will my contribution be recognised?
All donations received are valued and applied faithfully. Provincial Honorifics are being used for the 2021 Festival. A Brother who makes a Single donation or Regular Payment commitments for the five years of the Festival, at the specified level, will qualify as a Steward, Patron or Grand Patron of the Festival. He will be able to buy and wear the Festival Jewel (and bar if appropriate) at all Craft meetings in the Province. Please see our Honorifics page for further information.
How much does the Province of Buckinghamshire plan to raise through this Festival Appeal?
There is no target for donors or for Lodges. Every Brother is asked to donate what he can afford – taking account of his Masonic pledge to support charity – and his personal commitments. As a general guide to minimum levels of donation, the cost of one pint of beer a week (£3.50) is traditionally regarded as a guideline for a minimum weekly donation. For the 2021 Festival Appeal, a donation of £7 a month for five years will qualify for a Steward Jewel. Donations of £15 and £25 a month for five years will qualify for Patron and Grand Patron bars respectively.
How much of my donation goes to meet Provincial Festival fund raising or administration costs?
No donations are used to meet the costs of organising the Festival Appeal or the Celebration at the end. All charity donations to the Festival go directly to the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Provincial costs for the Festival are met from the sale of Festival Jewels and the proceeds from some social events.
What is the best way for me to help raise funds?
Every Lodge member is encouraged to support the Festival Appeal in whatever way they can. The level of donation must be your own decision and the needs of your family must be taken into consideration.
Some Brethren may want to make one large donation early in the Festival. When this a done with a Gift Aid declaration, the tax paid can be reclaimed – adding 25% to the value of the donation at no cost to the donor. Other Brethren will want to make regular monthly, quarterly or yearly payments by Direct Debit. We strongly encourage UK tax payers to make all donations with a Gift Aid declaration.
Fundraising is not only about putting your hand in your pocket. You can also give that most valuable commodity – your time. You can help the Appeal by organising or supporting fundraising events and initiatives in your Lodge or Masonic Hall. Please visit the Fundraising page for more information.
Some Brethren use their particular interests to raise funds – with social events, sponsored events, sports events and other activities. In this way fund raising for the Festival Appeal also enables us to enjoy ourselves and have our families and friends join in with us.
How will we know how the Festival Appeal is progressing?
The Provincial website will have updates from time to time on the progress of the Festival. Charity Stewards will receive regular information about donations made by members of their Lodges.
Where can I get further information?
Please speak to your Lodge Charity Steward, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward or any member of the Festival Committee. Contact details are on the Provincial website, in Square Talk and in the Provincial Year Book.