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.
To find out more, please visit the MCF’s Support page.
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 your Lodge relief chest, the money is transferred by your Lodge signatories to the Somerset 2020 Festival Relief Chest which is number E0038.
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 Somerset 2020 paper 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?
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 Festival.
A Mason who makes a single donation or regular payment commitment for 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 plan to raise through this Festival Appeal?
The Province aims to raise £2.8 million for the Freemasons’ Grand Charity. Every Brother is asked to donate what he can afford – taking account of his Masonic pledge to support charity – and his personal commitments.
For the 2020 Festival Appeal, a donation of £8 a month for the remaining three years (36 months) will qualify you for a Steward Jewel. Donations of £20 and £30 a month for three years will qualify you 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 in the Festival. When this is done using a Gift Aid declaration, the tax paid can be reclaimed – adding 25% to the value of the donation at no cost to the donor.
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?
This website will be regularly updated with news from the Province and the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
You can sign up to receive email updates from the Foundation by visiting the MCF website.
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 and in the Provincial Year Book.