Together we make a profound difference

Leadership lessons from the retreats

Important financial deadlines

Establish short- and long-term goals

Registration opens this week for 2018 Masonic education events

Your January checklist

For your Trestleboard

Find it on freemason.org

Question of the month

 

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Leadership lessons from the retreats

Orange Grove Lodge No. 293 has a lot of irons in the fire. As in: a recent property acquisition, special events most months of the year, and a close eye on membership experience and Masonic youth support.

For years, the Secretary & Treasurer Retreat and Master & Wardens Retreat have propped up these goals, providing inspiration as well as tools to get the job done. The lodge has come to value the retreats so much that they’ve written officer registration fees right into the budget.

Past master Sean Womack, whose term ended in December, shares his experience.

  • I attended the Master & Wardens Retreat as senior warden and again as master. Every year our lodge leaders look forward to going back.
  • Last year lodge wardens and I attended breakout sessions together on member experience, officer participation, and event planning. This helped us focus to on shared goals. It was also valuable to communicate with other lodges experiencing situations similar to ours. We saw how they approached our same challenges in different ways.
  • My primary goal as master was to decrease lodge spending without sacrificing member experience. The retreat helped me think more deeply about what goes into member engagement, and ways to get everyone involved even on a strict budget.
  • The retreat emphasized the question “What can we do to make a more memorable experience?” Among other things, this shaped our approach to supporting Masonic youth. Rather than the old standby of sending a few brothers to youth meetings, we decided to get the whole lodge involved by bringing the youth orders to us. We created a new event in May: “Youth Groups Take Over the Lodge Night.” We opened lodge and called it to refreshment, then gave the floor to the three youth orders to each make a presentation. It was a big success. I’d never have thought of it without the retreat.
  • The retreats provided valuable information on creating a Trestleboard that’s entertaining and enjoyable. With those lessons in mind, our lodge decided that the Trestleboard would no longer be the responsibility of any given officer (who often moves on after a year), and instead designated as editor a brother with a passion for graphic design.
  • We recently began the transition to Intacct, and certainly look forward to having Grand Lodge do our taxes for us. The Secretary & Treasurer Retreat has been very helpful with the transition.

On a side note, I’ve found that the lessons from the retreats cross over to my personal and business life too. Hands down, I recommend sending your officers.

Contact: Sean Womack, past master

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Important financial deadlines

The lodge and hall accounting year is coming to a close, which means a slew of important deadlines. Many are due this month – here’s the rundown.

  1. Lodge annual financial report & hall association annual financial report (if applicable)
    These annual required reports are due to your lodge/hall in February 2018 and to Grand Lodge by March 15, 2018. Make sure to record all 2017 financial transactions and reconcile your bank accounts.

    Using Intacct? Lodges that use Intacct do not need to submit the report to Grand Lodge. Financial Services will post and store the report in your lodge’s Vault in the Member Center. To ensure accuracy, make sure that your Intacct account is up to date. If you need assistance updating financial records in Intacct, contact Financial Services at (415) 292-9170 or financialservices@freemason.org.
  2. Lodge and hall tax filing requirements for employees
    If your lodge or hall has employees, you must file the following tax forms on or before January 31:
    • IRS form 941 (unless IRS has approved an annual filing of Form 944, also due January 31) 
    • IRS form 940 federal unemployment
    • IRS form W2 due to employee 
    Using Intacct or the Grand Lodge payroll system? Financial Services will complete your payroll forms 940, 944, W2, and W3.  They will send a separate email with instructions on how to generate the other payroll forms from the Grand Lodge payroll system. 
  3. Lodge and hall tax filing requirements for independent contractors  If your lodge or hall has independent contractors, you must file the following tax forms on or before January 31, 2018:
    • IRS form 1099-MISC: due to employees 
    • IRS form 1096: File with forms 1099-MISC and send to IRS
    Using Intacct? Contact Financial Services for assistance in generating the 1096 and 1099 reports from Intacct.
  4. Tax-Exempt Returns
    Annual Tax-Exempt returns (IRS form 990; State/FTB form 199) are due on May 15, 2018. We will send a dedicated communication prior to this deadline.

Already using Intacct? 
A new information page is now available on freemason.org for Intacct users! This includes how-to training manuals, a library of instructional videos, and a list of frequently asked questions. Visit freemason.org/intacct today.

Good news for new Intacct users: Thanks to a renegotiation of our contract, lodges will now be charged up to 25 percent less than they were last year!

Questions or concerns? Contact Grand Lodge Financial Services at (415) 292-9170 or financialservices@freemason.org.

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Establish short- and long-term goals

A priority of the 2020 Fraternity Plan is to support strong lodges and halls. It’s a topic that begins and ends with goals – how you set them, and how you go about reaching them. Here are tips for your lodge.

Define your goals

  • Devote a lodge meeting or retreat to developing a long-range lodge plan.
  • Begin with envisioning where your lodge should be in three to five years.
  • Discuss what will be required in terms of membership, finances, future leadership, and material assets.
  • Set achievable monthly or annual goals to serve as stepping-stones towards your long-range plan. Then set benchmarks to measure your progress.
  • Put the goals and benchmarks in writing, and distribute it to leaders and the lodge, if desired.

Make a reporting plan

  • How will your leadership team share goal progress with each other, and how often? Maybe you’ll exchange informal emails every month, and meet quarterly for a formal debrief. Maybe you’ll keep a goals spreadsheet in The Vault to be updated by everyone on an ongoing basis, and hold a biannual retreat to talk next steps. Do what works best for your team.
  • Whatever reporting schedule you set, mark it in the calendars of everyone involved. Set reminders several weeks ahead of each report, to allow time to gather necessary info.
  • How will you share updates and celebrate progress with the lodge? Consider a special section of the Trestleboard, stated meeting announcements, emails from the master, or updates via the lodge app.

Update and adjust throughout the year

  • If you’ve missed a deadline, don’t let it slip off the radar. Identify the hold-up and make a plan to address it. Then set a realistic timeline that everyone can commit to, and update the deadline.
  • Once you’ve achieved a benchmark, take a moment to recognize the achievement. Then update your planning document with the next benchmark.
  • Goals evolve as circumstances change. Be flexible. Discuss any course corrections with the team, and continuously update your long- and short-term plans.

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Registration opens this week for 2018 Masonic education events

Make expanding your Masonic knowledge a priority this year by participating in 2018 Masonic education programming. This year’s events offer a variety of diverse viewpoints on fascinating topics!

  • UCLA International Conference on Freemasonry
    Secular Enlightenment: Balancing Faith and Masonic Virtues
    Los Angeles: April 7, 2018
    The Enlightenment created a new culture that formed the basis of our modern civil society. As this movement spread throughout Europe, Masonic lodges became an important enclave for social transformation. Learn how Masons balanced the intersection of religious and secular forces during this period, with an approach that was both radical and revolutionary. Hear from iconic Masonic scholar Margaret Jacob before she retires from UCLA. Speakers from around the world will travel to Los Angeles to honor Professor Jacob's remarkable career and share global perspectives of Masonic scholarship.
  • 2018 California Masonic Symposium
    California's Masonic Pioneers
    San Francisco: June 9 | Long Beach: June 10
    Between 1846 and 1850, California was transformed from a sleepy and distant province of Mexico into a vibrant state of the American Union. In these formative years, Freemasonry came to California with a rush. At this year's California Masonic Symposium, immerse yourself in the fascinating story of our Masonic pioneers. Learn where our first lodges came from and how they were organized. Discover the colorful and inspiring leaders who ensured Freemasonry's perpetuity in the Golden State - and see how their legacies continue to impact Masonry today!

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Your January checklist

Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your December checklist:

Executive Committee

Master, along with Executive Committee

  • Submit 2018 budget for approval at stated meeting
  • Present 2018 calendar and program plan at stated meeting
  • Confirm Audit, Charity, and Membership Retention Committee appointments and review responsibilities with each
  • Confirm other committee appointments and review responsibilities with each
  • Review all candidates’ progress toward advancement

Senior Warden

  • Confirm candidate coaches and review responsibilities
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement
  • Begin preparing 2019 program plan
  • Begin preparing 2019 budget
  • Begin preparing 2019 officer appointments
  • Begin preparing 2019 installation of officers

Junior Warden

  • Confirm with treasurer the policies and procedures of Refreshment Fund, if applicable

Secretary

  • Continue to collect delinquent dues from members (were due on January 1)
  • Continue preparing secretary’s annual report to present to the lodge in February

Treasurer

  • Continue preparing treasurer’s annual report to present to the lodge in February
  • If your lodge has employees, file federal and state payroll taxes
    • IRS form 941, due in January (unless IRS has approved an annual filing of Form 944, due January 31)
    • State form DE9/DE9C and DE88 (deposit form), due in January
    • IRS form 940 (federal unemployment), due in January
    • W2, due to employee in January
    • W3 and copy of W2, due to IRS on or before January 31
    • Using Intacct or the Grand Lodge payroll system? Financial Services will complete your payroll forms 940, 944, W2, and W3. They will send a separate email with instructions on how to generate the other payroll forms from the Grand Lodge payroll system. 
  • If your lodge or hall employs independent contractors,
    • Distribute 1099-MISC to contractors by January 31
    • File Form 1096 with Forms 1099-MISC and send these returns to the IRS on or before January 31
    • Using Intacct? Contact Financial Services at financialservices@freemason.org or (415) 292-9170 for assistance in generating the 1096 and 1099 reports from Intacct

Questions? Contact Member Services at memberservices@freemason.org or (415) 776-7000.

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For your Trestleboard

Did you know? The Masonic Value Network now includes a pharmacy discount program, which can save you up to 80 percent off standard prescription prices. Use this ad to inform your lodge, plus an additional reminder.

This month:
Prescription Discounts From the Masonic Value Network
Acacia Creek: Finding Success at Every Age!

Share in your Trestleboard.

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Find it on freemason.org

Ideas for a rewarding member experience? Check. Tips for cultivating new lodge leaders? You bet. Advice for better lodge and hall administration? Yes, that too.

The Build A Vibrant Lodge book is filled with resources to help you create and maintain your ideal lodge. Download it today.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge has its own strategic plan. Of those that responded:

53% - Yes
42% - No
5% - Don’t know

Of those that said yes, 40 percent said their plan was created with the past year. Here's your next question.

 

 



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Contact Us

Grand Lodge of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000

e: memberservices@freemason.org