Together we make a profound difference

Community service

Connect with a cause

Your August checklist

For your Trestleboard

Find it on

Question of the month


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Community service

With October just two months away, it’s time to coordinate your Make a Difference Month project. Natoma Lodge No. 64 in Folsom offers plenty of inspiration.

This Sacramento County lodge has been embedded in the day-to-day of its community for over 154 years. Today, that involvement takes a wide variety of forms, from financial support for after-school programs to one-on-one mentoring for young men. In all efforts, the lodge works closely with community leaders to ensure they’re giving help where and how it’s needed.

Master Joe Freidson explains.

The plan
Our lodge is guided by a five-year strategic plan, and community involvement is a priority. It’s written right into our mission statement: “Natoma Lodge will utilize brotherly love, relief, and truth as a means to lead our community by example, by supporting numerous philanthropies, youth groups, and local civic projects.”


  • Make a difference in our community through charitable giving, service, and volunteerism
  • Support public education
  • Raise awareness about the fraternity’s history, values, and relevance by participating in community events
  • Improve the well-being of our fellow citizens, and inspire pride in the community

Examples of involvement

  • In honor of Make a Difference Month, we are holding a food drive from October through December to support the local food bank.
  • We are financial sponsors for the CAVE Teen Centers, run by the local Parks and Recreation Department. These centers offer a safe place for middle schoolers to hang out after school. We also field a golf team in the annual Mayor’s Cup tournament, which raises funds for the program.
  • We work with other community organizations and Parks and Rec to put on the Folsom “Eggstravaganza,” a spring fair that includes a youth Easter egg hunt.
  • We hold a biannual benefit auction to raise money for our local Rainbow Girls assembly and the Folsom Boy Scouts troop. We’ve also sponsored numerous Eagle Scout civic projects.
  • We participate in local parades such as the Veterans Day parade.
  • This year we presented a $2,000 donation to local schools to pay off student school lunch debt.
  • For more than 50 years, we’ve sponsored college scholarships for eight local high school students annually.

Spotlight: "Gentleman's Program"

  • Last year, area lodges presented a Raising A Reader donation to a nearby elementary school. After the event, the principal reached out to our lodge as well as American River Lodge No. 795 and Prince Hall Harmony Lodge No. 61. She asked us to develop a mentoring program for at-risk boys in the third, fourth, and fifth grades who lack positive male role models.
  • The three lodges developed a curriculum together, rooted in the principles of Freemasonry and designed to instill positive habits: telling the truth, respecting oneself and others, and taking responsibility.
  • The program provides weekly mentorship in a small group setting, over a span of 20 weeks. Last year five Natoma Lodge brothers served as mentors, and 17 young men participated.
  • We provide instruction on such concepts as good manners, polite conversation, and charity toward others. We take the young men on field trips to places like the local community college to help them visualize a brighter future.
  • It’s been rewarding for the Masons involved, and we’ve already heard from teachers that these students are showing significant behavioral improvements. We look forward to continuing in the upcoming school year.

Identify community activities where your lodge can participate or offer financial support. Talk to school administrators, to the local Parks and Recreation Department, and to the head of community charities. Start by finding out where your lodge’s help is needed. Then find a way to make a difference.

For more information, contact Joe Freidson.

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Connect with a cause

A priority of the 2020 Fraternity Plan is to have a positive impact on society. To maximize your efforts, take time to learn where and how your help is needed. Here are tips.

Research causes

  • Talk to your lodge, friends, and neighbors about worthy causes in the community. Where do they see the greatest need for support?
  • Think about your lodge’s goals for getting involved:
    • Are you looking for a hands-on activity, or something less time-consuming?
    • Are you hoping to include Masonic youth, families, etc.?
    • Do you want a short-term or long-term partnership?
    • How important is it for the organization or cause to be highly visible?
  • Come up with a short list of causes, schools, and organizations to research further, and present your findings to the lodge.
  • Decide as a lodge which cause to approach first.

Build a relationship

  • Send a letter introducing the lodge and Masonry, and expressing your interest in helping out.
  • If possible, set up a face-to-face meeting to discuss opportunities for involvement.
  • When you meet, ask about the organization’s needs and goals.
  • Explain what kinds of support you can offer: Financial? Volunteerism? Are your brethren particularly skilled in any way, such as with handyman projects or program planning?
  • Come up with a short list of ideas to present to the lodge for approval.
  • Once you agree on a type of support, establish a contact person and regular check-ins.
  • If appropriate, work with the organization on a joint press release announcing the partnership.

Be a good neighbor

  • Keep track of current news, and interact with community causes and organizations via social media.
  • Attend events such as town halls, school board meetings, and other groups’ activities and fundraisers.
  • Sign the lodge up to become a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
  • Use the lodge app’s messaging, calendar, and reminder functions to rally brothers to attend events.
  • Make sure your lodge website is welcoming and inviting: When your neighbors want to learn more about you, it’ll be the first place they look. Need help? Use the Grand Lodge website template.

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Your August checklist

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

Executive Committee

  • Continue tracking 100% officer giving to the Annual Fund, with officers setting an example through gifts that represent their capability as well as their commitment to our charitable programs. (See which lodges have already achieved 100 percent officer giving.)
  • Make plans for your lodge master, wardens, or other representatives to attend the Annual Communication in October.

Senior Warden, along with Executive Committee

  • Identify and approach members for 2018 open elected and appointed officer positions.
  • Urge presumptive master, wardens, and senior deacon to perform their Master Mason’s proficiency soon, if not already completed.
  • Urge respective officers to answer the master, senior warden, and junior warden questions early.
  • Identify and approach members for the 2018 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees.
  • Set calendar for 2018 and identify event leaders.
  • Continue preparing 2018 budget.
  • Set installation date and approach installing officer, master of ceremonies, and chaplain.
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement.


  • Pay lodge per capita.
  • Present semi-annual report of membership activity.


  • Pay lodge per capita.
  • Present semi-annual financial report.

Hall Association

  • Present semi-annual report.

Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

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For your Trestleboard

Every day, Masonic Outreach Services cares for the most vulnerable members of our fraternal family. Use this story to inspire your lodge, plus an additional reminder.

This month:
HarvestFest: Saturday, September 16 | Union City
Beyond Obligation: "MOS Saved Us"
Age Successfully at Acacia Creek

Share in your Trestleboard.

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Find it on

Use these tools to raise awareness in your community and make sure your neighbors know about your lodge’s good work. Log into the Member Center and select Resources and Publications, then Communication Tools.

Social media
  • Social Media Basics, A How-To Guide: First steps for effective social media
  • Social Media Basics, Content Tips: More than 20 suggestions for engaging, entertaining content

  • Local press
  • Press Release Basics: Where, when, and how to distribute a press release
  • Sample Press Releases: Six templates, tailored for different types of announcements
  • Media Kit: Includes an introduction to the fraternity and its mission, history, and membership policies

  • Both
  • Lodge Information Sheet: Create a concise, informative overview of your lodge – great for everything from press releases to your lodge’s Facebook profile
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    Question of the month

    Last month we asked how most prospects find your lodge. Of those that responded:

    33% - Masonic relative/friend
    15% - Lodge website
    13% - Lodge presence at community events
    13% - Grand Lodge or
    5% - Public events hosted by the lodge
    5% - Lodge Facebook page
    1% - Other lodge social media
    15% - Other

    About 38 percent said their lodge received more than five applications last year.

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    Contact Us

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

    p: (415) 776-7000