Together we make a profound difference

BEST PRACTICE: 100% officer giving

HOW-TO: Motivate member giving

Your lodge and The Vault

May is Youth Orders Month

Trestleboard and more

Question of the month


BEST PRACTICE: 100% officer giving

From Gold Rush relief to the fraternal support and public education programs of the modern fraternity, charity is embedded in California Masonry.

When members give to support the Annual Fund, it is a vote of pride in the fraternity, its history, and its values. For five-plus years at Ionic Composite Lodge No. 520, 100 percent of the officers have cast that vote.

Jeffrey Bear, candidates coach and past master, explains.


Around 2007, our master decided to make charitable giving a priority at Ionic Composite Lodge, starting with his officer line. That year we achieved 100 percent officer giving to the Annual Fund for the first time in lodge history. Weíve achieved 100 percent officer giving every year since.

Officer giving

If youíre going to ask your membership to contribute, you have to do it yourself. All of our officers, from tiler to master, know that itís part of the job.

  • Masterís charge: In the early years, each new master would lead the push for 100 percent officer giving, reminding and encouraging his officers to give. Now, itís understood and itís expected.
  • Every contribution counts: Everybody gives, but only to the extent that they can. The important thing is to give.
  • Synchronized giving: Last year, we asked officers to make their donations before the installation. They rose to the challenge, and now itís the standard.

Membership giving

We have a comparatively strong record of overall lodge giving; among the top in the state. But, like officer giving, we think member giving should be 100 percent.

  • Dues and dos: Every year with the dues notice, the master writes a letter asking for Annual Fund donations.
  • Change for change: Weíve distributed plastic banks to every member to take home and fill with pocket change. Itís amazing how much money you can collect over the course of a year.
  • Guest speakers: We regularly invite Masonic Assistance representatives to the lodge. They educate members about support services and remind them how their charitable dollars make a difference.

Beyond the Annual Fund

  • Local causes: We give direct support - financial and other - to our lodge brothers and widows in need. We also support a nearby elementary school.
  • Pride in principles: Our charitable tradition is one way we show pride in Masonry. We also work hard to put on meaningful degrees. We have a strong Masonic education program. We provide babysitting at stated meetings so families can attend. All of these things work together for a stronger lodge.

The benefits

  • Supporting the Annual Fund ultimately benefits all of us. Any one of us, or our loved ones, may someday need Masonic Assistance support.
  • Our lodgeís record of 100 percent officer giving is part of our lodge identity and an example to members.
  • Supporting Masonic charities is a way to practice the principles of Masonry, which makes us stronger as a lodge, as leaders, and as individuals.

As candidates, we learn about the role of charity in Masonry and we take an obligation. As officers, we lead others to take that same charitable obligation. And at our lodge, we believe that the best way to lead is by example.

For more information

To learn more, contact Jeff Bear.

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HOW-TO: Motivate member giving

No matter how small or large the donation, when you give to the Annual Fund, you make a difference for fraternal family and public education. Here are 13 ways to motivate your members to give, too.

Post at lodge or print in the Trestleboard

At stated meeting

  • Set up a donation jar for the Annual Fund and ask members to give what they can
    • TIP: Create a donation meter Ė a poster at the lodge or in a section of the Trestleboard Ė and update it each month
  • Read this MOS testimonial aloud or share a personal story of relief to show how member donations make a difference
  • Invite a Masonic Assistance representative to the lodge to talk about support services that rely on the Annual Fund

Raise awareness

New! Mobile giving is now mobile-friendly Ė so if you have a smartphone, you now have an even simpler way to give. From your phone, just open a browser and go to You can make your gift then and there.

  • Make the above announcement at stated meeting or in the Trestleboard
  • If your lodge uses text messages to communicate with members, text the announcement and link right to

Have we forgotten something? Email suggestions to with How-To: Motivate member givingin the subject line.

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Your lodge and The Vault

The Vault is an online storage system for digital versions of your lodge documents, from minutes to applications to monthly bills. It gives members easy access to important lodge documents, and provides a secure, handy tool for leaders to share and edit sensitive documents online.

The Vault is already set up and ready to use. Itís free up to the first 2GB of storage (roughly 1,000 photos or 80,000 pages of text), with additional storage available at cost.

Sixty-one lodges are already using the system. Hereís why:


  • Fire-safe, secure system for organizing and preserving lodge documents
  • Save space and time by replacing physical document storage
  • Increase transparency and accountability within the lodge
  • Improve communication and collaboration among officers
  • Easily share information with members who can't attend stated meetings
  • Distribute digital Trestleboards with a simple email link

How to access

  • Log into the Member Center on and scroll to My Lodge
  • Click on The Vault User Manual for instructions
  • Click on The Vault (Lodge Documents) link to access your lodgeís pre-set folders. You can edit all of these folders to your preference, including changing the visibility of those that contain sensitive information

New features and FAQs

  • Later this month: FAQ resource from Grand Lodge on using the Vault
  • Early June: FAQ resource on preparing your lodge for document storage and digitizing, and information and pricing for purchasing additional storage
  • End of June: Time-saving batch upload, enabling you to upload multiple files at once

Questions, feedback, or suggestions? Contact Member Services.

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May is Youth Orders Month

Throughout this year, our fraternity is reflecting on the theme: Freemasonry ó Our Moral Compass. As we examine our commitment to the principles of Masonry, we are also renewing our commitment to its causes. This month, letís give special support to Masonic youth.

Within DeMolay International, Jobís Daughters International, and the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, young people find their own moral compass. They learn respect, integrity, and compassion. They form friendships, grow into leaders, and develop Masonic values.

DeMolay, Jobís Daughters, and Rainbow for Girls rely on our support. By getting involved, we can rebuild their numbers and help their legacy live on. We can continue to give young people a fraternal family, and a moral compass.

Hereís a list of suggestions to get you started.

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Trestleboard and more

By partnering with Masonic Assistance, you can make sure your fraternal family knows where to turn when they need support. This section is designed to help.

A special quarterly installment features true tales of outreach. Share these stories with the lodge to raise awareness of outreach services and to reflect on the good you do by supporting Masonic Assistance. To make a contribution, visit

This month, read how the Masonic Center for Youth and Families brought hope to a Masonic widow and her daughter.

Download: Beyond Obligation: Understanding Catherine

Publish in your Trestleboard, and print out and post in the lodge.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked how your lodge engages new Masons. Of those who responded:

38% - Assign someone to meet and introduce each new Mason at his first lodge event
38% - Plan a social event just for new Masons

Other tactics include conducting a skills and interests survey and assigning someone to personally remind each new Mason about upcoming lodge events.

Here's your next question.





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San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000