Our Legacy to the Future
In 1928, one man's dream became a reality for all Elks and the communities we serve. Then-National President John F. Malley envisioned a plan that would “unite the forces of the Order into a mighty army for the service of mankind.” During the annual Grand Lodge Convention in Miami that year, Malley's call to service inspired delegates to take action by voting to establish the Elks National Foundation with an initial $100,000 grant.
Nearly 90 years after Malley shared his vision with the Order, the ENF continues to unite all Elks in service to their communities.
The mission of the ENF is to help Elks build stronger communities. We fulfill this pledge by investing in communities where Elks live and work. We help youth develop lifelong skills, send students to college, meet the needs of today's veterans, support the charitable work of the state Elks associations, and fund projects that improve the quality of life in local Elks communities.
Since inception, the ENF has contributed $455.4 million toward Elks charitable projects nationwide. Our programs continue to grow each year, allowing Elks to do even more to build stronger communities. Click here for details on all ENF programs.
This year, the ENF allocated $12.5 million to fund the Community Investments Program, investing in Elks communities through grants for Elks Lodges. Community Investments Program grants—which this year include a special Anniversary Grant to mark the 150th anniversary of the Elks—offer your Lodge an opportunity to serve your community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things.
How the ENF Works
The ENF is able to help Elks build stronger communities thanks to contributions from our generous donors. Since inception, we have received more than $251.6 million in contributions and bequests. Today we boast more than 100,000 active donors and an endowment fund valued at $631.2 million.
A board of seven trustees, who are all past national presidents of the Order, governs the ENF, which is located at the Elks national headquarters in the Elks Veterans Memorial in Chicago. The director, Jim O'Kelley, oversees the administration of the ENF’s day-to-day operations. Click here to meet O’Kelley and his staff. The ENF also has volunteers at the Lodge, district and state levels who help coordinate our fundraising strategy and implement our programs.
Thanks to the ongoing support of our donors, the ENF continues to expand on Malley’s vision, mobilizing Elks across the country into a force for positive change.
Join your local Lodge in service to your community. Click here to learn more about the Elks.