by Greg Davis, Sunday, February 23, 2019
One of the most-critical dilemmas facing the modern lodge is – how do you stay in business? How do you keep your doors open.
Innovative ideas are being used in major metropolitan areas. These ideas are really ancient, but they are innovative to the modern Freemason.
Masons have lived far too long inside a vacuum. They have held on to ancient ideas that worked for the medieval knight, but the modern knight has to take a clue from the modern warrior.
Modern warfare is fought on the principle of “adapt and improvise”.
For modern lodges to survive, they must adopt the same philosophy. And believe me when I tell you, keeping the lights on is a real battle.
A battle royale.
So, what to do?
Non-profit orgs have been doing these sorts of things for millennia (practically).
Much of what has always been relied on for eons were the individual donors, but in an era of charity complacency and giving fatigue, new measures must be taken by the brotherhood.
One can not rely, not solely anyway, on the individual donor.
On a modern battlefield, one does not abandon medieval methodology, but one certainly should not rely on it either.
In an era of drones, the “eye in the sky” should not be floated on a hot-air balloon as in the civil war.
You would not use a SPAD to go up against a Tomcat would you? A Cutlass to go up against a battleship? A musket to take on a Kalashnikov?
Individual donors can make one-time or recurring donations. They also give in a variety of ways: online and offline, through events, auctions, planned giving, and more.
There are many, many articles available online with tremendous ideas for fund raising.
“typical sources for donated funds tend to stay pretty much the same over time.”
One such idea being promulgated at New Providence right now is an annual “Black Tie Affair”. What better place than the lodge hall of distinguished gentlemen?
What better place than the Grand Ol’ Lady, New Providence Lodge.
But we cannot stop here brethren. We must not stop here. The ideas must keep flowing, and we must support the new ideas that are brought into the lodge by the new brethren.
A dear friend and brother, and our treasurer, once mentioned to me — “Greggo,” he said, “at one time this lodge considered itself “in the hole” if it dropped below an operating level of 27,000 dollars”.
Twenty-seven grand, boys!
That is beyond extraordinary. Above exceptional.
And they maintained this using medieval practices.
What the heck is going on in this modern age?
Lack of membership? The new millenials? General apathy? Lack of caring, commitment?
Don’t point fingers.
Don’t blame it on the millennial.
You want to point fingers? Point them at your chest. Your OWN chest.
WE are the reason we are failing; not just in fund-raising, but in raising Masons.
Fellows, this new crop of boys – they don’t have time in their busy lives for a lot of drama, whining, and blaming. What these boys want is action.
So, how to?
It is simple, really.
Rely on proven methods.
When proven methods do not work, get creative.
This mentality that “lodges cannot prosper” is not simply antiquated, it is straight out of the dark ages.
No more can we rely on Mr. nay-sayer, or those afraid to press forward with ideas that simply work (look how other non-profits are doing it).
We must begin an all out assault on this nagging concern.
We must cause our coffers to swell and grow like the current flood.
Our progeny rely on it, and by-gum, we owe it to them!
Magazine Pro on Genesis Framework · WordPress , 31 July, 2018, donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/nonprofit-funding-sources/.“Top Funding Sources for Nonprofits and Charities”, Donorbox Nonprofit Blog,
Dotdash Publishing, 10 February, 2019, thebalancesmb.com/where-do-nonprofits-get-their-revenue-2502011“How Non-Profits Generate Revenue Streams”, Donorbox Nonprofit Blog,