Endowed Memberships

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Blake Bowden, Jan 1, 2009.

?

Are Endowed Memberships A Good Idea?

  1. Yes

    69 vote(s)
    63.3%
  2. No

    28 vote(s)
    25.7%
  3. Unsure

    12 vote(s)
    11.0%
  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,646
    851
    113
  2. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

    917
    6
    18
    I did not won’t to vote twice so I had to vote No, only because so many lodges are hurting because it has been sold to our brothers by Grand Lodge as a way to not pay dues and not for the real reason it was intended.
    There is no way that the funds paid by GL will compensate the Blue Lodge each year and if we receive 0$’s this year and pay back the premium it will cost the lodge.
    The intent was, and is still a great
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    1,419
    7
    58
    I concur with Brother Jones. Some Lodges endow every member and rely on that return but not having all the facts or not looking at the whole picture could put these lodges in a tight spot this year. I know one Lodge that gets most all of it's moneys from endowment returns for the year and they are no small lodge so it is going to get real hairy for them. A Brother in our Lodge had mentioned the idea of seting up an endowment for the Lodge same idea as GL endowment but you do not split money with GL. All in all we should all be endowed but if we are still alive pay our dues my lodge charges $100 a year that is about 35cents a day a rock bottom bargain for Freemasonry.
     
  4. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

    484
    1
    0
    I was given an edowment by my Father In Law who is MM. I choose to still pay the difference between what the return is on my endowment and what the yearly dues are.
     
  5. Bro Mike

    Bro Mike Registered User

    177
    0
    0
    I was also given an endowed membership. And I have been wondering what to do to help out the lodge. I think you have a great idea.

     
  6. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

    266
    1
    38
    We should remember that our Lodge needs our monetary support NOW. The endowment fund is designed to provide monetary support when you die. It is kind of like setting up a trust fund for your children. You still take care of your children while you are alive but you are establishing an endowment that will continue when you are gone.
     
  7. GMO

    GMO Guest

    0
    0
    0
    Thank you Bro. for the helping understand the endowment issue. It is an easy way for a Mason can pass something along to his Lodge. As long as he is hale and harty, he needs to support the lodge in the best way he can.

    Gonzales #30
     
  8. Bigmel

    Bigmel Premium Member Premium Member

    90
    0
    26
    Yes, I am endowed and I gave my son one when he was Raised. We still pay dues and assist the lodge when they need help. I hope that it may help my lodge after i am gone.
     
  9. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

    283
    1
    18
    I appreciate the information as well. I have not been able to get answers that really helped me. I had thought that by endowing it was a way for a Brother to be able to assist the Lodge with an income that would always be there whether or not he was able to pay dues. I also figured it was good for him, because he would have to contribute each year. But, after I started hearing bad news about no returns on the investment, I thought it was not such a good idea. After being at Grand Lodge, and seeing there was no real support to get money back to the local Lodges when times were tough, I think the yearly dues may be the best way to help locally. The GL will still get their money that way, but more importantly the local Lodge will definitely be supported. I also had questions about continuing to pay dues, or making contributions after endowment, and thought that would be good for those who could afford it. I am glad to see this information out here.
     
  10. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

    493
    9
    0
    First I've looked into an endowed membership and will in the future pursue becoming endowed. Most of our endowed members, are not required to pay yearly dues however they do. Their purpose was to assist the lodge and set the extra money aside for emergencies or things that we would like to do. I think this is a great way to do things, IMHO.
     
  11. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

    207
    7
    18
    I have considered becoming an endowed member, because it's been sold to me as good for the lodge, and it's only $500. Additionally, I'm 31 years old, and so I'm buying a lifetime membership for roughly the price of 7 years of dues. From what I have seen and heard from others though, and in adding the numbers on my own, it seems to me that it's hardly good for the lodge in terms of helping keep it solvent or in ensuring that the lodge has enough money to operate.

    We send the $500 (or more) off to Grand Lodge, and the lodge might, maybe get a return every once in a while that just might, if we're lucky cover Per Capita. How did the lodge get sold on this idea? More importantly, how did the lodge get convinced to sell this idea to their members as a reasonable alternative to paying dues? I understand perfectly the idea of contributing to an endowment fund to serve as a means of financial support to the lodge after you die, but the idea of utilizing the endowment option as a means to replace dues is simply ludicrous and makes no financial sense. It places the lodge in a position of gambling with it's financial solvency on the shaky hopes that a return will even be sufficient to cover Per Capita, and perhaps miraculously, enough to put a few dollars in the bank as well. Some Endowed Mason's end up paying dues anyway, because they aren't blind to this reality, but those who don't end up unintentionally hurting their lodge by leaving it starved of revenue.

    This program strikes me as something that was cooked up with good intentions, but was executed in a way that was a result of faulty thinking. We added yet another badge to stamp our name on, and in so doing have put a knife to the throat of the lodge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  12. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

    1,095
    13
    38
    rule of unintended consequences...
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

    57
    0
    0
    That's all well and good, and I'm sure the lodge appreciates that, but that doesn't put any money in the lodge's pocket for keeping the lights on or the A/C running. Not trying to attack you, Brother, I'm just pointing out that yearly dues only partially go toward paying the Grand Lodge returns. So, even if Grand Lodge were sending lodges enough returns from their endowed memberships to cover the Grand Lodge per capita, that still doesn't help the lodge. It simply means the endowed members aren't costing the lodge.

    I think one of the main reasons endowed memberships are so attractive is the practice of suspending members for non-payment of dues. I won't get the thread off-topic with an opinion on this policy, but I know that I worry about losing one of the things I love most, my membership in my lodge, because I happened to be in a tight spot one December. I think endowments are a terrible idea, especially for the lodges, but if I can find $500 I certainly plan to endow so I don't have to worry anymore.
     
  14. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    1,419
    7
    58
    I like the resolution that says if you are endowed no GL dues best but would be satisfied with no the other resolution that says if endowment do not pay then the lodge does not either. I want to see Grand Lodge thrive but if I had to choose I would put as much of the financial burden on GL as I could so the lodges in the community could have money to do Masonic "stuff". Straining the bank accounts of individual lodges to keep GL's bank account in the black will lead to hundreds of lodges demise big and small. then where does GL get their money? GL will have no choose but to scale down at that point and if scale down is inevitable why not start now?
     
  15. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

    283
    1
    18
    I agree Brother Rhit,
    If they continue to raise things that affect the Blue Lodges, we won't be able to turn the lights on to find our way into the Lodge Room... Our Lodge is near that category now. It is because in the past, several gave up, and made no plans for the future, just kind of "we'll make it somehow". Now they aren't there, and we are being hit by those decisions. We are doing a little better. We are making plans 2-4 years down the road. We are looking at who will be Officers and so on. We just raised our dues $10.00, as they had not been raised in about 20 + years. Now, GL is taking that $10.00, plus we have to add $.75 to it, to make the $25.00 they want. We are working harder, cutting back on expenses, and looking to the Brethren, as well as the community for more assistance. We are getting some, but as everyone keeps saying, "Times are tough", so we are doing more cutting back than anything. I have been sent home from my job for the first time in over 35 years, and told they would call when there was work. It's been over a month now. I am a contract employee, so there are no benefits for me. I do have some work in my little shop at home and can get by with it for a little longer, but I am not the only one in this situation. My employer is like the GL, wants those in the lower echelon to cut back, and give more. Rather than cut the labor rate, or give decent discounts, he remained at his full charges. He has hurt himself, because the regular employees are now at home, but they are drawing unemployment. It just shows, you can cut too much, in the wrong places, and then NOT have anything... Had the boss cut the rates, and talked to us about our pay, we could all be in better shape. GL can do that, but will they?? We have asked about some of the expenses, but don't know what they are, and have not yet got an answer. Maybe we won't. I think my SW asked about an expense account of around $160,000.00 and what it actually went for. We're still waiting... I don't have the exact answer, but I do know many are looking at the endowments so they don't have to worry about the Lodge Dues going up. Many are not worried beyond that, even though the Lodge is not getting anything back from the investment. Last year there was talk of returning all the endowments. Many were all for that, until they discovered there was talk of returning $300.00 on a $500.00 investment. If these were being invested in a manner in which we were ALL seeing something good from them, they would be good, but right now, only those using the money are getting any benefit.
     
  16. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

    207
    7
    18
    To add another thought on this, I looked at the last 10 years of returns on roughly $60,000 worth of endowment units. We've averaged about $1500 a year, when we've gotten money, and that's been for around 6-7 years when there was a return. $60K invested in a moderate bond with a guaranteed return of roughly 3% would have yielded us about $1800 a year, and had we put it in a money market account with a higher yield of around 6%, that'd be about $3600 a year.

    Who sold us this garbage again?
     
  17. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    1,419
    7
    58
    Does Grand Lodge get a % of the earnings on each $100 a lodge has invested?
     
  18. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    1,419
    7
    58
    Holly smokes they do not get a cut and our returns are still that bad, WOAH!

    Art. 318a. Endowed Membership.
    For accounting and investment purposes the Endowed
    Membership Fund shall be composed of endowment units with a par
    value of $100 each. The net asset value of an endowment unit may
    vary from one investment period to the next. All endowment units
    shall be credited and allocated to the Endowed Lodges.
    Annually, not later than the first day of August, Endowed
    Lodges shall receive a distribution from the Endowed Membership
    Fund computed as follows:
    1. $5.00 per endowment unit, provided the distribution may
    be reduced so the distribution shall not cause the net asset
    value of an endowment unit to be less than $100.00 after the
    distribution.
    2. Plus 60% of realized income in excess of $5.00 per year per
    endowment unit.
    3. Plus any excess in net asset value per endowment unit over
    $110.00 after the above distribution shall be paid to the
    Endowed Lodges.
    No distribution shall be paid for any endowed membership unit
    until August 1 of the 2nd Masonic calendar year after such endowment
    membership unit is received by the Grand Secretary.
    An administration fee not to exceed five percent (5%) of the
    annual distribution paid to the Endowed Lodges may be deducted
    from the distribution before payment is made to the Endowed
    Lodges.
     
  19. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

    154
    1
    0
    well, up to but not to exceed 5% of a cut.
     
  20. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    1,419
    7
    58
    true if a lodge did its own endowment system that would cut that 5% fee out. The more this talked about the more I see myself voting to give the money back to lodges as soon as we hit $100 per unit and a lodge can get its full investment back.
     

Share My Freemasonry