Endowed Memberships

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

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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. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    My lodge could definitely use the $60K in the kitty a lot more than they can the nothing we've seen the last 3 years...
     
  2. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    These help GL only, period. If the lodges didnt have to pay per capita or the 'endowments' were set up at the lodge or even district level then I could see them being helpful.
     
  3. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I would agree the money should go back to the Lodges and let each manage their own. Right now, the lodges are losing value on their Endowments, not seeing any returns from those Endowments, and then still having to cover the per capita that the Endowments are supposed to cover. With the increase in per capita becoming almost a necessity, it becomes an even bigger stick that the lodges are being beaten with as lodges have to increase their dues to cover the regular members and having to fork over an even bigger chunk for Endowed members that are supposed to be covered.
     
  4. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    I've always liked things simple. Wouldn't it be easier to do it as follows?

    Yearly dues...check
    Budget met on yearly dues....check
    Eliminate need for financial gymnastics...check
    Members still allowed to give extra if they feel so inclined and within permitting abilities...check

    I can see the appeal of endowments but there shouldn't be dependance on them IMVHO
     
  5. Bro. Kurt P.M.

    Bro. Kurt P.M. 2018 14G DCO Premium Member

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    I was given an endowment as a gift from my parents and I do think it's a great idea. with that said I do give to my lodge to pay for per capita and I give extra because I am there every tuesday and thursday. I drink the coffee and enjoy the air conditioning. I use the lodge on a regular basis so I give to the lodge on a regular basis more than the cost of dues. I look at it like this "your money is where the heart is".
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    Bro. Kurt, why do you think that endowments are a great idea?
     
  7. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Endowed in my home lodge but paying yearly dues (so far) in my affiliated lodge. Even before the investments went south, I always contributed yearly dues in memory of my father and older brother (also endowed before his death.)

    Agree, our lodges and TxGL need the money now. So I'm going to throw some money into the general kitty of both to get us over the hump. If we stay the course and work together we'll get there. Folks there were Grand Lodges opening new facilities during the 1930s. Louisiana did it in 1938. We can survive ... and we WILL!
     
  8. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    I think for men who are elderly, this is a great gift.
    For young men, an Endowed Membership is a cheap way out of paying our dues. I do not have an Endowed Membership. I pay the $60 per year.
    Our small lodge has a high percentage of 50 year members and endowed members, so we struggle along each year with limited funds.
    The Endowment should be a Brother's continuing gift to the lodge he has spent a lifetime in, not a way to get out of paying his dues for a lifetime.

    Tim Fleischer
    Salado Masonic Lodge #296
     
  9. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Brother Fleischer,

    You are so very right! The endowment is not meant to be a free ticket through masonry. I think most masons agree that they get much more out of masonry that the yearly dues cover. Much more. I applaud your commintment and appreciate your viewpoint. Hopefully, in this time of monetary need we all reflect upon our love for this brotherhood, comment ourselves, and grow stronger.
     
  10. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    Not quite sure about it all. My first impression is that it's good because many (or most I would guess) get it while they still have a decent income and are working. Again, thinking of the future when one becomes older and is on a "fixed" income that may not be able to afford the annual dues at that time. We all know that dues are increasing everywhere in the U.S. so becoming an Endowed member is further justified in getting it now while it can be afforded. At least this is the reason that I applied for Endowed membership last month. I figured that in a few years I will no longer be working and may not be able to afford the membership dues. I've seen members that all they have is SS and are struggling to meet annual dues which in many places are already over $100. Economic times are hard everywhere... GL and members as well.....
     
  11. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

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    I bought my endowment right after I was raised.
    This thread reminds me that I need to get over there and give some money for my per captia!
     
  12. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    I've seen some post here that there endowment was $500. Is it $500 or $700 this year?
     
  13. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Endowments in Texas are set by the individual lodges, but have a minimum amount of $500. Lodges can change the amount once a year at the meeting they elect officers at.
     
  14. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    So in may case I paid $700. Does that mean that our local lodge was able to keep the $200?
     
  15. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    No, it all goes into GL. When it goes into GL it's divided into units, each worth $100. Depending on the investments made by GL with the Endowment Fund, the value of those units flucuate throughout the year. Although this rule is suspended at the moment, when those units exceed the value of $100, money is distributed from the fund back to the lodges based on a combination of the value time the number of units. So if GL were to pay back $5 a unit to the lodge, a lodge with $500 endowments would receive back $25 per endowed member for their 5 units, while your lodge would receive back $35 because of their $700 being worth 7 units. And the money paid back to the lodge is meant to offset your per capita dues that each lodge pays to GL per member.

    It's kind of like buying stock. Each share is of stock is $100 with a minimum sale of 5 shares. When the company decides to pay dividends, they set an amount to pay back per share. The more shares a person owns, the more money they get back. But in this case, the lodge owns those shares, they bought for you, in the hopes the dividends will pay for their expense back to the company.

    I hope I just didn't confuse you more.
     
  16. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Very well said. 100% correct. Are you part of Grand Lodge or Just very well informed?
     
  17. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I've spent a lot time going over lodge finance this year.
     
  18. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    You explained it better than our DDGM did...
     
  19. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    You are right Robert. Most Endowed Members are inactive and not aware that the Lodges are not recieving any money for their endowment. This year we sent out a letter explaining the situation and many Brothers responded with a generous donation. Thank You for thinking of Your Lodge.
     
  20. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I've heard many lodges have been doing this and getting like responses from their endowed members. It's always nice to see even inactive brothers guarding against their lodge's light going out.
     

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