Endowments

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by nick1368, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    Well I just got home from Lodge tonight and I have to say that I am very disappointed with the Trustees of GL. It was made known tonight that GL would not be making that annual returns payment on the endowment fund. Apparently our Endowment Fund was poorly invested and has suffered because if the economic down turn. It was known in JUNE that this was going to happen, however the Trustee waited until NOW, some 6 months, to start informing Lodges that they would need to find alternate funding. What is the reactions of the other Lodges? Our Sec. called the Grand Sec. T. Guest who explained to him that a $500 endowment is worth about $80 right now, and because it is below $100 in value GL doesn't have to pay the minimum $5 per unit. So for our Lodge we will loose about $1000 in income and will be still be expected to pay the per capita on the Endowed memebers, so that equal to approx. $2000 loss total.
    :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
     
  2. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    well its going to put a lot of preasure on a bunch of lodges...? one of our past masters was in charge of that endowment fund.. but they were bound and determine to has some professional firm do it..? well now look.. ? he never charged the fund one dime.. ! he watched the money like a hawk.. ? kinda like closing the gate have the horse is out..?
     
  3. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    I wonder who gets the most out of the endowment, the lodge or the grand lodge? da!
     
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Grand Lodge does. Its many a perception that the lifetime memberships helped the lodges, but endowments helps GL. I was told in a stated that Endowments only benifit the lodge when the brother has passed on...
     
  5. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Problem is that with every organization with a large sum of money to manage everyone wants to be head dog at the table. The Endowment when Brother Stovall and his bunch were handling it was handled like it was his own money and lodges collected every year.. ! This group of bankers and inverstment people were not charging the fund anything to manage it and would not let the Grandmasters get their hands on it to invest it with their select few...? they had to fight with every incoming Grandmaster to keep their fingers out of the pie.. ! a group pushed to have it moved to an investment firm ( so they could have professionals manage it..? ) which just happen to have some connections to one of the past-Grandmasters...? now look.. ! but at this time don't think there is much that can be done..? it is just gone...? like my little grandson when you ask him what happen to his M&M he had in his hand, he just looks at you an says "gone-gone"... !
     
  6. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    Maybe all lodges should control thier own funds again. Almost like social security, we as taxpayers should be able to invest our own.
    At this day in age all types of head authority in which controls are paths have made disturbing decisions.
     
  7. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    I am not a financial wiz by any means....however I have the privilage of serving my city as President of the Economic Development Corp. Board of Directors which has about a $5 million budget that comes from sales tax within the city. That is NOT "MY" money but the citizens money and I am more than careful that it is spent where it is suppose to be and that if we are ever questioned we can back up our decisions on expenditures.
    To me these trustee should be ULTRA conservative and ULTRA sensitive when handling the money of GL because that is "OUR" money not Theirs....does that make sense. I understand the need to invest it in something in order for it to grow, but why they are investing in something that is risky is beyond me.....and then to top it off they waited 6 months to send out a notice. Could you have imagined what GL would have been like in Dec had we known...those trustees would have been raked over and rightly so.
    My Companions in York Rite have figured out a system where the Chapters and Councils will get a $35 return per endowment this year and next....it is HIGH time GL takes a lesson from Yorkrite and get with the program on endowments.
    We have a lodge here in SETX that is going to suffer greatly because of this because their main source of income is their annual returns on endowments......
    sorry for the rant Brothers but this issue has really got my goat....lol
     
  8. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Well Brother Stovall is in charge of the Scotishrite fund for the Hospital in Dallas.. ! didn't loose a dime..? Hmmmmm...? Think maybe we should ask some of out brothers who know and care.. ? rather that hire a firm to handle..?

    Think we need to look hard at how Grand Lodge money is handled by in-coming GrandMasters who are only there a year.. ! when these investments need to be looked at in the 10-20 year range..? sometime we are just short sided..?
     
  9. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Brothers, please take this in the spirit intended...

    Isnt it a mistake to base a lodges future and budget on the hopes that there is a return from GL? Isnt it a mistake to hope you can make enough money on fish frys and bean sales to keep a lodge running? This is the best example Ive seen on why lodges need to raise their fees and dues to at least cover their operating expenses and what is owed to GL each year. Anything else is short changing Masonry and the Lodge and Charter that has been entrusted to them. Yes there might be some that cant afford a dues increase, yes there might be some that leave. For THOSE situations a fish fry can be held and cover or assist. Maybe its because I was in the military for 20+ years living on an enlisted mans pay with a wife and 3 kids. There was always too much month at the end of the money. We saved to take the kids out to dinner for their birthdays. "Living" pay day to pay SUX! Running a lodge pay day to pay day and a prayer is no different. Its a set up for failure. We, the Masons of today, have been given strict in charge to care for the fraternity that we love and that has been passed on to us. We need more MASONS, not more members. Masonry deserves to have a value associated with it that is at least in proportion to what we get out of it!

    *disengaging soap box*
     
  10. Curtis Wilson

    Curtis Wilson Registered User

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    Here is some more good news, don't expect Endowment payments in 2010 either. I heard the Grand Lodge predicts the coffers will not be large enough to pay out to the lodges next year, but on top of that, the per capita payments the lodge will have to pay will likely increase from 14.00 to 20.00, adding more strain on the local lodges.

    When I was Master, we had a deficit and I sent out a letter to each member and asked for a gift to the lodge. It was better than all of the fundraisers I have ever been a part of.
     
  11. eagle1966

    eagle1966 Guest

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    like bro wilson, when I was Master,we at Clyde Lodge have what we call a "no bake bake sale' where we ask the brethren to give what they would at a bake sale but we do not have one
    Also some of our members who have Endowment, are going to pay their per captia dues plus more if possilbe not a fix but if a brother cares for the lodge then it is a way

    but it is incorrect to think payts from the endowments will carry your lodge financially

    heard somewhere a lodge was buying endowments for its deceased members
     
  12. ravickery03

    ravickery03 Guest

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    Army Lodge at one point had Lifetime memberships which were 20 years worth of dues paid up front. The Endowment Fund is to support the Grand Lodge, with small payments made to a lodge over time. Younger masons who get the Endowment Fund are in essence securing the future of Grand Lodge while slitting their own lodge’s throat without paying the difference in the amount paid the lodges to ensure that expenses are being covered.

    The endowed fund needs to be seriously reconsidered as a sound investment, Freemasonry is like politics, everything is local. Without your local lodge having sufficient money and membership support, then all the endowment funds to Grand Lodge don't make a difference in ensuring that Freemasonry is strong in your local community.

    I know it sounds "anti-Grand Lodge", and it's not, but the economic facts are that endowed funds have done little to support lodges, regardless of the current financial climate.

    Now, if you want to buy an endowed fund for a brother that has passed away, it's a win/win situation. $500 and the brother will be giving a small amount to the lodge every year as long as that lodge exists. I would re-write and make endowments available to family members of deceased Masons and brothers that are over the 50 year mark; otherwise you are just putting the screws on local lodges when brothers think that the $500 will somehow pay the bills, when it doesn't even cover a meal.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2009
  13. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    "Army Lodge at one point had Lifetime memberships which were 20 years worth of dues paid up front."
    this is a very interesting concept. I have never heard of this. Did or does Army Lodge have bylaws or rules to how this worked? And what was the money put in, general fund or was the money invested?
     
  14. ravickery03

    ravickery03 Guest

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    It was in the Bi-laws of the lodge, the reason I know about it is because I did a Masonic education piece on Brother Elmer E. Sampson who was a founding father of Army Lodge #1105. In his "Masonic" file he signed an agreement with the Lodge that after his comissioning (he went from an E-6 to an 0-3) he was going to purchase a life time membership which was 20 years of dues @ $7.00 a year (about $2,600 in today's money) in monthly payments of $7.00 a month (about $141 in today's money).

    How the lodge invested the money I am not sure, but I assume it went into the general savings account.

    -Bro Vick
     
  15. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    endowment

    When we all voted to create the endowment fund, CD rates were unrealistically high, and we had this idea that we would always be able to count on luxurious income from an investment of 500 dollars.

    Then interest rates dropped, and we were all crying because we couldn't run a lodge on what the endowment was paying.

    Then we voted to bring in the investement advisory committee, and we were all cheering a couple of years ago when they started getting us bigger payoffs on the endowment again. Unfortunately, nobody could find a way to earn the money we wanted by putting it in fixed income investments. So we bought stocks and bonds that added a little risk to the equation in hope of paying off enough to keep us from having to raise dues on everybody else.

    It would be interesting to do the math and see how we would have turned out if we had restricted the endowment to insured fixed-interest investments. Sure we would have been piddling along with small returns every year, but we wouldn't be broke now, either.

    Tom Ball
    San Juan.
     
  16. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    Thank you for the information Bro Vick... i am in the South right now and I am going to research this idea and maybe implement it when I get to the East...
     
  17. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Check article 318a-7 before spending very long on those plans.

    Tom PM
    San Juan 1173
     
  18. C_Cabra

    C_Cabra Registered User

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    We had this same announcement at our last stated meeting. Some brothers made it known they weren't very happy about not receiving money back from these endowed memberships.

    If the money isn't there then there is no money to give. It stinks but that is reality. You don't want to take money out of a 500 dollar investment that is now worth 80 bucks. You want to wait for it to go back up.

    Hindsight and Monday morning quarterbacking aside this "economic crisis" has wreaked havoc in sectors of the financial market that traditionally don't get trashed. You didn't have to have your money in risky endeavors to lose a bunch of it.

    I say give the Grand Lodge some credit and give the endowments time to regain their value.

    Personally my company is going through the same thing. Last year we had a majority of our assets tied up in medium and low risk investments. We had a lot of money to operate with. We had 20 employees and 5 managers. By this January our investments were nearly worthless paper. We had to lay off everyone except our management who are now the labor. Our money should have been fairly safe but it wasn't.

    If we pull our money out now then we truly have lost. If we leave it in then it will grow again.

    Forgive me if I am out of line with my assessment here. I don't know the Grand Lodge history beyond what I read on this website in the last two days so I don't know who was handling it before versus who is handling it now.

    It does seem wrong to wait 6 months to tell the Lodges who would depend on the funds. That doesn't seem to be on the level.

    I also feel that if the Endowments are meant to help the Grand Lodge more than the Local lodges then there should be some type of limitations imposed on who (or when) these can be purchased. I thought of purchasing one of these Endowed memberships but it was explained to me that it was invested for the lodge and that the lodge reaped the benefits. I didn't know that it benefited the Grand Lodge first and my Lodge second. The initial Endowed membership only equals a little over 10 years of regular dues. If an 18 year old new brother purchases an endowed membership then it is a crap shoot whether or not that endowed membership serves the lodge versus normal dues over the span of his masonic lifetime.
     
  19. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Our Lodge endows PM's and before that we gave them Life Memberships and now our Lodge is just about down to PM who do not have to pay dues. To me looking back there might have been a beeter way to honor these men for their comintment other than no dues. I have always wondered why a Lodge would not have their own endowment program and leave GL outta the whole mix. Per say a Brother (depending on age) that donated $500 to your Lodge got a certificate similar to GL, engraved something to display at the Lodge. Then all the profits or losses are that lodges to have.
    I think if you get an endowment from GL you should only be exempt from GL dues and the differnce in your Lodge dues you pay. Which would knock off only $14.50 of your dues. The rest of your dues pays the bills. Even at the best of time the GL endowment return cannot pay your share of the cut, which is another reason so many Lodges are going up on dues.
     
  20. Longhorn1rob

    Longhorn1rob Registered User

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    This is entirely logical. I'd be surprised if a method like this doesn't catch on very soon.
     

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