Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Alberta
Youth Endowment Fund
To All Constituent Chapters
The Youth Endowment Fund Committee is currently in the unusual position of having funds available in excess of the requests we have received. In discussing this situation, it has come to our attention that many Companions don’t know what the Youth Endowment Fund is chartered to do or how to make a request and see it through to completion.
The YEF has been in existence for more than 25 years. It was chartered to benefit youth in Alberta. It is not intended as a scholarship or bursary fund. It is not intended to replace the Masonic Foundation. In fact, funds from the YEF have been used to supplement funds from the Masonic Foundation in some cases.
The YEF is not a Registered Charity. This is both a benefit and a challenge. The benefit is that the YEF has the freedom to support causes that it feels are worthy without being concerned about the limitations placed on it by its registration. The challenge is that contributions are not tax deductible. This status is reviewed on a regular basis to see if changes in regulations may at some time allow us to be Registered without losing too much flexibility.
The YEF funds are managed as a capital pool, the income from which is made available annually to fund requests. Unused funds in any year are carried forward for use in future years. Due to the size of our capital pool and interest rates, we generally have about $5,000. to $6,000. per year to support funding requests. Other than the “We Can Help” program to which we contribute annually, we do not do “subscriptions” (i.e. we expect to receive a request each year). The YEF committee expects all requests to be initiated by the Chapters. We prefer to fund requests where our contribution will have significance (i.e. $1,000. to an individual or a focused youth project rather than $100. each to a number of established charities which have their own fund raising capability). We are looking for specific youth cases where there is a financial need that may not be able to be addressed by other means. We want to have our contributions distributed into communities across the province. To do this we need the Chapters to identify needs in your communities so that we can help out. To initiate the process, all you need to do is call one of the members of the committee, your District Superintendent or District YEF representative (if you have one) and we will follow up with you to understand the situation and see how we can help.
Examples might include a child with a disability that can’t afford to attend a special summer camp; an inner city school looking for some help for equipment to keep kids off the streets; a single mom needing some financial help to allow her sons to follow their dreams of excellence; a disabled child who requires specialized equipment in order to attend school in her own community rather than going to a special school; or a school summer camp program for needy students. All of these examples are actual requests that have been funded by the Youth Endowment Fund in recent years. We look forward to hearing about the needs in your community.
The members of the committee and their email addresses are listed below.
We are always happy to talk about the YEF at any of your meetings. Just contact one of us and we will take it from there.
VEC W. Sheppard (Chairman)
MEC Eric Weigelt
REC Don Murray