The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2019

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 144 Number 4 Oxford, North Carolina July/August 2019 NORTH CAROLINA RAISING OF A DIFFERENT KIND: MONEY Lodge fundraisers help arity, but also help Masons grow closer By Beth Grace Mason Editor Giving comes naturally to North Carolina's Masons. But they are also exceptionally accom- plished at creating giving opportunities for those in need. Who, after all, can resist barbecue, pancakes or doughnuts? What competitive soul can turn down a hotly contested golf tourney, a fishing derby, or the sound of a gospel bluegrass festival? And how about ham biscuits like your mama used to make or an oyster roast that leaves you speechless? Lodges in all but two of our 41 Masonic districts staged approved fundraisers in 2018, raising funds for our charities, for lodge main- tenance and other charitable causes, according to the latest report of the Committee on Subor- dinate Lodge Special Activities. Subordinate lodges in NC have been permitted to hold charitable and non- charitable fundraisers since 1994, says Jim Medlin, chair of the Committee on Subordi- nate Lodge Special Activities. Until that time, lodges passed the hat if they wanted to raise funds for the Masonic Home for Children or WhiteStone, or for upkeep on their own lodges. While it's not difficult to stage a fundraising event, the rules are clear and are outlined in the Code, chapter 43-12. (http://grandlodge- chapter-43) A fundraising event that asked the public to participate, requires prior approval from the Committee on Subordinate Lodge Special Activities, and a follow-up financial report outlining what was raised and how funds were distributed. A fundraiser is defined as any event held outside lodge membership that asks the public to participate. ere are no limits as to how many fund- raiser events a lodge may have in a given year. Lotteries, games of chance, gambling or any activities that would discredit Masonry are prohibited. Raffles are permitted as long as they conform to state law and no cash prizes are awarded. WB Medlin, who oversees the application process, says the rules are there for a good reason: to make sure the event runs in accor- dance with federal and state laws and Masonic rules/guidelines and to protect lodges from possible liability. ere's another reason. e Grand Lodge itself is required to keep and maintain records that prove it continually upholds its non-profit, 501(c)10 status, and lodge fundraisers are part of that. "It's not the Grand Lodge that requires all the paperwork. It's the IRS, which checks up on non-profits like us," he says. "If we don't have these records, our 501(c)10 status could be in jeopardy. One bad apple can ruin the whole barrel." e process is relatively simple. Medlin reviews each application and will contact the lodge if he has questions or concerns. Other- wise, if the event is approved, he signs the form and sends it back to the lodge secretary and the event can go forward. "I'm here to help protect you in your fund- raising efforts, not to tell you what to do," he says. TIPS Making the approval process easier for you THE NUMBERS 2018 lodge fundraising statistics MORE INSIDE ■ see FUNDRAISING page 3

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