ISSUE 20, January 2007
Editorial
Historic: Dr Thomas Barnardo - children's saviour
Travel: South African journey
London Gala Evening: Royal Masonic Variety Show
Centenary Celebrations: Scouting's milestone
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Supreme Grand Chapter: Speech by the Pro 1st Grand Principal and Report of the Cttee of General Purposes
Library and Museum: Facets of Fraternity
   Specialist Lodge: Internet Lodge - Masonry on the Web
Special Events: Spamalot and the Alternative Hair Show at Grand Lodge
Freemasons' Hall: ADelphi System - A computer revolution
Mark Master Masons: Duke of Kent at 150th anniversary
Breeches Bible: A Lodge locker's secret
Masonic Arboretum: Planting an idea
Education: Events and The hoodwink
Masonic Charities: RMTGB and Grand Charity and Legacy appeal and RMBI and NMSF
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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Making a charitable bequest is an important decision for both the charity and the individual
    To maintain this range of services, and cope with the demand for new or extended services, the Charities need to secure their future income as far as is possible. Current income streams are all, more or less, variable and largely beyond the control of the charities.
    Overall income has peaks and troughs from year to year and it is therefore vital that the CMCs maximise every possible source of income. Legacy income has always been an important source of funding, and, as the studies identified, there is scope to increase it.
    In the world at large, demographics indicate that care for the elderly will increasingly become a problem for everyone, from national governments to individuals. By the year 2025 it is estimated that 1.9 million people in the UK will be over the age of 90. This will place an increasing burden on charities.
    As more people live longer, the resources that they put in place to fund their retirement will be stretched, possibly to breaking point, with the result that they will become more likely to seek charitable support. At the same time they will be less likely to be able to afford to give support to charities.
    This increased longevity is particularly noticeable within the Masonic population, where 27% of the membership is already over the age of 65. This has a potential double impact on the income of the Central Masonic Charities.
Retirement provisions are being stretched over a longer period than anticipated, and therefore Freemasons are more restricted in their charitable giving, whilst at the same time, the longer they live, the more likely they are to require help from the Masonic charities. If the increased demand is to be met, there is a need to offset the predicted decline in future income.
    The primary objective of the Legacy Appeal is to increase income from legacies for all four of the CMCs. The true success of the Appeal as regards this objective can, of course, only be gauged in the longer term.
    However, there is a further, important objective against which success can be judged in the shorter term, to improve the awareness of the services and facilities offered by the four Charities. This is not only to encourage support of the Charities, but also to ensure that Freemasons and their families are aware of the help that is available.
    The Appeal will ultimately cover the whole of England and Wales. At the time of writing, it is also intended to include Districts overseas, but the approach has not yet been finalised.
    The Appeal will consist of two phases: a Pilot and a National Rollout, with the former scheduled to start early in 2007 and the latter towards the end of 2007. It is anticipated that it could take up to two years or more to complete the national rollout.
    Initially, central appeal staff will deliver Legacy presentations locally. It is hoped that this will lead to the recruitment of enough volunteer Legacy Information Officers to ensure that delivery of the message can be maintained and extended, in a face-to-face process, in all areas across the country.
    In each Province or Metropolitan Group, central appeal staff would like to initially conduct two types of meeting: Awareness Presentations and Legacy Workshops.
    Each will be repeated as many times as is necessary. Awareness Presentations will normally be scheduled as part of a suitable Provincial/Group event, not as a stand-alone presentation.
    Awareness Presentations are intended to inform the members of the Craft and other interested parties about the Appeal and to inspire individuals to become involved as volunteer Legacy Information Officers.
    The target audience for these presentations comprises Freemasons and the wives and widows of Freemasons. In particular, Lodge Almoners and Charity Stewards will be invited as they are considered the most likely source of volunteers.
    The intention to include ‘Masonic Ladies’ fully in all aspects of the Appeal was also supported by research evidence and the following quotes:
    “The Masonic charities don’t rank highly among my commitments, but I could change my mind if I knew more about their work.”
    (A Masonic widow)
    “It will be important to get the wives and widows involved. Each Province will differ in its habits and relationships with the women but, in terms of making financial decisions, their participation could be very important.”
    Legacy Workshops are intended to equip the volunteer Legacy Information Officers to carry out their role on behalf of the Appeal. The training will enable them to seek and secure legacy donations from individuals, as well as continuing to promote the Appeal at local level through further presentations as and when appropriate.
    The Pilot Project will involve up to four Provinces and one London Group, and will commence early in 2007.
    Whilst the Pilot will be ‘live’ in the sense of actively seeking legacy donations, it will also serve to test the various elements of the Appeal, gain valuable feedback from the Pilot audiences and if necessary make adjustments before the main appeal.
    The Appeal will be managed by W Bro Mike Wheal, Legacy Manager for the Central Masonic Charities. When asked for a summary of the Appeal, Mike said that he thought one of the people interviewed during the research had put it very well:
    “The key message should be that by doing this your legacy will continue the principles by which you have lived your life as a Freemason, and that your gift will continue to help those who are less fortunate than you ever were long after you have gone.”

Further details can be obtained by contacting: M L Wheal, Legacy Manager, 31 Great Queen Street, London wc2b 5ag. t. 0203 116 0114. Email: mike@cmc-legacy.org

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