During a consultation survey carried out in 2017 several chapter charity stewards took the opportunity to ask if the RCS Gift Aid envelope could be used to also collect for other charities of their choice to realise the Gift Aid element to enhance the amount their chosen charity receives.
The Provincial Grand Chapter of Warwickshire Benevolent Fund (PGCWBF) management committee took this on board and, whilst considering this request, also seized on a subsequent proposal, that the Benevolent Fund might further support the chapter’s charitable activity by providing an additional supplement to the chapter’s donation.The Management Committee has been pleased to accede to the chapters’ request and approve the subsequent proposal, which has led to the formation of the Chapters’ Charity-Giving Support Scheme.
A guide leaflet has been produced describing the scheme in some detail and how it works. It can be downloaded by going to this link www.royal-arch.org.uk/download/Guide-Leaflet.pdf
The scheme follows the already established system for making donations to the PGCWBF relief chest. The only addition being that the chapter charity steward completes a NOMINATED CHARITY FORM (NCF) which ultimately directs the funds to the chapter’s chosen charity. The NCF can be downloaded by going to this link www.royal-arch.org.uk/download/Nominated-Charity-Form-NCF.pdf
For the Chapters’ Charity-Giving Support Scheme to accomplish its aim of assisting chapters to maximise their gifts to the local ‘good causes’ the chapter members have chosen to support, the PGCWBF will look to adding a supplement to the donation as permitted within the Rules by which it is governed as a registered charity.
Generally, the ‘good cause’ must be a charity (not necessarily a registered charity) which can include (by way of example) churches, some types of schools, service funds of the armed forces, Scout and Guide groups, etc. These must be situated within the Masonic province of Warwickshire and generally seen to be benefiting the young, the elderly, the disabled or voluntary bodies.
Whether a supplement is added, or not, and to what amount, will be at the sole discretion of the Benevolent Fund’s Trustees and shall be without detriment to the Benevolent Fund’s main objective to provide a substantial grant to a Warwickshire non-masonic charity every 2 years or so.
The Chapters’ Charity-Giving Support Scheme provides the PGCWBF with the opportunity to support a greater number of good causes within the local community especially those identified by you, and the more donations the Benevolent Fund receives the more support it can provide.
It would not be financially viable if chapters were to elect a recipient charity for every alms collection, or even, for more situations than they otherwise would. The purpose of the scheme is to support chapters at times when they make these special, occasional, gifts to local good causes and give the Benevolent Fund the opportunity to add to these initiatives without undermining the main aims of the Fund.
This new service is an occasional extra, not a replacement for the current Gift Aid scheme. It is hoped, indeed expected, that chapters will continue to donate to the Benevolent Fund as generously as they can to enable the PGCWBF meet its main objective of making a substantial grant every two years or so, AND boost donations to smaller local charities identified by chapters. Indeed, the ME Grand Superintendent encourages chapters to donate at least one alms collection during the Masonic season to the PGCWBF, preferably that taken at the installation meeting.
As the name implies, the Chapters’ Charity-Giving Support Scheme is for supporting chapters in their charitable giving to the community. It is hoped that your chapter will take full advantage of this facility.