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The Leader February 2021
Membership Restoration Campaign Round Two: Bringing Brothers Back into the Fold
For some, Masonry is a lifelong commitment. For others, life can get in the way of it. The reasons Masons fall by the wayside and let their dues lapse run the gamut—financial distress, too little time, simply forgetting to send in the check. Beginning last year, Grand Lodge rolled out the Membership Restoration Campaign, which saw more than 1,000 members rejoin the California Masonic family. For Chula Vista Lodge No. 626 and Vesper Lodge No. 84, the campaign meant more than adding to their member rolls, it meant bringing Brothers back into the fold.
“When I first heard about the restoration program, I had my reservations,” says Tony Albright, Secretary of Chula Vista Lodge No. 626. “But pretty quickly, I saw the value of it.” Over the course of 2020, Grand Lodge help facilitate the restoration of nearly 40 of Chula Vista’s members. For Chula Vista—a lodge located near both a naval and Marine Corps base—many of the restored members had been stationed nearby when they joined the lodge, only to be deployed or restationed elsewhere. “They just lost track of their dues,” says Albright. And after a few years, the cost to get back in good standing with a lodge can be a financial burden for some. Chula Vista’s dues are set at $166 each year—but with a few years of back dues, returning to the lodge can become a financial burden for some.
Under the Membership Restoration Campaign, which continues this year, suspended Brothers can return to good standing by paying a one-time fee of only $100. “I think the relative low cost of reentry is what really made a difference to some of these brothers,” says Greg Rose, Treasurer of Vesper Lodge No. 84 in Red Bluff, which also participated in last year’s campaign and will continue to this year as well. Last year, Vesper Lodge restored four members to its rolls. “Frankly, I was surprised we got even those,” says Rose, “since our lodge has always tried reaching out to suspended brothers in the past, but with no luck.” Like Chula Vista Lodge, the members restored to Vesper now live out of state.
Even though many of Chula Vista’s and Vesper’s restored brothers are unlikely to return to active service to the lodge, both lodges are excited to continue the campaign. Says Tony Albright, “It’s just important that we’re bringing brothers back into the fraternity.”
Joining the 2020-2021 Membership Restoration Campaign
Joining the 2020-2021 Membership Restoration Campaign
It’s simpler than ever for your lodge to sign up to join the 2020-2021 membership restoration campaign. Just follow these steps:
- From iMember 2.0, run a report of members who are suspended for non-payment of dues.
- To do this, go to your lodge dashboard and select “Reports” in the sidebar
- Select the “Events” report, input the date range desired, and select “Suspended NPD”
- Note that this report shows all members who were suspended for non-payment of dues during that time, so sort out any members who do not have the status “suspended”
- This report can be previewed in your browser and printed as a PDF or an Excel file
- Note any members on the list that should not be included in the restoration campaign.
- If your lodge did not participate in the 2020 Restoration Campaign, vote on the attached resolution at stated meeting. The resolution will pass with 2/3 vote of all present at the stated meeting. If your lodge did participate in 2020 and plans to participate again in 2021, vote on the continuance resolution.
- Email your edited list and the signed resolution to Grand Lodge at email@example.com.
- Grand Lodge will reach out to all indicated members of your lodge and invite them back to the fraternity.
- Grand Lodge will receive the payments from suspended members, update their member record, restore them to good standing, and record their payment. Grand Lodge will then notify the member and your lodge, so that you may reach out to them, issue their dues receipt, and welcome them back to lodge.
Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your February checklist.
- Schedule inspector’s official visit and examination of the books, due by end of March.
- Share with your lodge the date and topic for the UCLA International Conference on Freemasonry: April 10, 2021.
- Registration will go live on February 3.
- Review all candidates’ progress toward advancement.
- Begin preparing 2022 program plan.
- Begin preparing 2022 budget.
- Begin preparing 2022 officer appointments.
- Begin preparing 2022 installation of officers.
- Present secretary’s annual report to the lodge at stated meeting.
- Continue to collect delinquent dues from members (were due on January 1).
- Send list of members with late dues to the master for the Retention Committee.
- Send any suspension notices.
- Charity Committee considers remissions.
- Present treasurer’s annual report to the lodge at stated meeting.
- Prepare financial reports for Grand Lodge, to be filed by end of March (unless your lodge uses Intacct, in which case you do not need to submit anything).
- Submit semi-annual report to the lodge at stated meeting.
- Begin auditing lodge books, to be completed by end of April.
Questions? Contact Member Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 776-7000.
Question of the Month
Last month we asked what percent of your members paid dues online for the first time. Of those that responded:
- 82% Some
- 7% None
- 7% Other Answers ( Paid online, checks and PayPal were main method of payment)
- 4% All or Nearly All