Together we make a profound difference

July 2023:

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    This Summer, Let’s Tell the World: #ImAMason

    Last summer, our inaugural #ImAMason social media campaign helped us spread the word about the fraternity in a major way—and to people who might never have otherwise thought about Freemasonry. In all, the campaign reached more than 2.3 million people worldwide—helping us break records for online inquiries. 

    This July, we’re asking California Masons for a repeat performance: Tell the world that #ImAMason.  We think we can do even better this year!  All it takes is a single post on Facebook or Instagram, using the hashtag #ImAMason.

    To that end, Grand Lodge will email instructions to every Mason after July 4.  We’ll ask all members who are comfortable doing so to record a video, take a selfie, or write a post on Facebook or Instagram that explains what they get out of their membership, and to include the hashtag #ImAMason. That way, we can compile these posts and help share them even more widely. 

    By showing the people around us that they already know a Freemason—even if they didn’t know it—we can help to demystify Masonry in general, and maybe encourage someone who’s curious about it to reach out. Imagine: That second cousin you’re connected with on Facebook who doesn’t know how much your lodge means to you. Or a coworker who’s always been intrigued by Masonry but never known where to begin with it. Our hope is that those people will see these posts and decide to learn more.

    So please join us in this effort. Tell your story of why #ImAMason. Together, we can help build on the effort to increase positive public awareness and drive the future of the fraternity.

    Opening Up About Masonry

    Let’s talk numbers. These come from a 2020 survey conducted by the Grand Lodge of current and prospective members.

    • 74 percent of current members think it’s important to increase membership. Only four percent think it isn’t important.
    • 91 percent of current members first learned about Masonry through a family member, friend, or coworker. Television, film, and the web trail far behind.
    • Despite that, about 63 percent of members don’t openly discuss Freemasonry with those around them. Among those who don’t openly talk about Masonry, two-thirds falsely believe they have to wait until someone asks them to talk about Masonry; 30 percent falsely believe they’re not allowed to talk about Freemasonry; and 3 percent simply don’t know what to say.

    This is a solvable problem.

    We need to encourage members to talk about Freemasonry and what they get out of it with the people around them. We need to remind them that they’re allowed to talk about Freemasonry without fear of breaking any rules. (This tends to be a misinterpretation of a rule against soliciting membership, which is different than talking about Freemasonry in general, discussing what you get out of it, or describing what happens in a Masonic lodge.) And we need to give them tools that help them talk about Freemasonry and answer people’s questions.

    That’s what the #ImAMason campaign is all about. Don’t know what to say? DOWNLOAD OUR NEW BOOKLET, titled Opening the Door, for some helpful and simple answers to common questions about Freemasonry. Or check out our brand-new webpage, WHAT IS FREEMASONRY, meant to give newcomers a basic sense of things. These are a starting point to help members discuss the fraternity in general and how it works. But the best explanations will come from real members discussing the real things they get out of it.

    Best Practices and Due Diligence Tips for Hall Associations Regarding Building Repair/Improvements

    If your lodge's Hall Association is considering or preparing to undergo repairs or improvements, it's important to dot all your I's and cross your Ts. Here, the Grand Lodge Real Estate team has compiled some helpful reminders to help you avoid common mistakes.

    • Obtain at least two or three similar and competitive bids on the same written scope of work.
    • Scope of work must be comprehensive and indicate the specifications on materials, equipment, etc.
    • For complex renovation projects, explore engaging professionals to produce design drawings, structural engineering reports, termite reports, and other pertinent building inspections as part of your due diligence.
    • Make sure all bid/contract documents reference the hall association and not the lodge as "customer" or "client."
    • Bid/contract documents must clearly define a project completion timeline and warranty information
    • Bid/contract document must contain progressive payment terms with the down payment not exceeding 10% of total project cost or $1,000, whichever is the lesser of the two.
    • Select a contractor using several criteria, including cost, competency, professionalism, and reputation, and ensure that contractor is licensed and adequately insured.
    • Obtain, or have the contractor obtain the required city and/or county permits for the project at hand.
    • Formalize contractor selection at a Hall Association board meeting, which should be reflected in the board meeting minutes.
    • Solicit input and buy-in from various disciplines from within the lodge and the Hall Association, and obtain approval for funding from the owner lodge at a lodge stated meeting, with the lodge’s investment account and building designated fund being the most common funding sources for improvements projects.
    • Obtain proper written approval from the Grand Lodge Masonic Properties Committee for improvements/repairs projects greater than the $25,000 threshold, as required by the California Masonic Code (CMC).
    • Before any work commences, obtain a certificate of liability insurance (COI) from each contractor, naming the Hall Association as additional insured and certificate holder for the general liability insurance coverage; the COI must also include worker’s comp and auto liability insurance coverage for contractors utilizing employees and vehicles on hall premises.

    If your hall association has any questions on these due diligence tips and requirements for a complete improvements application packet, please email

    For Your Trestleboard

    Use this content to spread the word about resources provided by the California Masonic Foundation, the Masonic Homes of California, and more.

    Masonic Health Services:

    Services at MCYAF Across the Lifespan

    The Pavilion at the Masonic Homes

    Masonic Homes of California Resources

    Masonic Value Network

    Masonic Philanthropy:

    Masonic Youth Order Resources Library

    California Masonic Foundation Cornerstone Society

    July Officers' Checklist

    Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your July checklist.

     Senior Warden, along with Executive Committee

    • Identify and approach members for 2024 open elected and appointed officer positions.
    • Identify and approach members for the 2024 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees.
    • Set calendar for 2024 and identify event leaders.
    • Continue preparing 2024 budget.
    • Set installation date and approach installing officer, master of ceremonies, and chaplain.
    • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement.
    • Introduce and vote on the Membership Restoration Campaign at a stated meeting to invite suspended members back into the fold.

     Junior Warden

    • Continue tracking 100 percent officer giving to the Annual Fund, with officers setting an example through gifts that represent their capability as well as their commitment to our charitable programs.
    • Introduce and vote on the Membership Restoration Campaign at a stated meeting to invite suspended members back into the fold.


    • Begin preparing semi-annual report of membership activity, due in August.
    • Introduce and vote on the Membership Restoration Campaign at a stated meeting to invite suspended members back into the fold.


    • If your lodge has employees, file quarterly federal payroll tax form 941 (unless IRS has approved an annual filing of form 944, due in February), 
    • If your lodge has employees, file quarterly state payroll tax form DE9/DE9C and deposit form DE88.
    • Using the Paychex Payroll system? Paychex will complete and file the above quarterly payroll tax returns for you. Make sure to process your payroll in the Paychex Payroll system on a monthly/regular basis.
    • Begin preparing semi-annual financial report, due in August. Using Intacct? The report is available and auto-generated from the Intacct system. Make sure your financial transactions are recorded in Intacct and your bank accounts are reconciled. If you need assistance to update your financial records in Intacct, contact Financial Services at (415) 292-9170 or

    Hall Association

    • Begin preparing semi-annual report, due in August.

    Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

    Question of the Month

    Last month, we asked what kind of outside events is your lodge planning for the upcoming year?

    • 30% - BBQ/lunch/family event
    • 22% - Special dinner
    • 18% - Charity/fundraiser event
    • 17% - Lodge night at sporting event
    • 13% - Expand our Scholarship program,Visit another lodge for degree work and fellowship, Community Service Project, Camaraderie nights, First Responders, Ladies Luncheon with Bingo and Wine-tasting.

    Here's your next survey question