Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I want to make a donation right now. How do I do that?
Q: Does the Masonic Foundation provide grants to members of the Craft in need of financial assistance? If not, why not? - Masons donate most of the money received by the Foundation.
Q: My (son/daughter, or grandson/granddaughter) is starting college this fall, how does he/she get a Masonic Foundation bursary?
Q: Several years ago the Masonic Foundation held a major fund-raising campaign and raised over $2 million to help hearing-impaired infants. Whatever happened to that money? Where was it given?
Q: With the Masonic Foundation's Capital now in excess of $7.5 million, what safeguards are in place to protect it?
Q: I am interested in the programs of the Masonic Foundation and would like to help. How does one become a member of the Foundation?
Q: How are you getting the message of the Masonic Foundation out to new Masons?
Q: I am a Mason. How can I do more?
Question: I want to make a donation right now. How do I do that?
Answer: We're glad you asked! You can make a donation by Cheque, Visa or Mastercard. Simply send your donation to our mailing address at The Masonic Foundation of Ontario, 361 King Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 1B4 or contact us with your credit card information via telephone (905) 527 - 9105 or fax it to (905) 527 - 8859. The Masonic Foundation of Ontario is a charity under the terms of the Income Tax Act (Canada) and can issue tax receipts to anyone who makes a donation. If you are a Mason, you can also use the yellow envelopes that are available from your lodge secretary.
Question: Does the Masonic Foundation provide grants to members of the Craft in need of financial assistance? If not, why not? - Masons donate most of the money received by the Foundation.
Answer: While a Mason or his dependant might receive assistance from the Foundation, the reason would be based upon qualification under one of the Foundation's programs, such as a Bursary - not because of a Masonic connection. Grand Lodge has a benevolence fund to provide financial assistance to the members and their dependants. The Masonic Foundation is not an agency intended to duplicate or supplement the work of the Masonic Committee on Benevolence. Masonic benevolence is the Craft assisting its own members and their dependants, whereas the Masonic Foundation is the Craft assisting all members of the community, Mason and non-Mason without distinction. To summarize, the Committee on Benevolence looks inward to the Masonic family, while the Foundation looks outward to the community as a whole. This is an important distinction, as it permits the Foundation to be registered with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency as a public charitable foundation and to issue tax receipts to anyone who makes a donation.
Question: My (son/daughter, or grandson/granddaughter) is starting college this fall, how does he/she get a Masonic Foundation bursary?
Answer: Masonic Foundation bursaries are available on an as-needed basis for any student attending a college or university in Ontario - a Masonic connection is not part of the criteria. Bursaries, however, are limited to students who have already attained a significant portion of their course of study and have encountered an unexpected financial emergency during the final term of a two- or three-year program, or the third or fourth year of a four-year program. Even in such cases, the members of the Masonic Foundation do not get directly involved with, or on behalf of, the student. Each August, the Masonic Foundation Office contacts the universities and community colleges across Ontario to advise about the Bursary Program and to supply application forms. The student in need is required to work with the Awards or Financial Aid Officer of the educational institution to complete the application, which is then sent to the Foundation Office for review by the Chairman of the Bursary Program. Bursaries to qualifying students average $800.
Question: Several years ago the Masonic Foundation held a major fund-raising campaign and raised over $2 million to help hearing-impaired infants. Whatever happened to that money? Where was it given?
Answer: Like virtually all donations to the Masonic Foundation, the money raised through the "HELP-2-HEAR Project" has been invested as part of the Foundation's capital. While the Foundation segregates its commitments to the various programs of support by means of an Annual Budget approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting, donations are not compartmentalized for separate investment specifically for a particular project.
With respect to the HELP-2-HEAR Project, the Foundation has made a commitment to its donors to fund hearing research for a period of at least ten years. Currently, the income deemed to be earned on the capital generated by HELP-2-HEAR, $105,000 per year, is being used to support three research projects that are: developing state-of-the-art methods for assessing hearing loss and protocols for the fitting and verification of digital hearing aids connected to the tiny ears of infants; studying activity patterns in the brain to determine how to more effectively use brain imagining techniques to make objective and accurate hearing assessments in infants; and studying the language, literacy, social-emotional and academic development of children with hearing loss to investigate the impact of the age of diagnosis of that hearing loss on child development. An initial three-year commitment has been given to each of these three projects, being conducted at the University of Western Ontario, the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Ottawa, respectively.
Question: With the Masonic Foundation's Capital now in excess of $7.5 million, what safeguards are in place to protect it?
Answer: The investment requirements of the Masonic Foundation differ somewhat from other major entities where the primary goal is to accumulate capital. The Foundation must invest in such a manner that there is a continual access to cash to meet its annual financial commitments to its recipient client base. Approximately $400,000 must be available throughout each year to contribute to the various programs supported by the Foundation. The capital is invested only in guaranteed bonds of governments (federal, provincial and, to a limited degree, large municipalities) and debt securities of principal Canadian corporations rated by Rating Authorities at no lower than Triple B. The Investment portfolio is managed by BMO Nesbitt Burns. Directors of the Masonic Foundation are bonded.
Question: I am interested in the programs of the Masonic Foundation and would like to help. How does one become a member of the Foundation?
Answer: All Members of the Grand Lodge Board of General Purposes are members of the Masonic Foundation. The Grand Master may appoint Master Masons in good standing of a lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction to membership. The Board of Directors is elected from the members of the Foundation. There are 15 Directors, of whom three are ex-officio: the Deputy Grand Master, the Custodian of the Work and the Chairman of the Grand Lodge Standing Committee on Benevolence. The other Directors are elected for a three-year term and may be re-elected for a further three-year term. In the election of Directors, the Foundation seeks particular skills to enhance both its administration and to complement the programs it supports, as well as geographic representation.
Of course, one need not be a Director to serve the Foundation. Local lodge and District representatives who have the time and inclination to speak and write on the work of the Foundation are required all across the Province to get the Foundation's message to Masons and others interested in its programs.
Question: How are you getting the message of the Masonic Foundation out to new Masons?
Answer: With a view to communicating "The Foundation Story," many Lodges in our Grand Jurisdiction are presenting the newly initiated candidate with a copy of the 25-year history of the Foundation, "For the Cause of Good," along with a copy of The Masonic Foundation's most current Annual Report, both of which highlight the Foundation's history and mission.
The Masonic Foundation Information Display Booth has proven to be an excellent communication vehicle to broadcast "The Foundation Story" in both the Lodge and District environment. The display booth has recently been renovated and is available to any Lodge or District upon written request to the Foundation Office.
Question: I am a Mason. How can I do more?
Answer: The Masonic Foundation of Ontario has recently issued two information brochures: "For the Cause of Good" and "A Planned Giving Program." Both pamphlets warrant your perusal and are available from the Foundation Office.
Operating local projects through the Foundation presents an excellent opportunity to gain a better appreciation of the extent to which Masons across the whole of our Grand Jurisdiction are reaching into their communities "For the Cause of Good." To encourage such local initiatives, the Masonic Foundation makes a financial contribution in proportion to the funds raised locally.
Should your Lodge or District be considering embarking on a local charitable project, consider a partnership with the Masonic Foundation in promoting your "Charity of Choice." The Masonic Foundation of Ontario is one of the windows through which the people of Ontario are able to see Freemasonry at work in the community. "Guidelines for Undertaking a District/Lodge Project" and Project Application Forms, which are to be signed by the District Deputy Grand Master, will eventually be made available on this website. Those forms are currently available upon request from the Foundation Office.
Each Mason is encouraged to become more familiar with the activities of the Masonic Foundation so that they may speak, and share in the pride of our achievements within his community.
Answer: We certainly do. You can find it right here.