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Don’t Forget about the CIP!

by Senior Programs Associate Colleen Muszynski


2017 Most Valuable Student and Legacy Awards contests are in full swing. The Dallas Elks Scholar Service Trip is approaching this winter. The Hoop Shoot season has kicked-off with Lodge contests ramping up in October and griteos dropping every Tuesday

But hey, what’s that? In the corner among the chaos? It’s your friendly Community Investments Program grant office! And we’re here, as ever, to help Lodges make a charitable impact in their communities. 

Chelsea and I with our CIP Field Guides
Maybe I’m biased because I help run the CIP, but I’d argue that even during our slower times, the CIP grants office still buzzes with excitement. It’s a constant buzz that started with the kick-off of the 2016-17 grant year July 1, and won’t end until the cycle closes July 31, 2017—at which time we’ll ALREADY be a month into the 2017-18 year!

I’m getting ahead of myself because although we are always looking forward, there are some things to celebrate in our recent past. Already, we’ve debuted our brand-new CIP Field Guide, awarded all 500 Promise Grants in record time, and had 484 Lodges apply for the Freedom Grant—the most ever. 

Looking forward, I’m excited about a couple of things this ENF month. The CIP office and colleagues from other ENF departments are diligently reviewing 2017 Impact Grant applications. Recipients will be announced on spooky Monday, October 31. Speaking of Impact Grants, I’ll be visiting the Elmhurst, Ill., Lodge No. 1531—a 2016 Impact Grant recipient right in the ENF’s backyard. 

In addition, I’m really excited to introduce our new blog series written by 2016 CIP Volunteer of the Year and Fresno, Calif., Lodge No. 439’s very own, Susan Good. Susan will be writing periodically to offer tips and insights into what it means to be a successful grants coordinator. Click here to check out the first installment on Elks in Action

Even with the constant hum of excitement in the CIP office, we’re never too busy to talk. Feeling inspired to join in on the grant fun? Give us a call or shoot us an email! 

The Elks National Foundation allocated $9.8 million this year to fund the Community Investments Program. Lodges meet local needs through Beacon, Gratitude, Promise and Impact Grants. These grants offer Lodges opportunities to serve the community in ways that will raise the Lodge’s profile, energize the membership, encourage former members to return to the fold, and gain the notice of people who want to be part of an organization that’s doing great things. To learn more about the Community Investments Program, please visit elks.org/CIP.  

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