Foundation helps Oklahoma for over 90 years
Most nonprofits have a mission to make an impact on their community. However, nonprofits that help other nonprofits take that mission to the next level by giving the additional support needed to make it all happen.
The Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma is one such organization. As the charitable repository for the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma, they are dedicated to supporting Oklahomans from all walks of life by assisting nonprofits that provide services to the entire state.
Foundation Executive Director John Logan shared the unique and historical background of the organization, which dates back to Territorial times in Oklahoma.
“Our beginnings are unlike any other nonprofit in the state,” he said. “We are the oldest nonprofit in Oklahoma, recently sharing our ninetieth anniversary.”
In 1900, two Grand Lodge organizations raised sufficient funds to build the first Masonic Home for Orphans and Widows. The Foundation was officially established in 1930 as a direct result of that effort.
“Both the Grand Lodge of Indian Territory and the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Territory realized there was a great need of care for Masonic orphans and widows,” Logan shared. “By 1930, the Grand Lodge had approved a motion to establish the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma as the charitable repository for the Fraternity,”
In 1979, all charitable activity of the Grand Lodge was transferred to the Foundation, making them responsible for much more than just the homes for Masonic families. The Foundation continued to oversee the operations of the homes until they closed in 2000.
Programs by the Foundation
One of the Foundation programs established more than fifty years ago continues today.
“Our Senior Essay Contest was established in 1966 to provide graduating students an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion on current events,” said Logan. “We have been a grant-making institution for many years and have maintained long-term partnerships with incredible organizations such as Vizavance and the Payne Education Center.“
Additional programs have been added over the years, including grant opportunities for area lodges. These programs have included:
- Food Bank
- Matching Fund Program
- Promises Matter Grants
- Partners in Prevention
- Student and Teacher of Today
- Masonry in Action
- Teacher of the Year
- Youth Order Scholarships
A key to the success and community impact of the Foundation lies in its relationships with other nonprofits. While the Foundation works with many, they have close relationships with organizations including:
- Payne Education Center
- Oklahoma 4H Foundation
- Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma & Eastern Oklahoma Community Food Bank
Vision for the future
The Foundation strongly believes Oklahoma’s future lies in quality education. That priority is reflected in the vision statement of the Foundation:
To provide a network of programs supporting charitable and educational needs of Oklahomans of every walk of life while remaining firmly committed to our Masonic tenets and our continuing legacy of leadership and stewardship.
“Education is key to a bright future for Oklahomans, which is why we established endowments at every state university and college in addition to engaging with organizations like FFA and 4-H,” said Logan. “Through it all, our commitment to Oklahomans has never wavered.”
Through their history and into the future, the Foundation is dedicated to a bright future for Oklahoma.
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About Tim Priebe
Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.
Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.