"The Great Heart of Elkdom" is how many refer to the Elks National Foundation. Over four million dollars a year are granted in college scholarships. (This amount for scholarships is exceeded only by the federal government.) Help is also given for physically handicapped children and many other philanthropic programs of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

The Foundation was set up in 1928 with a $100,000.00 grant from the Grand Lodge. It now has assets over $210 million and continues to grow because of the generous donations of Elks and State Associations across the United States. Substantial donations and bequests have also come from many who, while not an Elk, believe in the good works we perform.

Contributions are not used for promotion or administrative costs of the Foundation. These costs are borne by the Grand Lodge of the Order. Only earnings from investments are used for our charitable purposes, over 10 million dollars; the principal is never spent and continues to grow annually. Well over forty-five thousand young men and women have been helped toward a higher education through Foundation scholarships. Their ranks continue to grow by over two thousand a year.

There are three categories in which scholarships are granted. The first is known as the "Most Valuable Student" award and stresses academic achievement, leadership and financial need. A national competition, with awards made directly by the Foundation, is open to all high school seniors. The second category is made available to children of incapacitated or deceased Elks. The third category is a "Vocational Grant" contest, open to all ages; major requirement -- they need job skill training.

Over three million dollars a year is directed by the Foundation to - finance the benevolent programs of the Elks State Associations. These grants help operate Elks hospitals and clinics, rehabilitate children suffering from various afflictions, operate summer camps and homes for the mentally retarded.

The Foundation is administered by a Board of Trustees, comprised of Past Grand Exalted Rulers of the Order.

The Executive Director of the Foundation is A. Patricia Kavanaugh. Foundation offices are located in the Elks Memorial Building, 2750 Lakeview Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois 60614-1889.