Q. What is the 2023 Mark Benevolent Fund Festival
A. The Mark Benevolent Fund is the Order’s national charity and provides support to members of the Order, their families and dependants. It also supports non-masonic charities large and small, both nationally and internationally. The primary source of its funds is the annual Festivals held each year in a different Province. The last time such a Festival was held in West Yorkshire was 1988.
Q. If I am already giving by SO each year to the C&W Trust – is that money going to continue to go to the trust? or is it now going to go to the Festival?
A. Donations to C&W trust by SO or lump sum, will be forwarded to the MBF in the name of the donating brother and the WYMBF Festival, when that brother’s next honorific amount has been reached. This includes gift aid. This is exactly the same process which existed pre Festival, except that previously it was not allocated specifically to our Festival total.
Q. If I donate to the Festival, is it gift aided?
A. We would prefer all personal giving to be made via the C&W Trust under gift aid if appropriate, however personal donations may also be made direct to the MBF and a Standing Order and Gift Aid form are available on the MBF web site. Please ensure that direct donations are credited to West Yorkshire Festival. Donations to the WYMBF Festival by Lodges, IMAs, Social events etc. cannot be gift aided.
Q. How do I give to the Festival?
A. Please pay personal donations to the Festival via the C&W Trust, so gift aid can be claimed where appropriate. Standing Orders are a good way of doing this. Ask your Charity Steward or Provincial Charity Representative for guidance.
Q. If I give to the Festival does it count towards my ‘patronage’ of MBF?
A. Yes if you give personal donations through the C&W Trust, not if you donate via your lodge or any other event
Q. Do my regular donations to the C&W count towards my ‘patronage’ of MBF?
A. Yes. These are checked by the Secretary for the C&W Trust on a regular basis.
Q. Is there separate ‘patronage’ for the Festival? If so……
A.. Generally speaking no, all honorifics are for the MBF itself not individual Festivals, except for Steward of the Festival which is a separate qualification and costs £50.
Q. What are the qualifying amounts for Festival patronage? i.e. Steward / Patron etc…
A. There are various levels of honorifics for the MBF and these are all detailed on the MBF website, Normally in this Province we send individual’s donations from the C&W Trust to the MBF when they reach the three major honorifics; those of Patron (£500), Grand Patron (a further £500) and Grand Patron Gold Award (a further £1,500 on top of Grand Patron)
Q. What are the qualifying amounts for the Lodge?
A. Most Mark Lodges in the Province have qualified as Patrons of the MBF, the next level is Grand Patron which requires a donation of £1,000 followed by Grand Patron Gold Award which requires a further £2,500. These details are shown on the MBF web site
Q. We normally present a cheque to C&W at installation. Should that money now go to the Festival?
A. Yes please, cheques payable to the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund Festival 2023
Q. How is the C&W going to be supported during the Festival?
A. The C&W will continue to use monies received by them via SOs until an honorific is due. The C&W Trust also receive income from their investments and have adequate investments. The Festival Committee will be working closely with the C&W trust to ensure that they can meet their obligations.
Q. What if I don’t want to give to the Festival, but want my money to go to the C&W trust?
A. That is an individual’s personal choice which will be honoured by the C&W Trust. Please make this clear to your Charity Steward or Provincial Charity Representative.
Q: Does my individual giving count towards the Lodge’s total as well as counting towards my qualification for Patron?
A: Individual giving through the C&W Trust (including any gift aid if a tax payer) goes towards the individual’s honours and doesn’t count towards a Lodge honour.
Only money from the Lodge (raised by raffles, lunches, race nights, socials etc) goes towards Lodge honours. A Brother may give a gift or donation to the Festival in the name of the Lodge which will count towards the Lodge honours, but it will not be gift aided (extra 25%) and will not count towards a Brother’s honorific.
Q. Are the C&W Trust and MBF run separately? Do I have a choice where my money goes?
A. The C&W Trust and the MBF are separate registered charities both of which support Mark Masons and their families. Due to it’s size the MBF is also able to support major external charities. Personal donations can be made to either Charity (see the previous question) however, the C&W Trust is the preferred vehicle for members of the West Yorkshire Province to contribute personally to the 2023 MBF Festival.
In addition the West Yorkshire Mark Benevolent Fund 2023 Festival is the Province’s initiative to encourage lodges and other groups to contribute to the festival in both monetary and enjoyment ways. This fund will also channel funds to the 2023 MBF Festival but is not in itself a charity and therefore only handles those donations that cannot attract Gift Aid.