Where Your Money Goes : The Mark Benevolent Fund
The Mark Benevolent Fund – MBF, a Registered Charity (207610), came into existence in 1868 on the suggestion of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Reverend George Raymond Portal, (in 1881 Canon Portal) who served in that Office for four years. His views on charity were far more progressive and radical than the general thinking of the times. He was greatly influenced by his passionate embrace of that fundamental virtue to which his attention had been directed in the Craft Initiation Ceremony.

He believed it necessary for the Mark Degree to have its own Benevolent Fund because he was certain that if charity was to be effective it had to be dispensed swiftly, and without the bureaucratic formalities from which the other Masonic charities appeared to suffer. It was an anathema to him for there to be any delay in providing assistance to those in need and the Grand Master’s own Latin motto, “Bis dat qui cito dat” – he gives twice who gives promptly – became the principal guideline of the Fund of Benevolence.

Today, the MBF administers to Mark Master Masons and their dependents in need by means of grants, subject to the provisions of Rules 165-167 and Annex B of the 2012 Constitutions and Regulations. Petitions for relief are received from Lodge Almoners and Visiting Brethren via their Provincial/District Grand Almoners or Secretaries, the MBF Petitions Committee sits on a near monthly basis to consider cases and relief is almost immediate upon approval.

Here are some examples of the fine work the MBF does:
Kent Mark Benevolent Fund – Emergency Grants:
The income to the MBF is principally from individual and Lodge contributions towards Life Subscriber, Life Governor, Vice Patron, Patron, Grand Patron and Grand Patron Gold Award of the Fund. The qualifications are as follows:

  Brethren
Ladies/
Lewis
Lodges Province/
District
Life Subscriber
£50.00
£25.00 n/a n/a
Life Governor
£100.00
£50.00 n/a n/a
Vice-Patron £250.00 £125.00 £25.00 per member £50.00 per member
Patron £500.00 £250.00 £50.00 per member £100.00 per member
Grand Patron
£1000.00 £500.00 Patron plus £1,000.00 Patron plus £2,000.00
Grand Patron Gold Award £2500.00
£1250.00 Grand Patron plus £2,500.00 Grand Patron plus £5,000.00

Lodge Donations: Once you reach Patron level, to achieve Grand Patron a further £1000.00 donation will be required. To achieve the Grand Patron Gold Award a further donation of £2500.00 will be required.

Province/District Donations: Once every lodge within a Province/District has achieved the Patron Status, they may qualify for Grand Patron if all their Lodges have Grand Patron status and they then contribute a further £2000.00 to the fund. After Grand Patron Status they may qualify for Grand Patron Gold Award if all their Lodges have Grand Patron Gold Award status and they contribute a further £5000.00.