Freemason Foundation Victoria Ltd
Freemasonry is not a charity, Freemasonry is a Fraternity. That said, when a man joins our ranks, during his ceremony of initiation he is told that the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason's heart is charity. I myself got involved in Freemasonry when working as a volunteer in a community project with a man who was a Freemason, in that work, he saw in me some of the signs of a man perhaps fit to become a Freemason.
All Victorian Freemasons believe and support benevolence and charity. These are not just about money but generosity in spirit towards not just fellow Freemasons, but the world. This sees no only money raised and donated, but Freemasons in the community helping. For instance, when the Black Saturday fires hit the state (2009), while large national corporations advertised heavily on the television for the donations of tens, or hundreds, of thousands of dollars given in relief, few heard Freemasonry Victoria had raised and distributed over $1.2 millions dollars to victims of that disaster. Long after cameras left and the news report ended, Freemasons were out weekend after weekend helping with jobs like assisting farmers to rebuild their fences. Such efforts went on for several years. For those of us with the time and skills, that's some of the type work a Freemason can get involved in.
Every meeting we affirm our willingness to make contributions with our hearts, our hands and our pockets, as each brother's situation in life might allow. Part of that might be giving money to the those in need and who have less than us; that's something we consistently do as an organisation.
When United Grand Lodge Victoria was founded in 1889, our first Grand Master, Sir William Clarke, donated £500 to the Board of Benevolence which then served Freemasonry and Victorians for over 100 years, during which many legislative and social changes saw other funds and foundations using modern structures recognized by the Austrian Taxation Office and treated accordingly.
In 2014 the Freemasons of Victoria voted to move our charitable funds from the century old and outdated structure to the Freemasons Foundation Victoria Limited. Today, the Foundation enjoys something the Board of Benevolence did not; rightful recognition as a charitable institution and hence donations are now tax deductible and the interest we draw from the funds built up for more than a century treated as charity funds and not some private investment scheme.The Freemasons Foundation Victoria Limited does not spend a single cent it raises on costs like administration wages or the like. I recommend it as a great organization to make a tax deductible donation to.
The Freemasons Foundation Victoria Limited now has its own web site, click here to view it.