As a grant-maker we sometimes have to make assumptions about what freemasons would want us to do on their behalf, and I’m confident we usually get that right, but to put the decision-making in the hands of local freemasons when asking them to choose the charities took this a step further.
We then took it further still by giving the general public the final decision for which charity received a particular sized grant. I remember unexpectedly being asked by our Chairman how many votes I thought we would get, and boldly claimed an optimistic 50,000 although I had no idea. In the end, we received 177,801 votes from people across England and Wales – 87% of which were from members of the public. As a result, lots of people got to learn something new about what freemasonry does, and break down some of the secretive stereotypes that still exist.”
Head of Strategy and Special Projects