Together we've... Given more

This year, we gave more than ever to local and national charities, and also helped an increasing number of freemasons and their families.

The £3 million awarded through our Community Awards was in addition to £5.5 million awarded to charities through our core programmes which tackle some of society’s most important issues. Over the last forty years, freemasonry has provided over £130 million to local and national charities through the MCF and the masonic charities that preceded it.


Lindsey’s story

“Its been a busy year for the team, with over 2,450 applications received from charities across England and Wales. At the beginning of the year, we transitioned from using PDF and paper…

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The amount of support we provided for masonic families with a financial, health, family or care-related need was also higher than last year. We provided £12.3 million of support through grants for daily living expenses, additional grants for specific health, education and care needs, and support services such as counsellingand guidance from our trained advisers.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the freemasons and their families who donate to fund our work. In addition to annual contributions made by every freemason through their lodge, the masonic community raises funds for the MCF both directly and during five-year fundraising appeals called ‘festivals’ – a system that is unique to freemasonry. During this year, 28 masonic provinces proactively engaged in festival appeals, with five launching their appeals and four concluding with celebratory events. We supported their efforts with guidance and fundraising materials.

As well as helping the MCF to celebrate the 300th anniversary of freemasonry by playing a key role in the Community Awards, freemasons across England and Wales marked the occasion individually, and within their lodges and provinces by giving more than ever to good causes in their local communities. Typically, freemasons give over £40 million every year in grants to local charities and support for masonic families facing difficulty, but over the course of this very special year the total amount given by freemasonry was a staggering £48.1 million.


The Relief Chest Scheme

A great deal of masonic fundraising is carried out using the MCF’s Relief Chest Scheme, a free service which offers donor-advised funds to help masonic groups raise money for their chosen charitable causes.

The Scheme offers a range of useful tools such as statements, reports and an online fundraising platform to keep track of donations and ensures that charitable giving adheres to all legal and HMRC regulations.

was donated by freemasons into Relief Chests

The Relief Chest Scheme reclaimed £1.4M in Gift Aid tax from HMRC

was paid from the Scheme to charitable causes

Why should I use the Relief Chest Scheme?

Using a Relief Chest will help you to:


of Relief Chest users say the Relief Chest Scheme is easy to use. A Relief Chest is quick to set up and simple to manage, reducing the burden of administering donations. There is no need to deal with accountants, lawyers, banks or HMRC. Donations can be made into a Relief Chest in a number of quick and easy ways, including Gift Aid envelopes at alms collections, online, over the telephone, by text or by post.

would recommend the Relief Chest Scheme to other lodges. Having a Relief Chest allows you to take control of your lodge’s giving. You’ll have the capability to raise funds for multiple charities and appeals and keep track with regular statements and reports. Requests to make a payment to a registered charity can be made at any time.

on the pound through Gift Aid is automatically reclaimed on all eligible donations. The online fundraising platform and support can help you to raise more money. A favourable interest rate is earned on all funds held in a Relief Chest.

  • Save Time
  • Take Control
  • Give More

Importantly, the Relief Chest Scheme and its full range of services are provided completely free, no administration fee is charged and no commission is taken.



Dilhani’s story

“I’m originally from Sri Lanka and before moving over here I worked as an accountant. I joined the Relief Chest 17 years ago, initially managing the donations, but over the years I got back into the accounting side of things. I now manage all the accounts for the scheme which I enjoy because I like working with numbers.

“When I first arrived, it was just a job like any other, but it soon struck me that what we do here changes lives. The difference that the donations we handle make to the lives of disadvantaged people is incredible. I remember back in 2004, we raised millions of pounds to help people who had been affected by the tsunami in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Those donations did a lot to help rebuild schools and communities and that was very special to be a part of.

“I know that we are making a difference and that’s the reason I’ve stayed all this time.”

Read more stories #wearetheMCF


Our year in numbers

The facts and figures from 2017/18.


Another year of working together

Our second year has been about building on our foundations to create a charity that freemasons can rely on and proudly call their own.


Together we've... reached more people

As a new charity that launched in 2016, one of our aims for the first few years is to make sure that people know who we are and how to contact us for support, services and grants.


Together we've... improved the way we work

We've been working hard to improve the way we work for the benefit of the people and charities we support.


Together we've... Given more

This year, we gave more than ever to local and national charities, and also helped an increasing number of freemasons and their families.


How have we helped your local community?

Find out how we have helped your local community.


Our income and expenditure

All of our income comes from the generosity and efforts of the masonic community.


Our campaign #wearethemcf

Our Christmas campaign is a celebration of the network of hardworking, caring and inspirational people that makes our work possible.


Our plans for the future

Since our creation in April 2016, we have become the largest independent Masonic charity for both our community and the wider population and have also become one of the largest grant-making foundations in the UK.

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