We worked hard to achieve the goals we set ourselves in our 2018/19 impact report
Ensure all areas of our work were guided by our three core values: responsive to need, making a difference and striving for excellence.
These values have been developed to empower our staff and volunteers to make decisions and deliver a service to a standard that our donors, beneficiaries and the wider charity sector expect. Freemasons are at the heart of the MCF and we hoped that our new core values will be evident to everyone with whom we work.
In response to our annual beneficiary survey, 83 per cent of respondents felt the MCF was actively demonstrating all its values. In response to our staff survey, 81 per cent felt positively that “the MCF has strong values, which are put into practice”. This is 9 per cent higher than the sector benchmark.
We wanted to ensure all our applicants had a positive experience with the MCF, whatever the outcome of their enquiry or application.
Within our Masonic Support programmes, 96 per cent of new beneficiaries and 93 per cent of existing beneficiaries surveyed felt that the Enquiry Officer’s knowledge and professionalism when responding to their enquiry either met or exceeded their expectations.
97 per cent of over 15,000 enquiries received via calls and emails were responded to within one working day.
Within our Charity Grants programmes, 246 charities responded to a survey about their experiences of applying to us for a grant. 89 per cent felt that our two-stage application process was ‘helpful’. 88 per cent consider the support they received through the process to be ‘helpful’. 44 per cent felt that their experiences of applying to MCF was ‘better’ or ‘much better’ compared to that of applying to our peers in the sector.
Our Charity Stewards’ Focus Group would put our fundraising volunteers at the centre of our planning and ways of working, helping to ensure we were compliant and innovative.
To ensure best practice and innovation were central to our fundraising activities.
The Charity Stewards’ Focus Group has succeeded in creating new and innovative ways of delivering training and support to our key stakeholders, ensuring that we promote best practices and are compliant with the Fundraising Regulator’s ‘Code of Practice’.
Use commissioned studies and surveys to better understand the changing needs of the Freemasons and their families we support.
For the first time, the MCF wanted to hear directly from Freemasons about their needs and the needs of their families, so that we could ensure our support packages were fit for purpose, both then and in the future.
Over 3,500 Freemasons responded to our survey and over 50 in-depth interviews took place to provide a wide range of insights into the needs of the masonic community.
Create a working group, which considered new options to support people living with mental health conditions.
We knew that mental health issues are a growing area of concern for the masonic community. Although we provided counselling support to many people, we believed there was more that we could do.
We established an expert panel to guide our thinking and service development. The mental health working group has met and provided guidance on how to extend our counselling support to children and young people which we plan to have in place in 2021.
Embrace smarter technology to make the most efficient use of staff and volunteer time and resources, including testing video conferencing to reduce travel and expense for staff and volunteers, and rolling out Tablet PCs to our Trustees for board and committee meetings.
This would help reduce staff and volunteer time, make more efficient use of our donors’ money and lessen our impact on the environment when producing and distributing meeting papers and travelling around England and Wales.
We installed video conferencing facilities at our offices allowing Trustees and others to attend meetings virtually. Tablet PCs were issued to all Trustees and printed board papers are no longer produced.
Develop two Theory of Change and outcome frameworks to help us monitor the effectiveness of our funding for local and national charities and the people they support, as well as the support we provide to Freemasons and their families.
We needed to be confident the support we offer was having a positive impact on the lives of the people and charities we support, so that we could reassure the masonic community that their donations are making a positive difference.
We developed a Theory of Change that outlined our logic and goals for our grants to charities. This Theory of Change is available here. We have begun to capture feedback from the charities we support so that we can improve our application process. This data will be analysed in 2020/21.
The measurement frameworks for our Masonic Support programme will be developed in 2020/21.
Continue working to raise our profile within the charity sector and in the wider community, supporting the United Grand Lodge of England’s communications objective of raising the profile and changing the public perception of Freemasonry.
To build on our responsibility to present the positive, charitable and caring face of Freemasonry and help to dispel outdated myths.
We were proud to sponsor the Family Award in the 2019 Centre for Social Justice Awards. We are also active members of a number of sector bodies including the Association of Charitable Foundations, London Funders and Association of Charitable Organisations. We achieved coverage about our activities in a number of charity sector publications.
We wanted to become a more effective and professional fundraising charity
We are serious about positive fundraising and wanted to ensure we adhered to best practice.
We have continued our membership with the Fundraising Regulator and are supporting our staff to achieve qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Fundraising. Through closer working with our donors we increased per capita giving in our fundraising appeals from £731 to £756.
Continue to recruit trustees and committee members with the specialist skills to strengthen our governance and help provide scrutiny, challenge and support to our charitable activities.
Our board and committee membership would evolve as three-year terms came to an end.
We have recruited and inducted a significant number of new Trustees and committee members, all of whom bring with them the skills and experiences that our trustee skills matrix had identified as areas needing improvement.