The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America is one of the oldest and largest fraternal organizations in the country. Since its inception in 1868, the Order of Elks has grown to include more than 800,000 men and women in more than 2,000 communities across the United States and its territories.
- Our Order is committed to the ideals of charity and patriotism. Since our founding, Elks across the nation have donated more than $3.6 billion in cash, goods, and services to the nation’s youth, its veterans, the disadvantaged, those with disabilities, and to individuals and groups in support of patriotic and civic programs.
- Annually the Elks give more than $200 Million through our charitable programs at the local, state, and national level.
- And, the Order ranks as one of the largest private providers of college scholarships in the nation enabling students across the nation to pursue their educational goals.
Over the years since our founding the Elks have created a quiet network of good deeds that has profoundly impacted and changed millions of lives for the better, yet there is little public awareness of the impact of our vital work. Why is this so? Quite simply, the Elks have rarely sought recognition; nor have we gone to the general public with fund-raising efforts nor received monies from any level of government. Indeed, the flow of money and goods moves in the opposite direction: the Elks donated to the government the first veteran’s hospital; they contribute regularly to schools and police and fire departments; and they assist the young and the needy throughout this great nation.
How could this powerful force have come into being? And where does all this charitable giving come from? From the generous hearts of Elks members whose eagerness to share, whose prudent long-term planning, and whose willingness to serve for free and with enthusiasm infuses the Order with an exuberant and enduring expression of the true volunteer spirit.
The BPO Elks national headquarters is in Chicago. The Chicago campus is also the site of the Elks National Veterans Memorial building, and it is the home of the Elks National Foundation, the Order’s charitable trust; the Elks National Veterans Service Commission; and The Elks Magazine, the official monthly publication that is sent to every member of the Order.