As with all Festivals, the role of Charity Steward will be a pivotal one. He is essentially the link between the Province and the individual brethren. More detail is given in the next section but he will be provided with more information, feedback and figures than ever before.
Quite obviously, a Lodge Charity Steward cannot take upon himself the responsibility to organise the detail of all fund-raising activities within his Lodge. To be successful he must enlist the support of other brethren. His role is in communication and co-ordination. If he can motivate the brethren of his Lodge, their enthusiasm will amply repay his efforts.
A Charity Steward who finds it difficult to engender a positive response from his Lodge should communicate his difficulties to the Committee at the earliest opportunity. The Area Representatives, Committee Members and Provincial Officers will be pleased to give their support, whether by advice, suggestions, a lodge visit, or otherwise.
Remember, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for assistance; it
is a sign of strength and will be taken as such.
The last Festival held in Essex was the 2000 Festival for the RMBI. That time the brethren donated some £7.1m. The target for this festival has been set at £3m.
All members of Lodges and Chapters in the Province of Essex will receive a combined Single/Regular Donation/Gift Aid Declaration with attached Direct Debit Mandate and Guarantee form from their own Charity Steward. It will enable The Grand Charity to reclaim tax on all donations which it can demonstrate have originated from the Brother concerned.
Charity Stewards should encourage as many Brethren as possible to sign and return the Gift Aid Declaration. It will help them in this if they can familiarise themselves with the content of these notes in order to answer as many questions as possible and to reassure those Brethren who still harbour some doubts.
Those members that have already completed a Gift Aid Declaration in respect of “The Grand Charity” will also receive a supply personal labels from their Charity Steward. These labels are unique to them as they are already coded with their Grand Charity reference number. Remember that a donation will only be accredited to the member for the purposes of Essex 2011 if it goes directly to the Essex 2011 Relief Chest.
Some members will also complete a Regular Payment Promise on the same form or give a one off donation. This money will be credited to that member under the “Essex 2011” Relief Chest. It will also be credited to the lodge or chapter that they have nominated on the form.
If the member completes the Gift Aid Declaration, the extra 28% that can be reclaimed from the Inland Revenue will be automatically added to the relief chest and to the credit of the member and his nominated Lodge.
Charity Stewards should remember that a member only has to make this Gift Aid Declaration once at the start of the Festival. They will subsequently receive a list of Lodge members that have not completed the Gift Aid Declaration which they may wish to follow up.