Carl's Corner
Carl T. Seibert
COO / State Secretary

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Carl's Corner

We Mustn’t Accept our Lodge Finances as the New Norm

Fall 2019

Money is at the root of almost every challenge we face in our lodges today – how to make it, how we spend it and how to save some of it. Much is said about what we are doing wrong and little is said about how to fix it. Here’s my attempt at changing that!

I recently did a deep dive into the numbers of a random group of lodges. Here’s what I found.

Are we Finally Starting to Turn the Corner 2

Summer 2019

One of my responsibilities as secretary of the Florida State Elks Association is to always be on the lookout for ways to improve our lodges, our committee work and our major projects. In this endeavor, I am constantly talking with our members to understand what makes them tick, why they give what they give, and what works and what doesn’t. There is one thing, however, that I cannot quite figure out, so I am going to use this article to see if I can get a conversation started through which I hope to obtain a better understanding of the issue. Please read through to the end and if inclined to comment, I will provide options for doing so!

Are we Finally Starting to Turn the Corner 2

Spring 2019

Four years ago, in the Spring 2015 edition of the Florida Elks News, the title of my article was “Are We Finally Starting to Turn the Corner?” In that article I championed how close we had come to a statewide membership gain (195 members) and noted that we had started the year 55,851 members strong! I also wrote about my observation of the new officers for 2015-2016 from the officer training seminar and remarked that the year’s crop was “one of if not the best” I had ever seen. I wrote about respecting members as volunteers and owners and reminded that a lodge is its members, not the lodge building. I wrote about inviting members who were not team players and who could not work with others or for the good of the lodge to find other pursuits where team is not important. I wrote that we should not give a forum to those who seek to do nothing but profess their knowledge of the statutes or who attempt to only enforce a statute or a rule when it favors them. And, I wrote about the time it takes for an organization to enact organizational change, at the time suggesting my perception was three years.

Are we Taking Unnecessary Risks with our Private Club Status

Winter 2019

Economic pressures on our lodges are causing some to stray dangerously from our longstanding governing principles and already those actions are increasing state and federal scrutiny on our lodge business practices. These aberrations are concerning and might one day lead to disciplinary action by the Grand Lodge or even worse, the loss of the lodge’s charter.

Many years have passed since the Elks founding in 1885 and our governance has been upheld ever since. To many, the rules by which we operate our lodges seem outdated, and that has made it easy for the uninformed to steer the lodge down a dangerous path. Observed and followed, the Grand Lodge model has withstood the test of time and will continue to because of its strong foundation and the order’s willingness to adapt to social change.