What is the Masonic Charitable Foundation?
The MCF supports freemasons and their families through a range of grants and services which help those facing a financial, health, care or family need.
The MCF also helps vulnerable and disadvantaged people in wider society through grants to local and national charities, and partnerships with leading organisations in the sector.
What is a festival?
A festival is the phase in time during which a province devotes most of its charitable energy to raising money in support of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. A festival usually lasts between four and five years.
At the end of the festival, a province usually has a festival finale to mark the end of the festival and announce the total sum raised.
What is a Relief Chest?
The Relief Chest Scheme allows lodges, chapters, provinces and other masonic groups to save time, take control and give more to the charities they support. Purpose-built for freemasonry, the Relief Chest Scheme offers donor-advised funds called Relief Chests within which donations can be securely held until
you are ready to make a payment.
When you make a donation to the festival, the money is collected in the West Kent 2026 Festival Relief Chest.
The Relief Chest Scheme still operates with the Freemasons’ Grand Charity registered charity number. This is why you will still see references to the Grand Charity on Relief Chest Scheme materials.
How do I make a personal donation?
You can read about the number of ways you can make a donation by visiting the Donate page. Whether you donate online, or using the West Kent 2026 donation form, be sure to tick the Gift Aid box if you pay tax (income tax, Capital Gains Tax or tax on bank/building society interest).
What are the advantages of using Gift Aid?
When a UK tax payer makes a charitable donation under a Gift Aid declaration, the charity is able to reclaim the tax paid on that donation from the UK government. The MCF can reclaim 25p for every £1 you donate and this will be credited to the donor and his lodge.
Can I fundraise online?
Who will know how much I have donated?
Only the provincial charity steward and the festival treasurer have information as to how much each individual donor has contributed. This information is kept confidential. Each lodge charity steward will maintain their confidential donation records as required for their appointed duties.
How will my contribution be recognised?
All donations received are valued and applied faithfully. Provincial honorifics are being used for the 2026 Festival. A Brother who makes a single donation or regular payment commitments for the six years of the festival, at the specified level, will qualify as a Steward, Patron or Grand Patron of the festival. He will be able to buy and wear the festival jewel at all Craft meetings in the province.
Visit our honorifics page to find out more >>
How much does the Province of West Kent plan to raise through this festival appeal?
There is no target for donors or for lodges. Every Brother is asked to donate what he can afford – taking account of his masonic pledge to support charity and his own personal commitments. But as a general guide to minimum levels of donation, the cost of one pint of beer a week (£3.50) is traditionally regarded as a guideline for a minimum weekly donation.
How much of my donation goes to meet provincial festival fundraising or administration costs?
No donations are used to meet the costs of organising the festival appeal or the celebration at the end. All charity donations to the festival go directly to the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Provincial costs for the festival are met from the sale of festival jewels and the proceeds from some social events.
What is the best way for me to help raise funds?
Every lodge member is encouraged to support the festival appeal in whatever way they can. The level of donation must be your own decision and the needs of your family must be taken into consideration.
Some brethren may want to make one large donation in the festival. Other Brethren will want to make regular monthly, quarterly or yearly payments by Direct Debit. We strongly encourage UK tax payers to make all donations with a Gift Aid declaration, which will add 25% to the value of the donation at no cost to the donor.
Fundraising is not only about putting your hand in your pocket. You can also give that most valuable commodity – your time. You can help the appeal by organising or supporting fundraising events and initiatives in your lodge or masonic hall. Some brethren use their particular interests to raise funds – with social events, sponsored events, sports events and other activities. In this way fund raising for the festival appeal also enables us to enjoy ourselves and have our families and friends join in with us.