Giving Back: Freemasonry’s Commitment to Charity

Freemasonry Charity Work: Its Philanthropic Mission

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization with a rich history that spans over several centuries. Members of this mysterious brotherhood, known as Freemasons, are bound together by a shared set of moral and metaphysical beliefs. One of the core tenets of Freemasonry is the practice of charity, and throughout its long history, the organization has made significant contributions to a variety of causes, both local and global.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the various aspects of Freemasonry charity work, examining its history, the impact it has made, and the values that drive the organization’s philanthropic activities.

The History and Evolution of Freemasonry Charity Work

Early Beginnings

The roots of Freemasonry’s commitment to charity can be traced back to its earliest days when the organization was primarily focused on providing assistance to orphans, the sick, and the elderly. As the organization grew and evolved, so too did its charitable activities. Freemasons began to extend their support to a wider range of causes and communities, both at the local and national levels.

Growth and Expansion

Throughout the centuries, Freemasonry has expanded its charitable reach, becoming one of the largest charitable givers in many countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, the organization contributed £51.1m to a variety of deserving causes in 2020. Additionally, Freemasons across the globe collectively dedicate over 18.5 million hours of volunteer work in their communities each year.

The Impact of Freemasonry Charity Work

Community Involvement and Support

Freemasonry charity work is often carried out at the local level, with individual lodges making donations and providing aid to their surrounding communities. This can take many forms, from financial contributions to local causes and organizations, to hands-on volunteer work by lodge members.

Examples of community support provided by Freemasons include donations to local air ambulances, blood bikes, and the provision of emergency response vehicles, such as aerial platforms for fire brigades. By focusing on local needs and issues, Freemasonry charity work has a direct and tangible impact on the communities in which lodges are located.

Medical Research and Advancements

A significant portion of Freemasonry charity work is dedicated to funding medical research in a variety of fields, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. Through these research grants, Freemasons have supported ground-breaking discoveries and advancements in healthcare that have improved the lives of countless individuals worldwide.

Disaster Relief and Recovery

Freemasonry charity work is not limited to local communities, as the organization also provides assistance to those affected by disasters on a national and global scale. In recent years, Freemasons have contributed to relief efforts for overseas disasters and domestic incidents, such as the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

The Values That Drive Freemasonry Charity Work

Integrity, Kindness, Honesty, and Fairness

The values that lie at the heart of Freemasonry are integrity, kindness, honesty, and fairness. These principles guide the organization’s philanthropic activities and ensure that its charity work is centered around making a positive impact on the lives of those it aims to help.

Caring for One’s Own and the Wider Community

Freemasons are taught to practice charity not only for their fellow members and families but also for the wider community as a whole. This is reflected in the organization’s diverse range of charitable activities, which are designed to benefit both Freemasons and non-Freemasons alike.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation: A Vehicle for English Freemasonry Charity Work

One of the primary channels through which Freemasonry charity work is carried out is the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF). The MCF is a large grant-making charity funded entirely by the generosity of Freemasons and their families.

The MCF provides a wide range of support for Freemasons, their spouses, partners, widows, children, and grandchildren, primarily in the form of financial grants to assist with financial, health, or family-related needs. Additionally, the MCF also extends its support to the wider community, offering grants and assistance to non-Freemason individuals and organizations in need.


Freemasonry charity work is an integral part of the organization’s identity and mission, and its impact can be felt across the globe. From local community support and medical research funding to disaster relief efforts, Freemasons continue to uphold their core values of integrity, kindness, honesty, and fairness through their philanthropic activities.

By analyzing the history, impact, and values behind Freemasonry charity work, it becomes clear that the organization’s commitment to helping others is not only deeply ingrained in its foundations but also continues to evolve and expand, making a lasting difference in the lives of countless individuals and communities worldwide.

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