The Alexandria – Washington Lodge, No. 22, Foundation, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit established to support specific operations of the Lodge and preservation of our museum collection. This is an exciting first step toward elevating our museum collection to the level of scholarship and care worthy of the many important Washington, Early American, and Masonic artifacts that we possess. The Foundation provides an avenue for tax-deductible donations to the Lodge and will allow us to apply for grants, and demonstrates our willingness to further invest in the health and future of the Lodge.
As a tax-exempt charitable foundation with purposes that include museum artifact preservation, education, and scholarship, the Foundation may compete with other like organizations for grants that fund specific projects. Preservation of certain types of artifacts, digitization of historical records, and educational programs are all causes supported by numerous national and international grant making organizations. Being able to compete and receive these funds increases our ability to not only safeguard our invaluable collection, but also to get it out into the world, raising awareness of Washington, Freemasonry, and Alexandria – Washington Lodge, No. 22.
The current Lodge endowment supports regular Lodge operations. However, the annual endowment draw is only one third of our yearly operational budget. Funds for projects like the restoration of the G over the Master’s chair, evaluation of art hanging in various spaces throughout the Memorial, and development of educational programs beyond our membership can be both significant in amount and outside of our normal budget. The establishment of the Foundation ensures that neither normal or special operations will have to suffer from lack of funding. The Lodge will be able to do more, engage more, and support more. We are at the beginning of an exciting new era at AW22.
Upon retiring from public life, George Washington politely declined any further portrait requests. In 1794, he agreed to sit for artist William Williams on the condition that the portrait be an honest, non- romanticized representation and that he be shown in Masonic regalia. Showing Washington in the sunset of his life, the delicate pastel portrait is believed to be among the most accurate depictions of our Illustrious Brother. Preservation efforts include careful removal from the wall mounting, professional restoration and an extended period of flat rest to preserve the suspended pigments.
The Foundation is still in its infancy and not yet distributing grants; however, once threshold funds have been raised, efforts will begin to preserve the Lodge collection and improve educational programming. In time, the Foundation will welcome proposals from members for their own initiatives to tell the AW22 and Washington stories while educating the greater public on Freemasonry. This section of the website will, when grants can be issued, have information on submitting proposals and the outline the Board of Directors methodology for awards.
Every contribution counts. Every donor counts. To encourage support from all members, the Cornerstone Club has been established as a means of contributing incrementally over time. Enrollees in the Cornerstone Club may make a single annual contribution of $240 or allow automatic monthly withdrawals or credit card payments of $20.23. These values have greater meanings: while celebrating the Cornerstone Centennial in 2023, the Lodge will also be celebrating its 240th birthday. Everyone has the ability to support the Foundation and lead by example through their membership in the Cornerstone Club. Click here to Donate.
At Warden’s Night, Brother Bella challenged the Lodge to double the size of the Endowment in 2023. With a starting point of $50,000, the goal is total contributions to the Foundation of $100,000 by December 2023. Working together, we can meet this challenge and ensure that we have the funds necessary to do required preservation work on some of our most precious relics, including the William Williams portrait. Click here to Donate.
There is much work to be done, but it is work that is definitely worth doing. Please reach out to one of the Foundation’s Directors or Officers if you have any questions or would like to learn more. Foundation Directors are elected from the Lodge membership for five-year terms. Directors have voting rights and Officers support regular operations.