Benevolent and Proctive Order of Elks
Benevolent and Proctive Order of Elks

The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) is a fraternal organization that has existed since 1868. Originating primarily as a social club, it established a charitable foundation in 1928 and has become one of the largest organizations of its type in the United States. Originally restricted to white males, membership was opened to minorities in 1973 and to women in 1995. The club does require its members to believe in God. In recent years, clubs have encountered difficulty in recruiting new members, particularly younger ones. Therefore, most clubs are actively seeking members.

Assess your qualifications for membership. The Elks Club website states that members "must be a citizen of the United States over the age of 21 who believes in God.”

Locate an Elks Club Lodge near you. The Elks Club website provides an online directory to help you find the nearest lodge. You must reside in the lodge's jurisdiction in order to become a member.

Get acquainted with members of the lodge. Most lodges sponsor activities, such as bingo games, which are open to the public. Let the members you meet know that you are interested in joining and would like to be sponsored.

Complete the application given to you by your sponsoring member. He will present it to the Investigating Committee, which will then contact you and your sponsor to set up an interview.

Attend the interview with your sponsor and answer the questions honestly and completely. The committee will report to the membership and a vote will be taken on your admission. If accepted, you will be given the date of your indoctrination.

Attend the indoctrination to learn about the club's programs and charities and to learn about the date of your initiation. After your initiation, you may participate in all meetings and activities of the lodge.