How Much Does Elks Club Membership Cost?

Last Updated on April 24, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

The Elks Club, officially known as the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, is a longstanding fraternal organization dedicated to community service, charitable giving, and promoting fellowship. If you’re interested in joining a local Elks Lodge, you likely want to know – what are the actual membership costs in terms of initiation fees, annual dues, assessments, and other expenses?

In this article, we’ll reference pricing details from Elks Lodge websites across different states to provide real-world cost insight into the various fees and requirements involved in becoming an Elk member. Understanding the full investment will help you make an informed decision.

How Much Does Elks Club Membership Cost?

An Elks Club Membership has initiation fees of $100 – $200 and yearly dues in the $150 – $400 range, based on reference data from Elks’ websites across different regions.

So, what will gaining access to these membership perks cost you? Here are the typical expenses involved with becoming an Elk across Lodges:

  • Initiation Fee – One-time charge, often $75 – $1750
  • Annual Dues – Typically $120 – $280 depending on the Lodge size and offerings
  • Background Check – Some Lodges require this, around $50 – $100
  • Food & Beverage Minimums – Occasional Lodges enforce monthly food purchase minimums
  • Event Fees – Additional cost for dinners, fundraisers, entertainment, sporting leagues, etc.
  • Assessments – Special costs if major Lodge repairs or improvements are needed

Actual rates vary significantly across states and Lodges based on size, available amenities, events calendar, location, and financial needs. Always inquire directly with your local Lodge for specifics.

Elks Lodge 158 states that the annual membership fee for Elks Lodge #158 is $144 plus a 3% convenience fee, totaling $148.32. They also mention a single pool membership fee of $175 plus a 3% convenience fee.

Elks.org mentions that at a specific lodge, there is a $75 application/initiation fee and membership dues for the year are $40, totaling $110 for new members. This lodge requires the full amount to be paid in full on the initiation night if not already paid.

Cortland Elks Lodge offers an annual Elks membership for $78, covering the membership fee, processing fee, and a small donation to ENF.

What is the Elks Club All About?

Founded in 1868, the Elks Club is one of the largest and most active fraternal organizations in the U.S. The order is comprised of over 2,000 local Lodges nationwide united behind the Elks principles of:

  • Supporting veterans services and military families through programs and grants
  • Funding college scholarships and youth recreational programs in local communities
  • Organizing widespread volunteer initiatives and fundraising drives
  • Hosting social events, networking activities, sports leagues, and celebrations
  • Providing fellowship as well as personal and leadership growth opportunities

This multifaceted mission aims to strengthen communities nationwide through charitable works. The Elks motto of “Elks Care, Elks Share” exemplifies this dedication to benevolence.

A Look at Elks Club Membership Benefits

The chance to contribute to charitable causes provides the cornerstone value of Elks membership. But being part of an Elks Lodge also comes with some fantastic privileges, such as:

  • Member-only access to Lodge amenities like restaurants, bars, gyms, pools, golf courses, etc. depending on facilities available
  • Free or discounted admission to dinners, parties, dances, and other social events at the Lodge
  • Discounted rental rates for using Lodge spaces to host private events like meetings, weddings, parties, etc.
  • Ability to visit other Elks Lodges when traveling and enjoy member perks
  • Volunteering, networking, leadership, and personal growth opportunities
  • Developing lifelong friendships and camaraderie through shared experiences

Initiation Fee for New Elks Members

The initiation fee is a one-time charge paid when you first join an Elks Lodge. This covers the administrative costs of establishing your membership. Based on data from Lodge sites, this typically ranges from:

  • $50 – $100 at smaller Lodges
  • $150 – $250 at larger Lodges in major metro areas
  • $300 – $500 at exclusive downtown city Lodges

This one-time fee gives you lifetime membership privileges after paying it. Many Lodges allow you to pay it in installments if needed.

You might also like our articles about the cost of membership at Bellevue Club, Augusta National, or Country Club of Virginia.

Annual Elks Lodge Membership Dues

Once initiated, Elk members pay recurring annual dues to their home Lodge to remain active. These helps cover Lodge operating expenses. Typical dues range:

  • $120 – $180 at rural or small-town Lodges
  • $180 – $250 at mid-size suburban Lodges
  • $250 – $500 at urban Lodges in major cities

Additional fees include:

  • Assessments– for Lodge maintenance or improvements
  • Food/Beverage Minimums– some Lodges enforce per month
  • Event Fees– for dinners, fundraisers, entertainment

Background Check Requirements

Some Elks Lodges require new members to undergo a criminal background check before joining. This typically costs in the $50 – $100 range depending on the provider used. This ensures members meet the Elks standards of character.

Becoming an Elk Member

To officially join the Elks Club, prospective members complete a few steps:

  1. Contact your desired local Lodge to request a membership application
  2. Attend an orientation event at the Lodge to meet members and learn about their history
  3. Submit your completed application along with all required fees and documentation
  4. Undergo background screening if mandated by that Lodge
  5. Participate in the initiation ceremony conducted by Lodge leaders
  6. Get welcomed as a new Elk and start enjoying member activities!

The initiation ceremony officially inducts new members into the privileges and responsibilities of being an Elk. Female spouses often participate in their own initiation ritual to become part of the Elks “Family”.

Budgeting for Membership

Elks Club Lodge HawaiiWhile local dues fluctuate, plan for an annual cost around $150 to $500 for a single membership. Additional contributions to charity funds or event attendance can increase your investment. However, taking advantage of social activities, networking opportunities, and getting involved in community service initiatives helps maximize the value. Volunteering also makes the philanthropic work personally fulfilling.

Consider prorating dues if joining mid-year. And connect with fellow Elks to learn about the Lodge culture. The camaraderie and chance to positively impact your community make the Elks Club a rewarding way to spend both time and money.


Elks Club membership costs typically include a one-time initiation fee from $50 up to $500 depending on the Lodge, and annual membership dues range from around $200 to $500+.

Benefits of membership span social events, networking, facilities access, community service, and philanthropic volunteer work.

Meeting attendance, getting involved in Lodge activities, and taking advantage of member perks helps maximize the value of membership.

For those able to make the investment, becoming an active Elk member and engaging in Lodge activities provides immense value.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Women Join Elks Club?

Yes, women can join the Elks Club. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE) was originally a male-only organization when it was founded in 1868. However, this changed in 1995 when the Elks voted to allow women to join.

Since then, women have been able to become members and participate fully in the organization, including holding leadership positions. The change reflects a broader trend of service organizations updating their membership policies to be more inclusive.

Can Catholics join the Elks?

Yes, absolutely. The Elks is non-discriminatory and welcomes Catholic members. The Elks organization is non-political and non-sectarian, welcoming members of diverse backgrounds.

What is the average age of Elks members?

The average Elks member age is around 60 years old, given the long 150+ year history of the organization. However, Lodges actively recruit younger members for sustainability, with some reporting average member ages closer to 50.

How do you become a member of a local Elks Lodge?

To join, contact the Lodge to get an application, meet members at an orientation, submit your completed application with fees, undergo any background check, and participate in the membership initiation ceremony to be officially inducted as an Elk.

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