Most fraternal benefit
societies were formed more than 100 years ago to assist immigrants in
America. At the turn of the century, new citizens found fraternals
one of the few means of social interaction in a strange country.
together based on ethnic, religious, vocational and other common bonds.
Whatever their foundation, fraternals allowed
individuals with similar backgrounds to solve common problems and to
provide financial support, especially the collection of burial funds when
As support programs encouraging assimilation
diminished, financially sound insurance products were developed along with
new fraternal programs to tap member volunteerism.
Today, the fraternal benefit system is a charitable force of nearly 200
individual nonprofit benefit societies touching millions of lives
throughout the United States and Canada.
Societies extensive youth and young adult programs
provide leadership training; athletic, social, cultural and educational
opportunities; scholarships; and other activities to develop the next
generation of fraternalists.
Fraternal benefit societies contribute to disaster
relief efforts, provide welfare services, work with the disabled, and
contribute both in volunteer labor and financially to organizations such
as habitat for Humanity and the Washington D.C. based Jubilee Ministries.