What is a Fraternal Benefit Society?
Fraternal benefit societies are not-for-profit membership organizations and mutual aid organizations that help members secure their families’ financial security through a variety of life insurance and retirement products. Fraternal benefit societies unite members who share a common ethnic, religious, philosophical or professional bond. Operating through local networks, referred to as a chapter or lodge system, fraternal benefit societies enable their members to carry out charitable, educational, cultural, social and other volunteer community initiatives in accordance with state law. Fraternal benefit societies are chartered by state law and have been exempt since 1909 from income tax under Section 501 (c) (8)  of the United States Tax Code.
Each year through this unique structure, members of fraternal benefit societies invest more than 92.5 million hours in community works and services and contribute more than $414 million dollars to charitable programs supporting community projects making it one of the largest volunteer networks of community and social service providers in existence.
More than a century after their creation fraternal benefit societies remain an active part of the United States of America’s economy. The charitable and volunteer efforts of lodge members significantly impact local communities. There are more than 70 fraternal benefit societies operating in the United States of America and Canada today, serving over 9 million members with $380 billion dollars of life insurance in force. The government of the United States of America recognizes that a benefit of $3.4 billion dollars of charitable contributions and social capital are accounted for annually.