Fraternal Benefit Societies have helped families and local communities for over a century. They provide financial security and community service opportunities to their members, and a sense of community driven by their common bonds, whether they be religious, ethnic, occupational, or like UCT’s common bond, good citizenship.
Our members, like those of other fraternals, volunteer every day to make their local communities better places to live.
In a time where we still see sluggish economic growth, and unemployment or underemployment remain high in many parts of the country, the community service efforts of members of Fraternal Benefit Societies fill a significant need.
Just how much of an impact do Fraternal Benefit Societies have? Phillip Swagel, Professor in International Economic Policy at the Maryland School of Public Policy set out to answer that question, and he published his findings earlier this year.
He looked at the various ways that the 9 million fraternal members add value to American society. There are direct monetary contributions, there are volunteer hours, and there is social capital created by the improvement in local communities due to these efforts. Professor Swagel worked to quantify the total dollar value of the impact of these efforts.
The impact is significant. For the years 2007 to 2011, he estimated that the impact of Fraternal Benefit Societies averaged $3.8 billion per year, or a total benefit to U.S. society was over $19 billion over this 5-year period.