[Preservation Tips & Tools] How to Save a Place: Fundraising Basics
If you’ve been following along with our "How to Save a Place" toolkit series, your plan to save the historic place that matters to you is likely beginning to take shape. But there’s still one significant element that you probably need more guidance on: fundraising. It takes money to make things happen. Money enables you to hire craftsmen, build advocacy campaigns, purchase materials and equipment, and much more. Asking for funding doesn’t have to be a daunting challenge, though. No matter your approach, there is one universal truth about fundraising: People give because someone asked them. This toolkit provides you with some fundamental steps for fundraising. If you can put these basics into practice, then you will increase your chances of turning an ask into financial support for your great preservation work. Read the "How to Save a Place" series to date: http://blog.preservationnation.org/tag/how-to-save-a-place/
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - [Preservation Tips & Tools] How to Save a Place: Fundraising Basics
How to Save a Place
Raise money to support what matters.
Fundraising isn’t about money -- it’s about your mission. People give
because they feel passionate about a cause and because they
believe they can make a difference. Highlight the work you’re doing to
make a difference and tell your donor how they’ll be a part of it.
People give to people.
People are behind the foundations, corporations, and government agencies
that you might appeal to for a grant or donation. Find out as much as possible
about prospective supporters to help you build meaningful and lasting
Be transparent with those who are
helping support your work. It’s
important to accurately track and
report fundraising revenue and
expenses. A big part of transparency
is sharing results. Hosting tours and
events for donors at your historic site
will help you show that their financial
support made a tangible difference.
Successful fundraising starts with a plan.
Before you can reach out to individuals and institutions, you need to have a funding goal
and a plan for how you’ll reach it. Make a list of people and places you will ask for funding
and how much. Decide when you’ll write your letters and/or apply for grants; you’ll likely
need funding at different points along the way in your project. Remember, always read the
guidelines for any grants you apply for.
Search beyond traditional sources.
Preservation Fund grants are a great place to start. But there are also many
other places to look -- private-sector philanthropies, corporations, corporate
foundations, to name a few. Speak to bank trust officers about any local or
individual trusts, bequests, and foundations that might embrace the goals of
the preservation project. Get creative -- reach out on social media, host a
special fundraising event, think outside the box.
Look at national
Grants.gov offers a
comprehensive list of federal
grant opportunities. The National
Park Service also administers a
range of grants. Plus, check out
The Getty, Tourism Cares, and
the Foundation of the American
Institute for Conservation. Keep
looking and you’re sure to find
Talk to someone in your state
historic preservation office
(SHPO). Most states administer
historic preservation grant or loan
Don’t forget local funding resources.
Reach out to your local historic preservation office. If your community
is a Certified Local Government, it’s eligible to apply for grants that
can help fund a variety of preservation projects. You can also look for
community foundations in your state.
If your historic site has been
damaged in the last few weeks by an
unexpected event such as a flood,
fire, or high winds, it may also be
eligible for a National Trust
Emergency/Intervention Fund Grant.
Funding can also be used to support
advocacy campaigns in response to
pending legislation or development
Never give up.
Fundraising isn’t magic, nor is it an arcane science. Think about it more as a
conversation with someone (whether it’s in person or on paper), not a
transaction. It might not be easy or feel totally comfortable at first, but
remember the most important part is simply asking.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America’s
historic places. Preservation Tips & Tools helps others do the same
in their own communities.
For more information, visit blog.preservationnation.org.
Photos courtesy: Specious, Wikimedia; Susana
Raab; NWABR, Flickr; Duanebates, Wikimedia;
NPCA Photos, Flickr; Eli Pousson, Flickr;
Specious, Wikimedia; EncMstr, Wikimedia; US
Army Environmental Command, Flickr; Maralei
Bunn, Wikimedia; Duanebates, Wikimedia;