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.
1. Raise money
to support what
People give because they feel
passionate about a cause and
because they believe they can
make a difference.
2. People give to
Find out as much as possible about
prospective supporters in order to
build meaningful and lasting
3. Be accountable and ethical.
It’s important to accurately track and report fundraising revenue and expenses. Be
transparent with those who are helping support your work.
4. Start with a
Make a list of people and
places you will ask for
funding. Decide when you’ll
write your letters and/or apply
for grants. Always read the
guidelines for any grants you
5. Search beyond traditional sources.
Start with the National Trust Preservation Fund. Also consider private-sector
philanthropies, corporate and family foundations, and community trusts. Think
outside the box.
6. Look at national
Explores websites like Grants.gov and
other institutions like the National Park
Service, The Getty, and the
Foundation of the American Institute
for Conservation, for example.
7. Research state
Talk to someone in your State
Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).
Also look for community foundations
in your state.
8. Don’t forget local
Again, reach out to your SHPO for ideas
on how to find local funding. And if your
community is a Certified Local
Government, it’s eligible for CLG grants
that help a variety of preservation projects.
9. Explore emergency grants.
If your historic site has been damaged recently 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 pressures.
10. Never give up.
Think about fundraising as a
conversation with someone, not a
transaction, and you may find that it
comes more naturally than you think.
Don’t forget, the most important part is
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 SavingPlaces.org.
Hazma Butt/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; el-toro/Flickr?CC
BY 2.0; Ana Manzar08/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; Jason
Eppink/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; Hazma Butt/Flickr/CC
BY 2.0; Savannah River Site/Flickr/CC BY 2.0;
www.GlynLowe.com/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; Hazma
Butt/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; Hazma Butt/Flickr/CC BY
2.0; Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr CC BY-NC
2.0; Alim Akbashev/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0.