Like everyone else, I have been reminded repeatedly in the last week that my money is needed to help Civil War preservation efforts and an end-of-year donation or at least becoming a member would be a good thing. Here are a few to consider. They are all authorized 501c3 organizations and donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
The Civil War Trust (formerly the Civil War Preservation Trust) is the big guy in the crowd with the largest number of members of any Civil War battlefield preservation organization. According to its website, there are 55,000 members who have helped save 30,000 acres since the CWT was founded in 1987.
The mission of the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation is to preserve Civil War battlefields within the valley’s national historic district, located in eight counties along Virginia’s northwestern spine. Initially funded by Congress, the foundation now has to raise much of its own money. A new membership program begins January, 2012.
The Gettysburg Foundation , the fund-raising arm for the Gettysburg National Military Park, has created the Stewardship 150 program to raise money to support the park’s sesquicentennial activities as well as leave a legacy of restored monuments and properties.
The Central Virginia Battlefields Trust is dedicated to preserving endangered hallowed ground in the Fredericksburg area. So far it has saved almost 900 acres from development. Membership dues are critical to its continued success.
The Battle of Franklin Trust manages the operation of two historic properties—the Carter House and Campton Plantation—and a membership or donation supports the ongoing restoration, maintenance and interpretation of those historic Civil War properties.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is the largest national preservation organization with 200,000 members, but its work includes much more than Civil War sites. In the past year, it supported campaigns to prevent a casino opening near the Gettysburg battlefield and Wal-Mart from opening a store on the Wilderness battlefield.
Are there other favorite organizations that deserve our support? Please add your comments at the end of this blog.