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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Environment, Humanities, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: The National Trust for Historic Preservation protects significant places representing our diverse cultural experience by taking direct action and inspiring broad public support.

Programs: Historic sites - the national trust and its partners are the stewards of 27 national trust historic sites, a nationally-significant collection of historic places that represent a wide variety of architectural styles and structures, magnificent landscapes, remarkable object collections and diverse stories that bring american history to life. In 2014 the national trust owned and managed 12 of these sites (one through a long-term lease); owned 9 sites that are managed by independent local organizations; and provided limited support to six other sites that are owned and managed by other entities. These historic sites are open to the public with more than 900,000 visitors annually. The history, stories, people, collections, architecture and landscapes of these sites are interpreted to on-site visitors, and through social media, websites and written communication to many more people. The sites serve their communities by providing educational programs, events and unique gathering places for community residents. The national trust and its partner organizations maintain the sites as good models of historic preservation, collections management, interpretation and comprehensive stewardship.

historic preservation & conservation: preservation services includes 1) work to save threatened historic places of national significance and where the preservation implications are national in scope; 2) information and technical assistance to members, private and public organizations and government bodies with respect to contemporary preservation issues and rehabilitation projects related to important historic buildings and landmarks; 3) financial assistance to organizations to facilitate preservation education programs, conferences and retention of professional consultants; 4) partnerships with state and local private nonprofit preservation groups to stimulate and retain their field services capacity, professionalism, leadership in their geographical location, financial strength and ability to save historic resources; 5) technical assistance and information to communities in all parts of the country working to revitalize their historic main street neighborhoods; 6) operation of thirteen field offices including boise, id. , boston, charleston, s. C. , chicago, denver, houston, los angeles, nashville, new york city, portland, or. , san francisco, seattle and washington, d. C. , that work closely with organizations and governments at all levels to save historic places.

historic preservation & conservation: education - communicates the benefits of historic preservation threats to historic places and achievements in saving historic places to members and the public. Provides a quarterly magazine, professional journal, niche audience newsletters and a website to highlight important preservation issues, communicates preservation successes and stimulates new interest in historic preservation. To mobilize action by the public, stages media campaigns such as the america's most endangered historic places list and the dozen destinations list. Provides information about the legal and policy aspects of historic preservation. Develops and provides 78 tours to important destinations in the us and internationally.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The National Trust has been an invaluable asset to the preservation of the Boggsville Historic Site. Their unwavering support for Boggsville has helped bring our small site in rural Colorado to the state and national stages. We are honored to have been named one of their National Treasures!

Through the efforts of the National Trust, Boggsville received grants to update our interpretive signs that are placed throughout the trails on the site. Since Boggsville is operated seasonally by volunteers, having the ability to tell our story without a volunteer serving as tour guide is essential.

Additionally, the National Trust has partnered with other groups to host an interpretive workshop and a two-day charrette focusing on the future sustainability of Boggsville.

We are extremely grateful for all the assistance the National Trust has offered to our site. Their support has made it possible for Boggsville to continue to exist and move successfully into the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I’ve been delighted to collaborate with my colleagues and the staff of the National Trust for Historic Preservation over the past four years on projects that have provided our students valuable learning experiences with issues of preservation advocacy, economics, project management and neighborhood renewal.

Additionally, it has been a pleasure to work with NTHP on their recent annual conference Past/Forward 2014. It proved to be a terrific opportunity for our community. NTHP staff was professional, courteous and respectful. We look forward to more interactions like this in the future.

Finally, I salute the NTHP for their commitment to education and the support they give to developing future generations of preservationists. These programs and scholarships assist college students with tuition, defray costs to participate in meetings and celebrate diversity. I've witnessed the positive impact they have - they truly make a difference.

Jeff Eley, Savannah, GA

Review from Guidestar

Katie144

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The National Trust is a go-to resource for all of us who work in the field of Preservation, and I have personally benefited from their programs and initiatives. In 2015, the Trust paid for me to visit one of their incredible properties, Kykuit in Tarrytown, New York in order to participate in a multi-day round table discussion regarding the future of Historic Preservation. At this event, I collaborated with supporters of preservation actions across the country to explore the areas in which our field is lacking, and identify areas in which it is strong as we all prepare for drastic changes in historic site interpretation and education moving forward. I found this experience to be incredible valuable for myself and my organization, as I brought much of my experience into my daily practice in running We Are the Next following these interactions.

In addition, in 2015 the National Trust granted a scholarship for me to attend their annual conference in Washington, DC as a Diversity Scholar. Having attended the prior conference in Savannah, I knew this experience would be worthwhile and benefit me both personally and professionally. I had a great time attending as a Diversity Scholar and found the Diversity Scholar programming to be meaningful and educational. I'm looking forward to returning to the conference again this year in Houston.

The Trust's programs are educational, thorough, and assembled by a hard-working and talented staff in Washington, DC. In addition, they have staff ready and present throughout the country in major regions. I am grateful for the experiences they have provided me to date, and look forward to their continued programming in the future.

Katie Rispoli Keaotamai
Executive Director
We Are the Next

Review from Guidestar

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been working with the Trust on a variety of projects: National Treasures-the Willamette Falls locks project and the Trust has been very engaged and involved with a large group of stakeholders to seek a solution.
The Trust is inclusive- it has created a Diversity scholars program to bring more voices to the Historic Preservation table. I have been working with the Trust as a mentor; as an Advisor from the west, the Trust is working very hard to bring our issues to the national stage. The National Trust is a great organization. Denyse McGriff

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is the nation's leading voice for the preservation, celebration and documentation of places important to American history and culture.

The Trust is actively manages and keeps open to the public a diverse array of significant properties. The Trust also provides guidance, resources, documentation and context for all preservation efforts on a national scale. The Trust convenes an annual preservation conference that provides professional references for any person or organization working in the preservation field. The annual conference offers extensive learning seminars which share and develop the latest techniques, technologies and standards for preservation.

The Trust is an effective advocate for preservation of important buildings and sites threatened with demolition, removal or harmful encroachment. Among its many accomplishments, recent efforts by the National Trust have been crucial in saving and making public sites which tell the story of enslaved Americans and their contribution to American history. Efforts such as these assure that our American history and its impact on current culture and future cultural evolution are preserved.

No other American institution provides the same scale, reach and professional expertise in the field of historic preservation as the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Their advocacy provides a vital service to preserving, celebrating and understanding our national culture.

As a volunteer at Belle Grove Plantation in Virginia (a Trust owned site), I have seen first-hand the work of the Trust and know how vital it is to preserving places that tell the stories of our national heritage. Without the efforts of the Trust, Belle Grove and its important national stories would not be available to the American public.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been involved obtaining and administering 3 grants from the NTHP over the past 10 years, and have found the organization's application to be clear; its staff to be helpful and courteous, and the follow-up complete.

It is a pleasure to work with an organization that effectively supports, (through this work and the other work it does,) a cause that I believe is extremely important -- not to American's past -- but to its future. I only wish there were more organizations like the NTHP, which not only does advocacy work itself, but also funds it when others need to do it themselves!

Review from Guidestar

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 2011, when I attended their Buffalo conference (it is my adopted hometown). I came into the conference as a New York State scholarship recipient, and learned a great deal in three days about the nature of preservation, the tools at the disposal of those involved, and the people in leadership who could mentor and support newly-involved preservationists. It was a wonderful entree into this world, and I was welcomed with open arms.
A year later, the Trust was asking me and three others to speak on our experiences as "DIY" preservationists, most who had no formal training but whose work incorporated preservation, intentionally or not. My unique perspective was not only heard, but valued. I felt as though this large, nationally-recognized organization was really paying attention to the people on the ground, across the country, who wanted to change the way we think about historic places of community importance.
Eventually, I was asked to come on as a formal Advisor to the Trust, and I've participated in many conference calls and in-person meetings since. What I've seen is a highly attuned and deeply involved group of people, working hard to update their structures and methods so as to accommodate new ways of thinking and organizing. While this is admittedly hard to do with a large 50-year-old nonprofit, I think they've done admirably well. There is evidence of progressive thinking, adaptability and a deep motivation to keep the organization relevant as the tides change. The greatest strength of the National Trust for Historic Preservation are the people involved, who work tirelessly to engage with new and broader audiences, and learning the ways in which they can be most effective.
Fiscally, though I am not privy to all the financials of the organization, I know that it is lean, and works hard with few resources. This is not a wasteful group- they get the most out of every meeting, trip, and interaction. They try hard to trim where they can, and understand the importance of leveraging their non-monetary assets. I am proud to be a part of this longstanding and highly respected organization.

Review from Guidestar

1

Advisor

Rating: 4

I have been an advisor to the National Trust for many years and have been most active with their National Treasures program and efforts to build diversity in the preservation movement. Specifically, we would not be as far along with saving Rosenwald Schools without the fundraising and friendraising assistance from the National Trust, as well as convening two national conferences on this treasure! Their impact on revitalizing Auburn Avenue in Atlanta has brought national attention to this place in peril and National Treasure. I especially appreciated participation and support of the diversity scholarship program at annual conferences and the 2015 Diversity Summit brought new partners and supporters to this initiative.

Review from Guidestar

1 Chris183

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The primary activity of The National Trust for Historic Preservation, in my view, is building its own paid membership base. Most of the top leadership is made up of professional fund developers who are not professional, degreed preservation experts. At every public event where they have a presence, their most important activity is collecting contact information that they then use to solicit memberships and donations. For instance, if you stood in line to get their really cool sunglasses at the Astrodome's 50th birthday party, you could only get those shades after turning in a contact card. That's what they do.

I do appreciate that they helped pay for the party and other things. And hey, ours is an entrepreneurial society, good for them for being effective membership builders.

But in my opinion, there is a problem with the way they manipulate public anxiety about the threat of demolition of landmarks as a way to generate memberships. Once a building is secure and redeveloped or restored their memberships and donations slow down. So they have a vested interested in perpetuating the idea that the sky is about to fall, the demolition ball is about to swing. That causes two main bad effects. One is that their drumbeat of doom and gloom makes potential investors and developers run the other way, which in turn reinforces the idea that "no one wants to invest in the property". The other is that they seem to feel the need to block, marginalize and undermine all other individuals and groups that they see as some kind of competition. I saw this up close.

When it was founded, the NTFHP was organized differently. They converted to a private corporation a few years ago. That's when the emphasis switched to primarily membership and asset development.

This should not be shocking to anyone who has had much interaction with nonprofits in general. Not that it's the rule, but there are many nonprofit organizations that operate in this way.

Review from Guidestar

1 Barb O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

The mission statement for Drayton Hall a National Trust site is centered on the preservation of the main house. Why is this site spending a large amount of money on 18th century bird prints and there is still no visitors center or museum? I was a member of "Friends of Drayton Hall" and have done research at this site. The history of he Drayton family is now presented in the main house utilizing poster boards on easels. The interpretation of slavery "African Connections" is held outside near the gift shop. This site over the past 20 years is less and less inclusive. No African American docents? Events for the wealthy who donate large amounts of money to the site? I would like to know if The National Trust has any oversight at Drayton Hall? I no longer support the National Trust as it too caters only to the very wealthy and elite in America.

Review from CharityNavigator