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Civil War Trust

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Historical Organizations, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: Our Mission: Preservation of America's battlefields by protecting the land and educating the public about the vital roles those battlefields played in directing the course of our nation's history.

Results: Over 43,000 acres saved to date!

Target demographics: all Americans

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: The mission of the Civil War Trust: The preservation of America’s significant Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields by protecting the land, and educating the public about the vital roles those battlefields -- and the citizen-soldiers who fought upon them -- played in directing the course of our nation’s history. The Civil War Trust is the only national charitable organization in the country working to preserve historic land where the nation's "Founding First Century" wars were fought. The Civil War Trust and its predecessor organizations have been saving land since 1987; in total we have saved over 43,000 acres of land. In addition to saving hallowed ground, we also believe that there is a great need to educate the public about the importance of the Civil War. We are dedicated to interpreting the War and its significant battles, and do so for teachers, students, and the public through technological resources and innovative methods such as our state-of-the-art website and Battle Apps®.

Community Stories

431 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 toddjburnett

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been making donations to the Civil War Trust (and its predecessors) for almost 25 years. Although we are avid Civil War enthusiasts, we are also passionate about saving the hallowed ground on which the brave men of that era fought and died for what they believed in. We know that the vast majority of our contributions to the Civil War Trust will be spent to purchase and improve these lands so that future generations may walk these same fields and gain a better understanding of this period of our history. The men and women of the Civil War Trust are the best possible advocates for saving battlefield property and have proven themselves to be excellent stewards of all donations they receive. We give to several charitable organizations and the Civil War Trust is the one we hold in highest esteem. If only all other charities were operated with such integrity and professionalism!

Donor

Rating: 5

I love Virginia; it’s history, diversity in culture geography, and especially its history. I became a Civil War “buff” after graduating from college. At JMU, we had several major battlefields within a short distance from the school that I enjoyed visiting. Gaining a high level knowledge of the battles did not satisfy me. I needed to learn more and started buying books to learn more about the complex history of the war. Example: what led up to why the Battle of Antietam was fought in Sharpsburg, MD? IMHO - The results from the Peninsula campaign started that. Researching the History and visiting battlefields on weekends, brought great joy into my life and respect for those who participated in the war (all levels). I did discover many battlefields were not preserved.. That was so disappointing. 10 years later, I discovered the Civil War Trust. As far as I’m concerned, the organization is the best non-profit org in achieving its goals - period. The CWT is well run, very efficient, well managed, very trustworthy. I only wish I could donate more. The CWT is a fantastic source of well researched information on American History, whether you are a donor or not. Thank you to all the volunteers who support the CWT’s efforts in preserving our history! Kenny

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Excellent programs and outreach. All indications are that they are very concerned with using your donations wisely. Recommended. Also note their fairly new program for revolutionary war and war of 1812 conservancy.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust is one of the best non-profit groups to whom one can donate. They are always very clear with the goals for a particular fundraiser, and are very good at working behind the scenes to gather matching grants to provide even more impact to any dollar I donate. I always feel confident that the money I donate will go to battlefields, and I cannot think of a better organization to keep the mission moving forward than the Civil War Trust.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported the Civil War Trust for over 10 years and I am currently a sustaining member. I decided to support CWT due to my love of history and the need to preserve the land so that future generations can better understand one of the most defining events in our nation's history. Over the years I have been very impressed with the leadership and overall management of CWT. In addition to saving the hallowed ground from the Civil War, CWT restores the land to the way it was in the 1860s adding to the authenticity of what the organization does with donor's contributions. CWT also hosts and sponsors many educational programs, ensuring that our youngest citizens learn more about our heritage in a meaningful way. This organization is deserving of your support.

2 Writer

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member for over ten years and am very proud of it. I support only a small number of charities and CWT is right behind my Church. I have complete confidence that they use the money wisely and have a low administrative cost. The battlefields must be preserved now or lost forever and the CWT is doing all that can be done. Jim Cross

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of CWT for twelve years now and have given 240 times. I think this is a great organization and is very high on my list of charities. They are wonderful people who are great stewards of the money entrusted with them. This service is invaluable as most lost battlefields cannot be reclaimed. They are very fair about the treatment of both sides believing as I do that all participants of the conflict were true "Americans" and should be honored for their sacrifice.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Civil War Trust is my sole non-religious charity. I certainly believe in the mission; I am very confident that the Civil War Trust spends money wisely. I have been impressed with the programs it supports and appreciate its openness with its finances.

1 Georgia Cracker

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, presently the Civil War Trust, since about 1990. It was at this time I became aware there was an organization dedicated to preserving Civil War battlefields. I was intrigued by the opportunity to save battlefields as so many of them have been lost completely or partially.

Being born in Atlanta, the second most important city of the Confederacy, I am well aware of the importance of saving battlefields. On a trip to Atlanta, one of the major campaigns of the war, you will find no battlefields to visit. Even though there were several battles fought directly in the vicinity of Atlanta there is nothing to see. At Peachtree Creek, Battle of Atlanta, Ezra Church and Jonesboro there is nothing to visit. One can find historical markers but the urban sprawl has wiped away the landscape. Constant traffic pose a serious danger for visitors to these sites.

The nearest preserved battlefields are found at Pickett's Mill Battlefield State Historic Site, Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, and Resaca Battlefield Historic Site. Because of the effort or crusade of the Civil War Trust, Georgia Battlefields Association, Friends of Resaca Battlefield, and the Gordon County government a large portion, over 1000 acres, of the Resaca battlefield has been saved. 15 years ago the entire battlefield was private land, with the exception of Interstate 75 which runs directly through the battlefield. What an accomplishment! 1000 acres have been saved and soon a battlefield park will open.

The Civil War Trust is the premier organization for battlefield preservation whether Civil War, War of 1812, or Revolutionary War. The Civil War Trust has many successful preservation stories. But there are many more endangered battlefields that need help. What happened to the battlefields of Atlanta is now happening to battlefields elsewhere.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a retired C.P.A. In my fifty year career I came in contact with many non-profits. Without a doubt , The Civil War Trust is one of the best run that I have ever seen. Their excellent leadership runs all the way to the lower levels. Their low costs of administration is a testimony of their fine leadership. They live their mission.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member since the Civil War Trust was known as the Civil War Preservation Trust. Since I was 9 I have been an avid, maybe even rabid, fan of American Civil War history. I have traveled many battlefields and see the consistent results of the work and commitment of the CWT to preservation. They truly work tirelessly to ensure these lands are are enshrined just by ensuring their untarnished state. Given the unquenchable hunger of developers, these times are critical to serve our ancestors who devoted their lives to ensuring our country was not split in two. And for those who chose to serve their southern states, they too deserve our respect, for it was through their convictions for separation that forged a greater conviction to preserve our union, as one untied country that we all now, or should be, so appreciative. To walk these fields today not only keeps their memories alive, it is also a respite for us to pause in the quiet and stillness which would otherwise be transgressed into places of distraction and noise. I am very particular in who I give, whether money or time. The CWT is the action that most reflects some of my core values. I most ardently encourage you to support their mission.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I became interested in the Civil War as a voracious reader in grade school, and never lost my fascination with battles and battlefields. Thus I was delighted some 20 or more years ago when I discovered the Civil War Trust and learned about the priceless work this organization does to preserve our battlefields and our heritage. Since then I have made almost 100 donations to their fund- raising efforts for battlefield preservation projects. I am constantly amazed at the zeal exhibited in finding matching funds to multiply the amounts that I was able to donate many times. President Jim Lighthizer has my total admiration for the tireless work he and his staff do to search out preservation opportunities and generate funding requests in rapid fashion. I understand over 90% of funds donated result in acreage purchases, an outstanding statistic. Since becoming a donor my wife and I have visited dozens of battlefields, consulting the excellent battle maps and descriptions the Trust provides, and thrill in the knowledge that we are walking on land we have helped preserve for generations to come. I heartily recommend this nonprofit to anyone who is looking for a very worthwhile purpose to support!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Civil War Trust (CWT) for at least ten years. I have been a member of other historical non-profit organizations but I can say that the CWT is the absolute best in my experience. The CWT puts the mission first, keeps its operating expenses at a reasonable level and treats and respects its donors very well. More importantly the CWT has achieved outstanding success at its core mission of battlefield preservation.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My abiding interest in Americas's Civil War began in the 1950s following a visit to the Gettysburg battlefield. The transcendent experience of walking a battlefield added a dimension to my high school study of the era, resulting in continued battlefield visits.
Being descended from, as well as related to participants on both sides of the conflict ,my discovery of the Civil War Trust provided a vehicle for continued study and an opportunity to support the acquisition of rapidly vanishing battlefields--thus preserving them for study and appreciation by America's posterity.
The Trust has enjoyed enlightened and focused leadership by its President and Board of Trustees. who have employed leverage afforded by matching of available Federal, State, and foundation funds to maximized the contributions of the Trust's fifty five thousand active members thus ,enabling the purchase of over forty thousand acres of land and related historic structures.

Over eighty five percent of donated funds end up purchasing land.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

During the eighteen years I have supported The Civil War Trust, it has undergone a 180 degree reversal from an underfunded --although well intentioned-- organization into the nationally recognized premier organization dedicated to the acquisition and preservation of Civil War battlefields.In so doing it preserves our Nation's history.
Due to its focused , knowledgeable, and strong leadership,an efficient and competent staff, and its ability to apply virtually 90% of every dollar raised directly to its mission, it has recovered over 40,000 acres of battlefield land. Its devoted and generous base of donors grows annually. Contributions by donors are matched by Federal and State programs, thus creating the necessary leverage to pay the increased prices which must currently be paid to acquire battlefield land.
Supporting The Trust is rewarding and satisfying.it is also most enjoyable!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a Civil War Trust member and donor for many years. The leadership of this entity is second to none in being focused on the goals of the Trust, and working tirelessly to achieve them, efficiently and productively. The way the leadership of the Trust is able to combine matching funds from various sources to serve as a multiplier of our fundraising is remarkable. I think the core values of the member/donors of this organization are shared entirely by the leaders of the organization, rather than having leaders focused as much on their own nest egg than on the group's goals. The gold standard, plain and simple!

3 toddjburnett

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been making donations to the Civil War Trust (and its predecessors) for almost 25 years. Although we are avid Civil War enthusiasts, we are also passionate about saving the hallowed ground on which the brave men of that era fought and died for what they believed in. We know that the vast majority of our contributions to the Civil War Trust will be spent to purchase and improve these lands so that future generations may walk these same fields and gain a better understanding of this period of our history. The men and women of the Civil War Trust are the best possible advocates for saving battlefield property and have proven themselves to be excellent stewards of all donations they receive. We give to several charitable organizations and the Civil War Trust is the one we hold in highest esteem. If only all other charities were operated with such integrity and professionalism!

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been members of the Civil War Trust since July of 1994 and have made over 300 contributions during that time. The Trust is one of the few charities we give to because we know that 90% or more of our donation will go towards it's charitable purpose. In addition, we have watched the Trust grow over the years into the leading advocate for Civil War battlefield preservation. Through good and bad financial times, the Trust has continued to make significant progress in saving battlefield properties so that future generations may more fully understand what the Civil War soldier experienced. They are extremely competent in the discharge of their duties and are professionals of the highest degree. We respect this organization so much they we have included them in our will. This is by far one of the best charitable organizations I have been involved with over the past 33 years.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

A person can understand the issues that led to the Civil War by reading a book or watching a video. But, to really appreciate a major battle, and the sacrifice and courage of the soldiers who fought and died, you must see the battlefield. The reality is that Americans cannot look to government to purchase the battlefields to protect and preserve them for future generations of Americans. I contribute to the Civil War Trust to pool my money with that of others to protect America's heritage by purchasing land that would inevitably be developed. The appeals are detailed and compelling. I feel my donations are well spent. And, receiving the high quality magazine the CWT publishes would be worth my annual membership.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I FEEL GREAT PRIDE IN GIFTING AN ORGANIZATION THAT USES THE GIFT SO DILIGENTLY TO PRESERVE THE BATTLEFIELDS AND HISTORY OF THE COURAGEOUS YOUNG MEN OF THE USA AND CSA IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES. THE PRESERVATION OF THESE FIELDS WILL HELP TEACH GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS THE COST AND FOLLY OF WAR AND THE VALOR OF THEIR ANCESTORS.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Civil War was the defining event in our history. To really know what happened you need to walk the battlefields that the Civil War Trust helps to preserve.

This organization excels at it's mission of battlefield preservation through excellent decision making regarding what needs to be done, coupled with outstanding skill in partnering with other organizations to maximize contributions from donors. The Trust's highly efficient management system minimizes daily operating costs so that the bulk of donor dollars is spent acquiring historically significant land, not just running the office.

I've been a member of the Civil War Trust from the day that it started and continue to be impressed with what they do with my donations. They are the premier battlefield preservation organization in the country, and richly deserve their ranking with Charity Navigator. You can not give your preservation dollars to a better organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

After so many years of being a consumer of our National Parks and Battlefields, I had an awakening: it wasn't enough to enjoy these places, I needed to take action. You can tell what's really important to people by how they spend their time, and where they spend their money. There are many, many great organizations in America, but the Civil War Trust is among the best. Their overhead is extremely low (how many "charities" have you heard where half the income goes toward salaries and benefits?) and they are masters at finding matching grants and working philanthropists. Now that they are actively engage in Revolutionary War and War of 1812 preservation, so much more of our precious history will be saved for generations of Americans to enjoy. Once a subdivision or a Walmart is built on hollowed ground, it's lost forever. We can't save everywhere, but the Civil War Trust is making admirable strides to do so.

Donor

Rating: 5

My favorite place to donate for saving history for my grandchildren. My wife and I have donated for a number of years and never have been disappointed at the use of donations, great management staff who are in for the love of history rather than personal gain, and giving education to schools.

Donor

Rating: 5

I started making small donations to the Civil War Trust about 15 years ago. Although I had an interest in the history of the Civil War in my early 20's I had drifted away as I grew older. It was only after I retired from 27 years of enlisted service in US Army Reserves that I decided to begin to support for the preservation of the battlefields of this war as a memorial of all the volunteers who served. I have continued to donate for 15 years and am extremely pleased with this goals of this organization.