Why does the Kent Historical Society need an Annual Fund?
The Kent Historical Society is embarking on something brand new this fall – the Annual Fund for the Kent Historical Society. Many of our members are probably asking why the organization would need this and why they should donate, when they already pay membership dues.
You’ve probably recognized that recently the Society has increased its public programming and expanded what it offers to both the town and the region. The Board of Trustees has consciously been planning to increase the financial backbone of the Society.
About a year ago we hired fundraising consultant Nancy Baker, a longtime resident of the Northwest Corner and the former Director of Development of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston. She has been guiding us through the process of developing a more sophisticated fundraising program that includes funding from a variety of sources. We’ve revamped our membership renewal process so that your membership is now on an annual basis, rather than based on our fiscal year. For example, when you become a member in July, your membership renewal is due in July. I’m pleased to report that 22 members renewed at a higher membership level than they had the previous year.
Fund raising for a non-profit must come from many different sources and we are cognizant of this and are working hard to expand the income streams. We have increased our contacts with state and local foundations and applied for multiple grants. We have been successful with two during the past year. We hope to hear in the upcoming months on at least two more.
The new Annual Fund is another important source of funding for the Society. The purpose of these donations will be to support the mission of KHS through donations to augment our operating budget: “Our mission is to collect, preserve, interpret and present the rich history of Kent as well as to provide educational and research material to enrich the public understanding of Kent’s artistic and cultural heritage.”
In the next couple of weeks you’ll receive a letter encouraging you to give to the Annual Fund. I hope that you will consider the important work that the Kent Historical Society does for the town as well as the region and decide to make a gift in support of the organization, in addition to your annual membership dues so we can continue to add new programming, exhibitions and events to our calendar. Your support is deeply appreciated.
Lynn Mellis Worthington, President