A Lasting Legacy
How will you mark the Civil War’s 150th anniversary? At the Civil War Trust, we believe that the single greatest way for the American people to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War is to set aside the battlefields where that conflict was fought and decided -- to create a permanent, lasting legacy.
On June 30, 2011, the Trust announced its ambitious, unprecedented goal for the sesquicentennial: in the next four years, we would raise $40 million in private sector funds for battlefield preservation, an effort called Campaign 150: Our Time, Our Legacy. These funds will then be leveraged against government grants and foundation and corporate support to purchase battlefield land at fair market value or place it under permanent conservation easement.
In April 2014 — just 32 months later and more than a year ahead of schedule — the Trust announced that it had achieved this lofty initial goal. In response, the organization issued a new “stretch goal” for the effort, looking to raise an additional $10 million toward the permanent protection of the nation’s endangered hallowed ground. Now set at $50 million in aggregate, this undertaking is the largest-ever fundraising project undertaken by an American heritage land preservation group.
Won’t you help us take a stand for American history and ensure that the Civil War Sesquicentennial leaves a permanent and tangible legacy in the form of battlefields preserved as monuments to the bravery and dedication of our ancestors and military?
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1. What is the purpose of this Campaign?
The Campaign will raise sufficient funds to save an additional 20,000 acres of the most significant remaining Civil War battlefields (as defined by leading historians) over the course of the Sesquicentennial. Our emphasis will be on “completing” as many of these key battlefields as possible. We will also raise Campaign gifts to fund expansion of the Trust’s educational and technology outreach programs, positioning us well for the future as America’s premier Civil War preservation and education organization.
2. Why are we doing it now?
The Sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War offers us a unique and exciting opportunity. In our lifetimes, there will never be a better period of heightened interest in this subject; real estate prices will likely never be lower; the leadership of the Trust (board members and professional staff) has never been stronger; our national membership base is loyal and generous; our previous eleven years of hard work have positioned us as the leading and most successful heritage land preservation organization in America; and despite the budgetary climate in Congress and in the states, we continue to forge excellent alliances with key decision makers that generate millions of dollars in battlefield matching funds annually.
In short, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring together all of these advantages, and leave for future generations the most significant legacy coming out of the Sesquicentennial.
3. What is our total goal and on what elements is that figure based?
Our “dirt” goal is to save another 20,000 acres, so that at the successful conclusion of the Campaign, when added to the 30,000 acres the organization has already preserved, we will have saved a total of 50,000 acres of irreplaceable hallowed ground for future generations.
The Campaign’s financial goals are to raise a total of $35 million for land acquisition, and $5 million for education and technology initiatives, for a total Campaign goal of $40 million.
4. What is the time frame for the Campaign?
The Campaign kick-off was announced June 30, 2011 in Gettysburg, and is currently expected to run through the end of 2015.
5. What are the giving opportunities, and how will major gifts be recognized?
Donors may contribute to land preservation projects, educational initiatives and technology. We are creating several new exciting Civil War Trust-branded major donor recognitions, one of which will consist of a named plaque mounted on a substantial boulder to be placed on the actual ground that a lead donor helps to save. We will also continue to recognize donors in our publications, the website and our events.
6. Who will lead the Campaign?
Long-time Trustee Beverly M. “Bo” DuBose from Atlanta, Georgia, has agreed to initially lead the Campaign. Bo has been instrumental in similar efforts at the Gettysburg Foundation and at the Tredegar Civil War Center in Richmond. He and Board Chairman Henry Simpson will work with a Campaign steering committee that will work closely with staff on advancing the Campaign
7. Is a goal of $40 million achievable?
Absolutely! There will be donations made to the Campaign of $2 to $2 million, and at every level in between. But if each one of the Civil War Trust’s current 55,000 members committed just an extra $3.00 per week, or $150 per year for each year of the campaign, we would easily exceed our goal.
For more information on how you can contribute to this effort please contact our development team.
Director of Membership and Development
Senior Vice President for Major Gifts