Preservation Virginia has been fortunate to employ an IT coordinator for six years on staff. In doing so, we have been able to increase the effectiveness of our website to share information and make connections. The website will be revised in the fall of 2010 to provide more interactive and access to our research materials. Additionally we have employed social media as a way to make connections with a new and younger audience and to drive those individuals to our programs and to our website.
It has been my privilege to witness the tremendous evolution of this organization over the last twenty years. Preservation Virginia—its leadership, members and branches—have adapted to the changing field of historic preservation to remain vital. Preservation Virginia is multifaceted working on many levels to ensure that historic places across Virginia remain vital. We have been effective because we are not afraid to partner or press forward with innovative strategies to grow support and expand a preservation movement.
Preservation Virginia has adopted a positive approach to preservation issues—looking for the balance between the need for growth and the economic and cultural value that historic structures and neighborhoods bring to Virginia communities. So whether it is preservation and interpretation of a specific site like the John Marshall House or Historic Jamestowne or providing owners of older homes technical advice or working with local groups to ensure that historic assets are considered when new building projects come on line, Preservation Virginia is utilizing 120 years of hands on experience to “connect people to resources to ensure the vitality of Virginia and Virginia’s historic places”.
For the last three years, it has been my honor to lead Preservation Virginia as the President. In that time, I have grown in my admiration for the people who came and who have helped to evolve this organization over 120 years. Today’s economic climate makes our task more complicated. Yet, Preservation Virginia has weathered recessions, economic contractions, and the Great Depression—each time emerging to ensure that our mission is maintained.
Virginia’s historic landscape would look far different if Preservation Virginia had not secured historic places and served as an advocate for communities. Sites that draw visitors to the Commonwealth such as Historic Jamestowne, the John Marshall House, Scotchtown and our Fredericksburg properties might have been developed or bulldozed. Today, we share the lessons gained from that experience and engage dedicated individuals and local groups to ensure the future of Virginia’s irreplaceable historic places.
To save these places, to share expertise through the Revolving Fund and Partners in the Field; to open our historic museum sites including Historic Jamestowne, and to maintain the historic structures we steward, it also takes funds. Preservation Virginia has evolved from a small operation to a multi-million dollar enterprise. We serve 600,000 plus individuals and families through our statewide and Branch programs, and we employ 29 full-time positions. The vast majority of our operation budget support mission related programming. We strive to keep administrative expenses related to membership, administration, development and accounting as low as possible.
Our programs have a multiplier effect—inspiring others to preserve, investing in the economic health of our communities, and ensuring that generations to come will be able to stand where history happened.
Preservation Virginia continues to be strategic in cultivating and developing leadership that reflects our statewide program—balancing the need to have individuals who have technical, scholarly, and grassroots connections with individuals who can build capacity, influence and support. The Governance Committee of the Board is an active and vital part of that equation. Our branch and partner organizations statewide equally act as training grounds for leadership in the larger organization.
Mrs. Kostelny brings more than 24 years of experience in the museum and preservation field. She has worked with Preservation Virginia for 18 years and brings an awareness of the past accomplishments and vision for future goals for Preservation Virginia. Through her leadership, Preservation Virginia is leveraging the awareness gained through the opportunities of 2007 to raise the level of success and sustainability in the programs statewide.
Preservation Virginia's programs and services reflect the spirit of adaptation and revitalization that was born at Jamestown. Like many non-profits we have adjusted our priorities and are developing new strategies in this time of economic contraction. The model for preserving places has changed over the last two decades. Historic house museums and sites have experienced a decline in visitation nationwide. We are working with local and national groups to determine the new models for these sites’ survival. At the same time, we are leveraging a growing grassroots interest in finding strategies to make historic preservation an economic tool for communities—a strategy that relies on the uniqueness of the resources and the local significance of neighborhoods, structures and landscapes. While daunting on some levels, it is an opportunity to be a participant in shaping how historic preservation will evolve.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
As we look ahead and in part because of the shift in visitation trends, Preservation Virginia is shaping a financial model that is less dependent on admission revenue and is more reliant on revenue generated for programs and services. Additionally, we are building cash reserve and endowed funds that will support programs and sites into the future.
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