Virginia Capitol Foundation
P.O. Box 396
Richmond VA 23218
Mission Statement
The Virginia Capitol Foundation is the private-sector advocate for the Capitol and Executive Mansion, enhancing the educational, cultural, and economic potential of Capitol Square's historic treasures through program development, fundraising, and marketing.
Web and Social Media
The Virginia State Capitol belongs to the people of Virginia.
The Virginia Capitol wa rededicated in 2007 upon the completion of a restoration and extension. In the foreground is the entrance to the new 25,000 sq foot visitors center.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Colleen Dugan Messick
Board Chair Susan B. Allen
Board Chair Company Affiliation Former First Lady of Virginia/Community Volunteer
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218
Telephone 804 786-1012
Fax 804 786-0989
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2004
Former Names
Virginia Capitol Preservation Foundation2006
Foundation for the Preservation of Virginia's Executive Mansion2006
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $200,000.00
Projected Expenses $171,678.00
Additional Documents
Virginia Indian Tribute Monument2015View
The Virginia Capitol Foundation is the private-sector advocate for the Capitol and Executive Mansion, enhancing the educational, cultural, and economic potential of Capitol Square's historic treasures through program development, fundraising, and marketing.

VCF Selected Accomplishments

Capitol Square Annual Ornaments-five ornaments have been produced, starting in 2012, of the Capitol, Bell Tower, Executive Mansion, George Washington Equestrian Monument, and Thomas Jefferson statue.
Keepers of the Flame - completed production for 27 minute orientation film that is available to more than 100,000 annual Capitol visitors.  The film tells of the stories of important figures and events in Virginia history with a goal of inspiring viewers to take up the torch of liberty through active civic service.
Thomas Jefferson: Architect of Liberty – commissioned a full-length bronze portrait sculpture of Thomas Jefferson, obtained full funding, and installed it as a guidepost for the Visitor Extension of the Capitol. 

VCF Top Goals

Work in partnership with two state commissions to install monuments on Capitol Square:  (1) Virginia Indian Tribute Monument, (2) Virginia Women’s Monument.  Both monuments and accompanying educational programs will commemorate and celebrate these previously underrepresented groups in the monuments on the grounds of the Virginia Capitol. 
Promote the Adopt-A-Bench Project to restore 19th century-styled benches to the Square as well as the Adopt-A-Tree and Pathway to Liberty inscribed brick programs. 
Enhance educational programs in the Capitol and on Capitol Square.
Interpretation of the 19th century Executive Mansion Kitchen, along with acquisition and conservation of period pieces for the Mansion. 

Most Pressing Funding Needs for Capitol Square as identified by the VCF


  1. Monuments to honor the Virginia Indians and the women of the Commonwealth - support the efforts of both commissions which will include developing a design concept, managing a competitive process to select the sculptors, and identification of donors.  Indian Monument: $1 million, Women’s Monument: $3.4 million. 
  2. Adopt-a-Bench $3,000 per bench. Adopt-a-Tree $10,000 per tree. Inscribe a brick on the Pathway to Liberty $250 per brick.
  3. Annual Fund - the VCF works cooperatively with state agencies supporting Capitol Square and, as a result, we are able take advantage of these partnerships to keep our operating costs down.  Our annual fund goal is $120,000.
  4. Educational Programs - expansion of the tour experience, enhancement of the exhibit gallery in the Capitol, Capitol outreach through an updated website and mobile applications.


Since its founding in early 2004, the Virginia Capitol Foundation has worked in partnership with state government to bring a valuable community perspective to both educational offerings and preservation projects on Capitol Square.  Shortly after the VCF was launched, we completed a comprehensive campaign planning study and implemented all of the study’s recommendations, such as adding the development of educational programs to our mission. The VCF has built a board of trustees with community leaders that represents all of Virginia, from across the Commonwealth. Based on recommendations from the "Best Minds" on historic preservation in the nation who were called to assist our foundation, the VCF sought and achieved a merger with the Executive Mansion Foundation which maximized our ability to reach out to donors with one voice for all the historic treasures on Capitol Square. Following this merger, we partnered with First Lady Anne Holton to raise funds for art restoration and acquisition in the Executive Mansion. VCF has sought out other partnerships so that the Capitol would be seen and utilitized as an economic engine for the region, helping to attract important tourism dollars to the city. 

In early 2006, the VCF received its first major grant that made possible the documentation and restoration of the 18th century millwork discovered throughout the Capitol which was a key component of the Capitol's inclusion on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Status. 

In order to maximize and highlight the educational opportunities for the Capitol, the VCF hired an internationally-acclaimed design firm, BRC Imagination Arts, and with their guidance completed the initial design phase for the Capitol's educational programs. In 2008, the VCF hired an all-Virginia team to produce the first of these programs, the film Keepers of the Flame. 

In order to raise funds for both the restoration of the historic landscape of Capitol Square and for ongoing operating expenses, the VCF developed and launched the Adopt-a-Tree and the Pathway to Liberty inscribed brick programs.

These initiatives and others have been accomplished with minimal investment in overhead, maintaining a lean operations staff while securing needed support from state agencies to greatly expand the capabilities of the VCF. 
CEO Statement
It is an exciting time for the Commonwealth and the Virginia Capitol Foundation. Our restored Capitol opened to visitors in May 2007 and annually welcomes tens of thousands of Virginia students and travelers from every state and many countries. The most recent expansion, only the third in the Capitol's history, included the addition of a new visitor's entrance, which serves as the gateway to the Commonwealth and showcases rotating exhibits that highlight noteworthy groups and events in Virginia history.
As an independent foundation supporting public projects, the Virginia Capitol Foundation has a unique opportunity to build partnerships by collaborating with private donors, corporations and state entities to fund and oversee projects related to our mission. Through these partnerships, we are able to leverage other resources and maintain a leaner Foundation staff, thus channeling more of your donations into our work.
There are many ways to support our mission, from funding our educational programs and art acquisitions to helping refurbish our buildings and grounds. We continue to seek funds for two new monuments one to Virginia Women and one to Virginia Indians, expanding our educational programs and other future projects.
It is our honor to work with members of the community to be an advocate for preserving and sharing the important Virginia treasures on Capitol Square.
Colleen Dugan Messick 
Executive Director
Board Chair Statement If these walls could talk, the stories they would tell. I think about that each time I visit Virginia’s Capitol, walking the same halls as Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln and many other distinguished men and women.

Designed by Mr. Jefferson and opened in 1788, the Capitol was the first government building designed specifically for our new democracy. It is home to the Virginia General Assembly, the oldest, English-speaking legislature in the New World, and it served as the Capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The history and architecture of this 221-year-old building are spectacular, and I am honored to be part of the Virginia Capitol Foundation’s efforts to enhance and preserve this historic Capitol, as well as Capitol Square and the Executive Mansion.

Since the Virginia Capitol Foundation was created in 2004, we have supported the restoration and expansion of the Capitol with the discovery and restoration of the Capitol 's original 18th century woodwork and Capitol Square's distinctive cast iron fence, and we have completed pre-production and production work on a film that will be shown to more than 100,000 Capitol visitors each year.

The Capitol belongs to every citizen of Virginia, and the Virginia Capitol Foundation is poised to help preserve and share this most valuable asset. We welcome your support as we work to enhance these treasures for future generations.
Janet Geldzahler
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Although the Virginia Capitol and Executive Mansion attract visitors from around the world, the primary audience is Virginia school children of the over 120,000 annual visitors. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Susan B. Allen
Company Affiliation Former First Lady of Virginia/Community Volunteer
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Charles H. Selheimer, Jr.
Company Affiliation Sotheby's International Realty Corporation
Term July 2017 to June 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
Susan B. Allen Community Volunteer
Richard A. Arenstein Arenstein and Associates
Harry F. Byrd IV The Scott Group of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow
Leslie Giles James River Realty
Margaret C Hager Community Volunteer
Adrienne G. Hines Community Volunteer
Patricia S. Loughridge Community Volunteer
Joseph W. Montgomery Wells Fargo
The Honorable Brian J. Moran Consultant
The Honorable G. Paul Nardo Clerk, House of Delegates
Anita O. Poston EAttorney
The Honorable Nancy Rodrigues Secretary of Administration
The Honorable Susan Clarke Schaar Clerk of the Senate of Virginia
Sidney Buford Scott Scott & Stringfellow
Charles H. Seilheimer Jr.Virginia Country Properties, Inc.
Florence Lee Wellons Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 83
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 1
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Colleen Dugan Messick
Former CEOs
Mrs. Alice Dunn Lynch Feb 2004 - July 2016
Senior Staff
Ms. Andrea Siebentritt Communications and Development Coordinator
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 1
Contractors 1
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 10
Date Strategic Plan Adopted May 2008
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
The Virginia Capitol Foundation collaborates with the following organizations:  Capitol Square Preservation Foundation, Citizens Advisory Council for the Executive Mansion, House of Delegates Office of the Clerk, Senate of Virginia Office of the Clerk, Commonwealth of Virginia Department of General Services, Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission, Virginia Women's Monument Commission

In recognition of their lasting legacy and contributions, as well as to ensure the endurance of their rich and inspiring stories, the Indian monument will pay tribute to Virginia's original inhabitants. Oriented to the earth, Mantle creates the shape of a Nautilus shell by combining three integrated spiral elements. A five-foot wide winding footpath will follow the outline of the monument; rising from and returning back to the earth. In addition to the path, there will be a continuous wall, also serving as a bench, to allow for gathering and meditating. A selection of perennial native plant species will constitute the natural style landscaping around the monument. Traversing the space will be a man-made stream, paying homage to the integral role water plays in the culture of Virginia Indian tribes. Stones from sites throughout the Commonwealth, with significance to Virginia Indians, will be placed in the stream bed. 

Budget $1,000,000.00

The Virginia Women's Commission is leading the much anticipated effort to commemorate and celebrate the achievement of women in Virginia. Thought to be the first of its kind in the nation recognizing the full range of women's achievements, the monument will take the form of a garden plaza featuring 12 bronze sculptures of important female figures from Virginia, including both well-known women and those unheralded in the history books. The women selected represent over four centuries of Virginia history and diversity, reflecting various spheres of influence and geographic areas of the Commonwealth. Additional women of achievement will be named on the wall of honor surrounding the plaza and important milestones in women's history will be enumerated on a timeline. A metaphor for the many unrecognized, and often invisible, female voices that have been responsible for shaping our culture, country, and Commonwealth, Voices from the Garden will spark inquiry and encourage educational endeavors highlighting Virginia women's accomplishments. 

Budget $3,700,000.00
Description Funding for the development of programs and interactive experiences aimed at educating current and future generations on the ideals of liberty, representative government, and civic engagement. In addition, the projects will remind visitors of the pivotal role Virginia has played in the founding of America's form of government. Focus areas will include significant milestones in Virginia history, representative government in action, and the compelling stories of influential, though often less celebrated, individuals. Educational tools under consideration include an expanded tour experience, enhancement of the exhibit gallery and Capitol outreach through an updated website and new mobile applications.  
Budget $2,200,000.00
Description Virginia's Executive Mansion is the oldest governor's residence in the United States which continues to serve its original purpose. Every day, the mansion welcomes groups, ranging from school children, who explore its historic spaces, to international dignitaries, who meet to conduct business with the Commonwealth. Two initiatives will enhance the presence and complete the story of the Mansion. The kitchen dependency, constructed in 1813, and adjacent to the Mansion, will be furnished with implements appearing on an 1818 inventory of the kitchen, with the intention of using the space to tell the stories of the individuals, including enslaved persons, who served governors and their families in the 19th century. In addition, the dependency will provide a space for educational programs on both food and sustainability and nutrition. While the state provides the funding for the day-to-day functioning of the residence of the Governor and the First Family, private funds will enable the conservation of period furniture and fine art as well as the acquisition of pieces for the public spaces, better reflecting the rich history and prosperity of our Commonwealth. 
Budget $500,000.00
CEO/ED/Board Comments These four programs make up our Illuminating History Campaign. Components of the programs are revised as needs arise. 
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $200,000.00
Projected Expenses $171,678.00
Endowment Value $48,622.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$141,052$576,513$107,893
Investment Income, Net of Losses($25,693)($666)$111,250
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind$1,104$5,904$14,804
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$101,624$84,326$113,363
Administration Expense$47,515$43,641$42,618
Fundraising Expense$80,304$211,501$43,365
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.521.741.28
Program Expense/Total Expenses44%25%57%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue57%37%40%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,655,883$1,731,981$1,160,496
Current Assets$801,970$992,496$415,408
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$726,674$692,792$373,633
Total Net Assets$929,209$1,039,189$786,863
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.101.431.11
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose The Illuminating History Campaign will fund a collection of projects designed to enhance the visitor experience on Capitol Square and through related digital educational programs. The Major projects include (1) An Indian Tribute Monument, (2) A Virginia Women's Monument, (3) Restoration of the Washington Monument and other preservation projects on Capitol Square, (4) Restoration of the original early 19th Century Kitchen at the Executive Mansion and acquisition of period furnishings for the public rooms.
Goal $10,000,000.00
Dates July 2014 to Mar 2019
Amount Raised To Date $824,454.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 11/2016View
Organization Comments
Spending in excess of revenues were caused in large part because of use of grant funds from a previous year being spent in following year(s).
Foundation Comments
  • Financial information provided from audited financial statements.
  • Audited financial statements and IRS 990s prepared by L.P. Martin & Company, PC.