Civil War Preservation Trust
1156 15th Street NW, #900
Washington DC 20005-1717
Mission Statement

The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  Through educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives, the Trust seeks to inform the public about the vital role these battlefields played in determining the course of our nation’s history.

Web and Social Media
Henry House Hill at dawn, Manassas, VA
CEO/Executive Director Mr. O. James Lighthizer
Board Chair Mr. Kirk Bradley
Board Chair Company Affiliation Lee-Moore Oil Company
Contact Information
Address 1156 15th Street NW, #900
Washington, DC 200051717
Telephone 202 367-1861
Fax 202 367-1865
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1999
Former Names
Civil War Trust1998
Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites1998
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $4,265,053.00
Projected Expenses $1,298,164.00

The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.  Through educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives, the Trust seeks to inform the public about the vital role these battlefields played in determining the course of our nation’s history.

To date, the Civil War Trust has saved over 40,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. In 2014, each dollar we were able to raise from our members we were able to leverage by a factor of 5 to 1, meaning that we succeeded in multiplying every donor dollar by 5 additional dollars of grant funds—making us very effective. Charity Navigator also awarded the Trust with its highest 4-star rating for the fifth year in a row.
The Trust has created 16 cutting edge smartphone battlefield apps (iPhone and Android) including  Bull Run, Cedar Creek, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Malvern Hill, and Gettysburg. These custom battlefield touring apps, with integrated maps and always-on GPS, ensure that visitors know exactly where they are on the battlefield. 
The Trust’s web platform continues to grow, with 5.8 million unique visitors in 2014. The most popular sections of this content-rich site are our iconic battle maps and detailed battlefield pages. Combined with our quarterly award-winning magazine, Hallowed Ground, and our Facebook presence, the Trust’s ability to communicate the importance of preservation efforts is far reaching. In 2014 three Teacher Institutes were held where teachers received training on the nine lesson plans in our new Civil War Curriculum. Approximately 25,000 students are reached each year as a result of these institutes. The ability of the Trust to successfully undertake its mission is due in part to our dedicated members.

The needs of the Civil War Trust are:

Ø Financial support for battlefield land acquisition at sites deemed significant by the Congressionally-appointed Civil War Sites Advisory Commission by:

·      Cash gifts or charitable gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds

·     Becoming a member of the Trust

·      Legacy gifts

·      Workplace giving: Corporate Matching gifts or state/federal workplace campaign participation

·      Contributing to the Trust’s $50 million Capital Campaign to commemorate the sesquicentennial by raising funds to preserve as much threatened land as possible by 2015

Ø Underwriting of the national and regional Teacher Institutes

Ø Contacting U.S. Senators and Representatives, urging them to support battlefield preservation

Ø Sponsoring  battlefield interpretation efforts with signs, brochures, driving tours, and maps

Ø Volunteering at Park Day, our annual effort to clean up park sites

The Civil War Trust was formed in 1999 from two predecessor organizations that recognized historic battlefields were rapidly becoming victim to sprawling development. Understanding that the best way to commemorate the great struggle between the North and the South was to preserve battlefield landscapes, the Trust’s mission was clearly defined from the outset. Led by Jim Lighthizer, a former Maryland Secretary of Transportation, the effort to save these acres has grown exponentially. Only 20% of the actual land where 620,000 American soldiers died is currently preserved – the rest is unprotected or already destroyed. We are racing to save what is left.   
Forging strong partnerships is essential to the preservation effort. Foremost among our allies is our federal partner, the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program.  We also pursue preservation opportunities in conjunction with local groups.   
The Trust only buys land from willing sellers, taking guardianship responsibility seriously. Once acquired, land is transferred to a long-term steward, such as the National Park Service or a state park, or held and managed by the Trust. The Trust invests significant resources into creating walking trails and interpretive signs, and restoring the landscape to wartime appearance to give visitors the full benefit of these irreplaceable outdoor classrooms.
CEO Statement
The Civil War Trust continues to build on our reputation as the premiere heritage land preservation organization in the country. There is no other entity — including the federal government in the form of the National Park Service — that is saving more hallowed ground than the Trust.  What was even more remarkable is that we accomplished much success in the worst economy in living memory. While other similarly situated organizations are scaling back and laying off staff, we took a reasonable and responsible course of action to re-evaluate every expense, every expenditure and every project in light of the economy. This allowed us to press onward with our mission and achieve a level of success that surpassed all expectations.
As we rapidly approach the war’s sesquicentennial, we are committed to remaining the organization that is an effective and efficient steward of your donation dollar, consistently scoring well on all the national charitable rating services.
As I look toward the future, I remain optimistic. We have a talented staff and the support of a strong, generous and involved Board. We have an enthusiastic and active membership that, along with our Board, help the organization continue to mature and progress. We continue to embrace new advances in technology to connect with donors and students of history. Finally, we have committed significant resources into continuing to cultivate the active participation of federal, state and local governments in the battlefield preservation process. With all of these essentials in place, I am confident that the Trust will remain the premier heritage land preservation organization in America for many years to come.
James Lighthizer, President
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Throughout the United States
We work to preserve land in the 25 states where significant Civil War battles occurred. In addition, visitors from across the country and world can visit these sites and learn about the American Civil War.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Kirk Bradley
Company Affiliation Lee-Moore Oil Company
Term June 2015 to June 2017
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Mr. Jeff Rodek
Company Affiliation No Affiliation
Board of Directors
Board Members
Dr. Mary M. Abroe College of Lake County
Mr. Trace Adkins Country Music Star
Mr. Harrison Bains Jr.Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.-retired
Mr. Don Barrett Barrett Law Group P.A.
Mr. Edwin C. Bearss National Park Service-retired
Mr. Kirk J. Bradley Lee-Moore Capital Company
Mr. Paul W. Bryant Jr.Greene Group, Inc.
Mr. Walter W. Buckley Jr.Buckley Muething Capital Management Company
Mr. John Campbell Former Congressman
Mr. Carlton Crenshaw Anteon International Corp.- retired
Mr. Jeff Dahlgren Airtech
Mr. Robert Daum Private Investor
Mr. Vince Dooley Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, University of Georgia (Retired)
Mr. Lester Fant Galway III LLC
Mr. Bruce Gottwald NewMarket Corporation
Mr. Michael Grainger Ingram Micro Inc.-retired
Mr. William J. Hupp Adams Street Partners, LLC
Ms. Kate Kelly Author
Mr. Thomas H. Lauer Advent International
Mr. O. James Lighthizer Civil War Trust
Mr. Duke R. Ligon Panhandle Oil and Gas, Inc.
Mr. Jeffrey P. McClanathan CPA
Mr. John Nau IIISilver Eagle Distributors
Mr. Stephen F. Newhouse Morgan Stanley-retired
Mr. Jeff Rodek Hyperion Solutions Corp.-retired
Mr. J. Dennis Sexton All Children's Health System-retired
Mr. Madhu Tadikonda AIG
Mr. Robert Uhler Chairman and CEO of MWH Global, Inc
Mr. William Vodra Retired
Mrs. Susan Whitaker Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 29
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 27
Female 3
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. O. James Lighthizer
Experience President of The Trust since 1999, Jim is a native of Ohio and has lived in Maryland all his adult life.  Early in his career he was employed by IBM Corporation, but after graduation from Georgetown University Law Center, he practiced law in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  In 1978, he was elected to the Maryland legislature and in 1982 and 1986 to Anne Arundel County Executive.  In 1991, he was appointed by Governor William Donald Schaefer to be the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, where he pioneered the use if ISTEA funds for battlefield preservation.  Jim left government service in 1995 and re-entered the practice of law, as a partner with Miles and Stockbridge, a major Baltimore law firm.

In 1999 Jim Lighthizer became President of the Civil War Trust, and has overseen the organization as it has saved thousands of acres of Civil War battlefield land.

Senior Staff
Mr. Garry Adelman Director of History and Education
Mr. Jim Campi Director Policy and Media
Mr. David N. Duncan Director Membership and Development
Mr. Tom Gilmore Director Real Estate
Mrs. Ruth Hudspeth Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Michelle McMahon Director Internet Strategy and Development
Mrs. Melissa Sadler Director Events and Cololr Bearers
Mr. Steve Wyngarden Chief Operating Officer
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
4-Star RatingCharity Navigator2010
4-Star RatingCharity Navigator2009
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2011
4-star ratingCharity Navigator2012
Wise Giving Alliance AccreditationBetter Business Bureau2012
4 Star RatingCharity Navigator2013
Wise Giving Alliance AccredidationBetter Business Bureau2013
Wise Giving Alliance AccredidationBetter Business Bureau2014
The Civil War Trust's main program is land preservation: our mission is to save endangered Civil War Battlefields from development by buying the land and protecting it through easements. Much of the land that the Civil War was fought on is endangered due to development pressures. We only purchase land at fair market value from landowners who are willing sellers; by purchasing the land outright we can ensure that it is preserved and will never be developed.
We have already saved over 40,000 acres of battlefield land, and we aim to save many more acres before it is too late. We are currently finishing a Capital Campaign that coincided with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. In 2014 the Civil War Trust made great strides in saving this land by preserving over 2,000. These tracts of land are part of great battlefields such as North Anna, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and Bentonville.
Budget $15,616,313.00
Short Term Success Each year during the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, we aim to save 4,000 acres of significant land. Some tracts may be small in acreage, yet very significant in the war.
Long Term Success Our long-term goals are to continue to preserve thousand of acres of Civil war battlefield land. Over the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, we aim to save 20,000 acres of hallowed ground.
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.
The Civil War Trust is the premier organization working to educate the public about the Civil War and its battlefields. Major recent advances in the Trust's education programs include the release of the Civil War Curriculum, the expansion of the Teacher Institute series, and continuing work on interpretation and content for the Trust's new Battle Apps for smart phones. The Trust focuses its educational efforts on five major areas: battlefield interpretation, in classrooms, on the web, at events, and in print.
Population Served Adults
Budget $1,401,454.00
Short Term Success The Civil War Trust education department has had a number of recent successes in the past year, and we look forward to continuing those successes while expanding our program to reach more students. We are creating new and exciting ways to engage both students and adults to teach them about the Civil War. We have expanded our Traveling Trunk program to four trunks, we are continuing to produce more Battle Apps, and we are working on some new educational opportunities that use new technology.
Long Term Success We hope to continue to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the country with our education programs. Our Civil War curriculum, Battle Apps for Smart Phones, Traveling Trunk program, and Teachers Institutes will continue to help teach many people about the importance of the Civil War.
Description The Civil War Trust is a membership-based organization. Each quarter, every member receives our 48-page magazine Hallowed Ground, as a free educational membership benefit. The magazine highlights how their direct support helps preserve endangered Civil War battlefield land, advances the cause of education about the key period in our nation's history, and educates them directly on historical elements of importance about the Civil War and land preservation. We depend on our members to raise the money we need to preserve the battlefield land.
Population Served Adults
Budget $2,206,698.00
Short Term Success During the course of the past few years, while many non-profit organizations continued to experience declining membership, the Civil War Trust was able to recruit enough new members and reactivate lapsed members to maintain approximately 53,000 active members.
Long Term Success Our goal is to maintain the number of members we currently have, with the hope that this number will increase with time. Because we rely on our members to donate funds needed to preserve Civil War Battlefield land, it is essential that we have a large pool of members to assist us with this.
CEO/ED/Board Comments
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $4,265,053.00
Projected Expenses $1,298,164.00
Endowment Value $0.00
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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$1,790,272$0
Individual Contributions$16,873,074$13,153,927$26,259,982
Investment Income, Net of Losses$30,937$22,639$17,171
Membership Dues--$3,689,123--
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind$854,392$854,392$222,976
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$18,102,216$18,102,216$19,265,787
Administration Expense$924,330$919,867$942,502
Fundraising Expense$2,284,913$2,284,913$2,357,591
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.391.391.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses85%85%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%9%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$99,462,511$99,462,511$91,336,758
Current Assets$8,945,075$9,344,885$9,945,756
Long-Term Liabilities$4,500,000$4,500,000$4,800,000
Current Liabilities$1,262,860$1,262,860$1,077,349
Total Net Assets$93,699,651$93,699,651$85,459,409
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities7.087.409.23
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets5%5%5%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application Confirmation 1/2016View
Organization Comments The budget numbers reflect the period from January 1, 2015- March 31, 2015 because we are in the process of changing our fiscal year. Our new fiscal year will start April 1, 2015 and run through March 31, 2016.