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  • Preservation Events - how can we do more?

    Comrades - several of us have been discussing what the future holds for preservation oriented campaigner events and the presrvation movement in general. We are worried that we may be nearing "preservation march" burnout and so we need some new ideas for attracting more folks to this type of event and expanded ways to raise funds.

    TAG and Lookout Mountain were good ideas that raised serious money - one was a campaigner immersion opposed event and the other a campaigner living history "climb for dollars." They are just the latest examples of the genre. Next year's Mansfield event will feature a campaigner battalion in the midst of a mainstream event with the main goal of raising money for preservation. One vendor has stepped up with a generous offer of donating a complete CS Tait or US fatigue uniform to the winner of a raffle, with all proceeds going to preservation - we expect that to be huge, but want to do more.

    I am concerned that the same 200 of us are the ones most involved with the effort and that we may be missing some folks who are preservation oriented, but most importantly, folks who have access to citizens with serious money that we might tap for CWPT, etc.

    Part of the problem seems to be that some of us are convinced preservation is the birthright of the campaigner, as if everybody else is not concerned about it and not worth approaching. This tends to limit our serious fund raising eforts to very authentic events attended by the same 200 folks.

    One of the reasons I favor trying to convert mainstreamers to campaingers via the "Co I" concept is because we increase the pool of potential fund raisers and donors...and spread awareness.

    We need to maintain our standards for events...but I wonder what else we can do to raise money within the rest of the hobby?

    It galls us no end that huge mainstream events can make thousands of dollars for organizers and a pittance for preservation. So we shun these events and write them off as a lost cause. Now I do not advocate we lower our personal standards and concentrate on trying to convert these events and their participants...too hard. But I would like to hear from some folks with ideas about how we can use these events to raise funds and awareness.

    The real money belongs to the corporations, obviously, and right now there does not appear to be a campaigner preservation liaison entity that can approach corporations for donations on behalf of CWPT, etc. CWPT has that connection but I am wondering what our role should be to assist? How do we fit in between CWPT, big mainstream event organizers and potential donors? Mike "Dusty" Chapman, John Cleveland, Craig Hadley, Rob Hodge and many others are doing yoeman's work organizing efforts and events, but do we need to come up with some kind of committee to work with events, preservation orgs and the hobby?

    To sum up:

    1. What can we do going forward to get more folks to campaigner preservation events?

    2. What can we do to raise money and awareness at non-campaigner events?

    3. Do we need a "preservation committee" of leading living historians whose main job would be to connect us better to CWPT and the other organizations? How can we make this into a more formal effort to allow us to approach sponsors and the hobby more efficiently?

    This may already be happening and I have not heard out here in the Idaho territory. If not, add your thoughts and ideas.

    Thanks
    Soli Deo Gloria
    Doug Cooper

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

    Please support the CWT at www.civilwar.org

  • #2
    Re: Preservation Events - how can we do more?

    Originally posted by DougCooper
    Comrades - several of us have been discussing what the future holds for preservation oriented campaigner events and the presrvation movement in general. We are worried that we may be nearing "preservation march" burnout and so we need some new ideas for attracting more folks to this type of event and expanded ways to raise funds.
    Doug et al, I agree that preservation marches are getting to be the norm instead of something people are looking forward to. Many in the hobby just can't make significant marches due to their physical status. Alternatives might increase participation in fund raising.

    TAG and Lookout Mountain were good ideas that raised serious money - one was a campaigner immersion opposed event and the other a campaigner living history "climb for dollars." They are just the latest examples of the genre. Next year's Mansfield event will feature a campaigner battalion in the midst of a mainstream event with the main goal of raising money for preservation.
    There are several 2004 events that will give money to particular preservation organizations. Mansfield, Reams Station, Pickett's Mill, and others. Maybe the organizers could solicit donations from even non-participants, much like the A2003 march this past year.

    One vendor has stepped up with a generous offer of donating a complete CS Tait or US fatigue uniform to the winner of a raffle, with all proceeds going to preservation - we expect that to be huge, but want to do more.
    This is a great thing for the vendors that can afford to do this. Not all of them can.

    I am concerned that the same 200 of us are the ones most involved with the effort and that we may be missing some folks who are preservation oriented, but most importantly, folks who have access to citizens with serious money that we might tap for CWPT, etc.

    Part of the problem seems to be that some of us are convinced preservation is the birthright of the campaigner, as if everybody else is not concerned about it and not worth approaching. This tends to limit our serious fund raising eforts to very authentic events attended by the same 200 folks.

    One of the reasons I favor trying to convert mainstreamers to campaingers via the "Co I" concept is because we increase the pool of potential fund raisers and donors...and spread awareness.

    We need to maintain our standards for events...but I wonder what else we can do to raise money within the rest of the hobby?

    It galls us no end that huge mainstream events can make thousands of dollars for organizers and a pittance for preservation. So we shun these events and write them off as a lost cause. Now I do not advocate we lower our personal standards and concentrate on trying to convert these events and their participants...too hard. But I would like to hear from some folks with ideas about how we can use these events to raise funds and awareness.
    Preservation shouldn't be based on what "level" of reenactor you choose to be. There are preservation minded people on all levels and the resource needs to be tapped.

    The real money belongs to the corporations, obviously, and right now there does not appear to be a campaigner preservation liaison entity that can approach corporations for donations on behalf of CWPT, etc. CWPT has that connection but I am wondering what our role should be to assist? How do we fit in between CWPT, big mainstream event organizers and potential donors?
    Doug, I'm not sure we are at this point yet. Instead of seeing ourselves as liasons between reenactors and the preservation orgs, I think we should view ourselves as donors, hopefully of large amounts, and move into a leadership role after we get a track record.

    Mike "Dusty" Chapman, John Cleveland, Craig Hadley, Rob Hodge and many others are doing yoeman's work organizing efforts and events, but do we need to come up with some kind of committee to work with events, preservation orgs and the hobby?
    First, I don't belong in this group of people. I haven't organized an event, YET. I hope to do this soon, but others have much more experience than I in these matters. Second, I DO NOT believe a committee is the way to go. Because of the geography of reenacting, an effective committee might be hard to manage. I think if organizers can come up with new ideas of ways to make money like John with the rail drive and Kevin with the stickers at A2003, people will participate in larger numbers. I think that if larger groups of reenactors would pick a cause at the beginning of each year and raise money throughout, it wouldn't seem like work. The SWB has done this in the past with purchasing grave markers for SWB soldiers buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

    To sum up:
    1. Encourage reenactors to join at least one preservation organization like CWPT.

    2. Come up with unique fund raising ideas for people to participate in. These would not involve attending an event to participate such as the rail drive, sticker project or the one that we discussed via email.

    3. An idea that has been floated by many before; a VIRTUAL preservation march where money is raised on the forums.

    4. Vendor donated goods raffled off online by groups/forum sites.

    5. Public exposure for groups on the forefront of raising money.

    Hopefully, others have more ideas.......
    Mike "Dusty" Chapman

    Member: CWT, CVBT, NTHP, MOC, KBA, Stonewall Jackson House, Mosby Heritage Foundation

    "I would have posted this on the preservation folder, but nobody reads that!" - Christopher Daley

    The AC was not started with the beginner in mind. - Jim Kindred

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Preservation Events - how can we do more?

      I thought I would give my opinion on the matter. For what itís worth, I'm just a voice out there....



      1. What can we do going forward to get more folks to campaigner preservation events?
      I think lowering the registration fees might help gain better attendance. I attended more than a few preservation oriented events this year and it sometimes gets hard to keep hitting the same folks up for preservation money or come up with different methods to attract new folks to donate. I imagine alot of fellows donated alot from their own pockets. Put an average of a $20 registration fee on top of that for each event and that starts adding up greatly. This isn't the case for most, but I work in the preservation field. As a professional historic preservation specialist I already belong to other non civil war related preservation groups. They need money as well and I try to do my part to help. Of course I can pick and choose where my preservation dollars go but I would feel bad to have to miss a great event just because I couldn't do the registration. Maybe having a lower registration fee and asking folks to bring what they can might work as well. Maybe not, but how often has it been tried? How has it worked out that way?
      I'm aware that there are costs related to putting on a great preservation related event. I'm not sure how you could lower the registration fee-and it may not be possible in alot of cases.
      I think not always making a preservation event totally campaigner related would help too. (Although I really dig them myself). Others in the hobby have the potential to donate some preservation dollars too. Yeah, at that event you might have some "eye sores" but what is the particular event really about?

      2. What can we do to raise money and awareness at non-campaigner events?

      Perhaps put out the old bucket for folks to drop a dime in. It can never hurt and those pennies can add up. I think a vendor donating a product and having a raffle or silent auction are good ideas. Heck, maybe even having a good event and your ticket to get in is your CWPT membership card? Might urge some to join up.


      3. Do we need a "preservation committee" of leading living historians whose main job would be to connect us better to CWPT and the other organizations? How can we make this into a more formal effort to allow us to approach sponsors and the hobby more efficiently?
      Not sure this is the way to go either. I think there are some first rate people out there doing a great job. How would a "preservation committee" be picked? Seems like a difficult and perhaps too political way of approaching it.

      Good thread! I'm interested in reading other peoples ideas on this matter.
      Matthew Rector

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Preservation Events - how can we do more?

        It has dawned on me that this forum is really the committee I was talking about. As long as we maintain this and keep passing around the ideas, we will advance the cause. There are some great new innovative ideas and better versions of the old. All we have to do is share them.

        Here is one Chris Daley, Dusty and I have talked about related to what Mathew said above - the bucket. The idea is to have a number of "preservation haversacks" that we pass around at events to raise money. the haversacks would be labled as such and have the name of each event stenciled on afterwords. All monies collected go to CWPT or other orgs and the event organizers keep shuttling the bags around. After awhile each one would develop a history all its own, like the well traveled Sanitary Commission 5 lb bag of flour that was being auctioned off in support of the soldiers. I am sure there was more than one 5 lb bag and the same would be true of these.

        Thoughts?
        Soli Deo Gloria
        Doug Cooper

        "The past is never dead. It's not even past." William Faulkner

        Please support the CWT at www.civilwar.org

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Preservation Events - how can we do more?

          I think that Doug has come up with a good topic for discussion. I would like to hear from the rank & file, everyday man who wants to help but can't, etc. Everyone's opinion counts here.

          While you're thinking, I wanted to comment on some things Matthew said in his post.

          1. What can we do going forward to get more folks to campaigner preservation events?

          I think lowering the registration fees might help gain better attendance. I attended more than a few preservation oriented events this year and it sometimes gets hard to keep hitting the same folks up for preservation money or come up with different methods to attract new folks to donate.

          I think Matthew has hit the nail here with this statement. We know that there is a core group out there of, I would say, 20 - 25 folks, who you see giving to every raffle, fund raiser and who are attending the preservation events all the time. These folks give what they can at the time and wish they could give more. With so many "causes" out there currently looking for money, people are pulled in several directions by pleas for money.

          I imagine alot of fellows donated alot from their own pockets. Put an average of a $20 registration fee on top of that for each event and that starts adding up greatly.

          Matthew et al,

          While the mega events are a curse on this planet, they have one thing that the EBUFU events don't have and that's seed money. In Virginia, where development surrounds most Civil War sites or even open areas, holding an event can be expensive with expenses like insurance and county permits. Organizers try to cut down on these expenses using volunteer help and finding landowners that don't charge for the use of the land. Registration fees need to be examined more closely and we need to adjust them accordingly. I'd like to be able to breakdown the expenses of an event on a per person basis at some time in the future. I think many would be surprised at the per person expense.


          This isn't the case for most, but I work in the preservation field. As a professional historic preservation specialist I already belong to other non civil war related preservation groups. They need money as well and I try to do my part to help. Of course I can pick and choose where my preservation dollars go but I would feel bad to have to miss a great event just because I couldn't do the registration. Maybe having a lower registration fee and asking folks to bring what they can might work as well. Maybe not, but how often has it been tried? How has it worked out that way?

          Obviously, everyone's expendable income is different. The more generous you are, the harder it is. Maybe you could alternate years between giving to different organizations?

          I liked your idea of using your CWPT card as a type of discount for event registrations, sort of like AAA. Let me think on this one......
          Last edited by dusty27; 12-11-2003, 10:05 AM.
          Mike "Dusty" Chapman

          Member: CWT, CVBT, NTHP, MOC, KBA, Stonewall Jackson House, Mosby Heritage Foundation

          "I would have posted this on the preservation folder, but nobody reads that!" - Christopher Daley

          The AC was not started with the beginner in mind. - Jim Kindred

          Comment

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