Grants for Historic Preservation

It’s a shame that so many of the locally maintained historic structures that we pass on the road are not open to the public. Sure, they’ve been saved by concerned citizens in the neighborhood who have the best of intentions. Maybe the buildings are open for viewing a few hours a week, a month, or by appointment only. But is that truly part of the mission statement of the society; to preserve a structure that most people will never see? If only they had more money!

Time to get serious about grant writing. Why do some societies succeed here while others face continued disappointment? One reason could be that their grant submissions are more professional or compelling. It’s my opinion that this is definitely one area of each society’s management that should be handled by an experienced, successful grant writer. They are out there, and lists of companies and individuals schooled in grant writing are easy to access from a simple web search. If finances or other reasons determine that you need to handle this yourself, fine, but take a few courses on the subject so you better your rate of success. Online courses are available, as are adult ed courses in many communities.

There’s a saying, “What gets measured gets done.” You should be sending out enough grant applications that you need a spreadsheet to keep track. Determine your closing rate as well as the sum of money each grant brings in. Study both the losing applications as well as the winning ones. Another saying is, “You get more of what you focus on.” Time to put your focus on successful grant writing.

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