Tag Archives: Cemetery Fundraising

Cemetery Fundraising Ideas Week kickoff

Flickr photo by borman818

Flickr photo by borman818

Considering last week’s response to cemetery fundraising, I decided to dig around to see what else people are doing to raise money for their historic/small town cemeteries. Turns out there are so many good projects and helpful hints, I decided to devote the next couple of weeks to “Cemetery Fundraising Ideas” on the BTG blog.

So in the words of Dame Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning…a very good place to start.”

Article #1

Here’s a good general listing of short-term and long-term fundraising possibilities for cemetery boards/historical societies: Fundraising Ideas to Provide Perpetual Care in Small Cemeteries. Note: It’s a little long and has lots of stuff, so give yourself enough time to digest it.

Article #2

Ok, all well and good, but what if you’re nowhere near the point of having a historical society where members can take on the tasks outlined above? You know you want to preserve the historic cemetery, but how do you get from wanting to preserve it to a recognized society that can take this on?

Enter another long article, this one from the state of Oregon called: Historic Cemetery Long Range Planning. If this doesn’t get you started, nothing will.

 

 

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Cemetery fundraising ideas

Dredging up ideas to raise cash for cemetery repairs and maintenance is an ongoing challenge. Here’s how the Ray Township Historical Society in Michigan is doing it via several fundraisers for Procter Cemetery.

http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2015/04/30/life/doc55426e1b6c37b321696723.txt

 

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Scaring up more cemetery repair funds

Flickr photo by borman818

 

This past August, BTG posted an article on how cemeteries could raise extra maintenance and repair funds. Some of these ideas included growing special heritage roses, art exhibitions, and Living History Performances. Today, we stumbled across two more interesting ideas we’d like to share: 

Idea #1: In Cumberland, Rhode Island, local middle school athletes are competing in a pledge drive to raise money for the Elder Ballou Historic Cemetery that will go toward cleaning up the site. And what do the kids get for doing all the work? Well, they get to wander through the cemetery the day before Halloween, listening to scary, and maybe not-so scary, forgotten stories from a local park ranger. 

Idea #2: Capitalizing both on the idea of cemetery tourism and the American love of road trips, Hillsdale.net reports on the nation’s first historic cemetery tour that covers the entire state of Indiana and ties in with several local autumn festivals.  Talk about good planning! 

“Over 50 miles will be covered along the trail that utilizes historic Route 6 (The Grand Army of the Republic Highway) as the connector for the two counties and will eventually makes its way toward Chicago in the future. Proceeds raised from the Trail will in part go to the historic cemetery conservation in DeKalb and Noble Counties. A host of other activities will be taking place during the month such as the Apple Festival, Pumpkin Fantasyland and the known Owl-o-ween throughout Noble County. Foil impression art workshops of historic monuments will also take place, along with other speakers on historic cemetery topics throughout the month.”

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Scaring up cemetery funds part deux

Just as little something to consider when planning a Living Performance venue.

We received an email yesterday from the people organizing the Living Performance fundraiser at Saar Pioneer Cemetery (mentioned in Scaring up Cemetery Funds).  After four performances (two on a Saturday and two on a Sunday), enough money was raised to pay for both cemetery maintenance AND a book on the cemetery itself.  

So be careful. You may end up making more money than initially planned.

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Scaring up cemetery repair funds

Mary Anderson: Salvation Army Member

This past April, the Veterans Administration announced that it will, “use up to $4.4 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act program to repair and preserve historic monuments and memorials at VA-operated national cemeteries…” This is good news for our national cemeteries what about for everyone else? All too often, local cemeteries are forced to think more creatively in order to find sustainable sources of maintenance funds.

However, some of these ideas can be quite intriguing.

In 2009, Atlanta artist Cooper Sanchez held a one-day (or rather, one night) art show at the historic Oakland cemetery. This is just one of several lectures, shows, and walking tours frequently offered to help drum up community support. Not wanting to be left behind, Seattle’s Evergreen Washelli accepted submissions this past spring for up to six solo art shows to be held in its Columbarium. 

Some cemeteries simply combine volunteer green thumb talents with a love for local history. The next time you’re in your local library, check out the Fall, 2009 issue of Country Gardens. On page 30, Cemetery Survivors details how Jane Baber White rejuvenated the 26-acre Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia. Once a forgotten site filled with overgrown shrubs and weeds, the cemetery is now filled with an amazing variety of heritage roses (approximately 60 types) ranging from the old-fashioned, 19th century to the 1950s favorites.

Living History performance at Saar Pioneer Cemetery

Another popular way to raise both funds and community interest is with Living History performances. Last weekend at the Saar Pioneer Cemetery in Kent, Washington, the Book-It Theatre and Living Voices highlighted the lives of several fascinating pioneers buried there.

Of course, another option is to find grant funding. Seattle cemetery volunteers and historical societies are fortunate to have potential funding from organizations like Humanities Washington and 4Culture. Not located in Washington? No worries. Check out possible grants at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Sometimes, there really are piles of cold, hard cash lying around for someone to pick up. How about tapping into those unclaimed bank or trust accounts? We commented about this on our Facebook fan page a while back but it’s worthwhile mentioning again. Seems like an Allentown, PA cemetery received almost $28,000 from old trust accounts. That’s a tidy little sum. What kinds of old accounts is your state hanging onto?

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Lending a helping hand

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Temporary repairs in Mount Si cemetery

Cemetery restoration projects typically fall on the shoulders of either a few volunteers or a local historical society. Access to public funds is challenging; securing reasonably priced preservation expertise, daunting. However, King County, Washington is looking to change this approach through a new program called, “Historic Graves and Cemeteries Preservation Initiative”.

The program is designed to:

• Raise awareness of the state of local cemeteries;

• Provide public information and outreach;

• Survey active, inactive, and abandoned cemeteries;

• Determine priorities for preservation and restoration.

Last year, Lauren McCroskey, Chair of the King County Landmarks Commission, formally introduced the Initiative. Here is an excerpt of her remarks. Continue reading

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