County Historical Commissions (CHC) partner with history- and preservation-related organizations because their shared missions provide opportunities for mutually beneficial efforts. Pursuing these partnerships accomplishes the following.
Expands Organizational Resources
CHC appointees are talented, passionate individuals who represent a broad range of strengths. The same can be said of members of history-related organizations, so partnering with these groups allows the CHC to tap into additional skill sets. Utilizing this diverse expertise eases the burden of planning events, executing projects, and rallying community support for preservation matters.
Perhaps one of your CHC appointees is adept at planning, while the heritage society has a member skilled in social media. Share those human resources! Partnering enables you to join forces and use one another’s talents to improve everyone’s projects.
Connecting with other preservation groups also provides financial assistance to CHC projects. When multiple organizations come to the table, each brings a budget, along with avenues to additional funding sources. For this reason, partnering makes the most out of existing budgets and creates collaborative ideas that are attractive to new funders who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in donating money to the CHC.
Click here for an example of CHC partnerships that maximize human and fiscal resources.
Increases Organizational Exposure
Taking part in events sponsored by preservation-minded groups enables CHCs to reach people who have an interest in history but haven’t been exposed to the work of a CHC. Interacting with new audiences allows the CHC to promote its mission and explain how its projects contribute to the county.
Increasing the public’s understanding of CHC accomplishments can lead to monetary and in-kind donations to CHC projects. These in-kind donations may be in the form of service, so consider these partner opportunities as a way to increase the pool of potential CHC appointees and volunteers. Recruiting manpower is easier when individuals are aware and appreciate of a CHC’s work.
Click here for an example of partnerships that expand the CHC’s audience and promote CHC efforts.
Diversifies Training and Networking Opportunities
History- and preservation-related organizations typically sponsor educational presentations and events. CHCs can use these opportunities to learn and meet new people, which will lead to growth of appointees and the CHC as a whole. Expanding the network of what you know and who you know builds the capacity of your CHC.
For instance, let’s say you meet Bob at a museum lecture and learn that he likes to clean tombstones in his free time. Your CHC wants to host a cemetery clean up but doesn’t have experience. Bob mentions that he’d be willing to train your CHC on the appropriate way to clean tombstones because he wants to prevent untrained people from using chemical cleaners that cause irreparable damage. You’ve not only benefited from the museum lecture but also met someone who can expand your CHC’s know-how.
Click here for an example of partnerships that enable your CHC to participate in networking events and additional training.
Creates Preservation Alliances
Initiating and sustaining partnerships with like-minded organizations builds preservation alliances to face challenges that overwhelm individual supporters. There is strength in numbers, as well as, confidence and hope.
Regardless of what is at stake, alliances bring credibility to a cause and represent a variety of perspectives that bolster arguments for saving and protecting cultural resources. The more successful your accomplishments, the more others will step up and support your causes.
Click here for an example of partnerships that form alliances to face preservation challenges in your community.
Reflects Positive Image of Preservation
Good things happen when history- and preservation-related organizations work together. Supporting one another’s missions creates a positive image of preservation that reflects well on all participants and the communities they serve. These efforts promote pride of place and set the example for stewardship for local heritage that partners work so hard to protect.
Click here for an example of partnerships that reflect a positive preservation image to the community.
There are countless reasons to partner with area preservationists and organizations that promote history. Consider ways to improve existing partnerships and identify groups that you have overlooked. Look for ways to reach out and cultivate stronger partnerships in your county.
Revisit characteristics of a constructive partnership here.