Membership 2020: Preservation Is An Act of Optimism

05/12/2020
By Nicholas A. Redding

To be a preservationist, you need to be an optimist.  You need to look at the dilapidated building, see what once was, and have the vision to see what could be.  Today, at a time when despair would be easy, I need you to reach deep into your reserves of optimism – and help us build a brighter future by joining Preservation Maryland.

Nicholas ReddingA SPECIAL APPEAL FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

It’s no secret that non-profits like Preservation Maryland are confronting profound challenges as a result of the global pandemic and its impact on our economy. We cannot afford to retreat or withdrawal – our communities are depending on us, and we intend on investing in our work at a time when Maryland needs history more than ever before.

In moments in time like now, history provides us with a sense of context – it is the seafarer’s map through choppy waters and the lamps by which our feet are guided. Over the past several months, with the spread of COVID-19, countless articles and news stories have looked back to the Pandemic of 1918 as justification, background, and framework for our own time.

Sometimes, as Sir Winston Churchill once quipped, “The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

By joining Preservation Maryland today, I can assure you that you’re making an optimistic statement about our future – and our past.

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Making Big Impacts with Member Dollars

Membership is one of the very few unrestricted sources of funds we can depend on. And, in a year when several of our large events have been canceled, we need this support more than any time in recent history.

Fortunately, we know exactly what we’ll do with your generosity. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg of the projects that we have ready to roll:

Project team at Preservation Maryland revolving fund project in Hagerstown, MD, 2020.

Project team at Preservation Maryland revolving fund project in Hagerstown, MD, 2020.

A First-in-a-Generation Historic Property Redevelopment Project

Through our innovative property redevelopment program, we will purchase a severely threatened historic cabin in Hagerstown’s Jonathan Street community – and we’re going to save it, rehabilitate it, and sell it to a deserving new owner. We’re going to take the proceeds of that sale to save more historic places like it all across our state. We’re not just talking about preservation – we’re rolling up our sleeves and doing it.

Your gift supports our revolving fund


Historic Preservation Training Center at D.R. Miller House, Antietam Battlefield, MD.

Historic Preservation Training Center at D.R. Miller House, Antietam Battlefield, MD.

The Campaign for Historic Trades Logo

Workforce Development When Our Nation Needs It Most

With unemployment at levels not seen since the Great Depression, we need to put this country back to work. Through our partnership with the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center, we’re gearing up to put even more veterans and young adults into historic trades’ training and to create a pipeline for new careers. Just as the CCC put Americans back to work in the parks in the 1930s – we can do our bit to put America back on the path to recovery – and your support will make it happen.

Your gift supports the historic trades


Grant presentation to the Patapsco Heritage Greenway, 2018.

Grant presentation to the Patapsco Heritage Greenway, 2018.

Grants in the Hands of Deserving Organizations

Membership dollars fuel our grant programs – from Baltimore City to statewide efforts – last year we provided $200,000 in grants, and we’re on track to put thousands more out the door in the coming months. Our non-profit partners are struggling, and this will provide immediate assistance to important projects from the hillsides of western Maryland to the brackish waters of the Eastern Shore.

Your donation supports our grant making


Nicholas Redding at Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, 2016.

Nicholas Redding at Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, 2016.

Mission-Critical Advocacy

In Annapolis, where Session ended early for the first time since the Civil War, we secured important new changes to the state historic tax credit that will pump more money into historic rehabilitations at a time when they need it most. Now, we’re working at the state and federal level to advocate for funding to offset the damaging impacts of the pandemic downturn – we’re giving our museums, historic sites, and cultural venues a loud voice and speaking up for places that matter.

Your donation gives Preservation a voice


accident-garrett-county-maryland-2018-rural-landscape

View of Garrett County, MD, 2018.

Smart Growth Maryland Logo

Smart Growth Maryland

All across the state, our smart growth program continues its important work – with several fast-growing counties now beginning comprehensive planning efforts which demand our attention – and informed advocacy. From improving local forest conservation acts to increasing funding for farmland preservation to supporting the establishment of Brunswick’s conservation district, smart growth planning and decision-making is critical at this moment when Maryland’s local governments are stretched for dollars and should be planning to spend their money as wisely as possible.

Your donation is a smart investment in maryland’s future


Documentation team at WB Tower, Brunswick, November 2019.

Documentation team at WB Tower, Brunswick, November 2019.

Six-to-Fix and Beyond

From the underground railroad to an actual railroad building – our projects are as diverse as the state itself. Your support puts us on the ground providing assistance, grants, and building the capacity of our movement. In just the past three months, our commitment to this work has resulted in nearly $500,000 in real funding for current and past Six-to-Fix projects. With your support, we’ll do even more in the months ahead.

Your donation makes a direct impact on threatened resources

History defines us. History empowers us. History supports us. History teaches us.

“The task that we Americans now face will test us to the uttermost. . . Never before have we had so little time in which to do so much.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1942

Seventy-eight years later, Americans – and Marylanders – are faced with yet another task that will test us all to the uttermost. As so many who have come before us have been told – we too have a rendezvous with destiny – and, we too will make history.

Just as Americans of all stripes did their bit in generations before, we here at Preservation Maryland intend on doing ours – and helping contribute to the recovery which lies ahead.

Preservation builds strong communities. Preservation sustains prosperous economies. Preservation creates a link to history – history which sustains our faith and optimism.

Today, I need your help and hope you’ll join as a member – in support of all the projects and programs I’ve outlined – and because, as a preservationist, you share my optimism.

JOIN, RENEW, OR INCREASE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

ANOTHER REASON TO GIVE

Thanks to the quick action of the US Congress – non-profits have something new to offer our donors. The new law allows individuals who do not itemize their taxes to take up to a $300 above-the-line charitable income tax deduction for cash donations made in 2020. So for folks who take the standard deduction, if you give $300 to charity, you’d get the $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction ($12,400 for individuals and $24,800 for married couples filing jointly). We are not providing tax advice – but suffice it to say – individuals who normally take the “standard deduction” now will actually benefit on their taxes by giving to charities. So, please consider this as you make your gift – we really do need your help.

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Nicholas A. Redding · Executive Director

Nicholas A. Redding is Preservation Maryland’s Executive Director and between announcing major organizational updates, he often blogs about Maryland and Civil War history.

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