Submitted by: Gregory P. J. Most, Chair
o- 202/842-6100 fó202/789-3068
LEADERSHIP: The Chair was persuaded to serve for an additional one-year term.
ACTIVITIES: The principal activity of the Development Committee this year has been the planning and founding of the Society Circle as an annual giving group within the Society. Prior to this time there has been no real mechanism to encourage our membership to support the Society other than a check-off box on the renewal form. This did not give much structure for giving and few made contributions greater that $25.00.
After several months of tinkering, the names, giving levels, and benefits were approved by the Executive Board and a mailing was included in the renewal packet and a line as included in the .pdf renewal form on the AWS. Later a specific Circle page was developed.
Response has been surprisingly positive with (to date) two members joining at the Founderís level, one at the Presidentís and two at the Patron level. There have been a large number who have joined at the basic level, which is very gratifying. Next year, a printed brochure will be created, perhaps to be mailed separately. Discussion on whether a Circle pin will be created was tabled until the Committee meets at the Baltimore conference.
Fundraising for the Baltimore conference began in mid-October and is still in progress. The unstable stock market, the uncertainty of international peace, and a general cautious climate has made raising money more difficult this year. Donors, who in previous years have been very generous, are being more circumspect. In spite of this, many of our long-time Business Affiliates continue to show their support by sponsoring sessions and events. On behalf of the Development Committee, the Chair offers our deep gratitude.
Canadian non-profit status was again explored by both the Chair and our Canadian member and Executive Director. While given some encouraging words from both the Canadian Embassy in Washington, and the Department of Revenue in Ottawa, advice from a McGill University law professor and past experience from our Executive Director has made this ideal unreachable. The Chair and President agreed that pursuing non-profit status to encourage donations from our Canadian members in not realistic at this time.
ISSUES: While fundraising among the membership has been very successful, conference sponsorship has been less so. As stated above, outside factors have had an effect on the success of fundraising however the role of the Committee in raising money must be questioned. Is there a better way? Developing a business giving/sponsorship group with specific benefits both year-round and at the conference must be explored. This will require a re-thinking of how funds are raised and administer on a calendar and project basis.
Institutional support needs to be encouraged. In the past, a handful of institutions, mostly museums, made donations to the Society to help further its goals. Somehow this has ceased and needs to be resumed and expanded. This will be one of the action items for the committee this year.