Arts, Culture, and Humanities

The American Independence Center

  • Exeter, NH
  • http://www.independencemuseum.org

Mission Statement

The American Independence Museum promotes awareness, increases understanding and celebrates the achievement of American Independence so as to recognize the many facets of the founding of our Nation, and to encourage and inspire civic engagement today.

Main Programs

  1. Program 1
  2. American Independence Festival
Service Areas

Self-reported

New Hampshire

Local visitors are from Exeter and surrounding towns in the NH Seacoast region, southern Maine and northern MA. We also have tourists from across the US and from all around the world.

ruling year

1991

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Julie Hall Williams

Keywords

Self-reported

American history, American Revolution, 18th century New England, Exeter, New Hampshire, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution

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EIN

22-3114603

 Number

3233414107

Also Known As

American Independence Museum

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

History Museums (A54)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Our dynamic programs, from the American Independence Festival which attracts thousands of visitors for one day at our property; to our Summer Programs, which teach area children about Colonial life; to our school programs, which draw thousands of individuals from across the state of New Hampshire and tell the harrowing story of what it took to found our Nation - help to ensure our community and the visitors to our community understand the importance of the history of our Nation's founding, and the importance of engaging with civic discussion today.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

The American Independence Museum comprises the Ladd-Gilman House & Folsom Tavern, as well as an acre of landscaped property in downtown Exeter. Tours of the Ladd-Gilman House focus on the Gilman, Ladd & Folsom families as well as the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Hampshire. Collections include an original Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence (one of only 23 known to exist) and early edited drafts of the U.S. Constitution (these documents are not always on public display). In addition to seasonal public tours of the Ladd-Gilman House, the museum offers school and adult programming, and special events focusing on 18th century history.

Category

Population(s) Served

Budget

Program 2

American Independence Festival

This annual day-long event takes place the 3rd Saturday in July each year. The festival commemorates American Independence and marks the arrival of the Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration of Independence in Exeter (the state capital at the time) on July 16, 1776. This Dunlap Broadside is in the museum's collection and is on exhibit during the festival.

 

Festival events include a reading of the Declaration, militia re-enactments, Reveloutionary-era role players, traditional arts and crafts, tours of both museum buildings and music of the period.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Adults

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$12,500

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We would like AIM to be a premier center for education, study and celebration of events, people, places and ideas that played a role in the struggle for American Independence and the founding of our Nation.

    Our Priorities are to:
    • Offer a relevant, engaging, and educational visitor experience.
    • Provide adequate care and conservation of artifacts, archives, and the library.
    • Ensure effective infrastructure, a stable campus, and a safe environment for visitors.
    • Bring on staff and volunteers with expertise in AIM's mission.
    • Build a diverse and sustainable financial foundation.

    Our Goals are to:

    1. Programs: Create an educational, high-quality, and engaging visitor experience with related programs that boost new and return visitation.
    2. Collections care: Enhance alignment and stewardship of AIM's properties and collections.
    3. Visibility: Grow AIM's presence and visibility in Exeter, neighboring and regional communities.
    4. Operations: Ensure that AIM has the appropriate talent in place to achieve its six-year plan.
    5. Financial: Diversify and expand AIM's revenue streams to fuel the museum's future success and long-term sustainability.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    • Grow and improve educational offerings.
    • Increase museum hours.
    • Review and revise current exhibitions and tours.
    • Expand and enrich public program offerings.
    • Review and evaluate collection.
    • Improve care for AIM's collections, archives, and library pieces.
    • Create a secure and environmentally sound space to exhibit AIM's collection.
    • Expand and connect AIM's campus.
    • Develop a marketing plan.
    • Establish and build relationships with community partners.
    • Establish a connection with more communities on the seacoast.
    • Work with larger, more well-known, regional and historic organizations.
    • Continually reassess intern and volunteer needs.
    • Continue building an engaged Board of Governors.
    • Increase staff to meet growing needs.
    • Grow and diversify contributed revenue from corporations.
    • Maintain current levels of contributed revenue from foundation funders.
    • Grow membership revenue.
    • Recreate Folsom Tavern as an earned revenue generating enterprise.
    • Grow earned revenue from AIM's gift shop.
    • Grow Individual Donor support for AIM.
    • Build AIM's endowment.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    In 2015, the American Independence Museum greatly increased its staff in order to be able to meet the strategies and goals set forth in our Strategic Plan. This, combined with the support of our community, and key funders, enabled us to already see great results.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    AIM will know if we are continuing on our path to progress if we are able to build on all of our numbers, we must grow visitation, increase membership, and continue to engage the community and the visitors to our community in a meaningful way.

    We measure our progress through our budget reports, visitation reports, and by the numbers of members, governance members, and volunteers we have in each fiscal year.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    In 2015 we were glad to have accomplished:

    Education
    The Museum made tremendous strides under the direction of Education Manager Abby Pietrantonio, and reached more than 1,600 school children and families in 2015. This is an increase of more than 47%, and the most school children in one year in the Museum's history. 2015 also saw a sold out Summer Living History program, and several successful seminars at which notable speakers provided their respective expertise on various aspects of colonial history.

    Events
    Beer collided with history in 2015 at the Museum's Folsom Tavern. Sponsored by Redhook Brewery, Fridays at Folsom took place on the first Friday of each month from May through December. Featuring live music and games for kids, Operations Manager Rob Levey referred to the monthly events as “a unique opportunity to highlight the Tavern's history as the heart of the community and a gathering space for all to enjoy, discuss and learn from one another."

    General Admission
    Welcoming more than 2,000 visitors for tours alone, we saw a 35% increase in general admission. The increase is attributed to our extended hours - the largest season in history with doors open Tuesday through Saturday, May to November. With thanks to AutoFair and Two International Group, we were able to extend free admission to hundred of veterans, active and retired military members, and their families.

    Volunteers
    Volunteers continue to play a critical role in the Museum's continued growth. “From guiding visitors on tours to manning the gift shop, our volunteers really serve as the backbone of our operations and the face of the Museum," noted Julie Williams, Executive Director.

    American Independence Festival
    Featuring battle re-enactments, colonial demonstrations, children's activities, cannon firings, crafts, music, food and more, the 25th American Independence Festival welcomed thousands to downtown Exeter in July.

    Corporate Support
    In keeping with its emphasis on community outreach, the Museum reforged--as well as built--new relationships with numerous corporate entities through its new Business Partner program.

    (BETH - might want to put this right next to the donors to the collection part of the Annual Report Listings)

    The Year in Numbers

    Visitors
    5,670

    Member Households
    222

    AIM Objects Online
    125+

    Education and Public Program Attendees
    2,686

    Business Supporters
    22

    We are still growing in all areas, and hope to continue to do so for 2016 and beyond. We have not yet reached our accomplishment of fundraising for our Endowment.
Service Areas

Self-reported

New Hampshire

Local visitors are from Exeter and surrounding towns in the NH Seacoast region, southern Maine and northern MA. We also have tourists from across the US and from all around the world.

Additional Documents

Social Media

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

American Independence Center
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

The American Independence Center

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Julie Hall Williams

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Susan Y. Desjardins

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Volunteers.
Race & Ethnicity
This organization reports that it does not collect this information.
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies
Yes
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
Yes
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
Yes
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity