Arts, Culture, and Humanities

US Capitol Historical Society

  • Washington, DC
  • www.uschs.org

Mission Statement

USCHS is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3)organization chartered by Congress to educate the public about the Capitol and the Congress. It does this through programs that focus on landmark legislation that has shaped our nation, on the remarkable art in the Capitol that is based on uniquely American images, on the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Congress, and on other topics that help bring our history and government alive.

Main Programs

  1. We the People Constitution Tours
  2. Yielding the Floor: An Oral History Series
  3. Capitol Fellowship Program
  4. History of Congress Symposia
  5. Youth Leadership Forum
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Based in Washington, D.C., USCHS's reach is nationwide through print and internet resource materials, online lesson plans, events broadcast by C-SPAN, traveling exhibits, and other offerings.  Metropolitan Washington, D.C. public programs include tours, events, lectures, youth forums, and in-school activities.

ruling year

1962

Principal Officer since 2000

Self-reported

Hon. Ronald A. Sarasin

Keywords

Self-reported

Capitol, Congress, history, government, architecture, civic education, citizenship

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Also Known As

United States Capitol Historical Society

EIN

52-0796820

 Number

7962879826

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

History Museums (A54)

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

Named as one of the Best Charities by the Catalogue for Philanthropy based on accomplishments, distinction, merit and cost-effectiveness in 2010-2011 and 2014-2015.

Named a "2015 Best Nonprofit" in October of 2015 by Great Nonprofits charity ratings and review website.

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

We the People Constitution Tours

This tour and classroom program teaches Washington, D.C. public school 8th grade students and teachers about the Constitution and their city. The tour educates students about the first three articles of the Constitution by visiting the Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Lincoln Memorial, and finally the National Archives where students view the original documents, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that they have spent the day discussing. Printed and on-line curriculum-based materials reinforce the tour lessons in the classroom, and a Challenge component involves schools actively in assessing the relevance of the Constitution.  
WTP is endorsed by D.C. Public Schools as one of its major social studies initiatives. DCPS teachers, administrators and students have advised in all aspects of the program. Since 2005, we have reached 7,158 students and teachers from more than 30 public and charter schools. One teacher said: “The tours have literally made D.C. a school without walls for me and my students.”

 USCHS is the coordinating partner in a consortium of organizations that includes the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Park Service, the White House Historical Association, the Federal Courts, the Center for Civic Education, Children’s Concierge and Old Town Trolley Tours.

Category

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 2

Yielding the Floor: An Oral History Series

Yielding the Floor records Members of Congress and Capitol officers reliving their memories of people, places, and events in the Capitol. Interviews have been conducted with former Speaker of the House Tom Foley, former Republican Leader of the House Bob Michel, Senators Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, and the two former Architects of the Capitol, among others. These ongoing recollections provide listeners with a deeper appreciation for the human dimension of representative government in the United States Capitol. The audio and videotaped interviews are posted on the Society’s web site for access by scholars and the general public.

Category

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 3

Capitol Fellowship Program

USCHS’s Capitol Fellowship program is the only established graduate fellowship in the United States devoted solely to supporting research and publication on the art and architecture of the Capitol. The Society’s Historian, along with the Curator of the Architect of the Capitol, oversee doctorate and post-doctorate Capitol Fellows (over 60 to date) whose research becomes a permanent historic record in the Capitol archives and is shared with the public through lectures and conferences.

Category

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 4

History of Congress Symposia

The Society’s symposia focus on the foundations and institutions of our nation’s representative democracy. These acclaimed annual conferences and published proceedings enable distinguished as well as emerging scholars to share academic research that illuminates the essence of the American experience and involves the public in revisiting the values that formed our nation. The current History of Congress series, The National Capitol in a Nation Divided, examines the Capitol and the federal city before, during and in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Category

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 5

Youth Leadership Forum

An annual day-long program for D.C. area high school students who have the opportunity to engage with sitting and former Members of Congress, staff and special guests to learn about how government works from the human perspective. Hosted in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Category

Political Science

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

None

None

Budget

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?
    USCHS would ultimately like to instill an "informed patriotism" among America's youth and adults by examining the relationship between civics and history through the Society's educational programs and the example of the Capitol as well as develop new outreach programs to continue to fulfill our mission.

    Increase youth understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the three-branches of the government through the "We the People" Constitution tours program.

    Expand the "Making Democracy Work" essay contest for middle and high school students through traditional media, social media, and support from Members of Congress and staffers, thereby increasing the number of diverse applicants from local and global student communities in the 2014-2015 contest.

    Enhance participation in the Youth Leadership Forum by promoting awareness of the program in local (Washington, DC, Maryland, & Virginia) and national outlets, including social media, traditional methods, word-of-mouth, and through community leaders and presenters.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    In the 2015-2016 school year, we plan to conduct 70 "We the People" tours from November 2015 to early March 2016.

    For this year's essay contest, we hope to increase the number of entries to 300 essays with applicants from local, national, and international schools.

    In 2015, we plan to have over 200 high school students participate in the leadership forum to increase youth understanding of careers in the civil service and the importance of government.

    In addition, we have created a Social Media Committee with USCHS to help market our name, events, and programs to all of our online followers, donors, and individual and corporate members. We schedule all social media and website posts for the various departments.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The success of USCHS relies on the participation and generosity of our constantly growing volunteer and donor base.

    Society employees are also constantly increasing their knowledge on how to make the next event or program even more of a success through follow-up surveys, tracking various giving appeals, and participating in online webinars for new insights and approaches.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We have been engaging with our members, donors, volunteers, and constituents by reaching out to them asking for feedback, reviews, and reasons why they interact with/give to USCHS. We can see this through the testimonials written about us after great interactions with our members, larger RSVP lists for events, and a heavier following on all of our social media accounts.

    Additionally, in the 2014-2015 school year, we conducted 57 tours for 1,451 Washington, DC 8th grade students and teachers from 35 different schools through the "We the People" program. This was an increase from 26 schools last year. Since the 2005-2006 inaugural year, we have reached 15,226 8th graders and their teachers to date.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is planning to honor the Joint Committee on Taxation in 2016. We are also currently searching for a nominee for the 2016 Freedom Award.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

Based in Washington, D.C., USCHS's reach is nationwide through print and internet resource materials, online lesson plans, events broadcast by C-SPAN, traveling exhibits, and other offerings.  Metropolitan Washington, D.C. public programs include tours, events, lectures, youth forums, and in-school activities.

Social Media

Blog

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

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

UNITED STATES CAPITOL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

US Capitol Historical Society

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Hon. Ronald A. Sarasin

BIO

Ronald A. Sarasin, a former U.S. Representative from Connecticut and longtime association executive in Washington, D.C., was appointed President of the Society in December 1999. Mr. Sarasin is the third president in the Society's 39-year history. He served as President and CEO of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (1990-1999), and Director of Government Relations for the National Restaurant Association. He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. From 1972 to 1979, Mr. Sarasin represented Connecticut's Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Former Members of Congress.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Hon. E. Thomas Coleman

The Livingston Group

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

N/A

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?

N/A

CEO OVERSIGHT

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

N/A

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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

N/A

BOARD COMPOSITION

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

N/A

BOARD PERFORMANCE

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