Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield

  • Crow Agency, MT

Mission Statement

The purpose of Friends is to raise funds to aid and directly promote management programs and objectives of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. The Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield is an official partner of the National Park Service affiliated with the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument per its Memorandum of Agreement.

Main Programs

  1. Photo Analysis Project

ruling year


President since 2000


Mr. Bob Reece

Director since 2004


Mr. Neil Mangum



nonprofit, cultural and natural resources, national park service, little bighorn battlefield national monument, interpretive activities, curation, archaeology, custer battlefield national cemetery

Notes from the Nonprofit

Per the Memorandum of Agreement between Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield and the National Park Service at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Friends must submit an audit once every five years. We are due for an audit in 2014, which we will conduct.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012.
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Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Single Organization Support (A11)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (A12)

History Museums (A54)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield has no paid staff, its board members volunteer, and it has a small membership base of fewer than 1,000. Yet, Friends has successfully raised the requested funds for every project since signing the first Memorandum of Agreement with the Park Service on February 24, 1998.

Below is a list of some of our successful projects.

Building of the Indian Memorial and its dedication.

Warrior markers beginning with the first for Lame White Man and Noisy Walking.

Cheyenne and Deep Ravine wayside exhibits.

Reburial of Fetterman Battlefield remains in Custer National Cemetery.

Archaeological assessment conducted by Dr. Douglas Scott and published in partnership with the University of Oklahoma Press as "Uncovering History".

Archaeological surveys in 2004 and 2010.

Teacher-Ranger-Teacher Program.


Self-reported by organization

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

Program 1

Photo Analysis Project

Not available


Electronic Media

Population(s) Served


Native Americans/American Indians




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?
    With each of our past successes, Friends has been preparing for the much bigger fundraising campaign. The future in protecting the varied cultural and natural landscapes of Little Bighorn Battlefield (LIBI) is wide open.

    The political landscape is a major player. To protect the view shed, for example, and expand the boundaries of the battlefield requires a bill to be passed in the U.S. Congress and signed by the President. Once that day comes, then we might see the building of a long overdue new visitor center that would enhance the visitor experience.

    To build such a structure would require millions of dollars, and Friends would be there to help. This level of fundraising would be a major step for Friends, and one we welcome.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Currently, strategies are in place enabling Friends to fundraise a major campaign. An example of such a campaign might be the building of a new visitor center.

    1. Friends has a strong social media infrastructure in place. Our position on Facebook is well entrenched after five years. We also use Twitter to communicate with members and potential members. Just last month, we established an account on Instagram. In 2012, Friends successfully harnessed the power of social media to raise $5,000 one month ahead of schedule.

    2. Our current campaign to raise $10,000 for the Photo Analysis Project will incorporate the strategy of personal contact with past donors via telephone and letter. We will also use social media.

    3. We are increasing our exposure with the visiting public at the battlefield in order to garner new members. We will accomplish this with an information kiosk to be located in the visitor center entrance. This kiosk will highlight our work with the Park Service and educate the public on how they might join Friends.

    4. We are also in the midst of a redesign of our award-winning website, which has been online since 1999. From the beginning, we have the infrastructure for one to donate and join or renew their membership via the website.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Since our inception in 1998, we have built strong relationships with other partners of the battlefield (LIBI), which strengthen our ability to incorporate a major fundraising campaign.

    1. Our most important relationship is with the cooperating association to LIBI, Western National Parks Association (WNPA). WNPA manages the visitor center bookstore and contributes a percentage of their net revenue each year to LIBI. WNPA also serves over 60 other Parks.

    Friends was the first friends group to sell products to WNPA for sale in a Park visitor center. We have collaborated in the past to develop strategies to increase revenue at the visitor center, such as author book signings. As mentioned previously, WNPA is joining forces with Friends to put in place a kiosk to share information about Friends with the public.

    This strong partnership between WNPA and Friends will benefit us with a fundraising campaign.

    2. We also have positive relationships with outside organizations interested in the battle story. These include the Custer Battlefield Preservation Committee and the Little Bighorn Historical Association. Granted, there are some overlap with membership; however, there are thousands of potential donors that would benefit a fundraising campaign.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    One goal is to increase membership by 20% by the end of 2015.

    Regarding social media, our goal is to increase donations from social media by 15% over our campaign of 2012. We will track these using services such as FundRazr.

    Past milestones were our successful campaign in 2012 of raising $5,000 via social media. We reached our goal one month ahead of our timeline.

    Friends has successfully reached all our project goals for the battlefield. Please visit our website to see a list of past projects.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.

Social Media

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

Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.


Mr. Bob Reece


Mr. Neil Mangum


Mr. Reece has served as president of Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield since 2000. He was one of the original co-founders of the Friends organization in 1986 (the Friends first secretary), along with the late Rick Meyer (the Friends first president), and Joseph Marshall III of the Lakota nation (the Friends first vice president).

Before founding the Friends, Mr. Reece served seven years on the board of the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association when it was a cooperating association of the Little Bighorn Battlefield. During his tenure at the CBH&MA, Mr. Reece served as secretary and vice president. He finished his term as its president.

Mr. Reece has embraced his passion for the Little Bighorn Battlefield, its story, and its NPS staff for over three decades. During the summer of 1985, he worked as a battlefield interpreter. While representing the National Park Service at the battlefield, he presented daily "Battle Talks" for the visiting public on the patio of the visitor center or Last Stand Hill where the last of the soldiers under the command of Lt. Col George Armstrong Custer fell on June 25, 1876.

Mr. Reece first visited the battlefield on June 5, 1981. He can always be found on the battlefield trails with camera in hand. Since that first visit, Mr. Reece stated, "I've lost count of how many times I've visited the battlefield, but it never grows old. It is like my home away from home. I feel fortunate and honored to be able to help the Park Service at the battlefield while serving on the Friends board of directors."


"Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield (FRIENDS) is an official partner with the National Park Service at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (LIBI). We are a fundraising group that supports projects, which do not have government funding.

Friends does more than just raise money. We also support the Park Service on site during events over the anniversary of the battle each June 25th. We might help at the visitor center, public feeds, and crowd control. Or, you could come across one of our volunteers along one of the trails sharing the story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn with the visiting public.

Little Bighorn Battlefield (Custer's Last Stand) has been well protected by the Park Service since it began managing it in 1940. When you stand on Last Stand Hill and look out over the battlefield, you see it very much as Custer's soldiers and Lakota and Cheyenne warriors saw it.

Friends helps the battlefield protect this sacred place for future generations. We have succeeded in every project request of the superintendent since we were founded in 1998. If you would like to help or join our growing membership, please contact us at or visit our website at"



Mr. Bob Reece

Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield

Term: June 2000 -


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



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