Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Plymouth Historical Society

aka Plymouth Historical Museum

Plymouth, MI


The Friends of the Plymouth Historical Museum, formally the Plymouth Historical Society, is a privately funded membership organization dedicated to preserving, teaching and presenting history through the operation and support of the Plymouth Historical Museum.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens

Main Address

155 South Main Street

Plymouth, MI 48170 USA


Education, Social History, Collect, Exhibit, Preserve, Plymouth, Lincoln





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

History Museums (A54)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015.
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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

We are working hard on our marketing efforts, to get more people into the building to view our exhibits and to attend events. As part of that problem, we need our website completely redesigned. We have some grant money available for this and are going out for bids to move forward on the redesign.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Education Programs

Living History in the Community - Events

Members-only Exhibit Previews

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Goals for the Plymouth Historical Museum:
1. Exceed 5,000 attendees
2. Exceed 1,300 children/students
3. Sell out every event
4. Recruit 12 new volunteers this year
5. Update our exhibits/archives with digital handheld readers for tracking/accessions
6. Get a whole-building generator
7. Exceed last year's Appeal donations
8. Exceed last year's Gala Fundraiser net
9. Increase membership by 10%

Strategies for accomplishing our goals:
1. We hired a Marketing Director who is working on increasing attendance and donations
2. We split the Volunteer coordinator duties between the Bookkeeper and Marketing Director
3. We will be expanding our Gala fundraiser committee with additional volunteers to help us accomplish more.
4. We are consulting with other local non-profits for ideas on how to improve our fundraising Gala.
5. The increased revenue from the Gala, Annual Appeals and/or grants will fund the hand-held digital readers and whole-building generator.
6. We are writing grants as they are available to help with funding to make our goals a reality.

The capabilities for meeting our goals include:

1. Our staff of 1 part-time executive director and 8 part-time employees work diligently and creatively to accomplish more than should be possible in the hours we have.

2. Grant funding for the Marketing Director position and Volunteer Coordinator position has expanded our human resource capability with two additional people for the next two years.

3. We have a dedicated and talented group of more than 100 volunteers who support the museum in a variety of ways: painting, construction, docent, office help, event help, education presentations, etc. These folks are an excellent resource to help us accomplish our goals.

We will know if we are making progress by tracking the data showing how many visitors, how many active volunteers, how many events sell out, how many projects are completed. Visitor surveys will provide additional feedback regarding our performance.

Our team meets regularly to assess the outcomes of our projects, events and programs and to plan for improving in the future.

Accomplishments to far include:

1. Increased number of Facebook "likes" on our fan page from 500 followers to 2391 in the past 24 months. This has given us a wider audience for getting the word out about events, increasing attendance.

2. The museum has received $71,000 in grants in the past year that helped us hire a Marketing Director, purchase an AED, and install a museum quality movable storage system to protect our collections.

3. We had the most successful fundraising gala in our 70-year history in March. The event raised more than $50,000 to fund the museum's operations.

4. We had two generous sponsors come forward and donate $6,000 each to allow us to offer "Free Summer Saturdays" at the Plymouth Historical Museum in both 2017 and 2018.

Things we still need to do:
1. Increase attendance
2. Remodel lower level restrooms for ADA Compliance
3. Increase memberships from 400 to 440

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

American Association of Museums - Member

American Association for State and Local History



Plymouth Historical Society

Fiscal year: Jun 01 - May 31

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.


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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

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.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable