PLATINUM2024

American Battlefield Trust

Preserve. Educate. Inspire.

Washington, DC   |  www.battlefields.org

Mission

The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America's hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit organization has protected thousands of acres of battlefield land associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Learn more at http://www.battlefields.org.

Ruling year info

1988

Principal Officer

Mr. David Duncan

Main address

1156 15th Street NW, #900

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

54-1426643

NTEE code info

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

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 2023, 2022 and 2022.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The American Battlefield Trust's mission is to preserve America's endangered Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefields. The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the wars' history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it. Each year the Trust saves thousands of acres of hallowed ground where soldiers fought and died during the American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War. Once we save the land it will be preserved in perpetuity because we put easements on all property we save, and generally we turn the land over to a responsible long-term steward such as the National Park Service. We also work to protect battlefield land that is saved, but may be threatened by nearby development pressures such as a big box store or casino that would be detrimental to hallowed nature of the battlefield. In addition to preserving battlefield land, the Trust conducts programs designed to inform the public about history.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Land Preservation

The American Battlefield Trust's main program is land preservation: our mission is to save endangered Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War Battlefields from development by buying the land and protecting it through easements. Much of the land that these wars were fought on is endangered due to development pressures. We only purchase land at fair market value from landowners who are willing sellers; by purchasing the land outright we can ensure that it is preserved and will never be developed. We have already saved more than 50,000 acres of battlefield land, and we aim to save many more acres before it is too late.

Population(s) Served
Adults

In addition to saving hallowed ground, we also believe that there is a great need to educate the public about the importance of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. We are dedicated to interpreting the wars and its significant battles, and do so for teachers, students, and the public through technological resources and innovative methods such as our state-of-the-art website and Battle Apps. The Trust is the premier organization working to educate the public about the wars and their battlefields. Major recent advances in the Trust's education programs include the release of the Civil War Curriculum, the expansion of the Teacher Institute series, and continuing work on interpretation and content for the Trust's new Battle Apps for smart phones. The Trust focuses its educational efforts on five major areas: battlefield interpretation, in classrooms, on the web, at events, and in print.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Trust is a membership-based organization. Each quarter, every member receives our 48-page magazine Hallowed Ground, as a free educational membership benefit. The magazine highlights how their direct support helps preserve endangered battlefield land, advances the cause of education about the key period in our nation's history, and educates them directly on historical elements of importance about the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War land preservation. We depend on our members to raise the money we need to preserve the battlefield land.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Wise Giving Alliance Accreditation 2012

Better Business Bureau

4 Star Rating 2013

Charity Navigator

Wise Giving Alliance Accredidation 2014

Better Business Bureau

Wise Giving Alliance Accredidation 2014

Better Business Bureau

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of acres of land protected

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Land Preservation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In 2023, the organization saved 2,088 acres in 11 U.S. states. There were 49 separate land transactions at 29 battlefields.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

The American Battlefield Trust's mission is to preserve America's endangered Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War battlefields. The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public of the wars' history and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.

Each year the Trust saves thousands of acres of hallowed ground where soldiers fought and died during the American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War. Once we save the land it will be preserved in perpetuity because we put easements on all property we save, and generally we turn the land over to a responsible long-term steward such as the National Park Service. We also work to protect battlefield land that is saved, but may be threatened by nearby development pressures such as a big box store or casino that would be detrimental to hallowed nature of the battlefield. In April 2022, we made a public pledge to save 2,500 acres of Revolutionary War battlefields to mark the upcoming 250th anniversary of that conflict, and proceeded to make progress through fundraising campaigns, acquisitions and land transfers.

In addition to preserving battlefield land, the Trust conducts programs designed to inform the public about the events and consequences of the wars, foster an understanding of the need for preservation, and create a personal connection to the past. The goal of our education program is to assist teachers across the country so they can make their lessons about American history more engaging and informative for their students.

To preserve battlefield land, the Trust works with willing landowners to purchase their property at fair market value. In order to determine what to buy and what preservation strategy best suits the project we first consult with the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report (“CWSAC"). The CWSAC Report was completed in 1993 by a 15-member Commission established by Congress to identify the most historically significant Civil War sites. Out of the nearly 10,000 battles and skirmishes of the war the report identified 384 principle battlefields worthy of preservation. For Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields, we consult the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) 2007 Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Historic Preservation Study.

Once the American Battlefield Trust determines whether a prospective property is listed as a CWSAC eligible site, we utilize our Geographic Information System (“GIS") computerized mapping capabilities to locate the potential property in relation to the historic landscape. If a property is within the recognized boundary of a CWSAC eligible battlefield we must next determine how best to preserve the property. Generally, the Trust either purchases a permanent conservation easement or purchases the property outright in order to preserve the integrity of the land.

The Trust has been one of the most successful non-profit organizations in America in securing federal, state, local and private matching funds to save battlefields. We then multiply those funds with money raised from our members around the world to raise the money needed to preserve these historic parcels of land.

Our education department reaches out to teachers, students, and the public by creating first-rate content on our website, interpretive signage, classroom resources, and on a suite of exciting technological educational tools.

When we need to stand up to developers and other pressures that would negatively affect battlefields, we work closely with lawmakers and the local community through grassroots efforts to ensure nothing is done to damage the hallowed nature of the battlefield.

Since 1987 the American Battlefield Trust and its predecessor organizations have saved more than 58,000 acres of significant battlefield land in 25 states. This makes the Trust the most effective and successful land heritage preservation organization in the country. We have successfully pulled together federal and state funds, as well as significant donations from our membership base of 50,000 members. This membership base is so generous that they provide the support we need to successfully save the land we have identified as significant that has come on the market.

Our education program has the capacity to create numerous new educational resources that teachers, students, and the public can access from our website. We have expanded this suite of offerings in the last few years, and have created new resources such as our Battle Apps, Animated Maps, and Battlefield 360 offerings. We work with the best historians and experts to have excellent material in these resources.

Working closely with landowners and preservation partners during 2023, the Trust completed 49 transactions at 29 battlefields in 11 states, amounting to 2,088 acres. This included high profile projects such as the Jacob Avey Farm and House at Antietam. The Trust also launched a $3 million national fundraising campaign to acquire the remainder of the former Gettysburg Country Club, continuing a preservation process begun nearly 15 years ago in partnership with The Conservation Fund and National Park Service. Located along the Chambersburg Pike between McPherson Ridge and Herrs Ridge, and just past Willoughbys Run, this 15-acre property saw intense fighting in the opening phase of battle on July 1, 1863.

A key component of the Trusts mission is educating the public about what happened on the hallowed battlegrounds we preserve and why it matters today. In 2023, the Trusts virtual and in-person teacher institutes professionally developed more than 1,335 teachers from nearly every state and multiple countries. The History Field Trip Grant Program made it possible for 6,000 students and teachers to visit battlefields and historic sites in 2023, pushing the total number of students and chaperones who have benefited from the program to more than 45,000. Five new virtual tour field trips took some 425,000 learners to Charleston, Boston, New Orleans, Baltimore and Vicksburg. Weve also added online hundreds of new articles, biographies, battle pages and more than 235 new videos, including our all-wars map, anniversary videos and our new Step Into History series, which has been nominated for a 2023 Anthem Award.

New digital offerings include an improved Civil War Battle Maps App that now offers GPS-enabled maps to allow users to locate their position on the map and follow in the footsteps of those who fought in Americas defining conflicts. The Trusts new Fort Watson AR App also allows users to travel back in time to the American Revolution and to a pre-contact Santee Indian village with augmented reality. We combine augmented reality and GPS to enable highly accurate placement of a 3D model of the Tavern in the place it originally sat at Cold Harbor Crossroads outside of Mechanicsville, Va. Using photogrammetry, a cutting-edge video capture technology, the Trusts website now provides visitors with a photo realistic virtual tour of the exterior and interior of Lees Headquarters.

In 2023, the Trust also ventured into new territory, launching two exciting new ventures, including a traveling exhibit in partnership with the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Trusts inaugural Prize for History. The American Revolution Experience is a pop-up exhibit based on the Trusts award-winning digital experience of the same name. Starting in January 2024, it will travel to scores of libraries, historical societies and museums through the winter of 2025.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

American Battlefield Trust
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

American Battlefield Trust

Board of directors
as of 03/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Mary Abroe


Board co-chair

Mr. William Hupp

Robert Daum

Private Investor

J. Dennis Sexton

All Children's Health System-retired

O. James Lighthizer

American Battlefield Trust

Mary Abroe

College of Lake County

Jeffrey McClanathan

CPA

Stephen Newhouse

Morgan Stanley-retired

Don Barrett

Barrett Law Group P.A.

William Hupp

Adams Street Partners, LLC

Thomas Lauer

Advent International

Susan Whitaker

Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

John Nau

Silver Eagle Distributors

William Vodra

Retired

Travis Anderson

Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co

Terry Beaty

Brown Advisory

Richard Mills

Retired Lt. General, USMC

John Culberson

Retired, U.S. Congressman

Richard Etzkorn

Formally with Cushman & Wakefield

Thomas Hand

Americana Corner

Van Hipp

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army

Noah Mehrkam

Self Storage Plus

Thomas Nusz

Former CEO, Oasis Petroleum Inc

Marshal Oldman

Former Chairman of the San Fernando Valley Bar Probate Section

J. Dennis Sexton

Former President and CEO, All Childrens Health System

John Sivolella

Barbara Stewart

Bowe Stewart Foundation

Madhu Tadikonda

bolttech

John Taylor

Greenleaf Health

Charles Trefzger

CEO, Affinity Living Group

Christopher Welton

CEO, Georgia Fitness Solutions

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data