For over thirty years, the Preservation Trust of Vermont has been helping communities save and reuse their historic places. Every now and then, though, it is helpful to take a step back and look at why we are so passionate about our work.
As you start down the path of saving and using your historic building, here are a few tips to help you along the way:
- Always thank your contributors. Have you ever not been thanked by an organization you contributed to? Remember how you felt?
- Keep careful records about your project. Maintain a list of contributors and the chronology of your effort. You’ll need this information to tell the story of your success.
- Make sure that everyone connected with your effort knows the history and chronology of the project. They should also know who contributed.
- Involve as many people as possible in the effort. Teams do work!
- Saving great historic buildings is hard work, so be sure to find ways to have fun along the way. We can tell what other organizations have done.
- Find an important use for the finished building. The more the building is used, the more people will appreciate it and help maintain it over the long term.
- When hiring an architect and contractor, be sure to get people who appreciate old buildings and have a lot of experience working on them. Visit some of the buildings they have worked on.
- If you are lucky enough to receive a grant, be sure to understand and follow all of the conditions required by the donor. If reports are required, mark the dates on your calendar and be sure to submit them on time. Be sure to say thank you!
- Keep in touch with your supporters. Let them know how the effort is moving along.
- Publicize your progress. When you receive a grant or large donation, celebrate by letting the local paper, radio station, and television know. Be sure to recognize the donor, and be sure to get their name right!