Thanks for considering how you can support the Greene County Historical Society and Museum.
You can buy memberships and make donations by writing a check and mailing it to us.
Basic memberships are for a calendar year, and the options are:
- $50 if you would like to be a “Friend of the GCHS”
- $20 for a family membership
- $15 for an individual membership.
To join us by mail
You can download or view the form for printing (Membership Form PDF) , and snail-mail your payment to us at:
Greene County Historical Society
219 E. Lincoln Way
P.O. Box 435
Jefferson, IA 50129
Now, let’s talk about our short- and long-term financial position, and how you can help support our mission of “keeping Greene County history alive.”
The Greene County Historical Society is, in reality, one organization with two separate missions. The monthly meetings where members gather to learn and socialize are a vital part of what keeps the organization alive. The benefit is huge and the monetary cost is minimal.
What separates the historical society from other local organizations is that it owns or operates and maintains three buildings and their contents. It is a daunting responsibility to preserve and protect the 11,000-plus historical artifacts in our 100-year-old museum, plus the collection of rural artifacts in our fairgrounds historical building and the restored country schoolhouse at the fairgrounds. That’s especially so when you consider that our only income is an annual (not guaranteed) stipend from the Greene County Board of Supervisors, our modest membership fees, and an unknown amount in donations and memorials.
We have learned that creating special events makes a difference, bringing in more people and funds. But these involve huge effort from a dwindling number of workers, and it remains a continuing challenge to make ends meet. There is never a guarantee of income, only a guarantee of expense. Utilities and insurance alone equal almost $7,000 per year!
Over the years, the GCHS board of directors has practiced good stewardship of its General Fund by closely monitoring spending from its checking account and by building up its savings account to provide an adequate cushion in case of emergency. (Examples have been essential roof repairs, twice in the last eight years, that have cost several thousand dollars each time.) We have a readily-accessible savings account of just more than $20,000, but as recommended by financial experts, we have restrictions in how much we can withdraw from savings for specific purposes. Those restrictions are that we must maintain $5,000 in savings for emergency reserves; we can use up to $10,000 of our savings for capital improvements, and we can use $5,000 for grant matching funds.
If and when savings grow beyond $20,000, the board can choose to send moneys to the Endowment Fund.
That Endowment Fund was created in 2013 by then-president Jeane Burk, who wanted to ensure the continuing financial security of the Greene County Historical Society and Museum. The eventual goal of $100,000 would allow us to withdraw $5,000 per year from interest/dividends earned to help cover expenses as needed, but no moneys will be withdrawn until the $100,000 goal is met. As of Oct. 1, 2018, that Endowment Fund was $63,321, meaning we are two-thirds of the way to our goal. We had an increase in that fun of $3,554 during the last three months of 2017 and the first nine months of 2018 — and thank you all for your donations.
Our Endowment Fund earns greater yields as part of a larger fund administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Because the Greene County Historical Society is a 501C3 tax exempt nonprofit organization, any gift to the Endowment Fund is tax deductible to the extent permitted under IRS guidelines. Our EIN is #72-1548210. You can send your gift directly to:
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
1915 Grand Avenue, Des Moines IA 50309
(Please designate “Greene County Historical Society Endow Iowa” in the memo space. )
Please consider contributing to the ongoing financial stability of this worthwhile organization by donating to either our Endowment Fund or our General Fund.
Donations can include cash in any amount, stocks & bonds, dividends, bequests – even loads of grain. Estate planning can designate donations. Gifts of money can also be made in honor of another volunteer or even someone in the community. It is also possible to set up monthly donations. Consider giving a gift of money for each grandchild born, for every year of marriage, or in honor of a child graduating high school or college.
Your gift, whatever its size or form, will help preserve the Greene County Historical Society and Museum for future generations. Thank you!