The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission collaborates with the THC Historic Sites Division's (HSD) Community Partnerships Program on several initiatives to support local Friends Groups for the THC's State Historic Sites. The FTHC's Friends Alliance Program supports the following initiatives:
For volunteers who wish to organize as a Friends Group for a Texas Historical Commission (THC) State Historic Site, but do not wish to file as a 501(c)3 independent nonprofit, Fiscal Sponsorships are available so that groups may fundraise under the nonprofit umbrella of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission (FTHC). Fiscally sponsored Friends Groups organize their own governing committee and operate similarly to any nonprofit Friends Group but are not responsible for 501(c)3 filing duties, annual IRS reports, or accounting reviews and audits. Funds raised by the group are held with the FTHC, restricted for the historic site, and are used exclusively at the request of the Friends Group. The fiscal sponsorship option exists so that volunteers may organize as fundraisers quickly and affordably, while relieving them of the administrative responsibilities required of independent nonprofit status. Contact Angela Reed, Community Partnerships Coordinator—Historic Sites Division, by email to learn more.
The FTHC and the HSD's Community Partnerships Program staff provide four fundraising development training opportunities per year, offered at a discounted rate for Friends Group members. There are three two-day seminars held at THC historic sites throughout Texas, and a one-day workshop held in Austin at the THC's annual Real Places conference. The two-day seminars also feature an evening networking reception, hosted by the FTHC. Attendees include Friends Group members from the region, and other history-related nonprofit leaders, philanthropists, volunteers, and professionals, as well as FTHC baord members, THC Commissioners, and THC staff. Learn more and view upcoming training opportunities here.
The Friends Alliance Award
Historic Sites Friends Groups that have gone above and beyond in supporting their partner site may be nominated for a Friends Alliance Award. The FTHC holds an annual awards ceremony to recognize and honor the selected groups, and presents them with a commemorative plaque and a modest cash award that the group may use for board training of their choice. The Alliance Award is offered in three categories:
Civic Engagement Award
The Civic Engagement Award recognizes a Friends Group organization for outstanding efforts in promoting, educating, and advocating for a THC State Historic Site to public entitites, to maintain or elevate the site as a recognized community asset.
The Friendraising Award recognizes a Friends Group organization for creatively engaging and bringing together diverse community stakeholders to build on or create a supporting partnership organization that supports the THC State Historic Site.
The Stewardship Award recognizes a Friends Group organization for outstanding volunteer service augmenting site staff capacity through any number of volunteer assistance: hiring temporary staff, fundraising for additional operational support, maintenance or preservation needs, and/or providing in-kind services or supples.
The Friends Alliance Awards nominations will open May 1, 2020. Nomination information and forms can be found here. Friends Groups may be nominated by site staff, Friends Group members, or by others in their communities, for their exemplary volunteer efforts to support the historic sites that they're passionate about. Questions concerning nominations can be submitted to Angela Reed, Community Partnerships Coordinator—Historic Sites Division, by email.
Click here to read about the 2020 Friends Alliance Award recipients!