Services for Historic Sites, Preservation & Tourism Clients
Heritage Consulting Inc.’s principal Donna Ann Harris has worked extensively on the design, development and promotion of reuse plans for historic properties. Throughout her career, she has assisted citizen groups and government agencies to identify appropriate reuses for threatened buildings and historic districts. Cherished historic structures, be they historic house museums, distinct neighborhoods, tourism destinations or commercial districts must have viable uses to assure their long-term preservation. Ms. Harris has worked closely with government and nonprofit owners over the years to identify strategies and create plans for adaptive use. Ms.Harris has also taught a wide variety of training workshops based on her research, with fundraising training and board development being a specific interest.
Some recent historic preservation projects include:
- hosting a workshop on Best Practices for Board Service for Historic Sites for the Jacobus Vanderveer House in Bedminster NJ.
- writing a chapter for a forthcoming book on "Best Practices for Board Service at Historic House Museums."
- undertaking research to compile a national overview of preservation funding and incentives for Oregon Heritage, the state agency that houses the SHPO and Oregon Main Street Program for their Heritage Summit in April 2017
- facilitating a public meeting and six focus groups for Historic Annapolis in Maryland about the historic City Dock neighborhood in downtown;
- creating a report about the heritage tourism potential of an archeological site, to become a small park in Haddon Heights NJ for the Glover Fulling Mill Park
- working with the Arch Street Friends Meeting House in the historic district in Philadelphia as they prepare to identify and test several new interpretive programs for visitors;
- a Strategic Plan for the Barrow Mansion Development Corporation in Jersey City NJ as they embark on expanding tourism programming at their historic site;
- facilitating a two-day conference for the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy at Wingspread in Racine WI
- an assessment of the heritage tourism potential of Jacobs Chapel AME church and the Colemantown Meeting House, both documented Underground Rail Road sites in Mt. Laurel NJ;
- co-author of a business plan for Hidden City and the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia to "manage together"
- serving as a "think tank" team member for the Wilton Historic House in Richmond VA;
- creating and hosting a strategic planning symposium for the Louis Sullivan designed Charnley-Norwood House in Gulf Springs MS:
- a preservation plan for the Historic Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia PA:
- facilitating a workshop on public programming at the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Dana Thomas House in Springfield IL;
- business plans for program expansion at the historic house, farm and garden at Wyck in Philadelphia PA and
- heritage tourism assessments of the Jacobus Vanderveer House in Bedminster NJ and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Burlington NJ.
Why Ask Donna to help?
For the last thirty years, I have worked in the historic preservation movement in the nonprofit, government, and now for-profit sectors. My career has led me to positions at the national, state and local levels representing organizations that want to save historic and commercial districts as well as historic sites. I see myself as a preservation planner.
I learned about fundraising the hard way, by trial and error throughout the first fifteen years of my career when I was working for nonprofit preservation organizations in NJ, PA and IL. I have started three nonprofit preservation organizations from scratch. For each, I launched a membership or annual gifts program, inaugurated special events and conferences, and wrote many successful grants to foundations and corporations. As a key staff member or Executive Director for other preservation organizations, I learned about gala fundraising events, board giving, sponsorship, capital campaigns, and government grants. I wrote more than $3.75 million dollars in successful grants applications from foundations while working for the local preservation organization in Philadelphia. I am a generalist when it comes to fundraising, because I have had to raise money for start ups as well as mature organizations.
In the last ten years as a consultant, I have found that my consulting, training and writing have focused on fundraising, strategic planning, and heritage tourism. I enjoy working with preservation and house museums on fundraising issues and helping them diversify their revenue sources so that they can create and rely on predictable income streams over time. I actually like raising money and can help your board and staff understand what I have learned.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think I can help your organization grow.