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Preservation Worcester Inc.

 10 Cedar Street
 Worcester, MA 01609
[P] (508) 7548760
[F] --
preservationworcester.org
[email protected]
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INCORPORATED: 1970
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 23-7073959

LAST UPDATED: 01/30/2015
Organization DBA --
Former Names Worcester Heritage Preservation Society, Inc (1987)
Worcester Heritage Society, Inc. (1969)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

To maintain for future generations the sites and structures which are significant to the culture, history, and architecture of the city and to encourage excellence in future design.

Mission Statement

To maintain for future generations the sites and structures which are significant to the culture, history, and architecture of the city and to encourage excellence in future design.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $230,013.00
Projected Expense $230,013.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Adult Education
  • All America City Program
  • Most Endangered Structures Program
  • Seeing Worcester Architecture Program
  • Urban Design Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

To maintain for future generations the sites and structures which are significant to the culture, history, and architecture of the city and to encourage excellence in future design.


Background Statement

Preservation Worcester was founded in 1969 by interested local citizens who were increasingly concerned about the future of Worcester’s architectural heritage in reaction to urban renewal programs and the then standard practice of “destroy the old, build anew”. Started as a volunteer organization, Preservation Worcester named its first non-volunteer Executive Director in the mid 1970s. Now with more than 600 active members, the organization has a three-person staff with headquarters at 10 Cedar Street, an American Foursquare with Colonial Revival details. The building was donated to the organization in 1992 and renovated through a Massachusetts Preservation Project Fund Grant. It serves as a successful model of adaptive reuse renting office space to support operating expenses. Through education, advocacy and action, Preservation Worcester works to maintain for future generations the sites and structures which are significant to the culture, history, and architecture of the city and to encourage excellence in future design.  Over the years, Preservation Worcester was instrumental in safeguarding important structures including Mechanics Hall, Union Station, the Chestnut Street Church, the Quinsigamond School and the Clock Tower at Worcester State Hospital. Since 1995, the organization has annually selected a Most Endangered Structures List and has successfully advocated for and assisted in the preservation of many of Worcester's most historic properties. We oversee a Revolving Loan Fund for façade restoration. We also have exciting Urban Design and Green Historic Preservation initiatives. Our education programs reach over 2,000 people annually. In October 2012, the organization will receive a prestigious Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History at their Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City. We also were recent recipients of an 2010 Honors Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which was awarded in Austin, Texas and a 2010 Master Mechanics Award from Mechanics Hall.


Impact Statement

  1. Partnered with the City Manager, Spencer Savings Bank and the Friends of Newton Hill on the sale and future restoration of the Fire Alarm & Telegraph Building in Elm Park.
  2. Spearheaded a grassroots campaign to safe-guard the Clock Tower at Worcester State Hospital. A Clock Tower Monument will be reconstructed at the site of the former Worcester State Hospital.
  3. Concluded a two-year study on the campus plans and historic buildings on local education institutions and recognized three colleges with Urban Design Awards.
  4. Created By the Canal, a cutting edge audio tour of the Blackstone Canal District.
  5. Educated approximately 2,000 people through our education programs.

Needs Statement

Preservation Worcester’s most pressing need is for financial support. We operate on a shoe string budget and with a small staff. During the past few years, our expenses have exceeded our income by approximately $20,000. The situation is concerning in terms of the long-term viability of the organization and also reduces the amount of time we can allocate to our mission. 

Our current oil furnace should be replaced. It is inefficient and we know that we would realize a savings were we to convert to a gas heating system. The cost to convert to a new system is approximately $5,000.

We annually recruit and train docents. We need more. We currently have approximately 20 docents who provide research, conduct classroom programs and field trips, and conduct walking tours, bus tours and programs.

Our award winning "By the Canal Tour"was launched in November 2012. Our 4-color brochure has a map and tag images that are scanned by a smart phone for the audio version of the tour. We printed 6,000 brochures and have about 200 left. The price for printing 20,000 brochures is $2,888.

We do not have a marketing budget. It would be wonderful to have funds or persons with skills to help us market our programs and events, and develop collateral materials.

CEO Statement

Since 1969, we have played a key role in building a healthy community and vibrant neighborhoods. We are unique in that role as Worcester’s sole advocate for the built environment and historic preservation. Our green historic preservation initiatives promote protecting our environmental resources. Our education programs are designed to reach our entire community and our school efforts target specific underserved neighborhoods. We actively work to enhance our community by promoting economic development and instilling community pride. We work in partnership with elected officials and city staff, neighborhood groups, cultural organizations, and local citizens. 

Recently, we partnered with the City Manager, a local bank and environment groups on the sale and future historic restoration of the Fire Alarm & Telegraph Building in Elm Park. Through a grassroots campaign, a Clock Tower Monument will be reconstructed at the site of the former historic Worcester State Hospital. We concluded a 2-year study on the campus plans and historic buildings of 11 local education institutions and recognized 3 colleges with Urban Design Awards. We created a cutting edge, self-guided audio tour entitled By the Canal. We selected and monitored our Most Endangered Structures Lists and have had success with many properties. We reached approximately 2,000 people through our education programs. We presented a 5 part series on green historic preservation and continue our efforts in that area. Our All America City Program annually reaches nearly 700 third grade students with an in-class program and a field trip. We recently completed our 5th year of collaboration with the Worcester Arts Magnet School. Working with school staff, we created in-class sequential programs and field trips for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. The program culminated in June with a “Living Museum” and Seeing Worcester Architecture, a tour and brochure for children and their families. We restored a bungalow on Henshaw Street and have a purchase and sales agreement on that property. We created a Consultant Directory on our website. We embarked on an image management initiative.

One indicator that we are making a difference is the amount of media attention we have received in the past year - 34 print media articles, 11 radio shows and 5 television shows. We had 8,107 unique visitors to our website. In 2011, we had 12,597 visits to our website.  We conducted an effective Save the Clock Tower campaign – our Save the Clock Tower Facebook page has 1,066 likes and nearly 500 people signed on our I-petition.


Board Chair Statement

 

I have been involved as a volunteer with Preservation Worcester for over ten years.I was drawn to the organization because of my interested in getting involved with historic preservation in central Massachusetts and in learning about our local architecture. I certainly believe it is important for us to maintain the past while enhancing the future.

I am proud of the important role that Preservation Worcester plays in our community. We undeniably have a positive role in projecting structures, promoting economic development, advocating for the built environment and educating the public. Recently, Lt. Governor Tim Murray called us “the little engine that could” at the Public Signing of a Memorandum of Agreement concerning the Clock Tower at Worcester State Hospital. We have had major accomplishments recently – the Clock Tower Monument, the By the Canal Tour, the restoration of the Fire Alarm & Telegraph building and the installation of the Gilman display in our new courthouse. It is frankly overwhelming that we can accomplish so much with a staff of three – 2 full time and 1 part time. We truly count on our volunteers in every aspect of our organization.

When first moving to Worcester about 30 years ago, I immediately appreciated the varied architecture and design in this city I had never been to. From the city center to the outer boundaries near town lines, there are a variety of not only historic properties, but also a variety of art deco 1950s contemporary sprinkled throughout the city exhibiting the trends and growth of Worcester.

Once purchasing a home and determining that Worcester is where I have decided to stay, I made the decision to become more involved in the community. Preservation Worcester is a natural fit being in the real estate industry and understanding the importance of maintaining, renovating and keeping historic buildings while also promoting good design for new buildings so they compliment those around them. We have been asked to the table with state and local representatives to help procure an appropriate resolution to different projects so that all involved feel as though we have achieved and accomplished a major solution through the art of compromise. We accomplish all this on a very limited budget and major time involvement from the Board of Directors and volunteers.

Our challenges are considerable. We constantly struggle to raise sufficient funds to cover our expenses. We have addressed the issue through creating an Endowment Fund, developing a financial plan, fine-tuning our events and actively soliciting and acknowledging corporate, foundation and individual support. For instance, a member of our executive committee personally calls each contributor who gives over $350. We hope that our association with The Giving Common will be one additional way we can increase awareness of and support for Preservation Worcester.

Geographic Area Served

CENTRAL REGION, MA
Preservation Worcester primarily serves the public in Worcester, Massachusetts and surrounding communities.

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Historical Societies & Historic Preservation
  2. Education - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. Public & Societal Benefit -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Adult Education

We provided a 10-week new docent training course and monthly training for our current docents. We created By the Canal,a self-guided audio tour downloadable to smart phones and in print version. Our walking tours included three Birds & Architecture toursInstitute Park for WPI staff tour, Cedar-Elm neighborhood tour; Society of Architectural Historians tour; Crown Hill; Art in the Park tour for guide trainees; and 3 tours for Unum staff. We provided bus tours for the Garden Club; WPI Parents; Becker College freshmen; new faculty of Holy Cross; Notre Dame Academy and St. John’s High School. We trained South High School students to give local wagon tours. We presented a program for a Holy Cross writing class. We provided illustrated talks - three Worcester’s Movie Palaces talks; Stroll Down Shrewsbury Street; two talks by Dr. Sara Wermiel; Historic Homes Workshop for Worcester Regional Association of Realtors and Why Preservation is Green to Constructions Specification Institute.

Budget  $32,175.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Adults College Aged (18-26 years) Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Program Short-Term Success 

In the short term, we expect that our membership will increase as a result of our education programs. We encourage membership at our programs and track new members garnered through our programs. We would expect 30% on non-members who attend our programs to become members.

Our docent training produced 6 new docents. Each docent prepared an illustrated presentation of the Main South area of the city. We expect to provide public programs by each of the docents. We expected to culminate those efforts with a self-guided audio tour of the area. 

Program Long-Term Success  Over the long term, the goal of our adult education program is to promote historic preservation. An educated adult may become a more effective steward of his/her historic property and also will hopefully be an advocate to elected and government officials to promote historic preservation and the re-use of historic properties. We also expect that our programs will promote community pride in the built environment.
Program Success Monitored By 

We know that our adult educations programs make a difference because we calculate the number of people attending them. They are well-attended. Also, we request participants complete evaluation forms. The evaluations are positive. Many tour participants join the organization and become active in our efforts.

Examples of Program Success 

In November 2011, we launched our By the Canal tour with a public event at historic Union Station. The Mayor, Commissioner Jan Reitsma of The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, city councilors and a large crowd attended the event. The event was prominently covered by the by the local newspaper and Charter TV. We printed 6,000 tour brochures and they were all used within seven months.  In the fall of 2012, our By the Canal Tour will receive an Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local Histories.


All America City Program

TheThird GradeAll America City Programincludes an illustrated classroom presentation to prepare students for a downtown field trip and the actual field trip.  On their four-hour fieldtrip, children visit the top floor of the Sovereign Bank Tower (the tallest building in the city), City Hall, the Worcester Common, Union Station and the National Guard Armory Museum.  A highlight of the trip is a Mock City Council Meeting in the City Hall Council Chamber led by a city councilor.   

 

The program was created in collaboration with third grade teachers. It is based on the Massachusetts History and Social Science, Math and English Language Arts Curriculum Frameworks, and is endorsed by the Worcester Public Schools. The program is coordinated in partnership with the City of Worcester, Sovereign Bank and the National Guard Armory Museum. It is led by Preservation Worcester docents who receive ten sessions of orientation and on-going monthly docent training.
Budget  $32,175.00
Category  Education, General/Other Partnerships in Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  We know that students who participate in our Third Grade All America City program are engaged and educated by our program. They especially enjoy the Mock City Council Meeting at City Hall. Their school curriculum is enhanced and brought to life through the program. Each student who participates in the program completes a post-test. We are able to determine the impact of the program on them through the post-test.
Program Long-Term Success 

We have offered and refined our program for 10 years. It is endorsed by the public schools and the demand for it exceeds our capacity to provide it. Schools return annually to expose third grade students to our unique program.

Our experience with the Worcester Arts Magnet School led to us for a permanent, expanded relationship with the school. Over the past 5 years, we have developed sequential programs concerning architecture and history for the 3rd, 4thand 5thgrades. Our expanded program,Seeing Worcester Architecture, is something we would like to provide to other schools.

Our program makes an indelible impact on students. We know that from the endorsements and evaluations. and the demand for it that we are providing a valuable and important educational experience. Our long-term goal is to spark an interest in preservation in our students so that as adults they will protect the built environment. We also want to instill a long-term feeling of community pride.
Program Success Monitored By 

Preservation Worcester evaluates the program with a variety of assessment models. Utilizing the input, Preservation Worcester strives to maintain existing high standards of excellence in our presentations.

1. We evaluate the program through written teacher evaluations

2. We evaluate the students through written essays following the program to assess if educational objectives were met

3. We evaluate the program through school demand for the program

Examples of Program Success 

Our students are our successes. Here are some comments. 

“Today I went to downtown Worcester. I think Worcester is [special] because it has a lot of beautiful buildings and because it has alot of statues that represent different people. I learned that Stephen Salisbury built his own house! I also learned about all the different styles of architecture. I liked the fieldtrip. My favorite part was when we went to the train station. I wish I can go again."

“Last week we went on a fieldtrip to downtown Worcester. My favorite place was City Hall. I loved when we were pretending to be the mayor, the public, and the lawyer. I even loved the pictures of the mayors. Also I learned about arches and pediments, which are parts of the buildings. It was the best trip I ever had.”

"I learned so much. Now everyday I [point] out things that I never knew before. I teach my mom about Worcester's history too."


Most Endangered Structures Program

We annually select, publicize and monitor the most endangered properties in Worcester.
Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Architecture
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

 

Public announcement of our annual endangered structures list brings immediate public attention to threatened properties, brings awareness to the importance of historic preservation, instills pride in our built environment and immediately promotes the importance of landmark buildings. Often, the list promotes a direct and timely positive outcome for the properties:

A private residence designed by prominent architect Stephen Earle appeared on the 2010 list. The property was sold within days of the news story.

A listing of a Street Clock brought immediate offers to buy and restore it. We wanted the Clock to remain unaltered in its location. We raised foundation support to restore it. The iconic Clock is a reminder of a time when downtown was bustling and street clocks were common. 

A historic building was seen in our newspaper article by a young couple who aspired to develop properties. They purchased and restored the property which is now an upscale apartment building.


Program Long-Term Success  Since 1995, Preservation Worcester has selected and monitored an annual list of endangered structures. We worked with the property owners encouraging them to restore or sell their properties. At times, we have also restored or solicited funding to restore properties. Our success rate with this program is a remarkable 57%. In the long-term, our generation and generations to come will be the beneficiaries of our rich architectural heritage and built landscape. People will understand who we are and where we came from because of the historic structures. The structures will be a source of community pride. Also, a significant portion of our successes are catalysts for economic development in the city. Former endangered properties are now thriving businesses and beautiful residences.
Program Success Monitored By 

We annually solicit nominations for endangered properties from the community. Once the properties are selected, a volunteer is assigned to monitor the property. The volunteer works with the executive director. The property owner is contacted and often assistance is provided. Because of the nature of the program, we can easily and accurately track our results. We can determine if the structure is restored, remains endangered or is demolished.

Examples of Program Success  We prevented the pending demolition of the downtown church and brokered a deal whereby the church was purchased by a thriving congregation. We restored a number of properties in the Crown Hill neighborhood and sold them. The once distressed neighborhood is now an urban enclave. We relocated and restored a church. In the past year, we reached an agreement with the state on a Clock Tower Monument. We have been working on that property since 1995. We entered into an agreement with the city and a local bank for the restoration of the Fire Alarm & Telegraph building. We will oversee a community room and have raised $250.000 toward the restoration of the building. We have been working on that building since 1999. We advocated for the sale and purchase of the Junction Shops, the city’s oldest standing factory building. We served as a middle man between the Diocese of Worcester and the Chinese Gospel Church on the sale of another endangered structure.

Seeing Worcester Architecture Program

Seeing Worcester Architecture is a sequential series programs and field trips for the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. This program fits the MA Curriculum Frameworks for grades 3, 4, and 5 in social studies and art. The programs continue from year to year and enlarge upon concepts learned in earlier grades and permit reinforced learning and a more complex understanding of local history and of the familiar buildings in our community. The program supports an understanding of architecture, design, and historic preservation at graduated levels - Grade 3, Worcester monumental architecture and the built environment; Grade 4, buildings of everyday life in Worcester, including the sustainability of old buildings and historic preservation; Grade 5, historic preservation and adaptive reuse through architectural sketches and floor plan development. There are associated field trips for each grade level. The program culminates with a Living Museum.
Budget  $32,175.00
Category  Education, General/Other Partnerships in Education
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  This year the 3rd, 4thand 5thgrade students at Worcester Arts Magnet School benefited from the in-class presentations, the fieldtrips and the associated art and drama projects of Seeing Worcester Architecture. A brochure which is a walking guide of downtown Worcester for children and their families was produced in coordination with the school and Preservation Worcester. The program culminated with a Living Museum where each 5thgrader participated in a skit pertaining to the Worcester’s architecture and the art projects from all grades were prominently displayed. The Museum was attended by over 400 people including students from another elementary school and was broadcast on the local television station.
Program Long-Term Success  We just completed our 5thyear of collaboration with the Worcester Arts Magnet School on Seeing Worcester Architecture. The program has become an important and permanent part of the curriculum of the magnet school. We have been fortunate to receive continued funding of the program through the Boston Foundation for Architecture. We are confident the students at the school are developing a sensitively for architecture, design, the built environment and green preservation. The school principal reports that now students view architecture and design as true career options.
Program Success Monitored By  Each year, Preservation Worcester’s Education Director and Executive Director critique the program with the principal of the Worcester Arts Magnet School and the participating teachers. That critique leads to modifications to the following year’s program. Each student is given a pre and post test to ascertain if the students have garnered key education objectives. We also annually submit a proposal for continued funding to the Boston Foundation for Architecture. To continue to receive funding, we need to clearly display the success of the program.
Examples of Program Success 

School Principal- Parents are pleased to see all of the things their children have learned about the city and its architecture. They have found that the children point out sites and architectural details and styles as they pass by in the family car.”

4th grade teacher -"It was wonderful to see the pride they have for their city.”

Tatalia, a 5th grader -  "The mansions and 3-deckers were amazing. I just kept jotting down notes and sketching out the details of the buildings. I learned so much. Before the field trip, I didn't even know the names of the columns! I didn't know what the Greek Revival style was!"

Hannah, a 5th grader -"I had a great time on the field trip. My favorite building would be Mechanics Hall because I loved the Corinthian columns, the arch windows and the vermiculated design. One of my other favorites was when we ate at Elm Park. I loved Union Station. I love seeing the trains pull out of the station and guessing where they will go. I had an amazing time!"


Urban Design Program

Our current efforts focus on the nodes (retail enclaves in a residential neighborhood). We are locating and analyzing the nodes of the city. Our previous initiatives include working with the city on developing Design Review Guidelines and Streetscape Plans for the downtown area, and a 2-year study of the historic properties on and campus plans of our locale education institutions - Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Becker College, WPI, Clark University, the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester State University, Quinsigamond Community College, UMA Medical School, Assumption College, Worcester Academy and Notre Dame Academy.

Budget  $15,000.00
Category  Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Public, Society Benefit, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 

We are reinforcing our relationship with the city through our urban design efforts. We approached the Economic Development Officer for the city to determine our current urban design focus. He suggested we study the nodes of Worcester. We define nodes as pockets of retail businesses in a residential community. Two city employees are part of our committee, and we are working collaboratively to identity and analyze the nodes. The collaboration and other similar collaborations assist our organization as we work toward our mission and assist the city in its efforts.

Program Long-Term Success 

We have been working with the city on the establishment of Design Review Guidelines and a Streetscape plan for downtown Worcester. Once in place, they will go a long way toward enhancing the beauty and vitality of the downtown area. 

We recently completed a study of the campuses of 13 educational institutions. We documented their historic buildings and placed them on maps. We also met with the institution president or representative and learned about future campus plans. We established important relationships with each institution.

We anticipate that our current Node Study will provide significant information on the location of nodes, the local businesses involved and their relative success. We will share the information with the city and the local businesses. We will determine factors that increase the success of nodes and use that knowledge to help strengthen other nodes. By promoting thriving nodes, we will support neighborhoods and economic development in the city.
Program Success Monitored By  We monitor the success of our Urban Design efforts by completing our goals for each effort. Our efforts to have Design Review Guidelines and Streetscape Plans in place for the downtown area have become a lengthy process. The paperwork is in place, however, we are experiencing difficulty getting the city council to approve them. We will not feel successful until they are put into place. We achieved our goals of evaluating the campuses of local education institutions and presenting urban design awards. Our goals for the current nodes project are to identify the nodes, find how they work and use the information garnered to enhance all the city nodes.
Examples of Program Success  Our Urban Design Focus on thirteen education institutions was highly successful. We met with the president or representative of each institution. We reviewed, analyzed and documented their historic properties. We were also informed of their campus plans. We plotted all of the properties on maps. We evaluated each of the institutions and ranked them by a set of criteria. We recognized all of the institutions at our 2011 Annual Meeting and awarded 3 urban design awards. Many college presidents, elected officials and the city manager attended the meeting which was held in a newly renovated building at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Over the years, Preservation Worcester has established a positive working relationship with city government, elected officials, corporations, community leaders, cultural organizations and local activists. We are able to raise community awareness on the importance of the built environment and are positioned to effectively market our message. That credibility gives us the opportunity to be partners in efforts to improve our community. 

Because of the breadth of our services and the major scope of our mission, we rely heavily upon and benefit greatly from volunteers. Annually, we utilize the expertise of over 250 active volunteers. 

Our education programs are in demand and it is a challenge for us to keep up with requests. We strive to utilize the latest in social media and computer technology. We are currently putting over 3,000 images into an image management program. That is a daunting, but important initiative. Our Save the Clock Tower campaign utilized a Facebook component and an I-petition. Our By the Canal program makes use of cutting edge technology. 

Our major challenge is to ensure the long-term financial viability of the organization. We embarked on a financial strategic plan for the organization. The project is spear-headed by our treasurer, a local bank executive. We also initiated an Endowment Fund. Our goal in the first year was to raise $10,000. In the past year plus, we raised $19,401. The funds are restricted and we hope to continue to grow them. We also recently restored a bungalow on which we have a signed sales and purchase agreement.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Deborah S. Packard
CEO Term Start May 2004
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Our Executive Director has been with the organization for the past 8 years. Previously, she worked as the Director of Development for the Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham; the marketing and business development manager for Consigli Construction Company, Milford, MA; and the Vice President of Resource Development for the United Way of Central Massachusetts, Worcester. She has a BA in Urban Studies from Wheaton College and credits toward an MBA.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. David Leach Jan 2002 Jan 2003
Mr. James Igoe Aug 1995 Jan 2002

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mrs. Susan McDaniel Ceccacci Education Director

Our Education Director has been with the organization since the fall of 2009. In addition to this position, she provides historic preservation consulting services (for over 30 years) to cities, towns, preservation organizations, historical research projects, housing groups, building owners and architects. Susan has AB in At from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College) and an MA in Historic Preservation Studies from Boston University.

Ms. Valerie J. Ostrander Office Manager  

Our Office Manager has been with the organization since October, 2009. Previously she worked as IT Compliance Manager at 3Com and Modus Media International; as Project Manager of a technical writing department at BankBoston as well as an Investor Relations Specialist and Accounting Officer for BankBoston. She has a BSBA in Accounting from Northeastern University.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Chamber of Commerce 2000
National Trust For Historic Preservation 1970
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

By the Canal Tour– Canal District Business Association, The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Canal District Alliance

Third Grade All America City Tour- Sovereign Bank, the City of Worcester, Union Station and the National Guard Armory Museum

Seeing Worcester Architecture– Worcester Arts Magnet School

Green Initiative– Central MA AIA, Whipple Construction, Lamoureux-Pagano Associates, Worcester Energy Barnraisers, Worcester State University, Crown Hill Restoration

Fire Alarm & Telegraph Building project– City of Worcester, Spencer Savings Bank, Friends of Newton Hill, Park Spirit, Mass. Audubon, Greater Worcester Land Trust

Main South Project– Main South CDC, Clark University

Urban Design– City of Worcester

Better than your Average Yard Sale– Canal District Alliance

Education Programs– Worcester Public Schools

Revolutionary Roundtable Event– Worcester Historical Museum, Sons of the American Revolution, Daughters of the American Revolution

Worcester Cultural Coalition

Wagon Tours– South High School

Advisory Committee of the Sustainable Communities Challenge Planning Grant.  - the City of Worcester, The Community Builders, Inc., the Main South CDC, and the Institute for Energy and Sustainability.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 250
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Jeffery L. Burk
Board Chair Company Affiliation RE/MAX Vision, LLC
Board Chair Term May 2008 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Katherine A. Bagdis Esquire Mountain, Dearborn & Whiting, LLP Voting
Mr. Neil Benner Gilbane Building Company Voting
Mrs. Janet A. Birbara Beechwood Hotel --
Ms. Karin I. Branscombe Quaker Special Risk Voting
Mr. Matthew T. Brassard P.E. Brassard Design & Engineering, Inc. Voting
Mr. Jeffery L. Burk RE/MAX Vision, LLC Voting
Mr. Douglas A. Cutler Cutler Management Corp. Voting
Ms. Elaine Evans RE/MAX Vision, LLC Voting
Mr. John G. Giangregorio 3G's Sportsbar Voting
Mr. David R. Glispin Sunshine Sign Company Voting
Mr. William E. Holmlund Distinctive Homes and Real Investments, LLC Voting
Mrs. Arlette M. Lynch The Bank of Canton Voting
Mr. Patrick T. Maloney The Nativity School Voting
Mrs. Nadia T. McGourthy Esquire Dresser & McGourthy, LLP Voting
Mrs. JoAnn G. Morency Commerce Bank & Trust Voting
Ms. Meaghen P. Mulherin Graduate Student, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Voting
Mr. Robert F. Para Jr. Lamoureux Pagano Associates, Architects Voting
Ms. Bonnie M. Prescott Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Eric K. Torkornoo TD Bank Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 17
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 9
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Building
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Education
  • Education
  • Endowment
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Legislative
  • Membership
  • Nominating
  • Public Policy/Advocacy
  • Scholarship
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
  • Volunteer

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Our greatest opportunities for our organization come from the people involved with it. They are eager to promote our mission throughout the community. Our staff is stable and seasoned. Our Board is active and engaged. Our committees function well and our docents provide programs that we could not begin to provide without them. Increasingly, we are invited to join coalitions and community efforts. We have a seat at the table and we can respond in a timely, educated and respected manner.

 You will note that our board attendance is 80%. Although that may seem low, we feel that our board attendance and support is strong. In the past year, we had 2 board members who spend their winters in warmer climates. Although they both volunteered to resign, we asked them to continue to remain on the board. Due to email, they are active and engaged in the governance of the organization even when away.

 Our challenges come mainly from trying to keep all of our balls up in the air. As the sole organization in the second largest city in New England dedicated to the built environment, our challenge is to direct our energies in a thoughtful and meaningful way and to balance working toward our mission and working to keep the organization financially solvent. Often tough decisions need to be made and we need to prioritize our activities. Asking people to continue to give so much of their time, treasure and talent when life seems so complicated for everyone is often a challenge for our staff and board. We constantly try to balance streamline, lighten the workload and express our gratitude.

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2009 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2012 to Dec 31, 2012
Projected Income $230,013.00
Projected Expense $230,013.00
Form 990s

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2011 Financial review

2010 Financial review

2009 Financial review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Total Revenue $220,005 $155,737 $192,436
Total Expenses $247,780 $222,962 $212,858

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $87,808 $22,494 $36,048
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $18,469 $31,522 $44,751
Membership Dues $24,801 $24,260 $32,282
Special Events $36,992 $39,501 $37,834
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $51,935 $37,960 $41,521

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Program Expense $136,134 $116,750 $103,381
Administration Expense $48,633 $49,802 $53,547
Fundraising Expense $63,013 $56,410 $55,930
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.89 0.70 0.90
Program Expense/Total Expenses 55% 52% 49%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 50% 91% 76%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Total Assets $931,230 $978,132 $1,014,595
Current Assets $88,569 $30,565 $101,311
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $931,230 $978,132 $1,014,595

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $19,401.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage(If selected) 5.0%
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2011 2010 2009
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Without a doubt, our major challenge is fiscal. We have trimmed and trimmed and streamlined. Any further cuts would devastate the organization. We have many needs that should be addressed including repairs to our properties, important technology upgrades, salary compensation and benefits, marketing and design assistance, etc. We know that we are not alone, but it can be frustrating to focus so much time on fundraising.

We are fortunate to own our property and an adjacent parking lot. We have 4 tenants and 20 rented parking spaces. We also restored a property, which we are in the process of selling. Our membership, foundation support and corporate support are stable and growing at a moderate level. We feel that given the current financial climate, we are doing well. 

Our events continue to of concern. We feel that we need to have 3 fundraising events a year. These events (Better than your Average Yard Sale, house tour and some sort of dinner dance) put a tremendous strain on the organization. It is increasingly more difficult to find sponsors and people have less discretionary income. When an event falls short, our efforts to achieve a balanced budget are increasingly more difficult. It is hard to predict what will and won’t be successful. Our April Swing into Spring event fell $10,000 short of our goal and we are working to make up that disappointing shortfall.

Our different funds of $441,686 have been prudently invested in CDs and we were not hurt over the past years when the stock market took hits. However, as our CDs mature, we are not able to invest at the same rate so our income from our funds is not at the level it once was.

Our treasurer is spear-heading an effort to secure our financial health for the future. We sought opinions from our Board of Directors and as the first step in developing a financial strategic plan. Toward those efforts, we raised money for and established a permanent endowment fund and have softly instituted a planned giving program.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's financial reviews.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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