Lesson 5

What does this history have to do with fundraising for your archive?

The history and philanthropic traditions of our own archives are important to our fundraising work because:

  1. Using the story of our own organization, we want to foster a relationship with propective donors.
  2. Our archive’s mission and programs are a story that we are always telling in our fundraising work.


Think about the early roots of your own archive. Answer these questions:

  1. Do you see how the roots of your archive can be traced to the early philanthropic activities in this country?
  2. How have you learned about the history of your archive?
  3. Are there stories of the archive that would interest a potential donor?


Take 5 minutes and write your own personal philanthropic autobiography.

  1. Reflect on and compose your personal philanthropic autobiography.
  2. Describe the many and varied ways in which philanthropy has been an influence, a factor, a determinant or a force in your life… as a beneficiar

Assess the exercise.

  • Did you find out anything you didn’t already know about yourself?
  • Do you have a better understanding of your personal history of philanthropy?
  • Will this understanding help you understand your donors better?