Giving to O.C.H.S.
Introduction: The Ocean County Historical Society, established in 1950, is an all-volunteer I.R.S. approved 501 (c) (3) charitable organization. All contributions made by individuals, corporations, and foundations to the Society are tax deductible and go completely toward the support and sustainability of the Society’s museum, research center, archives, and grounds. There are no paid employees.
Overview: Some non-profit history organizations can sustain themselves on earned income alone (Memberships, store and book sales, and various fund raising events). Others are wholly funded by local governments. In our situation, because of the hard work of our many volunteers, earned income makes up about 45% of our operating budget. This is why we have fund raising events and appreciate the support of our membership and the general public. We must raise the balance of our operating funds (55%) from charitable sources such as grants, donations, bequests, and our newly established endowment fund.
Membership: The most basic and obvious way to support the Society is through Membership. The benefits of membership and a membership application are described separately on this website.
Annual Appeal: This is another important way you can support the Society. Members might wonder why we have an annual appeal for donations in addition to membership. The answer can be found in the Overview above. After membership fees and other earned income, we still have to seek the balance of our operating funds (55%) from charitable sources in order to maintain our historic building and collections, publish The Society Scroll, and conduct our many events, educational and school programs. The Annual Appeal is made during the annual Membership Drive. However, the Society welcomes Annual Appeal contributions or cash gifts in our donation box at any time of the year, and In Memory of gifts are welcomed to our Memorial Plaque.
Endowment: In 2013 the Society was fortunate to receive a significant bequest from a long time member. The Executive Board voted to use the bequest to create an Endowment. The Endowment is a restricted investment fund that only uses the interest and dividends for operations while allowing the investment principal to appreciate over time. Being a new feature to our funding picture, it is not yet known how much the Endowment will aid in the long term sustainability of the Society. However, donations and bequests made specifically to the Endowment are another way of supporting the Society and its activities. The Society in its Vision Statement has set as a long term goal that the Endowment will someday be capable of supporting 50% of its operating funds. Your participation in this regard will certainly help in achieving this vision.
Estate Planning: The Society encourages Estate Planning contributions. Estate Planning bequests or gifts can be unrestricted (the donor allows the use to be determined by the Executive Board) or restricted (the donor restricts the use of the gift to a specific interest such as the purchase of artifacts or the Endowment, where only interest and earnings are available to the Society).
Thank You!: It has been said that historical societies and museums are “in the forever business”. We have been fortunate that through your support and the support of many others we have been able to sustain and grow the society for over six decades. We thank you and appreciate your continued support.