Best Bargain in Edgewater

Vol. XVI No. 1 - SPRING 2005

Your Edgewater Historical Society and Museum operates on an annual budget of only $18,900. Supported by all volunteers, your organization has been able to accomplish much with very little; certainly the “best bargain in Edgewater.”

In January, the Board of Directors passed the annual budget for 2005. The operating budget includes funds for the physical maintenance of the museum building and to support our tours, programs, exhibits and publications. Income comes mainly from your membership dues, the fees we collect from our house tours, and fundraisers.

We are fortunate to have an endowment of about $175,000 (at press time) that can only be used to support the museum building’s plant operations or major repairs. The fund is named in honor of Everett Stetson, Jr., who left a generous bequest to EHS. The board strongly felt that it was important to use those funds for the long term survival of the museum building for future generations. A conscious decision was made to avoid the temptation to use the funds for general operations or salaries. Fortunately, we have not had the need to use these funds for the building’s operations. The funds are invested in a balanced growth index fund.

The largest part of the budget, 50% or $9,450, goes to support our wonderful museum building. Our programs, collections and public service activities come to 37.6% or $7,100. Administrative support comes to 12.4% or $2,350.

We continue to fund our many programs; we must increasingly find resources to expand our collection of Edgewater history. Right now the collections are being reviewed, collated, preserved and indexed by our volunteers on the Collections Committee. We will have to be purchasing more supplies for preservation of the collection. The budget also provides for a modest stipend (of $500) to obtain some consultation on preservation. We also plan to purchase a digital camera to assist in our efforts to document the community and our collection.

The lovely work done by the garden committee can only be supplemented by an annual appropriation of $250 for basic supplies and annuals; the committee has already qualified for a grant from Greencorps Chicago for the coming year.

Your Board of Directors has been able to do much with very little. As we look to the future, however, we will need to look for more funding to develop, preserve and exhibit our expanding collections.