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FAQs: The New Umbrella Organization

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Find answers to frequently asked questions about the American Battlefield Trust

What is the Mission of the American Battlefield Trust?

The American Battlefield Trust preserves America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educates the public about what happened there and why it matters.

How is the American Battlefield Trust organized?

The American Battlefield Trust is an umbrella organization created by the Civil War Trust.  It is a nonpartisan, nonprofit entity that will build upon the Civil War Trust’s success in protecting our nation’s endangered battlefields.

Why take this step?

The name American Battlefield Trust more accurately reflects our mission to protect battlefields of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Since the Civil War Trust expanded its mission in November 2014 to include preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefields, it has been clear that the name “Civil War Trust” no longer fully conveys what we do. 

What becomes of the Civil War Trust?

The Civil War Trust isn’t going away — it remains the principal division of the American Battlefield Trust.  You’ll continue to see its name and logo whenever we announce a new acquisition opportunity at a Civil War battlefield.  Our commitment to protecting those landscapes will not waver and will continue to comprise a clear majority of our efforts.

What becomes of Campaign 1776?

Campaign 1776 — which was envisioned as an initiative of limited scope and duration, designed to determine the feasibility of Revolutionary War battlefield preservation — becomes the Revolutionary War Trust, a new division under the American Battlefield Trust umbrella.  As the name implies, the Revolutionary War Trust will focus on preserving lands associated with the American Revolution, as well as educating the public about our country’s struggle for independence.

Why just the three wars?

At present, the American Battlefield Trust limits its land-preservation efforts to the three formative conflicts of our nation’s first century:  the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and the Civil War.  We do so, in part, because these are the three wars that have been thoroughly studied and prioritized by the National Park Service (in the 1993 Report of the Civil War Sites Advisory Committee and the 2007 Report on the Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites).  However, to tell the full story of these conflicts and related events, where appropriate we will offer resources covering other episodes and eras in American military history.

Which division of the new American Battlefield Trust supports War of 1812 battlefield preservation?

The Civil War Trust remains devoted exclusively to Civil War battlefield preservation. The Revolutionary War Trust likewise is rooted solely in Revolutionary War battlefield preservation. Moving forward, preservation of War of 1812 sites will occur under the overarching banner of the American Battlefield Trust. A stand-alone division focused only on the War of 1812 simply would not be sustainable. But make no mistake about it: The Trust is committed to pursuing preservation opportunities relevant to the War of 1812 when and as these unique opportunities arise, such as our acquisition last year of the 24-acre Horse Island in Lake Ontario near the upstate village of Sackets Harbor, New York.

How did you come to this decision?

Years of careful consideration by our staff and board — in consultation with our federal and state partners, and supported by extensive member survey research — has led us to conclude that the creation of an umbrella organization will allow us to further advance the cause of battlefield preservation and honor our 30-year history.  Before our trustees made the final decision to initiate this change, we conducted at least five relevant surveys among segments of our membership, as well as in-person focus groups.  Similarly, we received input from members and dozens of other stakeholders who anticipated this step after our entry into Revolutionary War and War of 1812 battlefield preservation.

Does this mean you will be doing less Civil War battlefield preservation?

Absolutely not!  We are firmly committed to protecting Civil War battlefields and educating Americans about the importance of this cataclysmic event on our nation’s history.  Since we expanded our mission to include the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, we have raised more money and gained more members than we had previously — which has ultimately benefitted Civil War battlefields.  To sustain our mission, we must attract new members and supporters who don’t yet know they are passionate about Civil War history and preservation.  We are confident that the new American Battlefield Trust will help us identity the next generation of Civil War and other American history enthusiasts.

What does this mean for my membership?

Rather than have separate membership divisions, the American Battlefield Trust will be our only official membership organization moving forward.  For current and lapsed members, you will notice this change when you receive your renewal notification in the next year.  For a limited time, you will have the opportunity to become a Founding Member of the American Battlefield Trust.  There will be special Founding Member apparel on our website so you can proudly display your support of the new umbrella organization (there will also be Civil War Trust and Revolutionary War Trust apparel and items too).

What if I wish to exclusively support efforts related to one conflict?

Our organization has a long history of providing contributors with opportunities to donate toward projects that speak most deeply to them.  Civil War buffs, for instance, could choose to give just to their favorite battlefield, just to western theatre sites or to all battlefields.  Members could also give toward our Civil War educational programs.  With the addition of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 to our mission, supporters could donate toward those battlefields and programs as well.  In keeping with this tradition, when you renew as a member of the American Battlefield Trust, you can choose to give for Civil War projects only, Revolutionary War projects only, or where your gift is needed most.  We have also worked closely with our auditors and financial institutions to create infrastructure to support your ability to customize your gifts — so you can be confident that your money goes where you want it to go

I used Amazon Smile to contribute to the Trust in the past. Do I need to change anything?

If you used Amazon Smile to contribute to the Trust in the past, thank you! The designation for the organization in Amazon Smile was the "Civil War Preservation Trust." If you do nothing, your contribution will still come to the Trust because our Tax ID has not changed. If you prefer to see the new name of the American Battlefield Trust as your designation, go to smile.amazon.com and roll over the name, "Civil War Preservation Trust," the charity you are supporting, and click "change." Search for "American Battlefield Trust" and select it from the list. That's it! If you are new to Amazon Smile, or to designating the Trust as your charity, you only need to search for the name and select it from the list.

What if I still have questions?

If you still have questions please send us an email at feedback@battlefields.org