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The Color Bearers

of the American Battlefield Trust

As their 19th-century counterparts were uniquely and appropriately acclaimed for their courage, American Battlefield Trust Color Bearers will be honored for the extraordinary commitment they bring to the mission of saving our nation’s most hallowed ground.

About

Your Color Bearer Membership

Become a leader in battlefield preservation. Join the Color Bearers of the American Battlefield Trust today, and you’ll be part of the elite team of over 1,300 members that is dedicated to saving America’s battlefields, educating the public about our nation’s story, and inspiring Americans to visit the places where history happened. 

Color Bearers not only give to our campaigns to save specific tracts of battlefield land, they also give an additional, unrestricted membership-dues gift of $1,000 or more each and every year.

Year after year, our Color Bearers, who make up only about 3 percent of our total membership, donate nearly 50 percent of all the gifts we receive. Over the past 20 years, the Trust has saved more than 52,o00 acres in 24 states. This simply would not have been possible without our Color Bearers. 

This level of above-and-beyond generosity is what defines a Color Bearer and is worthy of special recognition. As a Color Bearer, you will receive special benefits as appropriate for your generosity. Ensure that these hallowed grounds are forever preserved, and that the public understands the pivotal events that happened on them — Join the Color Bearers today:

Explore Benefits

With your generous donation today, you will become a leader in the battlefield preservation movement. In addition to playing a critical role in saving America’s hallowed ground, you’ll receive special Color Bearer benefits, based on your Color Bearer level. Please note each successive level of support enjoys all benefits of the previous levels. Donations are fully tax deductible if you don’t take advantage of the Events benefits offered.  

 

Regimental Color Bearer Benefits ($1,000/year, $84/month)

Exclusive History Content:

  • Quarterly issues of Hallowed Ground, our award-winning magazine packed with Civil War, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 history from the finest authors and information on Trust activities. Once a year, Color Bearer names are listed on the “Roll Call of Honor” in Hallowed Ground.
  • Annual Wall Calendar, featuring historical dates and powerful, breathtaking images of preserved battlefields taken by our gifted and incredibly generous Distinguished Photographer Corps.
  • Our signature Battle Maps, printed on high-quality paper, along with regular mail communications with in-depth history about the current efforts to save hallowed ground.
  • Email subscribers will receive new online multimedia content, history snapshots of battle anniversaries, events, and historical figures, and opportunities to get involved with events.
  • Our monthly Color Bearer e-Newsletter will be delivered to your Email inbox, featuring updates from the Trust, historical content, and interviews with fellow Color Bearers.

Invitations to Tours & Events:

  • Invitation to our Annual Conferencefour days of camaraderie and top-notch battlefield tours at a unique historic location. The Annual Conference allows members to walk the ground they have saved with some of the best guides in the country. Color Bearers also receive special recognition in the Annual Conference program.
  • At the Annual Conference, Color Bearers are invited to an additional, Color Bearer-only tour, as well as to a special Color Bearer Dinner Banquet with a noted Author or Historian.
  • Invitation to the exclusive Donor Thank You Weekend  in the spring, limited to Color Bearers. This annual event takes Color Bearers across the country to tour behind-the-scenes at historically significant locales. In the past, the Donor Thank You Weekend has been held at locations such as Savannah, Ga., New Orleans, La., Greenville, S.C., and Pensacola, Fla.
  • Access to our exclusive “pop-up” tours — both in person and online virtual tours — with Chief Historian Garry Adelman or other experts.

Discounts:

  • 15% Discount in the American Battlefield Trust’s online store, featuring history books, American Battlefield Trust apparel, historical artwork and more. Please note that we are currently in the process of making exciting improvements and will relaunch in late September or early October.
  • $49.95 – only $4.16 a month – for a premium subscription to Fold3, a subscription service by Ancestry offering millions of Civil War records to help your personal ancestor research. 

  • 25% off an annual subscription to Valorous TV, a subscription service focused on bold and brave films, stories and reports of courage and uncommon valor from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, the World Wars, and more recent wars and conflicts.
  • 10% off Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours, a tour company founded by one of the leading American historians of the 20th century. The group has conducted hundreds of tours, bringing thousands of heritage tourists to iconic sites in American history.

 

Brigade Color Bearer Benefits ($2,500/year, $209/month):

Brigade Color Bearers enjoy all the benefits of Regimental Color Bearers, plus:

  • Receive an invitation to The Grand Review, an annual, intimate gathering to be held at a unique Civil War or Revolutionary War-related site, with appropriate recognition in the event program. In past, the Grand Review has been held at locations such as Boston, Ma., Franklin, Tenn., and Fredericksburg, Va.
  •  20% Discount in the American Battlefield Trust’s online store, featuring history books, American Battlefield Trust apparel, historical artwork and more.

 

Division Color Bearer Benefits ($5,000/year, $417/month)

Division Color Bearers enjoy all the benefits of Regimental and Brigade Color Bearers, plus:

  • Division Color Bearers will have Annual Conference fees waived for yourself and one guest.
  • 25% Discount in the American Battlefield Trust’s online store, featuring history books, American Battlefield Trust apparel, historical artwork and more.

 

Corps Color Bearer Benefits ($10,000/year, $834/month)

Corps Color Bearers enjoy all the benefits of Regimental, Brigade, and Division Color Bearers, plus:

  • Upon request, Corps Color Bearers will receive personal genealogical research services to identify your direct-line Civil War and Revolutionary War ancestors.
  • Corps Color Bearers will have Annual Conference fees waived for yourself and three additional guests.

 

National Color Bearer Benefits ($25,000/year, $2,084/month)

National Color Bearers enjoy all the benefits of Regimental, Brigade, Division, and Corps Color Bearers, plus:

  • Upon request, National Color Bearers will receive a personal tour for you and up to four guests at the Civil War or Revolutionary War battlefield of your choice.
  • National Color Bearers will have Annual Conference fees waived for yourself and four additional guests.

 

Photo of several issues of Hallowed Ground Magazine
... All While Supporting Our Mission

FAQ

Who do I contact with questions about my membership?

Please contact Lee Bruch, Manager for Color Bearers, at 202-367-1861 ext. 7228 or lbruch@battlefields.org with any questions about your Color Bearer membership.

Is my membership tax-deductible?

Please know that if you DID NOT attend any Color Bearer events, your full donation is tax deductible. If you attended events that are benefits of your membership level, please look online here for your specific tax deductible information. Please note that all Color Bearers will also receive a summary of their giving for the prior calendar year via mail or email.

Can I pay my Color Bearer dues with a monthly recurring gift?

Yes, many Color Bearers choose to pay this way! We highly encourage supporters to set up a monthly recurring gift so that you don’t have to remember to renew your support, so that we receive a predictable stream of support that allows us to make future plans, and to save us funds so that we have more money to dedicate to preserving battlefields and educating the public. Please visit this page to select your membership level and set up a monthly donation. 

Can I donate through my Donor Advised Fund (DAF)?

Yes! Please note that if you make your Color Bearer membership donation through your Donor Advised Fund (DAF), IRS rules prohibit you from taking a tax deduction for your gift or receiving any membership benefits.  If you plan to attend an event, please make a separate, additional contribution to cover the value of the event, as detailed online here.  

Can I donate through my IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)?

Yes! Please note that if you make your Color Bearer membership donation through your IRA QCD (qualified charitable distribution), IRS rules prohibit you from taking a tax deduction for your gift or receiving any membership benefits. If you plan to attend an event, please make a separate, additional contribution to cover the value of the event, as detailed online here.  

How are membership funds used?

Unrestricted annual membership dues are an absolutely crucial part of our complete revenue picture, making up, on average, about 20 percent of our total gross revenue in a given year. These important dues -- above and beyond what is donated for specific battlefields -- allow us to actually run the organization, to pay the salaries of the small, dedicated staff, to pay the rent and utilities, to allow for the creation and delivery of the Hallowed Ground magazine, to pay for our battlefield interpretation projects, and to field our world-class website www.battlefields.org. Membership dues are essential to completing our mission of preserving battlefield land and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters. Additionally, in the event extra money is needed to acquire battlefield land, membership funds may be used to secure those sites as well.

Can I remain Anonymous in Color Bearer listings?

Of course! Please contact Lee Bruch at 202-367-1861 ext. 7228 or lbruch@battlefields.org if you wish to remain Anonymous in Color Bearer listings online and in publications.  

Do I have to renew my Color Bearer membership every year?

Your membership dues cover one year from the date of your gift. So, if you give a membership gift in July, your membership will expire the following July. We will keep track of your membership and will send you a Renewal notice once your expiration date is approaching. 

What are Color Bearer Events, and how can I participate?

As a Color Bearer, you are invited to two main events a year – the Annual Conference in the Summer and the Donor Thank You Weekend in the Spring. If you are a Brigade ($2,500/year) or higher Color Bearer, you are also invited to the Grand Review  in the Fall. Note that the Donor Thank You Weekend and Grand Review are free to attend as a part of your membership, less your lodging and transportation to/from the event itself. For the Annual Conference, Regimental and Brigade Color Bearers must pay the Registration fee, but fees are waived for Division, Corps, and National Color Bearers. Please see the Benefits section for more details on your specific membership level. These events include walking and bus tours with word-class guides and historians, history talks, dinner banquets, socials, behind-the-scenes access to historic sights across the country, and unparalleled camaraderie with like-minded preservationists and Trust staff!

Please note that if you choose to attend a Color Bearer event, your entire donation is not tax deductible. For your specific tax deductible information based on event attendance, please look online here.

What are Pop-Up Tours?

We are pleased to offer a new benefit to our members to join us on the battlefield — virtually and in-person — for “pop-up” tours to visit the land we've saved and understand the events that transpired there. Please note that these tours will not be in the style of our typical Annual Conference or Color Bearer weekend tours that many of you have joined in the past. We will not be on a bus, and meals, water, snacks, etc. will not be provided. What we will provide are expert guides who will bring the story of the land to life. Each of these tours feature varying activity levels, so be sure that you check and see how much walking and standing will be involved. Upcoming tours will be announced via email.

Where is my new member or renewal free gift?

We sometimes offer the option to accept a free gift with your new or renewing membership. Since we are a non-profit organization, we send these “premiums” through the bulk mail instead of sending them first class. This means that it may take a bit longer for you to receive your gift — but it ensures that the funds you gift us are being used efficiently for completing our mission. Therefore, you can expect your free membership gift to arrive in approximately 8 to 10 weeks from the time we receive your gift.

Can I give a gift membership to someone?

Yes! Gift membership levels start at $35 and gift recipients will receive a personalized eCard from you. For more information, please click here.

Can I use a gift of stock to fund my membership?

Most certainly! By donating stock you can receive superior tax benefits, and this is an excellent tax strategy for charitable giving. When you make the donation, please ask your broker to specify that the donation is for your membership. For more information, please click here.

How do I have my employer match my membership gift?

Many employers have programs that will match charitable gifts made by their employees to eligible nonprofits. If your employer offers a matching gift program, please check with them for specific instructions. For more information, please click here.

I’m a federal government or military employee; how do I become a member through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC)?

To donate, please use CFC #11785 on your CFC pledge card.  If you have included the American Battlefield Trust and would like to use your gift for membership, be sure to include your name and contact information on your pledge card; otherwise, we will not be able to properly acknowledge your donation.  Please also let us know directly via phone or email of your gift. Please contact Meaghan Hogan at (202) 367-1861 x7242, or mhogan@battlefields.org, so we may ensure your donation is properly recorded.

Please be aware that your membership gift through the CFC may not be immediately acknowledged.  Due to reporting timelines of CFC donations, we do not receive lists of donors for a number of months after the CFC season ends.

For more information, please click here.

What Members Say

The Color Bearers

Our Color Bearer members are deeply committed to battlefield preservation. Every month, we interview a different Color Bearer to be featured in the Color Bearer e-Newsletter. Read below for excerpts from those interviews. If you’re interested in being featured in a future Color Bearer e-Newsletter, please contact Lee Bruch.

An additional important reason for preserving battlefields is their value in awakening an interest in, and appreciation of, the history of our nation. Visiting the sites where men struggled and died in defense of the ideals that have been the hallmark of America, and have made our beloved nation the bright beacon of freedom in this world, can effectively counter the growing lack of education in our schools about the true history of America, as reported in recent studies. Absent this knowledge, the leaders of tomorrow will be handicapped in keeping America on the right course.

 James Sagerholm, Severna Park, Md. Read more

We would like for future generations to understand that we all stand on the shoulders of ancestors who sacrificed, suffered and died for a better future.

Jim and Pauline Corbridge, Grove, Okla. Read more

Working with our Round Table team and Larry has been another great learning experience for me personally and another reminder of the valuable role that nonprofits like the Round Table and the Trust play respectively.  Both organizations and their supporters are committed to preserving historic places and continually educating the public about our shared common history.

Greg Wilson, Great Falls, Va. Read more

My favorite place to visit is Gettysburg, it’s close, I know enough about the battle to have acted as a guide to lots of friends and family, we can bike around the park and we like the small-town feel.

Barry & Lyn Little, Penn. Read more

Antietam is my favorite battlefield.  However, with my job I fly often and enjoy seeing various battlefields from the air such as Stalingrad, El-Alamein and others.  It certainly gives one a different perspective.

David Pettey, Washington, D.C. Read more

There are many charitable causes out there, but there are very few where one can make a TRULY lasting difference. Land conservation is one of them. Remember what Scarlett O'Hara’s father Gerald said in the movie “Gone With the Wind”?: “It’s the land, Scarlett...land is the only thing that lasts.” He was right.

Marc Nicholson, Washington, D.C. Read more

Antietam is my favorite battlefield.  However, with my job I fly often and enjoy seeing various battlefields from the air such as Stalingrad, El-Alamein and others.  It certainly gives one a different perspective.

David Pettey, Washington, D.C. Read more

 

To read more of what our members say, visit Great Nonprofits and read our over 500 testimonials!