NLN23: Fundraising using Volunteer Passion & Creativity with Jessica Stavros

IMG_5645In this podcast, we talk with Jessica Stavros, director of the Culbertson Mansion and advisor to the Friends of Culbertson Mansion. We discuss topics relating to the successful fundraising efforts they have had using volunteers, recently reaching the $1 million mark with their annual haunted house event.

Jessica Stavros has been in the museum industry and a local historian for the past 12 years.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Louisville and a Master’s degree in Business Communication from Spalding University.  Her passion lies in 19th century Ohio Valley history, and this focus brought her to places such as Farmington Historic Home, the Portland Museum, and now the Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site.  She currently serves two non-profit boards, as advisor to the Friends of Culbertson Mansion, and historian for Happy Birthday Park, a Louisville non-profit dedicated to the creation of a public park in honor of the Hill Sisters of Happy Birthday fame. When she is not working, Jessica keeps busy at home with her husband & two daughters.

The State of Indiana took ownership of the Culbertson Mansion in 1976 and started exterior renovations in 1980.  Shortly afterward, the staff and the Friends of Culbertson Mansion began work to restore the original interior.  Restoration efforts have involved many crafts people, making every effort to restore it to its original grandeur.

The Friends continue to raise funds for restoration and other projects around the mansion through annual special events. In addition, the Friends have received many generous grants from local foundations with an interest in preservation.

The key points covered in this podcast discussion are:

  • The Million Dollar Haunted House (Persistence is the Key)
  • Volunteer Involvement, Passion & Innovation – Essential in Event Fundraising
  • : Let Them Be Creative
  • Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Volunteer Orientation
  • Don’t be Afraid to Ask for a Big Commitment
  • Maintaining Momentum by Managing Expectations (in it for the long haul)
  • Closing Words – Collaboration Is One of the Most Important Things Any Nonprofit Can Do

Click here to view the transcript.

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