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Top Ten Blog Posts for 2010

December 30, 2010
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Regular readers of this blog are curious. They are looking for advice and useful information they can use in their own nonprofit organizations.  In February 2011 this blog will start its third year, and we have seen our readership exponentially grow, especially in the last year when it increased 400%  from January to December in 2010. From the early months in 2008 when 25 visitors were a reading our blog, we now average more than 800 visitors a month.

Our blog visitors are looking at more pages and seem to be interested in a variety of nonprofit issues, but most especially fundraising, board development and preservation topics of all types.  These top blog posts also show the range of project types that Heritage Consulting Inc. undertakes for its clients and this is probably our best “calling card” to promote the breadth of our consulting practice.

Below are the top ten blog posts for 2010. Some of these posts are from 2010, but some are from 2009 and offer specific information about an issue that seems to still be relevant today. If you have not read these posts, please click on any of the links that interest you.

1.  Creating a Formal Advisory Committee to Involve Former Board Members (608 page views)

This post is the last of a series of five blog pieces about working with Board members who have completed their service to the organization and have rotated off the board of a revitalization organization.  This post discusses how and why a nonprofit organization would want to create a committee to involve former board members in the organization to reinforce their loyalty and involvement in an organization they have served for years. These five blog posts came from a talk I did for the Missouri Main Street Connection annual meeting.  Use the search feature on the blog, just enter the word or term you wish to search, and press enter on your keyboard. The other blog posts from that series can be found here.

2.  Pinelands Preservation Alliance’s Heritage Forum on Nov. 14, 2009 (485 page views)

In 2009 and 2010,  I consulted with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, a well regarded environmental organization based in southern New Jersey that was seeking to increase their relationships with those interested in the history of the Pinelands, the environmentally fragile lands that cover almost 20% of the land mass of The Garden State.  This blog post from October 30, 2009 describes the content of a Heritage Forum I organized for them, and lists the topics and speakers at the Forum. Learn more about our work with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance here.

3.  Connecticut to Start Resident Curator Program (350 page views)

This blog post from April 9, 2010 was in response to an announcement that the State of Connecticut would begin a program to solicit for “Resident Curators:”  individuals who would live in a deteriorated but historic house located on park land.  In return for a long term lease, Resident Curators would restore the building using their own funds.  This program is similar to long established Resident Curator Programs in Maryland, Delaware and Massachusetts.

I have blogged about this innovative means to maintain historic properties or historic house museums several times and Resident Curatorship’s are one of the chapters that I highlight in my book New Solutions for House Museums. A follow up blog piece from May 8, 2010 called Connecticut Resident Curator Program Building Assessments up for Bid Now also got more than 200 page views.

4.  Affordable Housing in New Jersey Historic Buildings—the Road Trips (216 page views)

Preservation New Jersey has been a favorite client since we returned to the East Coast three and a half years ago.  For them we have undertaken a variety of assignments including providing assistance to municipalities who wish to create or update their historic preservation element in their municipal master plan. This project funded by the NJ Department of Community Affairs, also had a component that we blogged about in this piece about the research we conducted to determine which historic buildings that had been rehabilitated for affordable housing to meet a municipality’s Council on Affordable Housing requirements. Look for the completed report soon.

5.  Federal Cuts to Arts and Heritage Programs in Obama Budget (213 page views)

This February 16, 2010 blog post addressed the news from early budget negotiations for FY 2011 federal budget. Since this budget continues to be part of a continuing resolution, these proposed cuts have not yet been implemented.

6.  An Authentic Downtown Experience: Red Wing MN (145 page views)

I visited Red Wing Minnesota in August 2010 to conduct Advanced Organization Training for the new Minnesota Main Street Program.  This visit coincided with work I was doing with Anthony Rubano of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency on a topic of great interest to me called “Curating an Authentic Downtown Experience.” This talk which we have done for the annual conferences in Pennsylvania Downtown Center and Delaware Main Street continues to be popular topic with other state Main Street programs.

7. Invoice vs. Letter Membership Renewals—(138 page views)

Throughout the first half of 2010 I did a series of blog posts about fundraising for downtown and commercial district organizations which I called Downtown Fundraising Minute. These posts were meant to be consumed in 60 seconds, and offer a specific idea about fundraising based on my experience working throughout the country with Main Street organizations.   If you are interested in seeing the whole list of posts on this topic, use the search feature and enter Downtown Fundraising Minute and half a dozen blog posts will pop up. Check out our list of workshops, talks and consultations for Main Street organizations on our web site–scroll down.

8. Year-long Sponsorship Packages (133 page views)

This blog post from April 9, 2010 is part of the Downtown Fundraising Minute series an includes PDF documents with sample yearlong sponsorship packages that I have found useful in my travels working with local Main Street organizations. Check out all six of these Downtown Fundraising Minutes blog posts by using the search feature on the blog. Another favorite in this series was Diversify Your Revenue Sources, No Really! with more than 140 page views.

These last two blog posts deal with lobbying and reports on the preservation movement’s economic impact.

9. Pennsylvania Senate Bill 850 Passes—Time to Step Up the Lobbying! (128 page views)

In 2009 there were are series of bills proposed in the PA State Senate seeking to cut funding for both the Pennsylvania Main Street and Elm Street programs as well as the grant programs of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. These proposals were thwarted during a long fight.

10. New Report on Federal Investment Tax Credit Show Remarkable Job Creation Statistics (109 page views)

A national report undertaken by the Historic Tax Credit Coalition and completed by the Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy discussed the impact of the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program from its inception in 1976 till 2010. The job creation statistics were very convincing and there is a link to the whole report in the blog piece.

What’s next?

Looking forward to 2011

In 2011 we are hoping to expand the number of blog posts and share more content on our Heritage Consulting Inc. Facebook FAN Page and Web site. Please become a FAN of Heritage Consulting so you can get our content first.  Thank you readers for your continued and enthusiastic support of Heritage Consulting Inc. We are delighted that you find value in this blog.

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