The American Civil War Museum

The American Civil War Museum, which interprets the Civil War from the Union, Confederate, and African-American perspectives, sought to raise $8 million for an upgraded theater.

One hundred-and-fifty years after the start of the Civil War, Richmond’s preeminent museum dedicated to telling the story of the war was poised to raise its flag even higher, and needed a successful capital campaign to do it. The museum looked to The Monument Group to manage its fundraising process.

A clearer vision for the future, and for fundraising.
Incorporated in 2000 to explore and celebrate the Civil War’s rich history, the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar sits on eight acres beside the James River. The site, a National Historic Landmark, is home to exhibits that convey Union, Confederate, and African American perspectives during the Civil War. While the organization eloquently and imaginatively tells the story of the Civil War, telling its own story – and why it needed a new state-of-the-art theatre – proved to be a challenge.

With heightened local and national interest in the Civil War due to its 150th anniversary, the American Civil War Museum’s board and staff realized they needed to update their facilities to help attract more visitors – local, national and international – to its one-of-a-kind destination. With several high profile stakeholders involved, the organization brought The Monument Group to the table to help guide the $8 million capital campaign.

The Monument Group turned the group’s passion into action, working with key staff and volunteers to develop a campaign that incorporated everyone’s ideas into a thoughtful and strategic campaign. The Monument Group helped facilitate conversations and generate new ideas, weaving collective aspirations for the project into one common goal. By identifying, guiding and motivating a dedicated group of volunteers, the organization achieved and surpassed its original goal. Notably, more than half of the contributions came from individual donors.

As the museum reached its fundraising goal, it also began an exciting new chapter. In November 2013, the American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy—which maintains a world-renown collection of American Civil War artifacts, documents, and photographs—announced the two museums would join. With that announcement, the team leading the merger tapped The Monument Group to guide the $12 million campaign that moved the concept from a drawing board to its historic debut.

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