National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History
400 A Street S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
Tele: (202) 544-2422 Ext 116
A Note to Readers:
On August 29, 2001, during the 65th annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, a special meeting of the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC) Policy Board took place. Also attending were representatives of NCC memb er organizations and other invited guests. During this meeting, a draft Strategic Action Plan for the NCC was reviewed and discussed. That plan had been prepared based on suggestions drawn from the "Where We Are Today" member survey conducted earlier in the year, from recommendations of the NCC Finance Committee and Policy Board, and from input from various interested outside parties. The plan was presented to the NCC Policy Board during the January 4, 2002 NCCPH Board meeting in San Francisco and was un animously approved. What follows is that plan.
Readers will note that among the key provisions of the plan are: 1) refinements to the organization's "mission statement" 2) a change of name from the "National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History" (NCC) to the "National Coalition for Hist ory" (NCH) and 3) a change of the organization's non-profit status from a 501-(c) 4 to that of a 501-(c) 3 non-profit organization.
At this writing, the NCC is filing the necessary paperwork to institute the recommended organizational changes outlined in the plan. We expect that sometime in the fall of 2002, the NCC's successor organization, the National Coalition for History, will b e launched.
May 7, 2002
Note to Readers 1
The Charge: Issues, Trends, and Organizational Concerns and Priorities 5
Action Item #1: NCC Name, Mission Statement, and Organizational Status 6
Action Item #2: Advocacy 9
Action Item #3: Clearinghouse for News of Interest 11
to the Professional Communities the NCC Serves
Action Item #4: Promotion of History 12
Action Item #5: Organizational Development 13
Note: Page numbers above refer to the printed copy.
NCC STRATEGIC PLAN
For nearly 20 years, the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC) has served as a voice on Capitol Hill for the historical and archival professions. Routinely, the one person staff deals with a smorgasbord of issues involving fed eral funding and policy that have an impact on historical research and teaching, access to government information, employment of historians and archivists, public programs, historic preservation, copyright and history education. The NCC operates from a th ird-floor office provided rent-free by the American Historical Association (AHA). The annual budget is just over $100,000 and the organization is governed by a policy board that formally meets twice a year.
The NCC was founded in 1976 out of a perceived "crisis" in the profession relating to the employment of historians. The organization found a home in 1976 at the AHA and the first full-time director, Arnita Jones, began to concentrate her work on addressin g the job crisis and developing state action committees. In July 1980, Page Putnam Miller was hired as director. In 1992, the NCC Board voted to change the NCC's mission and bylaws and the organization become the central educational/advocacy office in W ashington for the historical and archival professions. In addition, funds were secured from institutional and governmental sources to conduct special projects that "promote" history; the Women's Landmark Project and the National Park Service History Thema tic Framework Revision Project are but two examples. Frugal management of these projects by director Miller enabled the NCC to build a modest organizational reserve.
In 1996, however, concerns were raised by the then executive director of the AHA about the newly enacted Lobby Disclosure Act of 1995. Consequently, owing to deadlines in which an incorrect decision or failure of an organization to properly register coul d result in a significant fine, the AHA and NCC were compelled to decide the future of the NCC in less than two weeks. The question focused on whether with the NCC under its wing, would the AHA have to register under the Disclosure Act, or, would it be more advantageous to the AHA to spin off the NCC and register it as an independent organization under a relevant section of the Internal Revenue Code.
A quick assessment was made of director Miller's activities, the characteristics and nature of the NCC member communications, and the organization's direct, indirect, and grassroots lobbying activities. The assessment concluded that the NCC spent close to 20% of its resources on what was (in some cases from hindsight, incorrectly) determined to be "lobbying" activities - this pushed the upper threshold of permitted lobbying activities under the new disclosure act. Because the law was new and definition s and provisions of the Act were not clearly understood, a decision was hastily made to act on the side of caution. Consequently, the NCC was spun off from the AHA and incorporated as a "social welfare" organization under the Section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code. Such an organization can lobby without restriction for the "good and general welfare of the people of a community" and yet not jeopardize its tax-exempt status. The decision eliminated any concern by the AHA that the professional historical organiz ation was improperly engaged in lobbying activities. However, the decision changed the thrust of the NCC's activities.
Once the formal connection with the AHA was terminated, the NCC ceased to conduct special projects using foundation and government support funds and began to emphasize its "advocacy" mission. This freed the director to concentrate - nearly exclusively - on educational advocacy and lobbying rather than in the pursuit of special projects.
In January 1995, the NCC began publishing the NCC WASHINGTON UPDATE, an electronic newsletter designed to keep the historical/archival community informed on a variety of issues and advance the cause of history and archives. Occasionally these reports cont ained communications that under the 1976 and 1995 laws would be properly classified as "lobbying activities" but these newsletters, along with the routine communications with members of Congress and their staff on specific legislation, fell far short of t he 20% threshold test.
From 1995 to 2000 the NCC continued to focus on organizational communications, education, advocacy, and lobbying and continued to be funded largely by the annual donations of institutional supporters with an insignificant amount being raised through an an nual Internet solicitation and through contributions by state archive organizations. Owing to the one-person staff and the press of the director's time on education and advocacy functions, little time was spent on organizational development or fund raisin g.
In 2000, after nearly 20 years of distinguished service to the community, Page Miller retired and Bruce Craig was hired as the NCC's new director. Incremental changes were made with respect to member communications and the thrust of the organization's act ivities. For example, advocacy (especially work on agency appropriations) and education activities (especially member communications via the NCC WASHINGTON UPDATE) and work on declassification were given new vitality but at the cost of work on intellectua l property rights and historic preservation issues that previously had engaged much of director Miller's time.
In the fall of 2000, shortly after being hired, Craig began making courtesy calls to various leaders of the NCC's institutional supporters. A number of issues and concerns were raised. Of particular concern was the strained relationship between the NCC an d the National Archives and between the historical and archival community, both of whom the NCC is charged to serve. These matters were brought to the attention of the NCC Board and a formal member mail-in survey "Where we Are Today" was conducted. Resu lts of that survey were shared with the board and the full membership.
Out of the survey, a Finance Committee was established by the NCC Policy Board. Plans were initiated to conduct a board "retreat" where the Policy Board would reassess the NCC's mission and activities over the last 20 years and lay the groundwork for the
next twenty years. On July 24, 2001 the Finance Committee met by telephone conference call; the members assessed the NCC survey results and out of discussions a number of recommendations relating to the organization's structure and financial positionin
g were made (those recommendations are incorporated into this report). The Committee also requested that a draft "Strategic Plan" be prepared based on the membership survey results and on the Committee's recommendations. A "discussion draft" of a strateg
ic plan was crafted. It served as the jumping off point for the board and membership to consider during the August membership "advance" that was held during the August 2001 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in Washington D.C. At
this meeting participants assessed the NCC's strengths and weaknesses and laid out a course of action for its present and future. This "revised" strategic plan is the result of those discussions.
THE CHARGE: Today, the NCC is uniquely positioned to fill a number of roles. Because it is not a professional membership organization as is the Organization of American Historians or Society of American Archivists or any of its other institutional s upporters who contribute voluntarily annually, the NCC does not "compete" in its mission or purpose with any of its supporters. Clearly, as provided in its Articles of Incorporation, the NCC as "a central advocacy office for the historical and archival pr ofessions" is at and should continue to be the heart of the NCC's core mission. There are, however, a number of opportunities and challenges for the organization if it is going to reach its full potential.
ISSUES, TRENDS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL CONCERNS AND PRIORITIES:
Based on comments in the NCC member survey, and during discussions with members of the NCC Policy Board, the Finance Committee, and during the August 2001 board "advance," it was decided that the following issues should be addressed:
*update and revise the organizational mission statement
*clarify for the membership perceptions of the relationship between the NCC's "advocacy, education, and lobbying" activities; maintain an informed constituency
*better educate members of Congress on the needs of the profession; represent history
effectively to the legislative and executive branches of government
*more effectively "coordinate" between the historical/archival professions and other
partner social science organizations (i.e. National Humanities Alliance) and when
appropriate "mobilize" member organization to take action
*make more effective use of the world-wide-web for communications and advocacy
*enhance the organization's financial standing
*increase "vesting" by member organizations
*address administrative and staffing concerns
*reach out to under served communities (i.e. secondary school teachers and archivists)
*enhance the "promotion of history" through the press and hence to the general public
in an effort to raise the public profile of the profession
*have the NCC conduct special studies and "advocacy related" research reports
*concentrate on a variety of special member concerns including: tracking of copyright
and intellectual property legislation; be more pro-active in declassification issues
Each of these matters are addressed in the Action Item sections that follow.
1. NCC NAME, MISSION STATEMENT, AND ORGANIZATIONAL STATUS:
a) Name of the Organization: It was the consensus of opinion during the August Board "advance" that the name "National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History" no longer accurately reflects the nature, diversity, or activities of the orga nization or its member groups. Also, the organization is no longer a "committee," and its activities transcend mere "promotion" of history.
Action Item: Name Change
In accordance with a motion passed January 4, 2002 by the NCC Policy Board, henceforth, the NCC will be renamed as the "National Coalition for History" (NCH). The Internet domain "historycoalition.org" which had been reserved will be publicized and a new institutional logo will be designed.
b) Mission Statement: When the NCC was incorporated as a 501(c)(4) in 1996, a mission statement was crafted to reflect the organization's name: The National "Coordinating" Committee for the "Promotion of History". To meet these two ends, the article
s of incorporation stated:
"The purpose of the NCC, a not-for-profit charitable organization formed exclusively for educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, is to serve as a central advocacy office for the histor ical and archival professions with special attention given to: the funding and welfare of the National Archives and Records Administration, policies related to access to documents; federal support of historical research, teaching, and public programs, his toric preservation, federal aid to students for higher education, historical commemorations and all activities in furtherance of or related to."
In fact, over the years, the NCC carried out some but not all of these purposes. For example, in recent years at least, the NCC rarely focused its activities on promoting "federal aid to students for higher education" or on promoting "historical commemor ations." However, as the organization evolved, it took on several new roles including lobbying for higher levels of funding of other history and social science related federal agencies - for example, a considerable amount of the director's time is curren tly devoted to advocating higher levels of federal appropriations for the National Endowment for the Humanities and more recently, the Department of Education (i.e. Senator Robert C. Byrd's (D-WV) $50 million "Teaching American History" initiative). Also, revitalizing institutional ties with the National Archives leadership and targeted outreach to the archival community has resulted in greater understanding by the NCC to the needs of the archival community.
The new NCH mission statement should reflect the interests, needs and concerns of the diverse communities it represents -- the history, archives, library, and museum communities. It needs to accurately reflect the organization's name, duties of staff, an d goals of the Policy Board; the Articles of Incorporation should accurately reflect the NCHs coordination and information clearinghouse functions as well as its mission toward the "promotion" of history/archives and its concentration on related topics of interest to its membership. It should also reflect the organizations's purposes as stated under the relevant Internal Revenue Code Section.
Action Item: Mission Statement Revision
The following change to the mission statement in the Articles of Incorporation has been adopted:
The purpose of the National Coalition for History (NCH) is to serve as a central educational/advocacy outreach office for history and archives. The NCH is a not-for-profit charitable organization operated exclusively within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3 ) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The NCH seeks to encourage study and appreciation of history and archives by serving as a clearinghouse of information to, and encouraging cooperation between the historical and archival professions and their partners. The NCH promotes the interests of history and archives on the state and federal levels, with special attention given to the funding and welfare of public agencies with history or archival programs and policies, regulations, agency directi ves, and programs that affect historical and archival interests.
c) Organizational Status: Based on the previous discussion relating to the history of the NCC, from hindsight, in 1996, rather than organizing under Section 501(c)(4), the NCC could have just as easily registered as a 501 (c)(3) "public charity," who se purpose could be advocacy -- an organization that promotes the "advancement of education and science." In fact, "lobbying" was not at the time, nor is it today, a "substantial part" of the organization's activities - advocacy and public education clea rly were and today are the mainstay of the organization's activities.
According to the IRS Code, a 501 (c)(3) organization can lobby and "influence legislation" provided it passes muster with a "substantial activity" test and that its formal lobbying activities do not exceed 20% of its exempt purpose expenditures. By best estimates, the NCH will spend on average about 12% of its resources on "lobbying" activities.
By making this change, the NCH will: 1) continue to carry out - if not expand - its present legitimate "lobbying" activities on behalf of the historical/archival communities it represents; 2) it could afford to expand its "advocacy" activities along wit
h coordinating / clearinghouse of information functions while significantly improving its financial base by tapping into foundation and institutional support for general operating expenses and special projects; 3) smaller NCH institutional supporters woul
d be less hesitant to increase their level of annual support for the NCH as they need not be concerned about possibly exceeding statutory limits (i.e. 20% of revenue); 4) the NCH could increase staffing and hence the organization's ability to conduct need
ed special research projects, better meet the needs of its supporters and most importantly, 5) "promote" the cause of history more effectively especially in the media and to the general public.
Action Item: 501(c)-3 IRS Filing
Upon motion by the NCC Policy Board on January 4, 2002, the NCH shall incorporate under Section 501(c)(3) rather than section (c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Action Item: By-laws Review Committee
To execute these changes, upon adoption of the strategic plan, the NCH Policy Board will create a special By-Laws Review Committee to assess and make appropriate revisions to the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the organization to reflect suggest ed structural changes. The NCH will make the election under Section 501(h) to file Form 5768 with the Internal Revenue Service (election of expenditures to influence legislation) and will limit its direct and indirect lobbying expenditures to the amounts provided by law not-to-exceed 20%. Furthermore, grassroots lobbying expenditures will constitute no more than 25% of total lobbying expenditures. The director will continue to register as a lobbyist with the Clerk of the House and Senate and will complet e all requisite reports in a timely manner.
The primary mission of the NCH is advocacy. This includes a variety of activities including education of members of Congress and their staff, the media, and the general public. A limited amount of "lobbying" as defined by relevant laws and IRS code takes place. Education and enhanced communications with and between the NCH's various institutional supporters members is needed. Coalition building, direct, indirect, and grassroots lobbying collectively will advance legislative issues of concern.
Lobbying activities are defined and measured in accordance with the 1976 law governing lobbying of charities (P.L. 94-455) and the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995. Within the framework of these two laws, to a large extent, the NCH is not engaged in direct
or indirect "lobbying." Occasionally, the NCH will testify on specific legislation, but even aspects of this activity is not categorized by the IRS as "lobbying" or "influencing legislation." Influencing legislation does not include providing technical
advice on legislative language, or appearing before any legislative body or communicating between an organization's bona fide members with respect to proposed legislation of direct interest to the organization. While the NCH will occasionally advocate ac
tion to be taken by institutional supporters in support or opposition to a specific piece of legislation (most often an appropriation bill), it will not urge the support or opposition to specific candidates nor will it contribute to presidential or congre
ssional political campaigns. The vast majority of the NCH's activities focus on what is termed "voter education" and its legitimate "advocacy" activities that are outside the very narrow IRS guidelines and definitions.
Action Item: Legislative "Partnering"
The NCH seeks to "take the lead" on specific legislative and other matters of interest to its institutional supporters but otherwise will work in partnership with other organizations when that course of action is more appropriate. For example, the NC H will take a leadership role in influencing budget decisions relating to the Department of Education and the National Archives and Records Administration (especially the NHPRC); at other times, however, the NCH will play a "partnering role" with other organizations such as the National Humanities Alliance which is far better positioned to take the lead in advocating the needs of specific agencies and programs such as the National Endowment for the Humanities. With respect other Department of Inte rior and related agencies, as well as for individual legislative initiatives, the NCH will seek to build coalitions of diverse interests. When there are significant differences by institutional supporters on a matter of interest to the community, t he Policy Board has the ultimate authority to establish policy. The NCH will be guided by the notion that at times, the NCH may not formally take a position on a particular issue, but instead, will serve as a clearinghouse of information for each organiz ation to reach its own positions and decisions.
Action Item: Member Communications
What was previously known as the NCC WASHINGTON UPDATE will be renamed to reflect the organization's new name and will continue to perform an "educational" function. In order to more easily track and report legitimate lobbying activities, when "lobbying" is needed on a specific legislative initiative, an NCH ACTION ALERT will be generated separate from the UPDATE and distributed to the organizations' mailing lists. This procedure will better meet the requirements of the relevant lobby reporting laws.
Action Item: Award Programs
There is no paucity of awards programs within the historical and archival professions. However, there is little opportunity within most of the NCH supporters awards program to recognize and reward members of Congress for their actions in support of our va rious communities. To this end, the NCH will encourage member organizations to recognize the good works of agency heads, administration officials, and members of Congress through the creation of relevant awards programs.
Action Item: "Lobby Day" Activities
The NCH can accomplish little without working in partnership with other advocacy organizations. The NCH may actively support and participate in various "lobby day" activities such as the "Jefferson Day" lobby effort and the "Humanities on the Hill" event. When a major annual meeting of an institutional supporter is slotted to take place in Washington D.C., and when there is an issue of concern worthy of making "hill visits," the NCH will participate in training activities and when appropriate coordinate a "lobby day" activity.
Action Item: Advocacy Network
At present, there is no effective network or database of history/archival advocates organized by Congressional District - there ought to be. The NCH will actively encourage supporting organizations to organize membership lists for targeted e-mail communi cations via zip code and/or Congressional Districts should it be necessary to mobilize for a particular legislative campaign.
Action Item: Website Revisions
The NCH will maintain a rich active website with interactive links to particular Congressional offices and select institutional supporters. There will be a centralized location for activists (ideally one or more per Congressional district) to tap into for political action information with the goal of encouraging e-mail communications, letters, and telephone calls to appropriate members of Congress when a situation warrants action.
Action Item: Departmental Affiliations
Much of the NCC's advocacy activities require close communication with agency heads. The NCH will seek to strengthen ties with agency heads and their staff through a variety of means including frequent visits, periodic informal lunches with key staff, and by increasing telephone and e-mail communications. In addition, the NCH will seek to establish a "History Liaison" in the Department of Education.
3. CLEARINGHOUSE FOR NEWS OF INTEREST TO THE PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITIES THE NCC SERVES
Dissemination of news of interest to the historical and archival community has traditionally been a central responsibility of the organization's director. This is accomplished via the WASHINGTON UPDATE and through the crafting of news columns specifically tailored to meet the needs of member organizations. Currently, the director writes columns for the American Historical Association (AHA), Organization of American Historians (OAH), and Society of American Archivists (SAA) newsletters. Several other organ izations, most notably the Society for History in the Federal Government and the American Association for State and Local History, each cull relevant stories for their newsletters. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of each WASHINGTON UPDATE encouraging readers to copy and distribute or cull news items from the newsletter as readers and editors see fit. Occasionally, the director writes articles and Op-eds on topics of interest to institutional supporters. The NCH maintains a web page via Michigan State University's H-Net that is periodically updated.
In recent months, circulation of the internet newsletter has been steadily increasing. The newsletter now regularly is issued at least once a week and has been expanded to include several new departments: "News Bits and Bytes" for example, has been espec
ially well received by readers. The NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE will continue as the authoritative voice of history/archival profession; it will continue as the primary vehicle for weekly communications and will not accept any paid advertising.
Action Item: Action Alerts
In addition to the weekly UPDATE, a new series of "NCH ACTION ALERTS" will be initiated similar to the alerts posted on the Internet by the American Museum Association; these will be written and distributed on an "as needed" basis. They will communicate advocacy messages and encourage specific action on individual pieces of legislation, hence they will constitute a "lobbying" activity as define by IRS guidelines. By issuing such messages separately from the UPDATE, it will be easier to track and monitor the NCH's lobbying activities.
Action Item: Web Page Revisions
The NCH web page is currently not updated on a regular basis. Archival postings of the NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE are all too frequently weeks behind that of the original posting. Efforts will be made to work with the H-Net staff to more frequently update the NCH web page. In addition, staff will explore the possibility of finding a new Internet server which will not only make updating the web page easier, but will make it possible to create the NCH's own hotlinks to reports, news releases, articles and other postings of interest to its institutional supporters. One special "history promotion" project will be the creation of a directory of history-related web-pages of institutional supporters and history education institutions; these addresses will be hot lin ked to the NCH web page.
4. PROMOTION OF HISTORY
One of the principal purposes of the NCH is the "promotion" of history. This aspect of the organization's mission, however, has yet to blossom. In academia, recent studies demonstrate that salaries of historians lag behind other social science fields as the discipline's professionals are not recognized or valued; departments of history are shrinking in size and in all too many cases, underfunded. On Capitol Hill, there is a remarkably unsophisticated view of history, how it is practiced, and how it ough t to be taught.
Lawmakers seem to reflect the same lack of knowledge about history as do their constituents. The mere existence of the History Channel, the History Book Club, American Heritage and several on-line history magazines that reach the popular audience, demons trate that there is large potential targeted market of history enthusiasts who have yet to be actively engaged to take political action on behalf of history. The NCH, working in cooperation with other institutions can and must play a more effective role i n "promoting" history.
While the NCH is too small and not positioned to be "the" national voice promoting history, it can serve as a clearinghouse and educational focal point for the news media, which, in turn, can disseminate information widely to a popular audience. At presen
t, the History News Service (http://www.h-net.org~hns/) is placing 800 word op-ed essays written by professional historians to over 300 newspapers throughout the country; the HistoryNewsNetwork performs a similar service. The National Public R
adio Program, "Talking History"(http://cuwebradio.creighton.edu/history/) attempts to reach the radio market and the History Channel reaches the television audience of 73 million in the U.S. (124 million worldwide) with a range of popular history programm
Action Item: Media Outreach
The NCH needs to fully assess the opportunities and possibilities for a dramatically expanded media outreach program designed to: a) raise historical consciousness on the part of the American public; b) educate members of Congress about the value of histo ry to their constituents; c) reach out to the journalism profession in its broadest terms. This may include the production of Public Service Announcements (PSAs), placement of Op-ed pieces written by historians in the nation's print media, and a plac ement service/registry of historians for the media to tap into as subject matter experts. The possibility of establishing closer working ties with The History Channel and the History Book Club (provided they become an NCH institutional supporter) should be explored. To this end, the NCH will create a Media Outreach Committee whose members will prepare a report within six months outlining a range of possible alternative actions for the NCH Policy Board to consider adopting with respect to "promoting" his tory to various audiences.
Action Item: Conferences
The NCH will work with the National Council on Public History on a conference designed to bring together historians and journalists and will explore sponsoring other conferences with entities such as the Woodrow Wilson Center International Center for Scho lars.
5. ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
For decades the NCC has been a one-person operation. This limited the number of issues and activities the organization could devote time to. Much more could be accomplished with a modest increase in budget and staff. To this end and to explore alternative s to "create a stronger financial base" the NCC Board authorized the creation of a Finance Committee to assess the financial status of the organization.
The Committee recommended that the NCH : 1) register as a 501(c)(3) organization; this is the most appropriate way to attract and apply for grants or to solicit government funds to do studies as the Board considers important; 2) not become a individual me
mbership organization. The current practice of soliciting institutional donations should remain the primary funding mechanism for the organization - major donors and WASHINGTON UPDATE readers will be encouraged to make tax-deductible contributions (in th
e case of the NCH readers via an annual Internet appeal); 3) fund special studies and promote the goals and objectives of the organization through operational and special project funding from foundations and corporate sources; no grant or operational supp
ort funds shall be accepted without specific authorization of the Executive Board; 4) reach out to new potential institutional supporters. The institutional base for the NCH can and should be expanded to include but not be limited to the State Historic P
reservation Offices (NCSHPO), state museums, archives and historical societies, historical and archival groups and entities that advance the cause of history who currently are not NCH institutional supporters (i.e. U.S. Capitol Historical Society, Gilder-
Lehrman Institute of American History, Chicago and Massachusetts Historical Societies, state historical advisory boards, historical consulting firms), and Presidential library foundations.
Action Item: Duties of Institutional Representatives
Greater continuity of institutional representatives to the NCH by institutional supporters is warranted; individuals should be appointed as NCH representatives for not less than two years. Under normal circumstances, Policy Board members should be the des ignated institutional representative. Duties include attending NCH Board meetings; serving as the central point for communicating information to their members; forwarding copies of organizational newsletters to the NCH; updating the NCH staff on changes in officers; linking the NCH to institutional web sites and vice-versa.
Action Item: Contributions
Each year, the NCH shall encourage existing organizational supporters to increase their annual contributions; the NCH will actively reach out to the history/archival community to attract new supporters; the NCH may solicit major donor, corporate, and foun dation support as appropriate; the annual Internet appeal and donation mailing to state archives organizations will continue.
Action Item: CPCA Membership
The NCC shall join the Conservation and Preservation Charities of America, conduct an annual audit and publish an annual report via the NCH WASHINGTON UPDATE.
Action Item: Staffing
As funds become available, the NCH will increase staffing through volunteers, student interns, and paid staff. The first priority is for a part-time Administrative Assistant who would attend to the various administrative duties that currently takes about 4 hours per week of the director's time.
Action Item: Electronic Communications
The NCH will update its communication and institutional contact lists to include e-mail addresses for all its institutional contacts. Within two years, the NCC will have achieved "paperless communications" to the degree possible and feasible.
Action Item: Annual Work Plan
The NCH will produce an annual work plan to be approved by the Policy Board; the plan will take into account the needs for flexibility in responding to emerging legislation and trends in Congress; the plan will be reviewed at each meeting of the Policy Bo ard.
Action Item: Reserve Funds
The NCH currently has approximately a six-month reserve fund; these funds should be expanded so that within three years, there is a one-year emergency reserve.
Action Item: Committees
The NCH is governed by a Policy Board and in the past has not relied heavily on committees to carry out its mission. While there is no desire to create burdensome bureaucratic structures, the NCH Policy Board may create the following committees to assist the board and director in carrying out the mission of the organization:
Finance -- standing committee to explore mechanisms to enhance the
NCCs financial footing
Litigation - Ad-hoc committee to recommend to the board appropriate issues
to be litigated
Media Outreach -- Ad hoc to produce a report on media outreach
By-laws Review -- Ad hoc to review 501-(c) 3 filings with the IRS
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