GOLD2023

The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History

Stamps are for Champs

aka The Spellman Museum   |   Weston, MA   |  www.spellmanmuseum.org

Mission

Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History Mission Statement: The Spellman Museum is a center of learning for people of all ages. It preserves, enhances and expands its collections, library, and facilities and provides programs and activities as a philatelic trust for the lifelong education and inspiration of the general public; promotes the hobby of stamp collecting; and, is a resource to engage historians, the curious, and the researcher. Revised by Trustees October 2015. Approved by Corporation April 2016.

The original Spellman Museum stamp collection was donated by Sister Fidelma Conway, Congregation of Saint Joseph, who was the caretaker for a collection first started by Cardinal Spellman.

Ruling year info

2018

Executive Director

Mr. Brian Howard

Main address

241 Wellesley St

Weston, MA 02493 USA

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Formerly known as

Cardinal Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History

EIN

04-2280409

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Single Organization Support (B11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the largest professional association for social studies educators in the world, defines social studies as “the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world."

The Spellman Museum's education program addresses every aspect of this definition with the use of stamps and other philatelic materials.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education Program

Spellman Museum programs include exhibitions, special events, and education programs for children and adults. The Museum mounts six to ten exhibitions per year in its three galleries and sends exhibitions to stamp shows, civic festivals, and other venues. The Museum sponsors five to six lectures, workshops, or other special events per year. Most occur at the Museum while others take place at regional meetings. The Museum's primary and secondary school education program reached 2000 school children in 2002. This included participants in formal on-site and in-school programs as well as participants in less formal drop-in activities. The Museum also provided special programs for200 assisted living seniors and early alzheimer patients, both on-site and in-home.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

In addition to its more than 9,000 book and monograph titles and over 2,000 runs of different periodicals, the Spellman has: nearly 1,000 catalogs (general and specialized); Extensive runs of auction catalogs and price lists (only specialized and rarity sales are cataloged); Over 1000 Stamp show programs and palmares (not cataloged); Copies of philatelic exhibits; CDs, DVD-ROMs, videocassettes, slides, films, filmstrips; Bibliographies, indexes, maps, and atlases; Éire Philatelic Association Library (available for loan to Association members); Mobile Post Office a Society Library (available for loan to MPOS members); Educational Resource Center with resources for educators; Special collections and archives (not cataloged); United States Postal Stationery literature and price lists; Children’s literature featuring stamps and the mail; Vertical files of philatelic research and clippings; Postal administration catalogs; Philatelic sheet music; Stamp albums and ephemera documenting the history of philately; Postal games of the world;
and Stamp cases and stamp boxes.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Annual exhibits on history, politics, social justice, and themes.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Spend upwards of an hour with our knowledgable Curator or other senior philatelist to learn what you have and what it might be worth.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families

We are a certified and registered post office. The Post Office also houses an extensive inventory of stamps and philatelic materials for sale to the collector and general public.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

One of the primary goals of The Spellman Museum's education program is to promote civic competence and cultivate intellectual inquiry and democratic dispositions in K-8 youth. Civic competence requires knowledge about one's community, nation, and world. Philately and using stamps in teaching and learning encourages inquiry and employs skills of data collection, analysis, creativity, collaboration, decision-making, and problem-solving. The National Council for the Social Studies strongly believes “Young people who are knowledgeable, skillful, and committed to democracy are necessary to sustaining and improving our democratic way of life, and participating as members of a global community."

In tandem with promoting civic competence is the challenge to keep students engaged and interested during history, social studies and geography lessons. In a 2010 article titled “The Use of Postage Stamps to Teach Social Studies Topics" found in Vol. 91, Issue 4 of the journal The Social Studies, authors Kirman & Jackson published support of using stamps to teach social studies, history and geography. They recognize the need teachers have to bring hands-on activities into the classroom. There is no better medium or tool than stamps for thematic and interactive teaching.

Compounding these challenges is how teachers can, out of necessity, become hyper focused on covering all the necessary content for Park and MCAS testing. They can overlook opportunities to bring social studies and other topics to life with engaging and culturally relevant material. The Spellman Museum offers fun, interactive, hands-on activities to help teachers put an end to lecture doldrums. Teachers need interactive resources to engage students and enrich the classroom experience beyond the core instruction, especially in social studies, history, science and art. With limited funds and resources, K-8 teachers are in need of programs that can augment art, history, culture and social studies curriculum. In addition, standardized testing such as Park and the MCAS place higher and higher demands on teachers (and students) to provide diverse and progressive education and instruction. The museum's Director of Education uses the collections and exhibits as a classroom and also travels to schools with exhibits and materials to share related lessons using postage stamps as a way to engage students on culturally and socially relevant topics and themes. Visits can be designed to meet classroom curriculum and also connect to the standards of the MCAS.

Our primary strategies are: 1) to triple the number of K-8 school children visits from MetroWest, in the classroom and at the museum, from 1000 to 3000 children per year; 2) to host a CEU workshop by and for MetroWest K-8 School Teachers on how to use local museums as teaching resources in the classroom; and 3) to hire a part-time staff person to design, implement and manage the marketing, communications and social media for the education program at The Spellman Museum. Both youth and adults would be the intended beneficiaries.

Material Assets: The Spellman Museum's collection consists of more than 2.5 million stamps as an invaluable and unique resource to use as hands-on resources in art, history, social studies, culture and geography lessons. In addition, The Spellman Museum has displays and exhibits that change on a quarterly basis, as well as an extensive one-of-a-kind philatelic library, and classroom space to hold workshops and school visits. The facility is wheelchair accessible with on-site parking for school buses and a large meeting room with adjoining full kitchen for major functions.

Financial Assets: The Spellman Museum operates all of its programs on a very modest budget. We rely on annual memberships, donations, board gifts, appraisal services, education programs, admission, and a biannual $5k gift from the Sisters of Saint Joseph to support the education program and associated expenses. The Spellman Museum needs to grow its education program and broaden public awareness of the museum in order to increase an important revenue stream. The museum has a very small endowment (~$263k) which offers minimal support through dividends and interest.

People Resources: People who are key to the success of this project are: 1) the Museum's Part-Time Education Director, 2) Part-Time Marketing and Communications person, 3) MetroWest school teachers, and 4) the museum Curator.

The MetroWest Economic Research Center at Framingham State College defines MetroWest as the nine towns of Ashland, Framingham, Holliston,Hopkinton, Natick, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, and Wayland, representing a total population of approximately 184,000. It is clear that the number of K-8 school children in this region is very large and a huge resource to tap.

Director of Education, Henry Lukas: Henry has been directing our education program at The Spellman Museum since 2004. Henry is instrumental in designing and delivering the history of postage stamps and connecting stamps to subjects such as history and geography for school children, Boy and Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, homeschoolers, public libraries, senior centers, assisted living centers, and social clubs. Henry also organizes the museum's Family Days and lecture programs, and prepares the museum's newsletters, press releases and other public relations functions. Henry is the past Board President of the Boston's Children's Theatre, and brings decades of experience as a public school principal and social studies teacher.

Local Schools and Educators: The Spellman Museum has a history of collaborating with public schools and history teachers, and will use those connections as endorsements of the program with other schools. In addition, experienced school teachers who have used The Spellman Museum in their curriculum will be key presenters at the Professional Development Workshop hosted by and at the museum. This grant will allow The Spellman Museum to expand its reach to a larger group of public schools in MetroWest.

Greatest Progess to date: 1) Hiring an Executive Director, and a Director of Development.

For the past 12 years the Museum board and part-time staff, the Curator, the Director of Education, and about 25 knowledgable and dedicated volunteers, have all provided meaningful education and interpretive context without an Executive Director. As the oldest institution of its kind in the nation, The Spellman Museum is a gem containing 2.5 million stamps and postal history artifacts. Each is a postage stamp-sized work of art and historic record. When weaved into a coherent exhibit or injected into a lesson plan, stamps add color and texture to topics of history, geography, art, and current events.

Due extremely limited funds, The Spellman Museum has had to operate without an Executive Director. Two months ago, the Board of Trustees took a financial leap of faith and hired an Executive Director and Director of Development to preserve and grow the institution into the future. We have an opportunity to push past last year's 6,000 visitors and reach substantially more of our MetroWest neighbors. The mutually reinforcing challenges of inadequate funding and poor exposure to the community can be reversed. What we need RIGHT NOW is funding to market and broadcast all that we are capable of providing through social media, our website and other forms of communications.

No time in recent memory have programs of tolerance, civic engagement and the role of government been more vital to share with both grade school students and adult learners. Our recent program on the Electoral College included Electors from the 1992 and 2016 presidential contests. Our Curator complimented the standing room only event with a Road to the White House philatelic exhibit. In addition to Olympics on stamps, our event on the Games featured several Olympians from previous years who were pleased to share their experiences as well as sign autographs. This fall we plan an exhibit to coincide with Banned Book Week. Our Internment Camp and Displaced Persons mail tells a poignant story not only about WWII but perhaps about how we should consider refugees and immigrants today. Our current offering in honor of President Kennedy's 100th anniversary of his birth displays stamps from around the world celebrating Brookline's favorite son responsible for the Alliance for Progress, the Peace Corp, and challenging Americans to reach for the stars. In includes the rare artwork from which Mrs Kennedy picked the 1964 memorial stamp as well as photographs of her viewing a previous Kennedy exhibit at The Spellman Museum.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We don’t use any of these practices

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently

Financials

The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History

Board of directors
as of 07/26/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dr. Yamil Kouri

Massachusetts Medical Society

Term: 2015 - 2024

Michael E. Lawson

Treasurer

Rosemary Brennan, CSJ

President Ex-Officio

Antoinette Hayes

Ex Officio

Kathryn Edney

Trustee

Brian Howard

Executive Director

David DuBois

Trustee

Yamil Kouri

Trustee & Corporator

Lelia Elliston

Trustee & Corporator

John Everett

Trustee & Corporator

John Hennessey

Trustee & Corporator

Kathryn Edney

Trustee & Corporator

Maureen Berube

Trustee & Corporator

Lee Hogan, CSJ

Trustee & Corporator

Patricia E. McCarthy, CSJ

Trustee & Corporator

Lawrence Norris

Trustee & Corporator

Barry Price

Trustee & Corporator

Heidi Price

Trustee & Corporator

Robert Savage

Trustee & Corporator

Jeffrey Shapiro

Trustee & Corporator

Norm Shuffrin

Trustee & Corporator

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/26/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/26/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.