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HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN

Lansing, MI   |  www.hsmichigan.org

Mission

The Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s oldest cultural organization, helps to connect Michigan’s past to students, educators, historical organizations and the public through education programs, conferences, publications, awards, workshops, referral services, networking opportunities, and support for local history organizations.

Ruling year info

1949

Executive Director and CEO

Mr. Larry John Wagenaar

Main address

7435 Westshire Dr.

Lansing, MI 48917 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

38-1452689

NTEE code info

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

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

Even though an understanding of history helps draw a community together around its shared heritage and helps each individual recognize how he or she fits into the whole fabric of their community, too many people go through their lives without this critically important knowledge. The Historical Society of Michigan, with its focus on history education through a wide variety of programs and services, believes we can only make our state's present and future better if we fully understand its past. To solve the problems of today and tomorrow, we need to know what solutions have worked in the past and under what circumstances. It also helps to know why some attempted solutions have not worked. Knowing our history can allow us to avoid reinventing the wheel. While history does not predict the future, what comes before is clearly a foundation that can be built upon.

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?

Historical Society of Michigan

The Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s oldest cultural organization, helps to connect Michigan’s past to students, educators, historical organizations and the public through education programs, conferences, publications, awards, workshops, referral services, networking opportunities, and support for local history organizations.

HSM programs include the award-winning magazine Michigan History, the largest circulating state history magazine in the US, and the Society’s quarterly membership magazine the Chronicle. Other Society programs include Michigan History Day® (National History Day in Michigan), the Michigan History Alliance®, Michigan Centennial Farm Program, History Skills Workshops™, History Hounds® monthly lectures, Michiganders on the Road™, Milestone Awards Program, Michigan History Moments™ radio program, Michigan History for Kids curriculum, and three major history conferences across Michigan, among others.

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.

Founded in 1828, the Historical Society of Michigan, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, is Michigan’s oldest cultural organization and works to connect Michigan’s past to students, educators, historical organizations, and the public through education programs, conferences, publications, awards, workshops, referral services, networking opportunities, and support for local history organizations.

The Historical Society of Michigan’s publications, programs and services all contribute to its history education mission and include: three annual history conferences; two popular history magazines, Michigan History and Chronicle; the yearlong Michigan History Day® (National History Day in Michigan) academic competition for students in grades 4-12; educational programs that include weekly History Hounds® lectures, History Skills Workshops™; and Michigan History Storytime livestreaming; awards and recognition programs such as the Michigan Centennial Farm program and the Michigan Milestone program; a Historic Michigan Travel Guide and Michigan History Directory; and support programs that share best practices with local historical organizations throughout the state to help them pursue their local history missions.

The Historical Society of Michigan has promoted history education about the state for more than 190 years. It now has an annual budget of about $1.4 million and 16 employees.

HSM serves the entire state of Michigan. On its staff are three trained historians and other experts in communication, education, accounting, event planning, database management, and fundraising.

HSM has more than 5,500 members, among them more than 500 local historical organizations in all corners of the state. It also has about 19,000 subscribers to the award-winning Michigan History magazine it publishes bi-monthly.

HSM partners with a large number of corporations and foundations to fund its history mission operations.

The programs of the Historical Society of Michigan have grown substantially since the year 2000. An entrepreneurial spirit has allowed HSM to expand existing programs and grow new ones that fit within its mission.

For example, as a result of a significant economic downturn, HSM took over operation of Michigan History magazine from the state of Michigan government in 2009. State government had been losing money as a publisher, whereas HSM has been able to cover its magazine expenses with subscriber revenue since the take over. The result: Subscribers love the high-quality magazine and it adds to their understanding of the fascinating story of Michigan's history with every issue.

HSM is also attracting more and more people to its three annual history conferences, as well as its History Hounds lectures and History Skills Workshops. The quality of the programming, combined with better marketing and communication about the opportunities, have dramatically increased attendance.

In another innovation, a growing number of HSM members take advantage of the relatively new Michiganders on the Road motor coach history tours to visit historical places inside the state and beyond its borders.

Financials

HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN
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Operations

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

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HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF MICHIGAN

Board of directors
as of 03/12/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Shannon White

Retired

Term: 2022 - 2024

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 composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/11/2022

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

No data

Disability

No data