C&O CANAL TRUST INC

Williamsport, MD   |  www.canaltrust.org

Mission

The C&O Canal Trust, as the official non-profit partner of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, works in partnership with the National Park Service and local communities to raise funds to preserve the Park for future generations and to broaden support through programs that highlight the Park’s historical, natural, and cultural heritage and recreational opportunities.

Ruling year info

2007

President

Robin Zanotti ACFRE

Main address

142 W. Potomac St

Williamsport, MD 21795 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

30-0401642

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

History Museums (A54)

Physical Fitness/Community Recreational Facilities (N30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In an era when federal funding for national parks is diminishing, the number of people visiting the C&O Canal National Historical Park each year is increasing. The resulting maintenance backlog (estimated at $106.7 million) and reduction in National Park Service staff (50 percent smaller than a decade ago) is placing an enormous strain on Park resources. As the official nonprofit partner to the C&O Canal NHP, the C&O Canal Trust is on the leading edge of a fundamental sea change underway from national parks owned, funded, and run on our behalf by Uncle Sam toward an era when these shared national treasures require that they be supported and stewarded more dynamically by “we the people.”

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?

Preservation and Protection

The C&O Canal Trust raises funds to help protect, preserve, and restore the signature infrastructure of the C&O Canal National Historical Park (NHP): the towpath, canal, historic structures and cultural landscapes, natural resources, and adjacent trails. In addition, in 2017, 2018, and 2019, a Trust-led advocacy campaign resulted in the Park being awarded a total of $5.7 million by the state of Maryland for towpath resurfacing and canal re-watering. Our Canal Quarters program, comprising seven rehabilitated lockhouses, provides a rich overnight immersive experience for visitors while also providing a sustainable income stream to maintain these endangered historic structures. The Trust also recruits and manages around 1,500 volunteers annually to undertake maintenance, preservation, beautification, stewardship, and invasive species removal projects throughout the Park. Since the Trust’s founding in 2007, over 11,000 volunteers have performed service valued at $1.04 million. By helping to preserve the C&O Canal NHP, the Trust is helping to preserve a critical buffer to development along the Potomac River, contributing to the protection of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and one of the East Coast's biodiversity "hotspots" -- the Potomac Gorge -- which contains over 1,500 species, including nearly 200 listed as rare, threatened, or endangered.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The C&O Canal Trust raises funds to support the C&O Canal NHP’s award-winning Canal Classrooms program that brings from 10,000 to 12,000 K-12th grade students to the Park each year for curriculum-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) learning using the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the Park. The program not only provides a relevant educational experience to the students, it also helps to nurture the next generation of national park stewards. Our Canal Pride volunteer program recruits people of all ages to care for the Park’s visitor amenities and historic structures, as well as its natural landscapes. The Trust’s new Canal For All program is expanding Park outreach and relevant recreational, educational, and service opportunities to neighboring Latinx and African American communities which traditionally have been underrepresented in the Park. Youth development initiatives include facilitation of Eagle Scout service requirement projects and Canal Pride volunteer service events for school and scouting groups.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Children and youth

The C&O Canal Trust deepens the visitor experience with rich interpretive activities, trip-planning tools, improved Park amenities, and mutually-beneficial partnerships with Canal towns, other Park “friends” groups, outdoor companies, and other stakeholders. Our C&O Canal Explorer mobile app, described by some as “a ranger in your pocket,” provides visitors with a wealth of information about Park features and amenities, distances along the towpath, and nearby services. The Trust’s Canal Quarters lockhouse program has been recognized as the national park standard for interpretive excellence. Each lockhouse is rehabilitated, furnished, and contains interpretive materials, each telling a story of a different era in the Park’s history, from the 1830s to the 1950s. Between 2009 and 2019, 6,000 guests from 49 states and four foreign countries have enjoyed overnight stays in a lockhouse.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Innovative Product of the year for C&O Explorer mobile app 2018

Public Lands Alliance

National Park Service Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Stewardship 2011

Appleman- Judd Award

Outstanding Stewardship of Historic Properties by a Government Agency 2012

Maryland Preservation Award

Chairman's Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation 2014

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Harrison Award for Volunteers 2017

Preservation Maryland's Best of Maryland Preservation Award

Project Excellence in Preservation Parnerships 2020

Maryland Historical Trust

Affiliations & memberships

Public Lands Alliance Innovative Product of the Year for C&O Canal Explorer mobile app 2018

Hagerstown/Washington Co Convention and Visitors Bureau 2020

Washington County Chamber of Commerce 2012

Association of Fundraising Professionals 2014

Maryland Nonprofts 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Amount raised for Park preservation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Preservation and Protection

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Trust's Towpath Forever Initiative gives donors an opportunity to support periodic projects to keep Park structures and the towpath in good condition for thousands of visitors that come to the park.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The Trust is proud to host multiple volunteer opportunities within the Park. Through programs such as Canal Community Days and Quarter Masters, people who love the park have a chance to give back.

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.

The C&O Canal Trust is the keystone bridge between private citizens and the Park. We provide the ways and means for all those who value the C&O Canal NHP to contribute directly – through philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy – to the Park we love today, and to the one we hope to leave to future generations. In all its work, the Trust aims to marshal the resources of the community -- its energy, expertise, and material wealth – to preserve, protect, and restore the unique assets of the Park and provide a solid basis for future stewardship.

What are your strategies for making this happen?
· Protect, preserve, and restore the Park: Fundraise for Park infrastructure projects; preserve Canal Quarters lockhouses; advocate for
federal and state funding.
· Enhance the visitor experience: Improve the accessibility and aesthetics of visitor use areas; help visitors navigate the Park using
technology; provide quality interpretive experiences; work with partners to promote economic growth and Park tourism.
· Build a community of support and stewardship: Grow community philanthropy, volunteerism, and advocacy; develop future stewards by
supporting the Park’s Canal Classrooms program; extend outreach to diverse populations so that Park visitation and stewardship resemble
neighboring communities.
· Achieve operational excellence: Adopt best nonprofit practices; increase development to meet organizational growth objectives; structure the
Board and staff to achieve maximum organizational potential.

The Trust has an active and committed 19-member Board of Directors, each of whom makes an annual contribution of at least $1,000. All but one director serve on one or more of five Board committees. The Board meets quarterly and is responsible for the governance of the Trust, approval of the budget, and fiduciary responsibility for the organization. It hires and evaluates the President, who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Trust. The Trust’s staff is made up of seven fulltime professionals, and one part-time associate. Our work would not be possible without the assistance of the approximately 1,300 volunteers who are the “boots on the ground” in the Park. Of that number about 900 are Canal Pride volunteers who undertake maintenance, beautification, and preservation projects in the Park, 32 Quartermasters who oversee the daily operation of our Canal Quarters lockhouses, and 100 volunteers who are critical to the success of the Trust’s annual Park After Dark gala.

Since 2007, the Trust has:
· Raised $425,000 for Park infrastructure projects.
· Contributed $290,000 to Canal Classrooms that, since 2013, has reached 67,000 K-12th grade students.
· Recruited 12,000 volunteers to perform service valued at $1.2 million.
· Made available 7 historic lockhouses to 6,000 overnight visitors.
· Led advocacy resulting in $5.7 million from the state of Maryland for towpath re-surfacing and canal re-watering.
· Brought over 500 Latinx and African American youth to the Park in 2017, 2018, & 2019 for recreation, service, and learning as part of the Canal For All program. In 2019, the Trust provided paid work for 12 teenagers who worked in the Park as a Conservation Jobs Corps crew.
· Launched the C&O Canal Explorer mobile app to help visitors navigate the Park and learn about its features.
. The Trust completed the first year of its new 5-year Strategic Plan that aims to strengthen community support for the Park as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021, and faces the challenges of the future.

Financials

C&O CANAL TRUST INC
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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C&O CANAL TRUST INC

Board of directors
as of 03/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

John Guttmann

Beveridge & Diamond, PC

Term: 2020 - 2022

Bert Swain

Dembo Jones, PC

Paul Juola

Lockheed Martin Corporation

Francis Grant-Suttie

Francis Grant-Suttie Consulting, LLC

Dan Spedden

Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau

John Guttmann

Beveridge & Diamond, PC

Paul Krogh

K2 Construction Consultants, Inc.

William Newman

HC Project Advisors, LLC

Anthony Stacy

Booz Allen Hamilton

Gay Barclay

Tara Lowe

Realtor

Paul Bremer

Okemo Ski Resort

Robert Mertz

Mary Fisher

Marc Grossman

The Cohen Group

Cory Horn

Visit Montgomery

Jonathan Warner

Warner Commercial

Robin Zanotti

C&O Canal Trust

Sandy Grace

BGE

Sherif Ettefa

KPMG

Ed Ryan

Marriott International, Inc (retired)

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data