EAGLE RIVER HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC

History is a team sport

aka Eagle River Historical Society   |   Eagle River, WI   |  eagleriverhistory.org

Mission

To collect, preserve and share Eagle River heritage and culture and to be a recognized economic asset to the community. Eagle River and the surrounding townships are our geographic area but we serve a much broader audience of seasonal residents, visitors and former residents now living out of the area. In peak summer season this number may rise to 50,000 from a low of 20,000.

Notes from the nonprofit

In 2021 our board evaluated the Society's status and concluded that we had plateaued, based on assets and personnel. To continue to expand and serve our community the Society elected to undertake a major expansion called Choosing Growth. With the support of a grant/challenge totalling $900,000, a capital campaign opened and plans for both a full-time paid director and a physical expansion of the main campus is underway.

Ruling year info

1989

Executive Director

Ms. Karen Sailer

Main address

PO Box 2011

Eagle River, WI 54521 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

39-1626867

NTEE code info

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Professional Societies, Associations (A03)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Advocating for local history at all levels; local, regional and state.

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?

Schools Program, lectures, historic home tours, book publishing

In cooperation with the local school district, we bring the elementary classes to the museum for both tours and living history encounters. A program to supply the 4th grade with high quality history texts is nearly complete.

In partnership with the local library we present a series of lectures based on both local and state history, often with authors of history based books.

Bi-annually we present high quality tours of local historic properties.

We have published two books of local history and are preparing a heritage cookbook

Population(s) Served
Older adults
Young adults
Children and youth

The Historical Society makes its members available to local civic and service organizations as speakers for their own programming. In the past 18 months the Society has made presentations to several groups on various topics, including the development of some of the service organizations. There is no charge to the requesting group.

In 2016 the Society initiated a monthly lecture series, each focused on some aspect of local and/or Wisconsin history.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Business of the Month 2022

Vilas County Economic Development Corpoation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of free participants on field trips

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

Children and youth

Related Program

Schools Program, lectures, historic home tours, book publishing

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This program began with students from Eagle River schools in the 4th grade. It then added two other schools and 2nd grade students. In the past year it expanded to include home schooled students.

Total number of conferences held

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

Adults

Related Program

Community outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Society sponsored the first northern area training session in Past Perfect, a software program for museums. It also led the creation of a northern area caucus for joint programs, research and tra

Number of new grants received

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Society has committed to a goal of 10 applications a year, beginning in 2017, with a target of 40-60% awarded. In 2018 that percentage reached 50%,

Hours of expertise provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Community outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Over the past 4 years the Society has committed to raising the standards of collections, displays, programs and research. The number of hours contributed underscore that commitment.

Number of overall donors

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

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2016 the Society formed a group of women to support creation of an endowment fund. This group has grown and other supporters have also been recruited.

Total number of free admissions

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

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Community outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Society operates two museums in Eagle River. We offer free entrance to ensure that no one is denied access for financial reasons.

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.

Our goal is to become the primary source for all historical topics in our area and a cultural force in the preservation of local history.

These goals are part of our formal strategic plan and are reviewed annually. Each year our 5 year plan is updated based on what has been achieved and what remains. Both financial and human resources are evaluated.

We have recruited an experienced teacher to lead the School Program and develop tactics to make the ERHS an active partner in education within our district. We seek funding both for our own program development and to supplement the district shortfall in providing such things as transportation for field trips.

Bridging the gap between community outreach and educational resources, we are working to develop a summer History Day Camp by 2018.

As a community history resource we are taking the lead in creating Historical Preservation Commissions both within the City of Eagle River and Vilas County. We continue to provide speakers both to the school system and to local service organizations.

Society members work steadily to improve their skills and professional understanding in areas or museum work, board governance and volunteer training and retention. They attend conferences, got to seminars and enroll in webinars for specific training.

To attract new volunteers and a wide range of skills the ERHS spearheaded creation of an annual Volunteer Job Fair for all local non profit groups.

To advance funding, the Society collaborated with nine other non profits to fund the purchase of a Foundation Center membership.

To ensure the best and freshest ideas a four member advisor board was created to assist the executive board in planning and funding.

Significant progress has been made in most areas. The Society is on track to being financially strong and self sufficient. Major funding initiatives were launched in 2016 including an endowment fund, a legacy (planned giving) group and a memorial garden, which combines fundraising and community outreach.

The endowment pledge period will be complete is 2021 and the Society will begin to draw on the income to fund operating expenses.

A goal of becoming debt free is on track for 2017 with the payment of the final 3% of debt from a $250,000 building project.

Collections management has achieved an exceptionally high level of professionalism with a full component of policies and procedures. In one year a five year backlog of assessions and cataloging has been processed.

The physical plant is operated efficiently with a group of caretakers.

Community outreach programs have been added in the past year and been well received.

Volunteer recruitment focuses on an annual volunteer job fair day and has resulted in a number of high quality additions to the staff.

Board governance is exceptional with the addition of an advisory board, the creation of a strong strategic plan, revised bylaws and a system of board and CEO evaluations.

Remaining to be accomplished:

Full financial strength - The legacy group is yet in development with an initial goal of $100,000 in pledges standing at 38%. Four years remains to fully fund the endowment fund and the construction cost of the memorial garden are about 66% returned.

Collections - a plan to begin an archival assessment are in progress

Physical plant - within two years it will be necessary to begin an additon to the museum and add a storage facility

Volunteers and staff - the strategic plan calls for the addition of a half time paid staff member within three years, until then staffing remains a critical issue

Community outreach - attendance and awareness of the monthly speakers needs improvement but local service groups are calling on the society for presentations

Administration - this program has moved forward beyond others but still needs regular attention to remain strong

Financials

EAGLE RIVER HISTORICAL SOCIETY 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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EAGLE RIVER HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC

Board of directors
as of 11/07/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms Alice Kramer

Retired

Term: 2022 - 2024

James Constine

Everett Resort

Kenneth Stallman

retired banker

Alice Kramer

Retired nurse

Laura Koranda

Eagle Waters Resort

David Grooms

Retired executive

Michelle Root-McDaniel

independent school psychologist

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/7/2022

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)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability