Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Ephraim...Where Door County’s Past Lives Today

aka Ephraim Historical Foundation Museums, Tours, and Archives

Ephraim, WI


The Ephraim Historical Foundation identifies itself as an educational institution and facility, a museum, an archive, a research organization, a leading Door County non-profit, a social organization, and a guardian of the unique character of the Village of Ephraim. Our mission is to faithfully preserve, sustain, and share, the history, culture, and beauty of Ephraim.

Ruling Year


Interim Director/Outreach Director & Curator

Emily Irwin

Main Address

PO Box 165 3060 Anderson Lane

Ephraim, WI 54211 USA

Formerly Known As

Ephraim Foundation


History, historical, Ephraim, Door County, Moravian, Wisconsin





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The Ephraim Historical Foundation is working to preserve and share the history of the village of Ephraim, Wisconsin. In this modern world, historical documents, photos, and properties are often lost. We strive to preserve these and share the stories of the people of Ephraim.

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Sunday SingAlong

History Speaks Lecture Series

Child's Play: Tales & Crafts

Historic Walking Tours and Tram Tours of Ephraim

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our mission is to preserve and share the history of Ephraim, Wisconsin: *We preserve and foster preservation of historical monuments, buildings, structures, sites, and collections. *We act as a resource in support of cultural organizations and civic services within the Village of Ephraim and the community at large. *We act as a vehicle and custodian of financial contributions for the preservation of historic properties and collections. * We act to enrich the concept of Ephraim as a village of values for the enjoyment and understanding of our cultural traditions and natural beauty. *We share the heritage and stories of the people of Ephraim through research, outreach, and education.

Ephraim Historical Foundation Objectives I. Improve, preserve, and maintain the Ephraim Historical Foundation and its museums and properties to the highest level consistent with their age and character II. Document, preserve, display, and curate collections consistent with professional museum standards to facilitate accessibility and research. III. Expand the Foundation’s impact through education outreach, tours, programs, and marketing. IV. Support professional development of current and future staff, docents, board members, and volunteers. V. Increase membership and cultivate and acknowledge member and volunteer participation. VI. Continue to strengthen our ties with the Ephraim community to retain the unique character and serenity of the Village. VII. Work with preservation efforts in other communities to retain the historic integrity of the Door Peninsula. VIII. Promote increased general revenue and financial gifting to meet the needs of the Foundation.

The Ephraim Historical Foundation employs three, full-time, trained museum professionals. The staff is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the non-profit business, museums, and archives/collections/library. Additionally, the EHF relies on dedicated Board of Directors and approximately 100 active volunteers. The EHF is entirely funded through private support, which comes primarily from our nearly 400 members in the form of dues, memorials/tributes, and general donations. Additional funding comes from our endowment, donations from the general public, and a small amount of merchandise sales. The EHF cares for fives museums and a research library. The research library, along with our storage areas, are climate-controlled to protect the archives and collections. The library provides an access point to the archives/collections for our members and the public. Additionally, the EHF conducts a number of programs for the public, the local schools, and other local organizations.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, the EHF has produced a long-range plan every ten years. The plan reviews the mission and vision of the EHF and develops a set of objectives, each with a set of attainable goals. The most recent long-range plan was created and approved in 2016. Each year, the EHF staff, Long-Range Plan Committee, and the EHF Board review the plan, identify goals that have been accomplished and what goals will be addressed in the next year. The EHF also uses data numbers, such as memberships, donations, museum/program attendance, archives/collections catalogued, research projects, and membership surveys, to track immediate progress.

Most recently, the EHF has successfully raised $1,000,000 for our endowment fund (2012-2016); successfully raised $50,000 for our Svalhus research Library, which opened in May of 2018. We have also done a wide variety of repairs to our historic buildings/museums. In 2018, we also began offering free general admission to the public to enable more people to visit our museums. We have instead asked for a good-will donation. We have found that we have more visitors, approximately the same amount of revenue from the museums, and our merchandise sales have increased. Our focus is now one the following: - continue cataloguing and providing access to our archives and collections - promote planned giving as an opportunity for charitable giving - review and expand our programming for our members and the public, both during the summer season and during the off-season.

External Reviews




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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


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

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable