National Women's History Museum

Educate. Inspire. Empower.

Alexandria, VA   |  www.womenshistory.org

Mission

The NWHM's mission is to tell the stories of women who transformed our nation. This is accomplished through a growing state-of-the-art online presence and a future physical museum to educate, inspire, empower, shape the future, and provide a complete view of American history.

Ruling year info

1997

President and CEO

Holly Hotchner

Executive Vice President

Kymberly Wolff

Main address

205 S. Whiting Street Ste. 254

Alexandria, VA 22304 USA

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EIN

54-1801426

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

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

Across all industries, women continue to be underrepresented. At the current rate of change, women are still 208 years away from achieving gender equality in the United States. While women represent half of the U.S. population, they occupy only .5% of our nation’s recorded history, according to historian Dr. Bettany Hughes. Women are missing from America’s textbooks, museums, and statuary across the country – simply put, women are missing from history. The statistics bear this out. According to a 2015 survey, only 24% of Americans consider themselves knowledgeable about women’s history, and 77% of Americans think women’s contributions to history are not well understood. While these statistics are sobering, public sentiment is clear: America needs a comprehensive museum dedicated to women’s history, More than 85% of Americans believe that it is important to build the National Women’s History Museum to communicate the breadth of women’s experiences and accomplishments.

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?

Women Making History Awards

The Women Making History Awards recognizes and honors
a select group of women who have made a significant contribution to their field and serve as an inspiration to women everywhere.

Population(s) Served
Adults

“Determined to Rise” Traveling Lecture Series:
The Museum’s approach in developing the series has been to explore the suffrage movement from multiple fascinating angles, starting with women who were active in African American abolitionist groups in the 1830s and continuing through the Civil War, the Progressive Era, and other key periods.

“Determined to Rise” Capstone Publication
Exploring, preserving, and sharing key ideas from the lecture series.
Inspired by the quality and power of discussions that took place during the “Determined to Rise” lecture series, the Museum is bringing the series to a close with the publication of an anthology of related writings. One participant from each panel is authoring an original essay related to the session’s theme. The digital publication will commemorate the “Determined to Rise” celebration and allow those unable to attend events live to share in the ideas explored.

Regional Public Programs
Reaching audiences across the region and nation.
These quarterly events range from film screenings and artistic performances to lectures and facilitated conversations over dinner or cocktails. Their goal is to reach both women’s history enthusiasts and non-traditional museum audiences through engaging encounters with issues and ideas related to the experience of women and non-binary individuals—expanding awareness and generating meaningful dialogue.

Distinguished Lecturers Program
Connecting host organizations with engaging and informative speakers.
The Distinguished Lecturers Program is a speakers bureau, through which cultural organizations and others interested in hosting lectures can identify eminent scholars prepared to speak on a variety of topics related to women’s history and contributions. Host organizations reimburse speakers for their expenses, while lecture fees go entirely to NWHM’s Women’s History Education Fund.

A Different Point of View: The Magazine
Presenting stories of women’s history and sharing NWHM news.
Published quarterly, A Different Point of View highlights updates from the Museum and presents articles exploring both historical topics and contemporary women’s issues. A benefit offered to the Museum’s Charter Members, the magazine reaches an audience of more than 20,000 readers.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Mentoring the next generation of museum professionals, scholars, and public historians, while supporting the best in scholarly research.

Summer and Semester Internships
The Museum sponsors summer and semester internships for graduate students and upper-level undergraduates who are studying history, museum studies, women’s or gender studies, or related fields.

Predoctoral Fellowships in Women’s History and Gender Studies
This two-year program provides an opportunity for Ph.D. students in the humanities or recent master’s-level graduates to gain experience as research associates and in providing programmatic support to the Museum’s Education Department.

Summer Education Fellow
This fellowship award provides an opportunity for a teacher or educator, working virtually, to devote a summer to supporting the Museum’s programs for schools, students, and educators.

NWHM Study Collection
Established in 2008, NWHM’s donor-supported Study Collection includes art, books, and historical ephemera from the mid-19th century through the present day. The Collection is housed at the NWHM offices in Alexandria, VA, and open to scholars, students, and the general public by appointment.

NWHM Resource Library
A growing collection of source material on women’s lives and accomplishments. Open to students, scholars, and history enthusiasts, the NWHM Resource Library offers a sizeable array of biographies, autobiographies and books about women in STEM, the media, the visual arts, and the military, as well as a variety of other topics. Visitors may also explore NWHM’s institutional archives, with holdings from 1996 through 2019, including early NWHM incorporation papers, web content, newsletters, and event collateral.

“Where Are the Women?” Curricular Research
An influential research project on the place of women in social studies course content.
In 2017, NWHM launched a groundbreaking research project, a quantitative analysis examining the inclusion of women in social studies standards and textbooks in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The resulting widely cited report revealed striking gaps and imbalances in the curriculum and has prompted numerous efforts to augment content focusing on women’s impact and contributions. The study led the Museum to develop substantial content to support educators in delivering high-quality curriculum focused on women’s history. NWHM is now shaping plans for a follow-up study, slated for 2022, to trace curricular changes over the five years since the original research.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Providing resources to help schools make women’s history a more meaningful, memorable part of the curriculum.

Virtual Field Trips: Bringing the museum experience into homes and schools virtually.

Through this Zoom-based program, teachers, homeschoolers, and program planners nationwide can invite an NWHM museum educator into their classroom (organization, business, or home!) to share a live presentation on a curated selection of topics in women’s history, such as women in STEM, woman suffrage, and the civil rights movement. Content can be tailored to students in grades 3 though 12, or for extracurricular groups.

Digital Classroom Resources: Extensive materials to help educators teach women’s history effectively.
The Museum provides a wealth of classroom-ready resources, available to view or download through its website. Students and teachers will also find a variety of primary source materials, and for younger children, Brave Girls Story Time, archived videos of readings from engaging works of children’s literature.

Girl Scouts Workshops and Merit Badge Programs
Special opportunities for learning and achievement for girls ages 5-17.NWHM has partnered with the Girls Scouts to create three programs focusing on uniquely valuable themes: the Behind the Ballot merit badge, which explores voting rights, suffrage, and elections; Playing the Past, a badge option, through which girls take on the personas of a women from history and perform in costume; and Budgeting Workshop, which teaches young scouts how to track spending, save money, and develop a budget.

Coming Up!

Women’s History PlungeTM: An engaging educational game.
Currently in the prototyping stage, Women’s History PlungeTM will allow both children and adults to explore women’s history through several enjoyable and instructive games played with a set of card decks each featuring notable women. The game will be rolled out through a series of classroom workshops conducted in collaboration with Washington, D.C., Public Schools.

The Inclusive Museum: Empowering students as curators of their own women’s history exhibits.
This K-12 program, to be piloted in partnership with Washington, D.C., Public Schools, is designed to guide student curators through the challenging and fascinating process of researching, developing, presenting, and evaluating their own women’s history exhibits for their schools. Working with NWHM museum educators, students will hone key abilities ranging from research, writing, and analysis to collaborative decision-making.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Bringing women’s history to life through accessible, high-quality, and innovative online content.

Online Exhibits: Fascinating topics in women’s history revealed in words and images.
NWHM develops virtual exhibits that explore notable topics in women’s history with richness and interactivity. Members of NWHM’s Scholars Advisory Council, a committee of eminent scholars, carefully vet exhibits for accuracy.

NWHM Biography Project: 150 inspiring lives—and counting.
The Museum has compiled biographies of a diverse array of eminent women, both historical and contemporary, who have made an impact on our nation’s history. An ever-evolving tribute, the Biography Project grows by over 50 new stories each year. NWHM biographies are frequently referenced by researchers, textbook editors, journalists, students, and educators and stand out as highly readable resources, fully accessible to a range of interested audience members.

Know Her Story Videos: Biographies of notable women presented in engaging one-minute segments.
Shared through the Museum’s YouTube channel, each video provides a sixty-second overview of an eminent or influential woman or a notable period in history shaped by women’s activism and actions.
History Glimpses: Brief articles exploring dozens of little-known yet important topics in women’s history.
These two- and three-page articles, spotlight moments, movements, and personalities from women’s history through a multitude of unique lenses.


Rosie the Riveter Oral Histories: Audio interviews with women working on the home front in WWII.
As American men left the industrial labor force to enlist during World War II, some two million American women took jobs in the war economy, making their mark in domains that had been almost entirely male. This small sampling of oral histories aims to capture through firsthand accounts the life-transforming and society-changing experiences of these “Rosie the Riveters.”

Chronicles of American Women: Your History Makers Submissions from NWHM visitors recognizing women they’ve known and known about.
This inclusive and interactive program welcomes any visitor to the NWHM website who is a supporter of the Museum to honor the life and legacy of a woman the visitor has known, whether she is now living or dead. The program reflects the belief that we all share ownership of history, and that lives and achievements of every kind deserve a place in the historical record.

Women on the Web Link Guide: A wealth of resources to explore beyond NWHM.
From Muslim Girl to the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Web offers vast riches of well-presented information on women’s history and women’s lives today. The Link Guide collects some of the very best online resources, providing access to high-quality content from more than three dozen organizations, and the list continues to grow.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

When the COVID pandemic upended daily life, including the school routines of most American students and teachers, requests for online learning opportunities flooded into NWHM. Staff responded with a series of new and expanded o!erings, useful to educators now teaching remotely, to parents now home schooling, or to anyone seeking a virtual cultural experience while confined at home.

Women Writing History: A Coronavirus Journaling Project
Recording the experiences and insights of women as history is made.
Through this exciting project, NWHM is enlisting the partnership of women across the country and around the world in recording history as it happens, specifically by documenting their unique experiences during the global COVID pandemic. The program has swelled to include 1,225 participants from across the United States and other countries, including Poland, the U.K., Sweden, Colombia, and Argentina.

NWHM Presents! features Zoom-based virtual workshops through which NWHM offers live presentations on a variety of topics in women’s history. These include author talks, film screenings, culinary demonstrations, and live panel discussions with opportunities for audience members to engage in meaningful dialogue with the presenters, ask questions, and be inspired.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults
Children and youth
Adults
Children and youth
Adults
Children and youth
Adults
Children and youth
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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 National Women’s History Museum is the United States’ national institution for the promotion, interpretation and celebration of women’s history. It serves to present a complete view of American history by broadening public understanding of women’s distinctive contributions to our national discourse, while providing a safe forum for global dialogue on issues related to women and other marginalized populations. The National Women’s History Museum aims to meet the nation’s need for informal, interactive, self-directed learning experiences centered around women’s history and historical contributions. It inspires curiosity and life-long learning, promotes dialogue and helps break down barriers to understanding by:

• Reconsidering traditional methods of audience engagement in order to be inclusive of multiple learning styles, prior knowledge and life experiences, and generational differences;

• Consistently challenging single narrative in the Museum’s interpretation, education, public programs, and exhibition development because inclusive history is good history; and

• Centralizing issues that have remained on the margins of history and cultural narrative in order to help audiences discover the value and worth of telling the histories, stories, contributions and impacts of communities that have been marginalized, shut out, enslaved and/or silenced, so that a better future can be realized.

NWHM’s award-winning website has interactive dynamic exhibits and static educational sections to engage visitors and provide educators and students with robust resources that explore the stories, challenges and achievements of women past and present.

Further, because women’s history has largely been left out of American textbooks, NWHM created lesson plans for educators to use in their classrooms that relate to our online exhibits and focus on themes such as Progressive and Colonial Eras, the Reform Movement, and Women’s Crusade for the Vote. We also offer virtual classroom field trips, which allows teachers and students to interact with Museum staff in real time (students especially love the question and answer period).

NWHM also offers additional digital classroom resources, oral histories, biographies, and chronicles of American women history makers. Additionally, NWHM has a physical resource library and archives on women’s history, as well as a donor-supported Study Collection which includes art, books, and historical ephemera from the mid-19th Century through the present day. The Study Collection is open to students, scholars, and history enthusiasts alike.

In addition to our robust online resources and physical resource library, NWHM brings public programming across the country. Programming includes discussions, panel presentations, theme-based lecture series, and two Women Making History Award events, one on each coast, as well as women’s history walking tours in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas.

NWHM also participates in National History Day and awards two scholarships to students who have won the competition in the area of women’s history. More than a half a million middle and high school students—and 30,000 teachers—participate in this annual event.

Finally, NWHM is working on raising funds to open a world-class national women’s history museum in our Washington, D.C. Our Museum will be known as a leader in innovative spaces—crafting experiences that elevate women’s stories, redefine possibilities, and create community.

NWHM’s president and CEO, Holly Hotchner, is not only a leading expert in museums, but has extensive experience creating institutional advancement and new and innovative experiences for museum visitors. As the first museum director at the New-York Historical Society—considered one of America’s oldest museums—Hotchner built a staff, raised millions of dollars for the care of the collections and exhibitions, and took the museum through the American Alliance of Museums’ accreditation process. Her team established a premier education department, the Luce Study Center for the Study of American Material Culture, and made collections accessible through innovative interpretation, helping the New-York Historical Society take its place as a world-class museum of history and culture.

Hotchner also served as director of the American Craft Museum, a niche museum in New York. During her tenure as director, Hotchner re-envisioned it as the Museum of Arts and Design, a new kind of interdisciplinary museum adhering to the values of craftsmanship and expanded the mission to include creativity across traditional boundaries. Through the process of translating that vision, she built a greatly expanded collection and institution. She led the museum through site and architect selection and creating plans and budgets. She developed the board, enhanced staff and, under her leadership, the museum raised $120 million starting from a very small donor base.

In addition to the Museum’s president, NWHM’s active and experienced Board of Directors is dedicated to ensuring that the Museum and its programs become the leading place to learn, experience and enjoy women’s history. Further, NWHM’s National Coalition of more than 60 women’s service and professional organizations represent more than 12 million women nationwide supporting its efforts.

Finally, NWHM has a strong education department comprised of staff with extensive experience in both museum studies and women’s history; more than 61,000 members; and a Museum Advisory Council. Further, the majority of the U.S. Congress—across both sides of the aisle—supports NWHM’s efforts and educational goals and wants to see NWHM have a physical presence in our nation’s capital.

Our first accomplishment was 22 years ago when, after 76 years and several failed attempts by other organizations, NWHM successfully lobbied Congress to get their approval to bring the “Portrait Monument” from the basement of the Capitol into the light of day in the Capitol Rotunda. At the time, this statue was the only statue honoring a woman or women in the Capitol. On Mother’s Day 1997, the statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony finally joined the statues of men in Statuary Hall.

NWHM’s interactive, educational website has grown from 431 visitors in 1998 to over 5 million pageviews in 2019. Over 61,000 Charter Members and friends help to underwrite NWHM’s programs and the request for producing additional programs and materials is growing. Further, analytics show that more than 40,000 organizations and institutions use This one act was the birth of the National Women’s History Museum. Since then, NWHM has researched, created, and launched 26 online women’s history exhibits; established a national speaker’s bureau on women’s history that gives speeches across the country; and published 310 biographies on trailblazing women whose achievements helped to create and advance our great nation. In addition, in working to sharing the missing half of history—women’s history—NWHM established a lecture series on some of today’s hottest topics and the part women have played; held several women’s history panel discussions in coordination with George Washington University’s history department; and worked with Google on several online women’s history exhibits, including an exhibit on Sojourner Truth in 2018. The visitor response to this exhibit was so successful that the overwhelming traffic temporarily crashed NWHM’s website.

For years, NWHM has worked closely with scholars, educators, and students to create educational materials and posters about women’s history that are downloadable from the NWHM website. This has been met with encouragement and praise from members of the education community.

In 2016, NWHM undertook the challenging task of researching exactly how much women’s history is being taught from textbooks in each state in America. To date, this is the only study that has ever been conducted on America’s textbooks that explicitly gives the facts on every woman mentioned, the number of times that woman was mentioned, the reference, etc. The study’s findings were even more devastating than anticipated: The study found that women's experiences and stories are not well integrated into U.S. state history standards. The lack of representation and context in state-level materials presupposes that women's history is even less represented at the classroom level.

In 2020 we enter our most exciting chapter, as we work to build a brick and mortar museum in Washington, D.C. and multiply ten-fold the number of people we reach with women’s history each day.

Financials

National Women's History Museum
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Operations

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

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National Women's History Museum

Board of directors
as of 4/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Susan Whiting

Nielsen (Retired)


Board co-chair

Singleton McAllister

Husch Blackwell

Susan Danish

The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc, (Retired)

Catherine Allgor

Massachusetts Historical Society

Jon Bouker

Arent Fox

Mari Johnson

film producer, activist, philanthropist

Cheri Kaufman

C iGIVE

Peixin Dallara

Polaris Investments, LLC

Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D.

Women’s Research and Resource Center, Spelman College

Rachel Vogelstein

Council on Foreign Relations

Julia Bianchi

Blue Chip Kids, Inc.

Monica Gil

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises

Darlene Reyes

Phi Mu Fraternity

Paula Volent

Bowdoin College

Mary Smith

VENG Group

Tena Clark

DMI Music & Media Solutions

Mari Snyder Johnson

Self employed

Patricia Kampling

Aliant Energy Corporation (retired)

Carol McCarthy

Motion Agency

Stephanie Mineo

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield

Lee Murphy

Washington Fine Properties

Beth Renner

Wells Fargo Wealth Management

Darlene Reyes

Phi Mu Fraternity

Lisa Marsh Ryerson

AARP Foundation

Jessica Tillyer

re-inc.

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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 02/17/2021

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

The organization's co-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

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/17/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.