Contributed by Spencer Morgan, Director of Development and Marketing
For those of you familiar with us here at BNHV, you may know we used to have an Adopt-A-House Program in the past when we were the Amherst Museum. However, we are pleased to relaunch this program with new energy and vigor! This program is designed to diversify our funding while also providing financial support for the museum’s 11 historic buildings. Now, the program has a 5-year pledge design which makes adopting one of our historic dwellings or commercial buildings affordable for any budget. We believe that creating partnerships with local community institutions and corporations will help our own organization grow and evolve towards self-sufficiency. Making our program affordable for local groups and businesses not only increases our organization’s financial goals, but also allows for more community collaborations and partnerships.
The Adopt-a-House Program is modeled after other sponsorship opportunities throughout the museum industry. It is a very simple process where our Development team creates a benefit package based on the needs and wants of prospective sponsors. Some sponsors, such as other non-profit organizations, simply want to give. Local companies are interested in helping, but also want to increase their presence in our community.
We are happy to have secured two sponsors thus far: Amherst Women’s Interclub Council and Erie and Niagara Insurance Association. Each year, Amherst Women’s Interclub Council hosts a luncheon and raffle at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. All of the proceeds benefit the museum’s Sweet Home School House. This year, Amherst Women’s Interclub Council is hosting the 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Luncheon and Spring Hat Contest in the museum’s ball room from 11:00am to 2:00pm on Derby Day (Saturday, May 2nd, 2015). Money raised at this event will go to the Adopt-a-House Program, directly supporting the Sweet Home School House.
Last year, we were also able to reach out to a local company who shares a significant history with one of our houses. Although sharing a past with one of our buildings is not a prerequisite in our adoption process, creating a unique, mutually beneficial adoption package is! Our first corporate sponsor taking part in our new Adopt-a-House Program is Erie and Niagara Insurance Association, located at 8800 Sheridan Drive in Williamsville, NY. Erie and Niagara Insurance Association is a carrier that offers personal, farm, and business insurance. The company was founded in 1875 and now protects more than 75,000 policy holders. The company was founded by none other than George Hoover who, with his family, lived in the Hoover House, now on the grounds of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.
We have also launched a Building-of-the-Month marketing campaign to promote the program. Each month you will notice that one of our historic buildings will be featured in the art and décor of our social media pages. In addition to our normal social media advertising, some posts will directly relate to the Building-of-the-Month. March’s Building-of-the-Month was the Barbershop. Our Development and Marketing teams have painstakingly assigned each of our 11 historic buildings to their perspective month, and we will announce which building will be our focus at the beginning of each month via our social media sites. If you do not already follow us digitally, you can find our Building-of-the-Month featured at www.facebook.com/BNHVillage, www.twitter.com/BNHVillage, and instagram.com/BNHeritageVillage. Each Building-of-the-Month will feature an adoption notice based on their current adoption status. We will also begin to feature our Building-of-the-Month in our monthly email. Be sure to email Spencer Morgan at email@example.com to be added to our listserv and stay up to date with our programs and events!
In addition to our Adopt-a-House Program, we offer other sponsorship opportunities inside our Shaw Exhibit Building through our Adopt-an-Exhibit Program. This program, similar to our Adopt-a-House Program enables affordable one-time donations or multi-year pledges which support our exhibit space. Your organization or company can adopt permanent exhibits like one of our Street of Shops or Erie Canal facades. When new and/or temporary exhibits are announced, opportunities to support these experiences will also be available.
Thank you to the Amherst Women’s Interclub Council and Erie and Niagara Insurance Association for their support of our Adopt-a-House Program! However, Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village still has nine historic buildings up for adoption. If you are part of a local organization or represent a business or corporation who has the philanthropic or marketing resources to sustain an annual donation for 5 years, and are interested in pledging your support of Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village’s historic buildings, please contact our Director of Development and Marketing, Spencer Morgan, at (716) 689-1440 ext. 7712, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can design a package that is both affordable and mutually beneficial, and will increase your group or company’s philanthropic needs and meet your marketing goals through our Adopt-a-House Program or our Adopt-an-Exhibit Program.