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Old North Church

Old North Church & Historic Site is one of 36 park partner organizations to receive a Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity-building grant from the National Park Foundation, the official nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. This grant will enable Old North to launch a comprehensive strategic planning process. The full list of grantees can be found on the National Park Foundation’s blog.

The enduring fame of the Old North Church began on the evening of April 18, 1775, when church sexton Robert Newman and vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord “by sea” across the Charles River, and Paul Revere embarked on his journey. This fateful event changed the course of American history. Today, as we approach the church’s 300th anniversary in 2023, and the 250th anniversary of the lantern signal in 2025, this investment will allow us to develop a strategic plan that will lead us into these milestones with a shared vision for success. Key questions to be addressed are:

Who are we and what is our relevance in 2020 and beyond? What is our mission and vision?

How do we position ourselves as a site of national significance with a visitor experience equal to Monticello, the Alamo, Independence hall, etc.?

What business model and organizational structure is necessary to meet our objectives?

How do we develop a fundraising program that secures the philanthropic support necessary to fund this plan and preserve our historic campus?

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity building grant program helps address nonprofit park partner needs that have come to the forefront amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Park partners identified resiliency and ability to weather times of uncertainty as priority needs. These grants will enable park partners across the country to expand their impact through new technology, website redesigns, creative visitor engagement, strategic plan development, fundraising campaigns, professional development, and more.

“The National Park Foundation is committed to increasing national park philanthropy across the board, and being responsive to current needs,” said LaTresse Snead, chief program officer for the National Park Foundation. “The capacity building grants help advance park partners’ goals to preserve natural and cultural resources, increase access to public lands for all people, and develop innovative programming.”

Strong Parks, Strong Communities is a collective effort to grow national park philanthropy, which consists of approximately 450 local philanthropic organizations across the country. Working together on this initiative, the National Park Foundation, National Park Service, and Friends Alliance enhance local philanthropic organizations, bringing park philanthropy to an elevated level.

The Strong Parks, Strong Communities capacity building grant program is made possible by the National Park Foundation Board of Directors.