Monday, March 12, 2012

Data Drives National Trust President Stephanie Meeks

National Trust for Historic Preservation President, Stephanie Meeks met with HBI’s Board of Directors last week, followed by a festive reception at the Omni Parker House that included Mayor Thomas Menino and 75 friends of preservation.

Ms. Meeks joined HBI’s quarterly board meeting to talk about changes at the National Trust that reinforce a data driven message:  for the national preservation movement to grow and succeed, it must engage more directly on the ground and be considerably more inclusive. 

New National Trust research estimates that there are about 15 million people in the US that consider themselves preservationists and are working locally on matters that support preservation.  Yet, the current National Trust has only 250,000 paid members.

Not surprisingly, these 15 million are far more diverse culturally, economically and in their level of education.   One-third (33.3%) of the 15 million preservationists are non white, while only 5% of the Trust’s membership is non white.

The average age of those 15 million preservationists is under 35.   The average age of the current National Trust Member is 51.  The 15 million are far more active users of social media, and they use these tools aggressively to communicate and engage in public policies and causes they care about.

Ms. Meeks message challenges Boston’s preservation community to engage friends of preservation in the broadest sense so that our ranks grow and our collective issues stay relevant, well funded and visible in the years ahead.   

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