Seeking Financial Assistance for Local Preservation Projects in New York State
Funding options for preservation projects vary depending on the property owner and type of project. Historic tax credits are among the most widely accessible resources for properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) must be contacted prior to beginning a repair/rehabilitation project in order to benefit from these programs. Other sources of financial assistance for local preservation projects include public grants, community-wide fundraising campaigns, and private foundations. For all of these, a project proposal should be prepared for presentation to potential donors.
The New York State Environmental Protection Fund offers historic preservation grants for buildings listed on the National Register, or within a National Register Historic District, and owned by a nonprofit or municipality. This program is administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and more information can be found on their website.
The New York Landmarks Conservancy runs a Sacred Sites Program offering grants to historic religious properties listed on the National Register and in active use as a place of worship. More information is available on their website.
Community-wide fundraising campaigns are an effective approach for preservation projects, and are used by most preservation organizations as a means of funding programs and capital projects. The advantage to this approach is that it involves the entire community in an effort to protect and preserve a significant local landmark. Community fundraising campaigns depend on the project’s vision and the current and future use of the property.
Being organized and prepared is essential when seeking funding for preservation projects. A project proposal should include:
- An explanation of the project’s vision
- A brief history of the property
- A concise description of its current or intended use
- An outline of the repair/restoration work, including cost estimates, and a project schedule
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