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President's Message

Thursday, March 19, 2015

President’s Message - Frank McMeen

It looks like we have survived a very rough February.  Spring will soon be here with flowers blooming and birds singing.  Bitter cold, ice storms are certainly not part of our typical winter in the South, but it is something for which we must be prepared. 

When we look at the beautiful and historical properties that we manage and preserve, if it were not for APTA,  its leadership, vision and many, many volunteers, these pieces of Tennessee history would not be here. They would not have survived the many rough Februarys of the last century.
How do we survive the next century?  (1) Volunteers!  The future of each site is developing a strong group of dedicated volunteers who believe in sharing our past with the next generation and others in our future.  The next generation must connect with the value of each of these properties.  That connection will create life into the next generation for these beautiful properties.
(2) Financial stability! The fundraising climate has changed.  Fundraising is not the same as it was in 1950 when APTA was founded. Just as marketing the properties has changed, so has how we generate dollars.

To assist in this effort to provide stability for APTA and the chapters, the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation will offer a challenge grant to establish or grow APTA endowments. The Foundation will provide a $15,000 challenge gift to APTA as a state organization and a $15,000 challenge grant to the chapters as a group.  For every $3 given to the APTA’s endowment, the Foundation will provide an additional dollar, up to $15,000, providing an immediate 30% return on your investment. The chapter’s challenge grant will have a total of $15,000 where gifts to chapter endowments will be matched with $1 for every $3 donated.  All endowment funds are permanent and provide an income stream for the organization and allow for growth so that the income stream grows as well.

How else can the Foundation help our chapters and the APTA as a state-wide organization?  In December we have the Christmas Challenge.  Again we match contributions made in memory or in honor of loved ones with a $1 for every $3 contributed to endowments held at the Foundation.  We set aside $100,000 in this pool and again, these endowment contributions are permanent and are used as the beginning of providing chapters and the APTA with long-term financial stability.

This challenge begins in July so begin to make your plans to grow or start your endowment. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

President's Message

- Frank McMeen

Recently I was meeting with a group of leaders from a nonprofit.  One of the top management of the organization vented in frustration, “No one is giving to nonprofits any more.  Times are too bad.”  I thought  . . . “WHAT????”  Granted, we have been through the toughest times since the Great Depression.  Granted that nonprofits have had a tough time and many donors reduced their charitable giving.  BUT . . . a worthy cause continues to be supported . . . even in bad times because it is worthy of support! 

Having spent more than 40 years in the nonprofit and fundraising arena, I have noticed that bad times cull out some nonprofits . . . but then again,  good times cull out nonprofits.  Nonprofits are like businesses.  They succeed due to their work and their leadership.  Successful businesses have leaders who are visionaries and committed to growth and success.  People give to people with vision and who are loyal to a good cause. I have yet to see a worthy nonprofit with good leadership suffer in good or bad times.  We choose our destiny!  Leadership determines the outcomes of businesses and nonprofits. 

The APTA possess the future of Tennessee’s most impressive and historical buildings and artifacts. Our mission is to strengthen and build on the future for the next generation.  Our goal is to provide a solid financial base of support for each facility.  That is where local boards shine!  They hold the responsibility of preserving and enriching their historic property.  The local chapters are the true champions of APTA!  Every day they go to work thinking about how to preserve and protect . . . promote and prosper.

Fundraising is part of what chapters must do for their property.  While we might believe that no one wants to contribute, donors are there.  Donors like to see our community treasures preserved.  We have a wonderful responsibility.  We hold the past and bring it into the future.  Donors want to protect our history.  Donors want to sponsor beneficial programs.  Donors do believe in our cause.  The simple rules of fundraising are 1) have a worthy product 2) believe in your product 3) ask for their support.  I have never seen these simple rules fail.  Universities, charities and organizations like the APTA succeed because of these simple rules.

The wonderful State of Tennessee is a better place to live, work and raise a family because of the work of the many volunteers and leaders of the APTA!

Thank you!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

President’s Message

Frank McMeen, APTA President

Every now and then something tends to remind me of the rich heritage of my city of Jackson.  Few are aware of Jackson being the home of M. D. Anderson.  We remember him for the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX but few people, event natives of Jackson know of his deep roots here in Jackson. His body lies reposed in our historic cemetery in a very plain headstone.  This unassuming man has changed the treatment of cancer and given life back to patients fighting this dreaded disease.

Today there stands a memorial that reminds us of his contributions to our world in his fair city.  While it was 79 years in the making, we have chosen to honor this great man.
As I look at the 15 or so historic homes across our beautiful state, I am reminded of the many lives of great men and women who have built our state into the wonderful place we live.  Cities were impacted by their lives.  Businesses flourished.  Families were raised. 
Large and small, these historic homes and buildings are part of our rich heritage.

Scattered around the state, we see post offices that brought the world to small, rural communities.  Historic cemeteries where those who made were founding fathers of our cities lie in rest.  Educational structures that provided generations with classical learning.
Our wonderful state is blessed with the APTA and our commitment to maintain our rich stories of greatness.  APTA is historic itself.  It is the oldest historical organization and began with the noblest designs.

Thank you for keeping the next generation informed and educated about our wonderful history.  APTA is blessed with wonderful pieces of history; Tennessee is blessed with a wonderful organization as APTA.