Join the Making History Matter Campaign

AASLH invites you to join our five-year, $1-million comprehensive campaign—Making History Matter—to better help history organizations and the people who work in them to thrive as we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary. Supporting the campaign enables AASLH to help organizations everywhere to do more inclusive history, foster critical thinking, and be more central to important conversations in their communities.

It also empowers AASLH to help small history organizations prepare themselves to take full advantage of the U.S. Semiquincentennial, and to approach this significant anniversary emphasizing the inclusive and relevant work of history organizations.

Donate to the Annual Fund

Donations to our Annual Fund allow us to be responsive to the history community’s needs. Donations power new continuing education programs, efforts to improve diversity and inclusiveness, and help us to promote the relevance of history.

As we prepare for the future, we are filled with excitement. The creativity and passion of AASLH members is evident in every interaction, every email, and every phone call. You provide energy and inspiration the way nothing else can, and AASLH is proud to be your home for history.

Donate to the Annual Fund today. Help build a home for those who practice, appreciate, and love history.

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko Memorial Fund

Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko will be best remembered because she used her power to change lives, inspire movements, and challenge the status quo for the better. She worked in museums and with professional associations for more than twenty years. Since 2001, she led institutional change as the director of museums including the Abbe Museum and Illinois State Museum. She also was part of the vanguard of systemic change across the field: raising funds and creating tools for small museums and historic sites; working tirelessly on decolonization efforts; and sharing knowledge and experience through board service, talks in national settings, and transformative publications she authored or edited including, most recently, The Inclusive Museum Leader (2021).

In memory of Cinnamon and her generational impact on museums, historic sites, and public history, AASLH has created a special fund in her name to advance her legacy of transformational change across the museum community. Her fund is part of AASLH’s Making History Matter Campaign, a multi-year effort to help small history organizations and to promote the inclusive and relevant work of our field.

The fund will provide access to two AASLH professional development opportunities that Cinnamon championed. In summer 2023, the fund will support up to five $1,000 scholarships for the Annual Conference. Beginning spring 2024, the fund will support a $1,000 scholarship for the Annual Conference and a $3,650 scholarship for the History Leadership Institute seminar. Eligible applicants include: those working in small museums, as either full-time or part-time paid or volunteer employees and who are institutional or individual members of AASLH; and Indigenous persons and those employed as staff members with a tribal organization, program, or collection. For guidance on what constitutes a small museum, see

These scholarships will remain available for all subsequent years that sufficient funds exist. Our fundraising goal is $25,000, of which 50 percent is already in hand. The fund will be spent down at a rate of $5,000/year over an anticipated 5 years.

You may contribute to the memorial fund with an online donation using the button below.

Or by sending your contribution to
AASLH, 2021 21st Ave South Ste. 320, Nashville, TN 37212.

Please be sure to write: “Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko Memorial Fund” in the check memo and/or in an accompanying note.

“Since its inception, AASLH has been a revolutionary force in leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history. As a member of AASLH, the vastness of their resources has been an invaluable asset within my professional journey.”

Ashley Jordan, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Development, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center


Contributions to the AASLH Endowment assure the longevity of the organization and provide annual earned income to help sustain programs and operations. Donations are invested to achieve a balance of long-term security and the more immediate budgetary needs of AASLH in providing leadership and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history.

“Once upon a time, when AASLH was in deep financial trouble and I was on the executive team of council, we had to ask a hard question, ‘Should we fold the organization?’ It didn’t take long to reach an answer: ‘No, because if we did we would have to start a new one the next day.’ Why? Because we knew we needed a place that focused on history, a place that welcomed all history professions, all institutions large and small, a place of lifelong learning from seasoned experts and newcomers alike.”

Sandra Clark
Director, Michigan History Center
Department of Natural Resources

History Leadership Institute Scholarships

The History Leadership Institute offers two forms of scholarship assistance to help defray the cost of attendance for associates admitted to the class. The Denny O’Toole Scholarship funds need-based scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance, often for associates from small institutions. The Diversity Scholarship helps the program maintain a wide range of backgrounds and experiences among each class. See our professional development page for more details on the History Leadership Institute.

“It is important to me to support AASLH’s annual fund, the scholarships for the History Leadership Institute, and conferences, with the intent to help the field by helping someone develop the skills needed to reach their goals and dreams.”

Kyle McKoy
President & Executive Director, Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle
Bucks County Historical Society

Small Museums Scholarship Fund

The Small Museums Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for individuals employed by small museums to attend the AASLH Annual Meeting.

“As a museum and public history worker, AASLH has been an important source for professional development, networking, and organizational support. AASLH is one organization that I gladly support with my checkbook and my time.”

Sarah Zenaida Gould, PhD
Executive Director, Mexican American Civil Rights Institute
Co-Chair, Latinos in Heritage Conservation

Legacy Society

Our Legacy Society recognizes individuals and couples who plan to make future gifts through their estates to support AASLH’s work. For more than eighty years AASLH has helped the history community to thrive, and, with your help, this will be our mission long into the future. A planned gift today ensures the legacy of our members’ efforts to advance the history field.

Legacy gifts are a crucial part of AASLH’s new five-year campaign to help small and large history organizations prepare to take full advantage of the U.S. Semiquincentennial, and to use the buildup to this significant anniversary to emphasize inclusive and relevant work by history organizations. AASLH’s campaign will enable it to help organizations across the country do more inclusive history, foster critical thinking, and be more central to important conversations in their communities. Legacy Society pledges will guarantee this vital work continues long after the 250th in 2026.

We are grateful to the donors who have already joined the Legacy Society and invite you to consider making a commitment today.

Ask your attorney or trusted financial adviser to help you find the best type planned gift for your situation, which may include:

  • naming AASLH as beneficiary of your will or trust;
  • designating AASLH as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy;
  • gifting a pension, IRA or other retirement plan proceeds;
  • remembering others through memorial gifts; and
  • providing a gift of securities or real estate.

By including AASLH as a beneficiary in your will or living trust, you can leave a meaningful legacy of helping the history field to thrive. Estate planning contributions are deposited into AASLH’s Endowment Fund unless otherwise stated by the donor. If you are interested in speaking with someone at AASLH about estate planning for AASLH, please contact John Dichtl, President & CEO or call 615-320-3203. While estate planning is a personal affair, we would like the opportunity to thank you personally and acknowledge you as part of the AASLH Legacy Society. Please let us know of your intention to include AASLH in your will or trust, or ask your attorney to contact us at the number above, or at, or at AASLH, 2021 21st Ave S, Suite 320, Nashville TN 37212.

Types of Bequests:

  • A specific bequest names a specific dollar amount to be donated or inherited. This is the most popular form of bequest. Gifts of specific properties may be uniquely appropriate bequests both for tax and other reasons. During the administration of an estate, specific bequests are satisfied first.
  • A percentage bequest sets a specific percentage, e.g., 20%, of the value of an estate. A percentage bequest is beneficial, since it allows AASLH to participate in any estate growth during your lifetime, and it protects other beneficiaries or heirs should the estate decrease in value.
  • A residual bequest names as a donation any assets remaining after all other specific bequests, taxes, and estate expenses have been satisfied.
  • A contingency bequest identifies a recipient in the event that a prior recipient cannot receive or refuses a bequest.

Current Legacy Society Members