Today is #GivingTuesday—a day dedicated to giving back. AASLH joins charities, nonprofits, social service organizations and others all over the world to ask for your generosity. So why, with limited resources and seemingly endless worthy causes, should you give to AASLH this Giving Tuesday? In short, to support the association that supports your work.
AASLH has embraced its role as a leader in the history field and we need your help to continue our essential work. More than just a source of tips and tools, AASLH serves as the leader for history practitioners, institutions, and organizations all over the United States. Your Association continues to position itself on the field’s cutting edge, providing leadership and engagement on the most pressing issues facing history organizations today. Through programs, advocacy, and strategic initiatives, AASLH works every day to serve you—the people and institutions doing and making history—but we need your help.
We are pushing the boundaries of the field, using the strength of our membership to build consensus and prepare the field for the future. We are investing in an enhancement of our self-guided Standards and Excellence Program for history organizations (also known as StEPs), a program used by nearly 1,000 small and mid-sized history organizations to align their institutional activities with the field’s best practices. As we embark on an enhancement of the program, we’re focusing on the most critical issues facing the field—sustainability, digital collections, and relevance, to name just a few—to make sure StEPs continues to serve as a cutting edge resource. We’ve also begun planning for the United States 250th anniversary in 2026. Though it’s still nine years away, our 250 Task Force is developing a broad vision for the 250th, proposing goals and themes to galvanize the field.
With help from you, we’ll be able to get an enhanced StEPs into the hands of practitioners more quickly and will also be able to devote more staff time and resources to planning for the future of the field.
We have also taken a leading role in making history more relevant to the public. One way we are doing this is through our continued leadership within the History Relevance initiative. Along with several institutional and individual partners and more than 200 institutional endorsers, AASLH provides history organizations with tools, resources, and a common vocabulary to emphasize that history is far more than just “nice”—it’s essential. As more history museums and organizations shed the veil of neutrality and engage more actively with issues facing their communities, AASLH is working with a variety of partners to emphasize how and why institutions can make their work more relevant.
We are also continuing to develop our Master Local Historians program, a creative new way to connect avocational historians with the professional expertise and resources to help pursue the stories they value. By meeting the public where they are, Master Local Historians will use enthusiasm for local stories to help develop a cadre of well-trained local historians in communities across the country.
Your support will allow us to expand our role in these and other strategic initiatives; as we grow and embark on new endeavors we need our resources and staff to grow with us.
In all of these ways and more, AASLH is growing and changing as we improve our ability to support the individuals and institutions who every day make history meaningful for the public. With your generosity, we can do even more to lead the field and support your work.