Development News (Spring 2006)

by Geoff Giglierano

The ANS Gala and Fundraising Auctions: A Collective Effort

Through the collective efforts of a great many individuals, organizations, and firms, the Society achieved significant results with its annual fundraising dinner and benefit auctions, held on January 12, 2006, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City (please see separate article). The results could not have been achieved without the support of numerous people, who helped in many different ways. We are extremely grateful to our friends and supporters, who contributed to this success either by coming to the event—this year’s dinner attendance was more than double that of the previous year—or through sponsorships and donations: fifty-one individuals and firms served as sponsors or contributors to the gala and after-dinner auction.

Among these were the dinner co-sponsors Whitman Publishing and American Numismatic Rarities, and reception and auction sponsors Bowers and Merena Auctions and Stack’s Coins. The major sponsorships were obtained primarily through the efforts and encouragement of ANS board member Charles Anderson. Other friends of the ANS who volunteered their time to make the events possible included Gala Chairman Rick Witschonke, Gala Auction caller Harmer Johnson, Book Auction caller Herb Kreindler, and Book Auction volunteer Normand Pepin. We are looking forward to working with even more of our friends and supporters to make next year’s event a success. It is not too early to think about how you or your firm could partner with the ANS in making the Gala happen. Please call the ANS development office at 212 571-4470, ext. 1304 if you would like to discuss the possibilities with us.

Roger Siboni greets Sage Society members

The Augustus B. Sage Society

Our newest level of ANS membership—the Augustus B. Sage Society—is well underway. As of February 2006, the ABSS has over seventy members. The Development committee’s goal is to have one hundred Sage members in 2006. The Sage Society held its first official meeting before the Gala on January 12. About fifty ABSS members and guests attended the reception, which included remarks by Roger Siboni and an entertaining talk by author David Tripp. A major focus of ABSS activities is for collectors and experts to socialize in a collegial atmosphere—currently we are planning a trip in the fall to London for ABSS members, with opportunities to view both public and private numismatic collections. Other regional get-togethers are being considered, to coincide with certain important numismatic events around the country.

The first guest book signed by Sage Society members

David Tripp gives a presentation on his book Illegal Tender

ANS Membership

Member recruitment became the primary focus of ANS activities at our table at the New York International Numismatic Convention. Volunteers Mike Bates, Mike Parris, Ed Snible, and Bob Leonard, as well as a number of ANS staff members worked at the Society’s table during the NYINC. As a result of their efforts, twenty-nine new members were recruited from among those who were attending the show. We plan to have a similar ANS presence at other major coin shows, such as the World’s Fair of Money in Denver this August. We look forward to connecting with both old and new friends of the ANS at these events.

Caring for Our “Institutional Memory”

For most nonprofit organizations, memberships and other sources of earned income can provide only a limited portion of the funds they need to cover operational costs. The ANS has been working for many years to deal with this fact by building endowments to support the professional staff essential to the Society’s mission. Substantial progress has been made in several areas, such as endowing the positions of Librarian and Curator of American Coins. Now, in recent months, we also have begun developing grant proposals for submission to major foundations and federal agencies to underwrite our archival operations.

The ANS archives are remarkably complete, and include unique materials, such as the records of one of the first American women to work in the field of archaeology and serve as a professional museum curator in the early twentieth century. Unfortunately, the availability of these materials to scholars was limited by their lack of organization, deteriorating condition, and incomplete finding aids. Archivist Joe Ciccone has made significant progress with the archives, but more must be done. The purpose of the grants we are working on is to fund expansion of the Society’s archival staff, to continue the processing and conservation of the records using archival quality storage materials, and to create a digital record of the collections with an online finding aid. This improved accessibility would enhance the usefulness of the ANS archives—approximately 600 linear feet of meeting records, research notebooks, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, and photographic collections—for curators, researchers, and scholars both in the United States and abroad. If you are interested in helping the ANS look after its “institutional memory,” please contact the development office.