Development News (Summer 2006)

by Geoff Giglierano

Augustus B. Sage Society

The Sage Society level of membership with the ANS continues to grow. One of the major benefits of participation at this level is the opportunity to take part in activities such as the upcoming Sage Society London Excursion. Scheduled for the week of October 22, 2006, the trip will include behind-the-scenes tours of the National Gallery and the numismatic collection at the British Museum, visits with leading collectors and dealers in the United Kingdom, alternative tours for spouses and significant others, and socializing with fellow Sage members at special receptions and dinners. The trip is open only to individuals in the Sage Society: for more information on becoming a member of the ANS at this level, or for details about the London excursion, please call (212) 571-4470, extension 1301.

Major Gifts for Multiple Purposes

Over the course of the last several months, various programs at the Society have benefited from the generous support of numerous foundations and individuals. Some notable examples of these gifts include a $25,000 contribution from the Siboni Family Foundation for the ANS publications program, $2,500 from Charles Anderson for the Bass Library Fund, and $5,000 from Daniel Friedenberg for the Mark M. Salton Lecture Series Fund. Major donations have also been received to help cover the organization’s general operating expenses: among these were $15,000 from Sydney Martin, $10,000 from Dr. Lawrence Adams, $10,000 from George Wyper, and $15,000 from Charles Anderson. The Society sincerely appreciates the support of all the donors and contributors who make it possible for the ANS to carry out its mission.

Supporting the Professional Staff

One of the primary development strategies that the ANS actively pursues is building endowments that will help the organization maintain and expand the professional staff that cares for the collections, carries out research, contributes to and manages the publications program, and works with outside scholars and academics. These endowments generate investment income that helps underwrite the salaries of these key individuals, which is important, as many foundations and government granting agencies will not provide funds that directly pay for permanent staff salaries. The creation of position endowments, or “Chairs,” is a viable alternative, especially as many of those same funding sources that will not underwrite personnel expenditures are more than happy to contribute, usually in the form of matching funds, to endowments, including those supporting staff development and retention.

Our ongoing effort to build these endowments has met with substantial success for positions such as Librarian and Curator of Greek Coins. In recent months, we also have taken steps to begin building an endowment for the benefit of the Archivist position. This spring, the Society’s staff took on the task of applying for a grant from the NEH, requesting a $300,000 challenge grant that would be used to help begin the work of creating this endowment. Completing an NEH application can be a daunting prospect, but the staff rose to the occasion and submitted a very strong proposal. Many of the Society’s administrative and curatorial staff members worked very hard on the project, and their efforts are greatly appreciated. It is currently in the hands of the NEH reviewers, and we should hear the results in November.

There are of course, no guarantees as to what the outcome will be. Submitting any grant application, however strong, is an uncertain process. Consequently, corporate and individual contributions to the various position endowments are also crucial. It is because of the generosity and commitment of our trustees and members that we have made real progress in these areas, and this remains true even as we apply for foundation and government grants.

Perhaps there is a particular aspect of the Society’s collections—such as Greek, Roman, or Islamic coins—that is of special interest to you. Or maybe there is an element of the Society’s operations—such as the library, the archives, or the publications—that you believe is especially important for the Society and the future of numismatic scholarship. If so, you can make a big difference through a contribution to a position endowment related to that subject or function. If you would like to speak to us about the possibilities for having a positive impact on professional staffing issues at the ANS, please e-mail or call the development office at (212) 571-4470, extension 1304.