In 2010, the Burlington County Historical Society embarked on a mission to create new child-centered spaces dedicated to South Jersey history. Now, over ten years later, the historical society has received a Gannett Foundation grant that will allow it to begin realizing its Children’s History Center.
The Gannett Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Gannett Media Corp., awarded the Burlington County Historical Society a $9,000 A Community Thrives grant. A Community Thrives is a grantmaking and crowdfunding program that supports community-building projects focused on hunger, the environment, youth development, and other issues.
To be eligible for the grant, the historical society needed to crowdfund $3,000. Museum executive director Lisa Fox-Pfeiffer told the Courier Post that they were able to raise the funds in one month thanks to incredible community support. “We are grateful and encouraged about the community support we received and for the grant itself. Applying for the Thrive Grant was something new for the society. We had never done a crowd sourcing campaign before … and to our surprise we did it in one month in October thanks to very generous donors,” said Fox-Pfeiffer.
The historical society plans to open the first section of the Children’s History Center in late 2021. The first section to open will include a theater, an art studio, and exhibits of historical quilts. The rest of the children’s exhibits will open in 2022.
The Burlington County Historical Society projects that the children’s center will cost $500,000 total. So far, the historical society has raised $40,000 towards the project.