Union Station, Washington, DC

photo by: David Keith

Investing in Preservation’s Future

Empowering Americans to save historic places.

  • Leading the Change Together

    Leading the Change Together: a National Impact Agenda for the Preservation Movement will articulate our shared values and describe actions we can take—individually and collectively—to deepen the impacts of the work of historic preservation.

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As the only national nonprofit preservation organization, the National Trust for Historic Preservation stands with anyone who loves a place enough to try to save it. We are passionate about building a vigorous and growing community of champions for America’s historic places and equipping them with the funding, ideas, networks, and inspiration they need to advocate successfully for our past.

Your generosity champions America’s most powerful tools for saving places, such as historic tax credits. It pioneers original research into the economic, environmental, and community benefits of saving historic places. And it brings advocates, leaders, preservation experts, and community champions together to grapple with preservation’s toughest challenges—recognizing the truth in the proverb that if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

In partnership with you and preservationists across the country, we are creating a legacy of beauty, culture, and history that will endure for generations to come.

A National Impact Agenda for the Preservation Movement

As our nation grapples with significant challenges—from racial injustice to climate change and the ongoing pandemic—the work of preservation has never been more important. At the same time, the National Trust hears calls for change in historic preservation practice and policy.

For these reasons, the National Trust is facilitating development of the National Impact Agenda through inclusive outreach in an expansive movement. This “compass” will help guide the direction of the preservation movement and is meant to encourage collaborative, coordinated action.

To ensure that the movement remains a resilient and relevant force for positive change, the National Impact Agenda will articulate our shared values and describe actions we can take—individually and collectively—to deepen the impacts of the work of historic preservation.

To develop this National Impact Agenda, the National Trust is reaching out to individuals and organizations across the country. The National Impact Agenda will be based on the values motivating our shared interest in historic preservation. The agenda will identify measurable goals that reflect those values and specific action steps that can be taken collectively or individually to achieve preservation goals. This work began at PastForward Online 2020, and we anticipate sharing the completed National Impact Agenda at PastForward Online 2021.

Learn more about the methodology and process behind the development of the National Impact Agenda in this story on Preservation Leadership Forum.

Shared Values

We have identified ten values, or beliefs about why preservation is important and relevant, that are motivating preservationists across the country. We want to hear from you about what values inspire your interest in preservation!

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  1. Addressing climate change through adaptation and reuse
  2. Advancing racial equity and social justice
  3. Creating healthy and livable communities
  4. Managing change in historic neighborhoods, corridors, downtowns
  5. Mitigating displacement and supporting equitable revitalization
  6. Preserving places of beauty, architectural richness
  7. Preserving personal connections to history and place
  8. Saving historic sites for future generations
  9. Supporting local economic development
  10. Telling the full American story

Identifying Goals and Actions

Whether you joined the field recently or have been a part of the movement for decades, we are each driven by diverse yet overlapping values from telling the full American story, strengthening healthy livable communities, and the beauty of historic architecture. Common goals and actions can accelerate our impact. What actions can organizations, institutions, governments, and people prioritize to achieve shared goals across the preservation movement over the next 3-5 years?

We have two ways for you to share your ideas with us.

Take the Survey

Thank you for sharing your ideas for the National Impact Agenda. Staff are currently analyzing the ideas submitted and will post in August a synopsis of what we have heard from the movement. At that time, we hope you will provide your feedback on the draft synopsis.

Join the Conversation

Coming Soon!

For deeper engagement on potential goals and actions, join us this summer where over the course of five weeks, Forum Connect—our online community platform—will host a series of discussions for each of the proposed values.

National Preservation Conference: PastForward 2021

PastForward, the National Preservation Conference, brings together a community of professionals and volunteers passionate about saving places, creating an unmatched opportunity to network, learn, and be inspired. PastForward 2021 is scheduled to take place November 2-5, 2021.

Tools & Resources: Preservation Leadership Forum

Through the National Trust's Preservation Leadership Forum, we’ve documented and developed a variety of tools to support your work protecting places. Learn the different ways you will benefit from connecting with this diverse network of preservation leaders.