Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
This time last year, we were writing a very different appeal. We asked you to imagine Bristol without Linden Place and to contribute to her physical restoration, as we celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the protection of this remarkable property from developers. Little did we imagine the challenges that lay ahead in the months to come.
We imagined 2020 would be another year of great strides in preservation, adding to the incredible work that’s been done over the past decade. We did not imagine a year in which we would need an emergency appeal just to keep our doors open.
But that’s exactly what happened.
When, a few months into this year, we realized the extent of the impact this pandemic was having on the financial security of Linden Place, we reached out and asked for help from the community. We were humbled and grateful by your outpouring of support. At a time when the need is so great, for so many, your generosity made all the difference.
It was a year when virtually every event, from weddings to our signature Derby Day, July 4th, and Burger Bash fundraisers, which provide the lion’s share of our operating funds, were all cancelled. Yet, thanks to you, we were still able to keep our doors “open” virtually for events, lectures, and just last weekend, an intimate concert with the legendary Rose Weaver in our gardens, which was simultaneously live streamed for a coast to coast audience.
Also in this year of pandemic we’ve been able to grow and expand our efforts to provide space for yoga classes, community groups, and Bristol Art Museum outdoor art classes, with many more outdoor events and new programs being planned in conjunction with the state’s Take It Outside initiative. And we have resumed tours of the mansion in a safe, COVID-compliant manner.
Even as 2020 has brought so much to a stop in Rhode Island, here in Bristol it has moved Linden Place forward in ways that we never could have anticipated just one short year ago. The national dialogue on social justice has been especially relevant here, at a property originally built primarily with profits from the transatlantic slave trade. We have formed a comprehensive re-examination committee which is right now undertaking the timely and important task of questioning how we have been framing Linden Place’s story.
As we look forward to a different holiday celebration and closing the books on this year of cancelled plans, uncertainty, and re-evaluated priorities, we know one thing for sure: we are much stronger as a direct result of your generosity.
Will you please consider a gift to Linden Place’s 2020 annual fund?
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, and all our best for a very happy 2021.
The Donor Bill of Rights
Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:
I. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
II. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
III. To have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
IV. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
V. To receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition.
VI. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
VII. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
VIII. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
IX. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
X. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.