Ornamental Separator

Because of You

When you make a charitable contribution to
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, you directly support our mission to feed the human spirit by sharing America’s enduring story.

Your generosity:

  • allows us to curate and conserve millions of objects in our collections
  • preserve original and reconstructed buildings
  • produce world-class educational programming
  • and ensure our historical research is top notch
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Here are some first-hand accounts of the inspiration and impact your generosity has achieved throughout the Foundation:

Kurt Smith

Nation Builder, Thomas Jefferson

“Because of Colonial Williamsburg’s donors, I am able to deliver clarity and context to the present.  History is meaningless if we cannot see the meaning; so my responsibility is to, through research, place before our modern audience the clear lens of the past.  This means our donors provide, through the lens of history, pathways towards a more perfect union. Donors to research opportunities to inspiration to performance to a stronger citizen body.  Colonial Williamsburg, and the people who believe in it, literally has the chance to create a better future for all Americans.”

Josh Graml

Journeyman Brickmaker

“The brickyard program has benefited tremendously from the generosity of Colonial Williamsburg’s donors. Donor-based funding has allowed our staff to travel to other parts of both the U.S. and UK to study the architecture and masonry practices of our 18th-century brethren. Viewing masonry through different regional lenses helps us tell 18th-century Virginia’s story even better.” 

Nicole Brown

Nation Builder, Ann Wager

“Without the generous donors who support Colonial Williamsburg, my job would simply be impossible. From the new microfilm machine at the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, to my research trip in England where I had the opportunity to study The Bray Associates – my work would not be as rich, my resources not as complete without donor funding. Portraying someone as complex and contradictory as Ann Wager means that donor giving is vital. Without it, I wouldn’t have the necessary research and training to properly speak with our visitors.” 

Dan Hard

Journeyman Coach Driver 

“Donors have enabled Coach & Livestock to construct our stables, obtain the Carter and Royal Governor’s coaches, certify all of our staff through the Carriage Association of America and fund our Rare Breeds program, including the Cleveland Bay horses and new foals.”

Wayne Hill

Lead Tavern Performer

“When our donors smile as they listen to a requested tune for an anniversary, birthday celebration or any occasion, their smiles always remind me of the passion for this special place that they, my colleagues and I all share. That shared passion is present in my thoughts as I go about my work here. ” 

Jon Lak

Landscaping Manager

“My job responsibilities include planning and managing the Foundation’s landscape projects such as the streetscape on Duke of Gloucester.  By donating to specific projects, we are able to create sustainable solutions that are aesthetically pleasing and safe for our guests.”

Deidre Jones

Programming Lead, Actor Interpreters

“Donor funding has allowed me to grow in my skills, pursue opportunities to grow and allows us to diversify our staff and the stories that we tell. Without the generosity of your donations towards our resources like props and being able to hire qualified employees, our department and abilities would be lacking. Also, donations towards professional development and ensemble building activities like sending employees to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and being able to send employees to perform off site at places like Chatauqua, would be impossible. I am hopeful there will be more opportunities to share our history in the future, but it would be impossible without your support.” 

Jenny Lynn

Apprentice Tinsmith

“Donors help the tinsmiths rediscover a dying trade by allowing us to purchase specialty materials, like lead-free solder and hot-dipped, tin-plated iron or even common materials like firewood and charcoal, for our daily work at the Anderson Armoury Tin Shop.  We are able to travel to other collections to study original 18th-century tinware, as well as acquire original artifacts for our own collections here, which allows us to add to our library of patterns and research about 18th-century tin-plate objects.  Practicing this trade outside of a museum like Colonial Williamsburg becomes extremely costly, but, with the assistance of donors, we are able to operate as the only 18th-century Tin Shop in a museum in the United States.” 

Katharine Pittman

Nation Builder, Martha Washington

“Without donor support, my position would not exist.  Due to an intense interest in sharing Martha Washington’s full life story, rather than just the portion she is most known for, a new idea to begin interpreting her younger life emerged from thoughtful and passionate donors.  With their support, resources and encouragement Martha Washington’s story has now been told from her earliest years as Miss Dandridge, something that no other museum site had attempted before.  Because of their passion, my research has taken me further into interpreting her entire life, however those formative years of studying her youth in and around Williamsburg has made my interpretation of her deeper, more nuanced and three-dimensional.  ”

Matt Webster

Director of Historic Preservation

“The interest and support we receive from donors is invaluable in the effort to preserve and present our historic resources both now and into the future.  Our work to preserve Colonial Williamsburg would be impossible without the support of our donors.  Their support not only funds our work but motivates and inspires us to constantly push our research and work to better preserve and understand this amazing piece of American history. ”

Alex Morse

Theatrical Performer

“The support and contribution of donors has been crucial to the success of the Jug Broke Theatre Co. and The Waterman Family. From needed repairs to the Play House Stage to funding the production of The Waterman Family’s first studio album “Welcome Here Again,” our donors have made it possible for our stories and songs to go from dream to reality. Thank you”

Ron Carnegie

Nation Builder, Gen. George Washington

“The Nation Builders unit has always had a strong connection to our donors and many of our positions, mine included, were only made possible by their kind donations.  When I first started in the role of George Washington, I was given a great deal of time to study, work and prepare for the responsibility, which certainly would not have been possible without our generous friends. ” 

Ayinde Martin

Historic Trades Journeyman Carpenter

“I've been an employee of Colonial Williamsburg for more than 20 years, from working in the African American Interpretation department at the slave quarter at Carter's Grove as a child to helping build the Charlton Coffeehouse, Public Armory, and Market House as a journeyman carpenter in Historic Trades. Simply put, my career has been shaped by the generosity of our donors. I thank them for their interest and their gifts.”

Bryan Austin

Nation Builder, James Madison

“Colonial Williamsburg not only thrives on philanthropy, it’s built on it. When Goodwin approaches Rockefeller about his dream of the restoration, he took his first steps in serving as Williamsburg’s first development employee and as its first Nation Builder. In our work, we aim to continue that same legacy. There are many things, as a Nation Builder, that I can say that I have gained from the collaboration of our donors; costuming, grants, outreach trips. But the thing that truly comes to the forefront of my mind is relationships, not just built on the mutual desire for CW’s success but out of the deep bond that comes from shared love of the place. In my work as James Madison, I can honestly say that my family has quadrupled in my time in Williamsburg and, through the generosity of our donors, I can say with full confidence that my love for this place and its people only grows.”

Olivia Ballard

Costume Design Center Tailor

“My initial position at the Costume Design Center was completely donor funded. It made the creation of an extraordinary set of costumes possible and gave a young artist the chance to work at this great foundation. I am eternally grateful for our donors, their passion and generosity, and cannot wait to see what possibilities lie in store for us all as we continue to preserve the history of our nation and educate its people.”

Kaitlin Smith

11 years old, Homeschool Guest

“I attended public school for four years, and I am in my third year of homeschooling. I owe my extensive knowledge of the founding of our country and American history, to my visits and participation with the Nation Builders, interpreters, trade shops, and programs. Unfortunately, our textbooks and teachers don’t always go into much detail about our country’s early history, especially Native Americans. Your donation helps kids like me who will one day be the leaders and lawmakers of our country. CW has given me a love of history, and when I grow up, I hope to put the knowledge I have gained from my many trips to use to better our country.”

Because of You

Because of you we continue to feed the human spirit by sharing America’s enduring story.

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