Capital Campaign


Historic Odessa Foundation operates on a very lean financial plan. Private foundations have funded the lion’s share of building maintenance, facilities improvements, and program development. Membership income, weddings and events, and individual gifts support the general operations of the Foundation, while Corporate Sponsors underwrite special events and exhibitions. Our committed volunteers enable us to save approximately $85,000 annually in salary expense. We operate on a modest budget, with only two full time staff.

The overall focus of the campaign is primarily to fulfill the vision of founder, H. Rodney Sharp who had a fascination with history and wanted to preserve beautiful places for the state of Delaware and future generations of families and children who share his passion.

  • The campaign will ensure our financial security by strengthening our infrastructure and will give us the ability to grow in the future.
  • Resources generated from the endowment will be used for the current six historic buildings, guaranteeing that they are well-maintained and preserved. Additionally, we will have the ability to act on new opportunities as they arise. 
  • It will provide us with the possibility of endowing the care of the collection and/or a curatorial/conservation position.
  • With adequate funding, we can increase operating income enabling program outreach to new and broader audiences.
  • Overall, an endowment would ensure that programs would never be lost in times of economic distress, assuring the preservation of the properties and the collection.

Make an Endowment One Time Cash Gift

Campaign Contribution Options

  • Outright Gift – Cash: You may give by way of your Visa or Master Card.  Your gift date will be the day the transaction is processed by your bank.  Click here to donate.
    • Outright Gift - IRA Distribution – The IRS provides that persons aged at least 70.5 may gift up to $100,000 per year of their minimum required distribution.  Transfers must be made directly from your plan administrator to the Historic Odessa Foundation. 
  • *Outright Gift – Securities: If you own appreciated securities (publicly traded stocks or mutual funds) you can avoid the capital gains tax on the eventual sale of those securities by gifting them to the Foundation.  You will enjoy full gift credit equal to the fair market value on the date of the stock transfer.  Contact the office for more information. 
  • Pledge: You may fulfill a pledge over a five year period, fully payable on or before 12/30/23.  To make a multi-year pledge, please print this form. 
  • *Planned (Estate) Gift – Planned gifts benefit the Foundation after your lifetime.  Here are some examples:
    • Bequest: you may specify a specific dollar amount or a percentage in your will or a Codicil to your will.  The amount passes untaxed to the Historic Odessa Foundation upon your demise.
    • Qualified Retirement Plan (tax deferred retirement plans such as Traditional IRA, 401k, and 403b): your plan administrator will provide you with a specific form.  Designate the Historic Odessa Foundation as a percentage beneficiary of the plan you choose.  Gifts to the Foundation from Qualified Retirement Plans transfer completely untaxed whereas transfers made to individuals are subject, often substantially, to income and capital gains taxation.
    • Charitable Annuities, Charitable Trusts, Life Insurance: Please contact the Foundation office to discuss options and particulars.

* Please consult your professional advisor to understand how such a gift would impact your situation.

All gifts, pledges and planned gifts should be accompanied by a Campaign Pledge Form.  Please click here to print this form.