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10 things you should know about the Extending Excellence Campaign

Extending Excellence campaign graphic

The McLean County Museum of History has launched a $3 million campaign to fund significant improvements including a new permanent exhibit and Museum-wide technology upgrades.

Members of the Extending Excellence campaign committee and Museum staff made the announcement Thursday night during the Museum’s annual meeting and History Makers Gala.

Museum Executive Director Greg Koos said the campaign is building momentum, having already raised $1.92 million through private donations. He said the main goal of the Extending Excellence campaign is to better connect new generations with local history and expand the Museum’s capacity to serve an ever-increasing demand for educational programs that reach more than 8,200 local students and senior citizens each year.

“With increasingly diverse audiences and fundamental changes in 21st century learning, we must strive together in the present to preserve the past in order to shape the future,” said Koos.

Campaign Co-Chair and Board President Craig Alexander told the audience he is grateful for the community’s strong endorsement of the campaign so far, but he added that success will require the support of the entire community to achieve the $3 million goal.

“While $3 million is a lofty goal, it becomes more attainable when you consider the generosity and confidence shown by our early donors,” said Alexander. “We are excited about sharing the details of the campaign and its potential for all of McLean County.”

The Extending Excellence campaign will position the Museum to better connect with new generations and foster meaningful connections to our community’s past. The Museum will meet these challenges by installing a new permanent exhibit, upgrading technology throughout the Museum, expanding the Education Department, and enhancing the surrounding green space. The campaign is expected to wrap up in 2016.

The public can learn more about the campaign’s four main initiatives and how to make a contribution by visiting the website The Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution founded in 1904.

  1. The goal is to raise $3 million to better engage and educate new generations and to foster meaningful connections to our community's past.
  2. There are four main initiatives: The campaign will fund a new permanent exhibit, technology upgrades throughout the Museum, a third Museum educator to keep up with demand, and landscape enhancements.

  3. There is an informative website that outlines each goal, introduces you to our amazing campaign committee, and explains how you can help. Videos also take you behind the scenes!

  4. The Museum operates according to the highest national standards, having been accredited since 1984 by the American Alliance of Museums.

  5. We engage people with learning opportunities at all ages, serving 8,200+ local students and senior citizens with free programs each year and working with 240+ volunteers.

  6. We have served the local community for 122 years. The Historical Society was founded in 1892 and the Museum was established in 1904.

  7. The Museum is mostly funded by private donors like you. Please renew your membership during the campaign; your annual support is very important.

  8. This three-year campaign is already underway, and we expect to reach our goal by 2016.

  9. More than 60 wonderful donors have already committed $1.92 million to this worthy effort. Thank you!

  10. YOU can give a gift to the campaign. As an Illinois not-for-profit, your gift is 100% tax deductible and the pledge period is conveniently spread over five years.

Your support of the Extending Excellence campaign will help us ensure that the heritage of McLean County continues to play a vital role in community life!

Beth Whisman

Beth Whisman

Executive Director

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