Letter from the Executive Director
I had a conversation with one of our donors last week, and the subject of the economy dominated the discussion. It's on everyone's mind, so that's not altogether surprising, but I was asked specifically how worried we were at Riddick's Folly that donations might be harder to get. The donor seemed somewhat surprised to hear me say, "Not very."
I wasn't trying to be cavalier. I sincerely don't expect the economy to affect Riddick's Folly's ability to attract donors and contributions. Every year since 1968, charitable contributions have increased nationwide. That's forty consecutive years of growth, and those that remember the economic crisis of the 1970s will understand how truly remarkable that is. Last year, 2007, saw more than $300 billion donated to charitable organizations, according to the Giving Institute. Even as the housing market began to implode, charitable giving reached a new height. Perhaps I place too much confidence in this trend, but I know that now is not the time to stop asking for money, nor the time to stop giving it.
Riddick's Folly needs its community; this is a fundamental truth. But the community also needs Riddick's Folly. We are Suffolk's only historic house museum, and its only living history museum. This year, in addition to all of our new programming, we also have plans to visit every 4th and 5th grade class in the City of Suffolk. Our community needs us, now more than ever.
And now, more than ever, Riddick's Folly will respond.