Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Historic Preservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Jon Marcoux

Committee Member

Dr. Laurel Bartlett

Committee Member

Sam Spence


Communication in preservation is key to elevate the momentum of preserving the built environment, historic communities, and cultural landscapes. Effective communication should expand diversity and inclusion of key demographics that have not been sufficiently reached via current or historic outreach methods. Intentional and direct strategies to message specific communities could make an impact on the future success of preservation.

This thesis uncovers the trends of current communication practices at historic preservation nonprofits along the East Coast in an effort to evaluate factors that impact methods and evaluation. The purpose of this study is to understand the current methods deployed by nonprofits in their communication programs. The data analyzed includes methods of communication, focus areas, target audiences, resources, and measurement strategies. The goal is to understand if there are organizational implications based on budget, geography, membership, audience focus, and communication resources.

A detailed survey of East Coast historic nonprofits provided baseline data to evaluate trends across a variety of factors. Selected follow-up interviews provided context to the survey responses. The results show that organizations with an annual operating budget of over $1 million and the presence of a formal communications role have an impact on an organization’s communication strategy. This research serves as benchmark data for organizations that are looking to institute a communication plan.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.