Preservation & Restoration

What is the difference between
the Preservation & Restoration Fund
and the International Grants Fund?

Preservation & Restoration is funded by $2.50 per member from our Annual International Quester Dues and placed into the Preservation and Restoration Fund. International Policy 13 states: "The President, during the first year of her/his term, shall have the privilege of recommending to the Executive Board and for the approval of the council, her/his choice of a restoration project, using the dues allocation to the P&R Fund for that year. Dues allocated to the P&R Fund during the second year of the President's term shall be used for the International Grants Fund." With approximately 15,000 members, that comes to $37,500 per year. Generous donations are also received.

The International Grants Program was founded in 1986. An outgrowth of the successful matching grants that were presented from 1974 through 1982, these funds are usually distributed at the close of the President's second year and go to chapter projects. This program is supported solely by donations from Questers and the P&R Fund from the second year of the President's term. It is from this Grants program that chapters may apply for amounts from $500 to $6,000.

Members may donate to the Preservation & Restoration Fund and/or to the Grants Fund.


(from Quester Quarterly Volume XLII, Number 1, Fall 1991, p 1.)

When did Quester Preservation and Restoration Begin? In 1956, when The Questers numbered only 25 chapters, there was a desire for a national preservation project. Using 10 cents per member, $270 was granted for flood restoration in Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts.

Another early gift was $1,500 to the National Trust, the first of many to that organization. With that, the balance in the P&R fund was $62.28. By 196l, the allotment of 25 cents per member from the $1.50 dues allowed The Questers to contribute to the White House for the purchase of glass for the Red Room and to Independence Hall for restoration of the first floor.

From 1961 to 1963, chapters contributed specific pieces of furniture for the Martha Washington Lobby of the Freedom Foundation in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. There were quality reproductions arranged to resemble a common room of an inn from the Revolutionary War period.

In 1963, Marquette #139 was granted $1,200 from the National P&R to restore the 1958 light house at Michigan City, Indiana. It was one of the first instances of Questers on the local level responding to a community project. Shadows-on-the-Teche, Louisiana, also received funds. If a member knows the current status of this project, they should contact Headquarters.

From 1964 through 1972, The Questers' P&R funds were directed toward the selection, purchase and restoration of a permanent headquarters building. The incorporating papers required that The Questers maintain a Pennsylvania location. After the death of founder Bess Bardens in 1964, the Bardens Memorial Library required a home. The small 1802 house on Quince Street was purchased for $24,500, a tidy sum in 1967. With careful management and Quester generosity, the mortgage was repaid within two years.

By the 1970's, Questers went back to giving money away. In 1971, the Quaker school restoration on the Herbert Hoover complex in West Branch, Iowa, received $1,000. That same year, another $1,000 was given for furnishings in the 1855 Tallman House in Janesville, Wisconsin.

In 1972, the National Council adopted the policy of permitting each President, while in office, to recommend to the National Board, with approval of the National Council, a national preservation and restoration project to be financed by a portion of the dues in the national P&R funds. Thus, Janet Holley established the highly successful graduate scholarship program at Columbia University. Following the initial P&R gift of $2,500 in 1974, this became a permanent, self-supporting project.

How did the Grants Program Begin? During 1974-1976, the Bicentennial era, The Questers saw a flurry of applications for the first matching grants for P&R. At that time no grant could exceed $500 and had to be matched by the chapter. Gifts as small as $25.00 were presented. Nearly 9,000 were given to forty-six chapters, with an additional $3,500 given to the entrance hall of the Yerkes House, Mill Race Village, Northville, Michigan. A special grant of $8,000 went to the documents room of the Second National Bank in Philadelphia. All of this was accomplished under the directive of then president, Margaret Walker.

During the next two years, 1976-1978, the balance, $13,228, was given to the thirty-eight chapters that did not receive the original Bicentennial awards.

In 1978, an additional $10,000 donation was made to the National Trust toward their new "old" headquarters at the Decatur House in Washington, D. C. As interest and money increased, the need for more organization became apparent. The policy was adopted that permitted the National President to recommend to the National Council a plan for use of the P&R funds during each year of her two year term.

In 1980, $10,000 was given to the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation in Mount Carroll, Illinois. It was established in 1979 as a national center for the training of experts in the expanding field of preservation. Mary Lee, the current director, states that they continue to train about one hundred students a year, have recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and have a contract with the National Park Service.

In 1980 and 1982, the country was divided into six geographic areas and the matching grants awarded according to Quester population in each section. In 1980, applicants divided nearly $10,000. In 1982, twenty-six chapters applied and eleven received a total of $5,000.

By the 1980's it became apparent that The Questers' 180-year-old Philadelphia headquarters was in dire need of major repair. All the monies from the 1984 P&R budget were allotted to preserve the building. The additional bank load of $22,500 was retired by August, 1985.

In 1986, the National Grants program was established. $20,000 from P&R was allotted to the Grants Fund. A total of $24,800 went to a dozen local projects. In 1986-88, the P&R funds were evenly divided between the Headquarters Reserve Fund and the Grants Fund. There were additional donations of $1,800 to the Grants Fund. The total funded eight grants across the nation.
. . .


The National Questers Council in 1973, adopted a policy allowing the President the privilege of recommending a Preservation and Restoration project. This policy was revised by the Board in 2001 to read:

The President, during the first year of her/his term, shall have the privilege of recommending to the Executive Board and for the approval of the Council, her/his choice of a restoration project, using the dues allocation to the Preservation and Restoration Fund for that year. Dues allocated to the Preservation and Restoration Fund during the second year of the President's term shall be used for the International Grants Fund.

For Quester Members who wish to review this policy you may refer to the 1997 Spring Issue of THE QUESTER QUARTERLY, Vol. XLVII No. 3, p. 14 "International Preservation and Restoration Fund". The revised policy may be reviewed in the 2001 Summer Issue of THE QUESTER QUARTERLY, Vol. LI, No. 4, p 10, which is in the Members Section of this site.

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