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Membership in BGES

Welcome to the BGES. Your decision to become a member of this working level organization will provide you with constant and many opportunities to see tangible projects completed before your eyes. We focus on a program of activities that includes Battlefield Education (tours, study groups), Acquisition (acquiring and displaying battlefield and museum artifacts and signage to help tell the story of the site), Restoration (of faded and nonfunctional battlefield educational artifacts and signage), and Scholarship (publications, brochures, and active dialogue among an interested society), Support (assisting other nonprofit historical societies and educational organizations) using our BEARSS Fund.

We welcome support at any level but ask you to keep the following in mind as you determine your initial tax-deductible membership donation. Membership fuels the cost of operations and maintenance of the organization. We have a very small but dedicated staff whose employment is dependent upon the size and support of the organization. We ask for a minimum donation of $75 a year. More than 70 percent of the membership donates more than $100 per year. About 3 percent of the organization finds it necessary to donate less—usually that amount is $25 or $50 per year. Our current average donation in 2017 was $266—the majority were in the $100-$179 range—most initial donations are between $75 and $100. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR WHATEVER YOU DECIDE TO CONTRIBUTE.

BGES’ Quarter Guard Program

Some people wish to be sustaining members donating on a regular basis. It might be monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. About 3 percent of our membership participates in that program, with an annual average gift ranging between $220 and $1800. Follow the Quarter Guard link below if you would be interested in more information or in setting up such an arrangement.

Letter from BGES Executive Director Len Riedel

I remember my many evenings at the Virginia Military Institute when the reports of the guard team ritually rang out on the hour. It was a report of security—security of the post and the cantonment area. Indeed, it was the essence of the military encampment. So it was not a mistake or a cute coincidence when I established the Quarter Guard program as a means of sustaining the BGES. I would now like to introduce it to you.

BGES’ Quarter Guard membership is a systematic support program for members to facilitate their charitable giving on a recurring interval.

The Guard team guaranteed the security of the post. It was composed of people of all ranks, each with a specified responsibility and tour of duty. The Guard was perpetual and the guard teams changed every day. The heart of the team was the Quarter Guard, which marched an hour and had an hour off four times during an eight-hour shift. You could count on them and you knew they would be there day and night.

BGES’ Quarter Guard membership is a systematic support program for members to facilitate their charitable giving on a monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually interval. It is supposed to have two features, only one of which we are able to use right now—that is, drafting a credit card. The second is a direct debit from your checking account. We need a larger number of participants than we currently have to make it cost-effective.

BGES’ Quarter Guard can be useful to every level of membership. It is an easy way for a Volunteer or Veteran Volunteer to advance to the Leadership Corps at the Regimental level. Rather than write a single check each year for $75, they could give $20 per month by credit card, and their donation level will have increased 320 percent! A $100 Company level donor can advance to the Brigade level with a monthly Quarter Guard gift of $30—a 360 percent increase. We have people at the Corps level who donate $100 a month. Another Corps level donor gives $300 every two months. One BGES member started donating $25 every month in the summer of 1996—he is now donating $70 a month and hasn’t missed a month in the 22 intervening years.

I don’t know about you, but I like to support the organizations that mean something to me. I wanted to help the CVBT in the Slaughter Pen acquisition. I couldn’t afford a big payment all at once but, I could afford $100 a month for a year, and I did it! Currently, I have pledged another organization a total of $4,800 for an important project by donating $200 a month for 24 months.

You are our bedrock! The Leadership Corps has always been there, and we are very grateful for your continued generosity. As our mission evolves, we are looking for ways to increase our efficiency and improve our financial flow. Quarter Guard may be right for you. If you would like to increase your support or reduce your need to write a large check once a year, this could be an answer. You will be one of those people who are on guard around the clock, ensuring the security of the organization as we engage in more, meaningful projects.

A collateral benefit of this program is that you won’t get annual letters asking for your membership. It rolls ahead 12 months from the date of the most recent donation. To allow for inflation, we do ask you to consider allowing us to increase the donation by 5 percent annually, but that is entirely your option. You may end your participation in the program at any time and revert to an annual solicitation and gift. We will still solicit support for special projects; however, you can lock up your membership indefinitely by subscribing to this program.

I do ask you to consider this as you consider your charitable support of BGES and other organizations. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to enroll over the phone or download our Quarter Guard Program Information Sheet and Enrollment Form.

Thanks again for being a leader! You are the main reason that we are successful in all we undertake.

Len Riedel 
Executive Director

If you would like to make a special donation to BGES by mail, use our printable donation form.