How to Support the Stearns History Museum

There are many ways to help our mission thrive.

The Stearns History Museum connects people through the power of history and culture. We strive to provide a unique and welcoming experience that is both fun and meaningful for all visitors. At the same time, our staff and volunteers work steadily to preserve history in a way that will make it accessible and relatable to visitors well into the future. You can make a positive impact in more ways than one, and they’re all extremely appreciated. Come be part of our vision today.

Financial Donations—Your Biggest Impact

Unrestricted monetary donations are our biggest need.  They help to cover operating costs, secure staff positions, and keep new programs coming your way.

Even a small amount can make a big impact at the Museum. For instance, just $36 can support the operating costs of 10 square feet of our 20,128 square foot building all year.

Financial Giving Options:

General Donation: Any amount, online or in person.

Recurring Donation: Feel free to break your annual gift into monthly payments. Contact us directly for assistance.

Designated Donation: Donate an amount toward a specific area of interest, such as:

-Sponsoring a school field trip to the Museum
-Events & Programs
-Outdoor landscaping
-Research resources
-Updating technology in our spaces

Ready to donate? Feel free to make your gift online at Stearns-Museum.org/Donate, or contact our Development Director at 320-253-8424 to set up a designated donation. Many thanks!

Endowment Opportunities

Planned Giving

Consider leaving a lasting legacy in the name of history by making a planned gift to the Stearns History Museum. Today’s tax laws make it possible to eliminate capital gains, increase your income stream and provide a tax deduction. More than that, you’ll be providing for our organization in a way that allows us to serve others for years to come.

Endowed Position Funding

A staff position, department, or program area may be endowed by giving a name to a fund. We would be happy to discuss opportunities and tailor them to your wishes.

Memorial and Honor Gifts

The Stearns History Museum graciously accepts donations in memory or honor of family and friends.  Recognize a special event, birthday, or anniversary for the history lover in your life or remember those who were lovers of history after their passing. Contact us directly to arrange the details or include the name of the person or family being honored or remembered with your donation.

Commemorative Recognition

Endowment funding supports our continuing work, and we will recognize our donors permanently in the building. Regardless of the amount, we are so grateful!

Recognization levels are as follows:
  • Gold Patrons $50,000+
  • Silver Patrons $25,000+
  • Bronze Patrons $10,000+

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers play a vital role at our nonprofit organization, and spending your time at the Stearns History Museum is a great way to connect with like-minded people while serving the community. Each volunteer brings their unique talents and passion, which help us continue to flourish.

Volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to:
  • Archival and genealogy research
  • Special events
  • Artifact preservation and care
  • Museum tours
  • Greeting and admissions
  • Gardening

Contribution Wish List

Another meaningful way to support the Stearns History Museum is to give in the form of an item or service that’s on our current needs list.

In the past, this has included kitchen appliances, letters from World War II, landscaping services, and antique toys for an exhibit.

This list is ever-changing, and contributions are always appreciated!

In Search Of:

  • 1940s era office, living room, and military items for use in the upcoming WWII exhibit (Fall 2020)

  • A large bluetooth speaker for use in the lobby or at events

  • A portable sound system for use on bus trips and other museum programming (microphone, speaker)

  • Transfer equipment (cassette to CD, negative to digital, VHS to disc or digital)

  • 3 oversize map cabinets

  • A portable projector

Current Needs List:

  • 2 high-quality digital cameras for use at museum events and programs and in the archives/collections

  • Archival storage boxes, tissue, and envelopes (average cost of $35/box; current need 150-200)

  • St. Cloud Times on microfilm ($175/year)

  • A subscription to Ancestry.com for the Research Center ($2,000/year)

  • Technology endowment (for regular updates of computers and software, additional monitors)

  • Gift cards for supplies and books for children’s programming (Crafts Direct, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Target, Walmart, Amazon)

Become a Member

Or Give a Gift Memebership 

Perhaps the easiest way to support the Stearns History Museum is to become a member or give the gift of membership to someone else. Paid memberships provide essential financial support, ensuring that exhibits, programs, and research thrive.  More than that, our members enjoy valuable benefits and resources that allow them to experience all we have to offer. Members can choose from a variety of individual and family membership levels that include:

• Free admission to exhibits and Breakfast Club events throughout the year

• Access to on-site and online research resources

• Subscription to Crossing, a publication of the Stearns History Museum

• A 10% museum gift shop discount

• Discounted rates for special programs and events

• Reciprocal Time Traveler membership—a variety of exclusive benefits and privileges, such as free admission, gift shop discounts, and much more to a network of historical museums, sites, and societies throughout the United States.

Heritage Circle Memberships

Memberships that Give Even More 

All donations above $250 come with access to the Stearns History Museum “Heritage Circle,” where you’ll receive all basic membership benefits along with these additional heritage membership benefits:

• Recognition in the Annual Report

• A behind-the-scenes tour

• Exclusive invitations to special Heritage Circle events


We sure hope so! Thanks in advance for helping the Stearns History Museum make a positive impact, right here in our region. People like you help us grow what we can offer while connecting more individuals and families to the power of history and culture. If you’d like to learn more or plan a visit, please feel free to contact us—we’ll be happy to talk with you further. Contact us today by calling 320-253-8424, emailing us at info@stearns-museum.org, or by visiting us in person. We look forward to connecting with you.