The Foundation for Mississippi History is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that conducts fundraising efforts to help support and promote the projects and programs of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
The Foundation was established in 2005 to help meet the needs of a broad range of projects—from opening the Eudora Welty House in 2006, to the opening of the restored Old Capitol Museum in 2009, to the opening of the Two Mississippi Museums in 2017. The Foundation raised $20 million in private funds for the fabrication and installation of the museums’ exhibits and since then has refocused its fundraising efforts on museum programming.
The Foundation created the William and Elise Winter Education Endowment to fund field trips for Mississippi’s school children to visit the Two Mississippi Museums. The goal of the endowment is to bring all students to the Museum of Mississippi History and Mississippi Civil Rights Museum during their K-12 education, regardless of their school’s ability to pay. In 2022, the Foundation completed its initial fundraising goal of $5 million. This endowment has already brought tens of thousands of children to the museums and will underwrite field trips for generations to come.
Though the Foundation has met its initial fundraising goal of $5 million for the education endowment, spending ability is based on current market conditions. Supplemental funding is crucial to the continued success of the field trip program at the Two Mississippi Museums. The Foundation continues to seek school visit support—including gifts to the endowment—while also securing sponsorships for special exhibits and programs like History Is Lunch, History Happy Hours, and Mississippi Makers Fest.
The Foundation has also received recent grants or donations for new initiatives like expanding green space, educational programming, and free admission for faith-affiliated groups.