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International African American Museum Inching Closer to $25 Million Fundraising Goal

The International African American Museum is on its way to reaching its fundraising goal of $25 million.


According to the Charleston City Paper, after a $500,000 pledge from the New York-based Gilder Foundation, the International African American Museum is now just $9 million short of its $25 million fundraising goal.


The Gilder Foundation was created in the mid 1960s by Richard Gilder and his wife Lois Chiles, and focuses on historical preservation and education.


Approximately 95.4% of Americans participate in some form of charitable giving, but rarely do those donations exceed the half-a-million dollar mark.


Richard Gilder, however, has been helping preserve American history for years through both donations and education. He started the Gilder Lehman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University, his alma mater, as well as served as a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History.

“The Gilder name has become synonymous with world-class institutions,” said Joe Riley, a museum board member. “It is an honor to have this support.”


The Post and Courier adds that construction of the museum is slated to begin in 2018, with the grand opening planned for early 2020. It will be constructed next to the Maritime Center at Gadsden’s Wharf, where many enslaved Africans entered America.


“Mr. Gilder’s charitable investment in our museum and memorial moves us forward decisively as we work to complete our fundraising,” said Michael Boulware, CEO of the museum. “He played a critical role in bringing the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to life, an institution that the IAAM greatly respects given its groundbreaking work in the history of slavery and abolition. We look forward to collaborating with Mr. Gilder and his organization.”


A third of the museum’s $75 million cost will come from state funding, a third from Charleston county, and the rest from private donations.

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