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28 June 2017

What the California Genealogical Society (CGS) Can Do for You

by Chris Pattillo (Chair), Sandy Fryer & Jane Lindsey

Want to hear how CGS has helped some of your fellow members?
Lavinia “Vinnie” Schwarz, long-time research volunteer & member told us, “When I first joined CGS, I just wanted a lovely local library where I could quietly concentrate on who my ancestors are and where they came from. I used the books and computers to research the pushes and pulls that made my families migrate.  But I found so much more. I took advantage of many CGS classes – like how to do English, African-American, Jewish, German, or Japanese genealogy, or how to organize material, use old newspapers, date photographs, navigate digital archives, plat maps, and use a genealogy database.

CGS is an all-volunteer organization whose members have histories from all over the world.  They are willing to share their knowledge and expertise in running the society and doing research. We continue to learn together how to study the past, and how to write up our work in the present so the stories will be known in the future.  It's an extraordinary place.”

One member told us a story about going on the CGS research trip to the Family History Library and how it jump-started her genealogical research. Other members have said that they really appreciate the help they received breaking down a brick wall.  Still other members say they appreciate the classes that CGS has offered that enabled them to hone their genealogical research skills.  

Member Lisa Gorrell said, "The RootsMagic Special Interest Group (SIG) helped me become more efficient in using the software so that I can keep better track of my research." A more recent response is that members appreciate the help they received interpreting their DNA results. What we’re hearing is that most members feel that CGS has significantly helped them with their genealogical goals.  Help us keep up the good work.

What have you given back to CGS?
Many of us start giving back to our university a few years after we graduate and we start to appreciate what our education has done for us. We may start donating to a medical non-profit when a medical crisis impacts our family or close friends. We may support our local arts, museums or institutions that interest us.  How many of you have considered supporting CGS in a significant way?  

Will you do something for CGS?
The Capital Campaign was started last year and the goal was set to raise  $1.2 million, an amount that will strengthen the financial stability of our society for the long term. To date, we have received one large donation and many other donations ranging from $20 - $15,000 in support of our campaign. Thank You!  As of June a total of $330,000 has been donated to the campaign.   We appreciate everyone who has made a contribution, but if we are to reach our goal more members must get involved and make significant contributions.   

Here are some ideas on how to give:
  • One or more members could give a very large donation. In return, CGS will consider naming the library after the donor or the person of their choice. Genealogical research and/or a publication can also be rolled into a major gift.  
  • If just 2-5% (25-50) of our 1000+ members donate $10,000, then we would have $250,000-$500,000.
  • We also would love members to consider becoming a Life member at $1200 as a way to support our campaign.  If 100 of our members become Life Members at $1200, then we would have an additional $120,000.  Life Member dues are donations to the Capital Campaign.  

Thank you for all of the support and financial contributions that you may have already made!  Without you, The California Genealogical Society wouldn’t be here to support genealogical research or have our library to serve as a community-gathering place.  You are what has made and continue to make this possible. Please consider donating to the Capital Campaign and know that every dollar counts and is appreciated.

Photos courtesy of Chris Pattillo

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society