Finding funding and people to assist in a cemetery preservation project can be your two biggest problems. You may find volunteer organizations that will assist with the project but must of them are not going to have any funds to spend on the project. Here is a list of some organizations you may wish to contact in your area.
Historical Preservation Groups
Daughters of the American Revolution
Sons of Confederate Veterans – SCV
Contact your local Community Corrections Office to found out about Community Service Workers, they can be a great source of free labor. These are non-violent offenders who are sentenced to work a specific number of hours doing community service. They may also have Inmate Labor Crews that may be available to use for labor. These crews may be the answer to long-term maintenance of the cemetery after the initial clean up is done.
Some people may want to be involved but have no way of knowing your project is going to take place. Ask for free media coverage to get the word out. Check with your local newspaper, radio or TV stations, most of them will run a public service announcement for you.
No matter where you find your volunteers from use some of your funds to provide them lunch like sandwiches and soft drinks. It’s also good to provide them with coffee and water throughout the day.
Remember that your free labor are going to be untrained in cemetery preservation, so you need at least one person to supervise the project that has some experience or who have studied what needs to be done. Whether you are cleaning up a cemetery or you are also going to be doing headstone restoration, be sure someone knows what work needs to be done and how to do it.
We at Saveagrave.net are going to be posting volunteer contact information and project coordinator contact information. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org your contact information and let us know what you are willing to participate in or if you are starting a project.
You may download this Sample Volunteer Release Form to change for your use. This template is offered for educational purposes only. Please confer with legal counsel, licensed in your state to determain if any changes need to be made for your organization.