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American Battlefield Trust

CharityWatch report issued
October 2022

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

American Battlefield Trust
1156 15th Street NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

Other Names

Civil War Preservation Trust
Civil War Trust
Revolutionary War Trust

Tax Status


Stated Mission

Preserves America's hallowed battlegrounds and educates the public about what happened there and why it matters.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 03/31/2021

Program Percentage: 87%

The percentage of American Battlefield Trust's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $13

How many dollars American Battlefield Trust spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

25% to 49%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
American Battlefield Trust & Affiliates Audited Consolidated Financial Statements multiple
American Battlefield Trust IRS Form 990 54-1426643
Entity: American Battlefield Trust & Affiliates
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: multiple
Entity: American Battlefield Trust
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 54-1426643

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
American Battlefield Trust
meets governance benchmarks.
American Battlefield Trust
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy Opt-Out Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 David N. Duncan President $273,201
2 O. James Lighthizer Past President $270,537
3 Thomas M. Gilmore Chief Real Estate Officer $249,318
Name: David N. Duncan
Title: President
Compensation: $273,201
Name: O. James Lighthizer
Title: Past President
Compensation: $270,537
Name: Thomas M. Gilmore
Title: Chief Real Estate Officer
Compensation: $249,318

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

CharityWatch's rating of American Battlefield Trust (ABT) is for the 501(c)(3) public charity entity, tax ID #54-1426643.

According to the ABT tax filing for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, ABT reports re: its "Land Preservation" Program Service Accomplishments (IRS Form 990, Schedule O re: Form 990, Part III, line 4a): "Through acquisitions and grants, the American Battlefield Trust completed 35 individual transactions, protecting a total of 1,720.8 acres at 28 battlefields in 11 states..." 

As part of our financial analysis, CharityWatch makes certain adjustments to figures reported by a charity in its tax filing and/or audited financial statements to better reflect for donors how efficiently a charity is spending its donations. Given the nature of ABT's battlefield land acquisition and grant activity, CharityWatch adjusts ABT's reported program services expenses by including the charity's restricted land and easements acquisition costs in the year the funds are expended, netted against the reported value of donated land from the Trust during the year. This adjustment produces a Program Percentage that is more helpful for donors who want to know how efficiently the charity is spending public dollars in a given year. It also avoids the potential volatility that may otherwise result due to the application of accounting rules for such land transaction activities that are used in the preparation and presentation of audited financial statements and other financial reporting.

[The Our Process page provides for more information about other adjustments CharityWatch analysts make to a charity's reported financial figures during our evaluations.]

According to the American Battlefield Trust consolidated audit of March 31, 2021 (Note 6, Debt, Paycheck Protection Program Loan):

"In May 2020, the Trust received funds under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the CARES Act amounting to $601,600. The receipt of the PPP Loan required the Trust to, in good faith, certify that the then current economic uncertainty made the loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Trust. The receipt of these funds, and the forgiveness of the PPP loan, is dependent on the Trust having initially qualified for the PPP loan and qualifying for the forgiveness of such loan based on the Trust's adherence to the forgiveness criteria. In February 2021, the PPP loan was forgiven.

"If the SBA (Small Business Administration) determines during the SBA audit of PPP loans that the Trust lacked an adequate basis for the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request or the subsequent use of loan proceeds, the SBA will seek repayment of the PPP loan, including interest and potential penalties."

According to the American Battlefield Trust consolidated audit of March 31, 2021 (Note 8, Commitments and Contingencies, Employment agreement):

"The Trust entered into an employment contract with an officer of the Trust that expired December 31, 2020. Under the contract, the Trust was obligated to contribute $43,500 annually to a deferred compensation plan for the officer. A second deferred compensation plan was established during 2011 for the same officer, where the Trust shall credit the maximum allowable amount per law and shall become fully vested immediately... The officer retired from the Organization during the year ended March 31, 2021. The deferred compensation payments due to the retired officer will begin April 1, 2021 in 84 ratable installments."

According to the American Battlefield Trust consolidated audit of March 31, 2021 (Note 1 re: Risks and uncertainties):

"On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced a global health emergency because of a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19). In March 2020, the WHO classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, based on the rapid increase in exposure globally.

"...[T]here continues to be uncertainty around the breadth and duration of the business disruption, as well as its impact on the global economy given ongoing variant mutations impacting parts of the world. ...[T]he Trust will continue to monitor the financial and business implications of the pandemic on its operations and will implement new strategies as appropriate. 

"The extent of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the operational and financial performance of the Trust will depend upon certain developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak. The Trust's operations are dependent on donations and grants from individuals, foundations, corporations, and U.S. governmental agencies. The fluidity of this situation precludes any prediction as to the ultimate impact of COVID-19. Nevertheless, COVID-19 presents potential uncertainty and risk with respect to the Trust, its performance, and its financial results.

"On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed into law the 'Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.' Part of the CARES Act appropriated funds for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that are forgivable in certain situations to promote continued employment, as well as Economic Injury Disaster Loans to provide liquidity to small businesses harmed by COVID-19.

"Since the CARES Act, multiple stimulus packages have been released by the U.S. government. The Trust has not utilized any of the relief funding opportunities subsequent to the PPP loan. Should circumstances change or additional stimulus acts be signed into law, the Trust will continue to evaluate the ongoing needs prospectively."