Community Bank Marks Business Milestone


A few weeks ago, I opened my mail to find a stunning, new publication from the Cambridge (MA) Historical Society where I have been a member for many years. Titled “Rediscovering the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House” (the Society’s “home” on Brattle Street, near Harvard Square), the beautifully designed, 42-page book documents the history of the 325-year-old house, its occupants, and the rigorous preservation process the Historical Society just completed.

The book’s contributors include some of the most noted scholars, preservationists, and conservators in the area. The photography of the preservation process, historic maps, and portraits really bring the story to life. This is easily the most important book written about one of Cambridge’s most important historic houses. And because the house is located on the former “Tory Row,” near where George Washington first took command of the Continental Army, it carries national significance.

How was the Cambridge Historical Society able to produce this publication?, I wondered. As a published author myself, I know how much time and expense the writing and editing can take. As a graphic designer, I know that the cost of design, photography, printing, and mailing can be prohibitive for a small nonprofit organization.

The Historical Society had not only produced the book, they sent a FREE COPY to every single member.  Again, How were they able to do this? I’ve also been the director of a historical society, and there is no way we could have produced and mailed such a publication without a large financial contribution.

The answer lay in the executive director’s cover letter: The Cambridge Savings Bank.

And there, on the back cover of the book, was an ad for the bank proudly announcing their 175th anniversary with the tagline “Celebrating and honoring local history together.” They pointed out that the bank has been a landmark in Cambridge for many years, just like the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House.

Wow! Smart bank.

Do you think every member of the Cambridge Historical Society feels grateful and loyal to the Cambridge Savings Bank for allowing this book to be produced? You bet!

The bank can also get huge media mileage out of their generosity, distribute the books to schools and libraries, make them available at book stores, promote the book on their Web site…the list of opportunities for visibility goes on.

And not only will the bank’s generosity reap business benefits today, like attracting customers, boosting customer loyalty and their reputation in the community, their gift has produced an important publication that will be around forever.

What a brilliant way to mark two historic milestones – the Cambridge Savings Bank at 175 years, and the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House at 325 years.

If your business is celebrating a milestone, please contact your local historical society or museum and ask about their publishing projects. Make history for your own business AND celebrate your community’s history in a lasting, meaningful way.