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Why an Endowment is so Important to Preserving Oakland

Did you know that Oakland Cemetery is not a perpetual care cemetery?

Oakland Cemetery was founded in 1850 as Atlanta’s municipal cemetery with the expectation that lot owners and family members would continue to care for and maintain the lots. The City of Atlanta is only responsible for publicly maintained areas such as the roads, walkways, and unrestored areas. This arrangement worked well in the 1800s, but as lot owners and family members died or moved away, the maintenance of the lots at Oakland began to decline.

Over the past several decades, Historic Oakland Foundation has dedicated millions of dollars towards maintaining the Cemetery. Thanks to the support of the community, HOF has been able to maintain over 60% of the Cemetery and restore around 30% of the Cemetery’s 48 acres.

Why is an Endowment Fund so important?

An endowment fund allows for the continued maintenance and preservation of the Cemetery. A small percentage of the fund supports Oakland’s ongoing operations, allowing Foundation staff to maintain the beauty of Oakland Cemetery for years to come.

The only way we can ensure the current work of Oakland is maintained over time is through a strong endowment fund. This will enable the Foundation to be a good steward and uphold its obligations to the City, to the Cemetery, and to all who rest within.

While the Foundation’s endowment has grown over the years, an endowment of $50 million is required for us to maintain the Cemetery in perpetuity–and we have a long way to go! The generosity of donors, lot owners, descendants, and Foundation members who are invested in the future and preservation of Oakland will enable us to preserve and restore these historic grounds. We hope you’ll consider supporting Historic Oakland Foundation’s endowment by making a donation or arranging a planned gift. Learn more.

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