James K. Polk Memorial Association
P.O. Box 741
Columbia TN 38402
Mission Statement
The purpose of this organization shall be to operate, maintain, preserve, and restore the Polk Ancestral Home and properties, its grounds and appurtenances, and to perpetuate the memory of the eleventh President of the United States.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. John Holtzapple
Board Chair Mrs. Dinah Vire
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1924
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Projected Expenses $268,120.00
Projected Annual Revenue $268,120.00 (2016)
Mission The purpose of this organization shall be to operate, maintain, preserve, and restore the Polk Ancestral Home and properties, its grounds and appurtenances, and to perpetuate the memory of the eleventh President of the United States.
Background In 1924, a great-great-niece of former First Lady Sarah Polk founded the James K. Polk Memorial Association to preserve and exhibit original belongings of President and Mrs. James K. Polk and to educate the public about President Polk's accomplishments. At first, the organization displayed its collections at several locations in Nashville. In 1929, the Association joined with the State of Tennessee to purchase the 1816 Polk Home in Columbia (the only surviving residence of James K. Polk other than the White House). In accordance with the agreement between the State and the Association, the State assumed ownership of the property and funded the house's restoration; the Association accepted responsibility for operating and maintaining the site and agreed to exhibit its Polk collections there. For fifty years, the Polk Home was operated only by Association members who raised funds and recruited volunteers to keep the site open to the public. In 1979, the group hired its first professional director. The Association's commitment to professional development was further reflected by its Museum Assessment Program survey in 1982, its adoption of a formal long-range planning process in 1987, its 1988 hiring of a professional curator of collections, and its series of grants from the Federal government's Institute of Museum and Library Services. Today, the Polk Home site includes the main house, a detached kitchen building, an adjacent museum and visitor center (in a restored c. 1820 house where two of James K. Polk's sisters had lived), formal gardens, and the Polk Presidential Hall exhibition facility (which is owned by the Association, not the State). Open year round, the site preserves and displays its collections of nearly 1,300 artifacts and documents including original oil portraits, daguerreotypes, china, and furnishings from the Polks' White House years. The Association regularly offers free and low-cost educational programs including temporary exhibits, teachers' workshops, outreach programs for nursing homes and community organizations, the "Polk's America" lecture series, distance learning programs, Polk Academy summer history camp, an annual Free Admission Day, and the educational website www.jameskpolk.com. The organization has approximately 750 members. Although most of these individuals and families live in Middle Tennessee (especially in Maury, Williamson, and Davidson Counties), the Association's membership includes residents of twenty states.
The James K. Polk Memorial Association is responsible for operating the James K. Polk Home historic site, preserving its collections of nearly 1,300 original artifacts and documents, and offering educational programs on President Polk to its regional and national audiences.
During the past year (2015), the Polk Home presented three original
exhibits at Polk Presidential Hall, the site's exhibition facility:  "The Face of a President" (which focused on the rise of lithography and photography during Polk's lifetime), "Sweet and Secure: Tennessee Sugar Chests," and our current exhibit "Polk Place: Presidential Legacy Lost?" on the demolished Nashville mansion where President Polk retired and died.  With funds from a $150,000 State maintenance grant, we installed exterior lighting for the Polk Home (for security as well as nighttime illumination), re-designed the interior lighting in the adjacent 1818 Polk Sisters' House (our visitor center/museum which also houses staff offices), replaced deteriorating brick walkways on the grounds, and put a new roof on a circa 1900 garden house that we use for Polk Academy summer history camp.  In 2016, we will develop a special exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Polk Home's construction, and will offer educational programs on life in Tennessee in 1816.  We will also seek State support to tear down an empty commercial building (recently acquired by the State) that abuts the back wall of the Polk Home's detached kitchen.  Afterward we will begin archaeological work on the site.
Needs At present, the Polk Association needs 1)$52,000 to complete its 1.2 million capital project for the Polk Presidential Hall exhibition center/educational facility, 2)sponsors for the ongoing series of temporary exhibits, 3)a museum education specialist on staff, 4)increased funding for artifact conservation, and 5)additional sponsors for history camp "scholarships" as well as Polk Home field trips and distance learning programs.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / History Museums
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Maury
CEO Statement U.S. historians have consistently ranked James K. Polk as one of this nation's most successful Presidents. During his years as Chief Executive, Polk set ambitious goals and worked tirelessly to achieve them. Since its founding in 1924, the James K. Polk Memorial Association has followed President Polk's example of hard work and achievement. During my thirty-one years as the Polk Home's director, I have seen the organization accomplish noteworthy goals such as the restoration of the Home's interior, the renovation of the Polk Sisters' House as a visitor center and museum, the development of a curatorial workroom with custom-made collections storage cabinets, the issuance of a James K. Polk postage stamp, the creation of Polk Academy summer history camp and the Polk Home's award-winning educational website, and the acquisition and renovation of Polk Presidential Hall as an exhibition center. Since Presidential Hall's opening in 2009, we have launched a popular ongoing series of temporary exhibits that relate to either the U.S. Presidency or American society and culture during James K. Polk's lifetime.  Although the Association's members and staff are justifiably proud of our past accomplishments, we realize that we could provide even more educational services for our visitors and our community.  With additional funding, we could develop more educational programming in conjunction with the Presidential Hall exhibits and eventually hire a full-time museum educator. Local support has always been crucial to the Polk Association's success. We invite all Middle Tennesseans to participate as visitors, volunteers, contributors, and members.
Description The Polk Association has renovated an 1882 church building (now named Polk Presidential Hall) as an exhibit hall and educational center, and has developed an ongoing series of temporary exhibitions including original exhibits and traveling exhibitions from other museums. The Association regularly seeks sponsorships and other financial contributions for these exhibits and the related educational programming.
Budget 5000 - 10000
Population Served , ,
Description The Polk Association is responsible for the ongoing care of its nationally significant collections of nearly 1,300 artifacts and documents. With advice from visiting conservators, the Home's Curator has identified the most fragile artifacts, and has developed a systematic conservation schedule. To date, the Home has funded the conservation of its historic oil paintings and nearly twenty pieces from its textile collection. The Association seeks donations for object conservation through its "Adopt-an-Artifact" program. Each contributor selects a "needy" artifact, and pays all or part of its conservation cost. To acknowledge the gift, the Association gives the contributor an "adoption certificate" with a photograph and a written history of the artifact.
Budget 2000 - 10000
Population Served , ,
Description Over 1,000 schoolchildren from Middle Tennessee and North Alabama visit the James K. Polk Home annually. In the early 1990's, budget cuts at the Maury County Board of Education forced some local elementary schools to cancel their field trips to the Home. In response, the Polk Association recruited area businesses and individuals to underwrite the admission and transportation costs for 4th grade field trips from Maury County public schools. (Local 4th graders study President Polk in their Tennessee history classes.) Because of the effort's success, the Field Trip Sponsorship project has become an ongoing program. Sponsors may pay the expenses for a designated school or may make a general contribution to the program. Although the target audience is still Maury County 4th graders, the Association accepts field trip sponsors for students in other counties and at other grade levels. The program has been supported by over twenty-five sponsors including many annual contributors.
Budget 2400
Population Served , ,
Description Every summer, the Polk Association organizes and hosts two or three one-week sessions of Polk Academy day camp for children who have just completed 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade. The camp uses participatory activities to teach about James K. Polk's frontier upbringing and political career.  Activities include open hearth cooking, churning butter, writing with quill pens, candlemaking, needlework, stenciling, early 19th-century games, period photography, stump speaking, and panning for gold. With its current staffing and space limitations, Polk Academy can accommodate eighteen children per week. (There is a waiting list every summer.) The Association offers six "scholarships" for children whose families cannot afford the $150 enrollment fee. Contributors who want to support Polk Academy may underwrite the $150 scholarships or make general donations. The camp's $5,500 budget (excluding scholarships) covers the costs of staff, materials, and insurance.
Budget 5500
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), ,
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Dinah Vire
Term Apr 2014 to Apr 2016
Email jameskpolk@bellsouth.net
Board Members
Mrs. Ann Baisden
Mrs. Lisa Butler
Mrs. Gloria Dale Voting
Mrs. Jill Elkins Voting
Mrs. Beth Gilbert Voting
Mrs. Beverly Horner Voting
Mrs. Tiny Jones Voting
Mrs. Elizabeth Lovell Voting
Mrs. Suzanne Parks Voting
Mrs. Beth Sands
Mrs. Paulette Scoggins
Mrs. Shannon Stamatis
Mrs. Susan Vining
Mrs. Dinah Vire Voting
Mrs. Jean Wasson Voting
Mrs. Julia West Voting
Mrs. Nanette Williams
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 17
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 17
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 1
Board Meeting Attendance % 65%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? No
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Special Events
Strategic Planning
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Fine Arts & Collectibles
General Property Coverage
Medical Health Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. John Holtzapple
Term Start Aug 1984
Email jameskpolk@bellsouth.net
Former CEOs
Ms. Lucinda Poole Nov 1979 - Aug 1983
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 10
Volunteers 40
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? No
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 10
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Feb 2013
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? No
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
Senior Staff
Title Curator of Collections/ Asst. Administrator
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30 2016
Projected Revenue $268,120.00
Projected Expenses $268,120.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$46,304$42,304$46,689
Individual Contributions$26,859$17,934$23,588
Investment Income, Net of Losses($3,209)$15,603$8,246
Membership Dues$16,273$16,026$16,739
Special Events$66,775$72,096$117,182
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$194,367$143,949$75,247
Administration Expense$91,784$128,818$206,128
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.770.910.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses68%53%27%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$1,154,407$1,217,092$1,238,514
Current Assets$68,184$93,861$212,854
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$14,684$12,124$9,163
Total Net Assets$1,139,723$1,204,968$1,229,351
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.647.7423.23
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising Events $66,775Fundraising Events $72,096Fundraising Events $117,182
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAdmission Fees $52,317Miscellaneous Revenue $56,981Admission Fees $50,712
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants $46,304Government Grants $42,304Government Grants $46,689
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires Dec 2016
GivingMatters.com Financial Comments
Financials taken from the 990 and audit. 
Financials completed by Brown and Maguire CPAs, PLLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 2/4/16.
Nonprofit James K. Polk Memorial Association
Address P.O. Box 741
Columbia, TN 38402
Primary Phone (931) 388-2354
Contact Email jameskpolk@bellsouth.net
CEO/Executive Director Mr. John Holtzapple
Board Chair Mrs. Dinah Vire
Year of Incorporation 1924