Consider assisting the only remaining house where Penn's founder,
Benjamin Franklin, lived, and visit it on your next trip to London
Experience its theme, "Bringing History to Life"

It’s been an exciting year for all of us at Benjamin Franklin House Foundation. Without question, the highlight of our year has been the success of our application for a $575,000 challenge grant in US History and Culture from the National Endowment of Humanities. With your help (the NEH grant provides $1.00 for each $3.00 we raise, and we want to be in a position to claim every available $1.00 in the four year matching period), support from the NEH will provide essential funding for our World of Possibilities endowment campaign, which will secure the future of the House and enhance existing programming.


The House’s plans include:

  • Creating a new Historical Experience show which illuminates Franklin’s time in London from the perspective of others like his black servant Peter and his son William, illuminating the evolution of his ideas on liberty and loyalty.
  • Creating a specially targeted children’s Historical Experience that makes use of the House’s innovative technology.
  • Offering new research opportunities through the House internship program aimed at U.S. universities and their American history and museum studies students. We will initiate a Franklin scholar in residence program, in partnership with other Franklin-related institutions, to advance knowledge of Franklin’s life and legacy and broaden outreach activities through a greater number of events that bring America’s founding values to an international audience.


Another positive development in 2010 was the launch of our pilot Sister Schools program, designed to unite children from both sides of the Atlantic in shared activities centered on Franklin’s curiosity, ingenuity, and commitment to freedom. Designed as a joint offering of Benjamin Franklin House in the UK and BFHF in the US, we were delighted to link Benjamin Franklin Elementary in Bronx, New York and Surrey Square School in London in our inaugural program, and look forward to developing the program further through new partnerships in the coming year.


Plans are also afoot for a number of special events and programs in the United States in 2011. Please email us at if you would like details.


Also in 2010, BFHF helped Benjamin Franklin House secure funding from the Pilgrim Trust, the Eranda Foundation and the Leche Trust to conserve and install the House’s original “Blue Plaque,” gain essential operational support for core offerings, the Historical Experience, and other necessary upgrades.


Despite these successes, 2010 was also a challenging year. We were saddened by the death of our great champion, philanthropist Robert H. Smith, who advanced the House in innumerable ways.


In addition, like many nonprofits, we faced a difficult fundraising climate in the midst of the global economic downturn. Your support is more important now than ever, as we seek to stabilize the Foundation’s financial position and advance its mission.


I hope you will consider joining us as a member, contributing to our growth and success in the year ahead. Join online at or by clicking here.


As we look forward to a productive year for the Foundation in 2011 we are reminded of these inspirational words from Benjamin Franklin, “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”



Paul Michalski President