NAPC advocates for effective practices, programs and funding that benefit local preservation programs

Values and Principles

Advocacy involves publicly promoting the interests or causes of a group of people, a program, or policy. People engaged in preservation advocacy have many goals, from working to improve one’s own situation to considering the larger field and its operation. We can be reactive and proactive in advocacy work. NAPC plans to reinvigorate our advocacy platform with a bolder effort to promote the interests of local preservation programs and commissions. 

NAPC’s advocacy program will be derived from the set of principles and values that the organization recently adopted to use as the framework for all of its programs. Hallmarks of effective advocacy require an understanding of how the current policies and practices work at all levels of government, as well as the implications of proposed changes. We know that our members, Board of Directors, trainers and staff have the experience and expertise to advocate effectively for local historic preservation programs. We will work with our partners in preservation to advocate as a group effort as we emphasize the effects on and needs of local preservation programs. There’s a role for you in these efforts as well – let us know if you’d like to receive NAPC Advocacy alerts. Contribute your experience, successful or not, when a topic is discussed on NAPC-L as we explore what is working well and what could be more effective.

NAPC will also proactively advocate for changes that our community identifies as important to local preservation programs. We know that we have more than success stories to share and could more robustly evaluate the effectiveness of long-used programs and policies. The evaluation of program goals, practices, and habits of thought when programs are municipal and intended to serve the public should be ongoing and vigorous – even as our government frameworks are difficult to alter. Please start conversations on matters that concern you, through NAPC-L or more direct communication with the Executive Director. Our Advocacy Committee will give them due consideration as we advocate for extending the range of effective practices in our field. 

Often, local historic preservation programs must advocate consistently for their value and relevance – even continued existence – in the communities they serve. The practical preservation politics are local and require careful tending. We will provide information and strategies to empower local programs to advocate for themselves. 

In 2010, NAPC joined the Federal Historic Preservation Program Task Force, which produced a detailed report on recommendations for improvements to increase the effectiveness of the Federal Historic Preservation Program.

In the early 1980s there were thousands of commissions who were dealing with development pressures in historic areas, and new amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act in 1980 created the Certified Local Government program to help commissions receive federal financial assistance to advanced local preservation efforts.

What was clearly absent was a forum for the discussion of mutual problems and a national voice representing the particular needs of commissions. The National Alliance of Preservation Commissions was founded in 1983 to meet these goals.

Commission interests were soon represented at countless meetings of the National Park Service (NPS), the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP), and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), as well as on Capitol Hill at budget and other Congressional hearings and meetings about the national preservation programs.  NAPC also had an active role in various lawsuits and legislation regarding preservation issues.

Today NAPC remains a strong advocate for local historic preservation commissions, relying on its established relationships with our national partners to help local preservation programs succeed and thrive. When applicable, NAPC can also provide letters of support for our member commissions when faced with challenging issues.

National Partners

Since our inception in 1983, the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions has developed great partnerships with national preservation organizations to help fulfill our mission. We join our partners to support legislation and policies that benefit historic preservation at the local, state, and federal levels.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation’s historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.

The National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) is the professional organization of state government officials who carry out the national historic preservation program as delegates of the Secretary of Interior pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded nonprofit organization founded in 1949 to protect and promote historic places, including a collection of 27 sites. The National Trust frequently turns to grassroots supporters to help effect change at the local, state, and federal level. This includes advocating for preservation funding, saving historic places, and influencing key legislation.

The National Park Service is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior and oversees numerous preservation-related programs, including the National Register of Historic Places, National Historic Landmarks Program, Certified Local Government Program, and Federal Preservation Grants Program. The newly-designed Technical Preservation Services website features the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, Illustrated Guidelines on Sustainability for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings, Preservation Briefs, information on Tax Incentives, and more!

Preservation Action is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization created in 1974 to serve as the national grassroots lobby for historic preservation. Preservation Action seeks to make historic preservation a national priority by advocating to all branches of the federal government for sound preservation policy and programs through a grassroots constituency empowered with information and training and through direct contact with elected representatives.


As a member of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions, you become part of a national network of historic preservation commissions, boards of architectural review, staff, local and state preservation nonprofits, and residents of historic districts who value their historic resources.

Learn More

Support NAPC

NAPC is honored to serve as a national voice for local preservation. This would not be possible without support from members and partners around the country. Learn more about how you can further our mission to build strong local preservation programs and leaders through education, training and advocacy.