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Forest Archaeologist Hosts Facebook Fundraiser to Give Back to Preservation Fund

By April 6, 2020 December 23rd, 2021 No Comments

On February 22nd, Sean Dunham reached out to our staff to let us know he was hosting a Facebook Fundraiser on his personal page to raise money in honor of his birthday for the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Fund – a component fund at NMF. The fund supports programs, projects and activities that preserve, restore and stabilize historic and archaeological properties in the state of Minnesota.

Most recently, the fund advisor geared grant dollars to support the restoration of the Nary school just outside of Bemidji. Once the project is complete, a new charter school will be operating in the newly restored building.

We asked Sean if we could share his story with others about why this project resonated with him. He gladly obliged!

If you’re a Facebook user, the odds are one of your friends (or maybe yourself) has set-up a fundraiser in honor of a birthday. Facebook makes it easy to set-up a fundraiser and choose which charity or nonprofit organization you’d like to raise money for. Of all the hundreds of thousands of worthy causes out there to choose from, Sean chose NMF, and specifically the Archaeology and Historic Preservation Fund, to benefit from his birthday fundraiser.

Sean is a Forest Archaeologist for the Chippewa National Forest in Cass Lake, MN. This unique career typically involves conducting field investigations, analyzing artifacts, managing the logistics of projects at excavating sites, writing reports and recommendations, teaching, conducting research, and publishing the results of their research in academic journals. By studying the archaeology of our forests, forest services can provide informed decision making about how to best manage and preserve our natural resources. Sean lives in Bemidji with his wife Jennifer, who coincidentally used to work for NMF, and still remains involved with our organization through her current work at Peacemaker Resources.

“Historic preservation is very important to me,” said Sean, “We live in a part of Minnesota that has a dynamic past going back thousands of years. As an archaeologist and a public employee I have a long term interest in historic preservation both from personal and professional perspectives.”

In two weeks’ time, Sean was able to raise $225 for the fund on Facebook thanks to the generosity of his friends and colleagues that he stays connected with.

“I strongly recommend setting up a birthday fundraiser on Facebook to anyone,” said Sean, “it was easy to set-up and it’s a great way to support causes you care about.”

The NMF Philanthropic Services team is happy to help facilitate online fundraising for anyone looking to support any of the 390 funds currently held at the foundation. For more information, visit our website at