American City Bureau was incorporated on April 22, 1913. The beginning of the company happened through a series of events that can be traced back to 1911 when two Buttenheim brothers decided to stake their future on a magazine called The American City. This small monthly magazine had just started less than two years earlier, but was quickly failing under its existing management. The Buttenheim brothers had backgrounds in successful trade and technical journals – one was a businessman, the other an aspiring editor – so they divided the task between them based on their strengths.
The growth of the magazine under the Buttenheim brothers brought them in touch with municipal officials and Chambers of Commerce throughout the country. These civic-minded individuals made it increasingly evident that there was a need for a national organization to promote philanthropic activities through campaign techniques and research services which The American City had been advocating in its articles. The brothers understood this undertaking could not be done effectively through the magazine, so in April 1913 they formed a new corporation – American City Bureau.
In the beginning, American City Bureau focused on organizing and strengthening Chambers of Commerce. Over the next few years ACB branched out to working with libraries, YMCAs and other community organizations. Today, our work spans from youth and social services to religious orders and organizations to healthcare, education, community and the arts. We’ve come a long way and credit our rich history to our continued success in helping nonprofits realize the promise of growth.
In Memory of James J. Biggins
From the day he was born, Jim Biggins was destined to be a leader, particularly in the nonprofit world. Through his distinguished 43-year career with American City Bureau, he helped hundreds of nonprofits raise millions of dollars as a professional fundraising consultant and philanthropist. The footprint he leaves behind in the philanthropic community is immeasurable. The fundraising industry will remember him as a leading force in philanthropic development. His family, friends and colleagues will remember him as a caring, generous and passionate man who lived a life that was full of stories illustrating a kind, generous spirit, intelligence, business savvy and fierce loyalty. His legacy lives on through our continued pursuit of building a richer culture of philanthropy.