A private, not-for-profit organization, the society serves as the state's agent in historical matters in return for financial subsidy support that constitutes two-thirds of the OHS operating budget. (The remaining revenues are obtained from varied sources such as grants, private and corporate gifts, and earned revenue from admissions and gift shop sales.)
Services provided to the state include managing state archives, administering the state's historic preservation office, and operating a network of historic sites and museums. The state's interests in the society's activities are represented by nine trustees appointed by the Governor. Nine other trustees are elected by the board of trustees.