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Donations and Membership

Californian, help preserve history appeal letter from our CEO/President Ray Ashley, PhD

Dear Shipmate:

We’ve come to you many times in the past in hopes that you, our members, would make a personal contribution to the institution that five generations of our community have sustained and put on a solid course into the future. Over that time we’ve accomplished things that many thought would be difficult and some believed impossible — the replacement of Star of India’s entire deck, reconstructing San Salvador, and seeing that ship fulfill her promise as a sailing embodiment of our origin story being recent examples. Difficult though the challenges, we always did what we set out to do because you, our members, have believed in the institution and believe that the historic ships which reside at our waterfront have a transcendent purpose. Without that belief and without your response to the need it invokes, we simply could not continue.

As I write this letter, Californian, our state tall ship and another iconic representation of a significant period in our history, is in dry-dock and undergoing significant and necessary maintenance. In addition to her dry-docking and the complete overhaul of her rig, we are preparing to replace a major portion of her deck to ensure her integrity for the next generation, not unlike what we are undertaking with Star of India on a smaller scale. Californian is used as an educational platform about two hundred days each year: tall ship adventures for the general public, public events, training our Museum volunteer crews, training US Navy personnel in the culture, traditions, and life in the Navy during the age of sail, and providing a step back in time to thousands of children annually in living history programs and character building experiences. Since we acquired Californian more than a decade ago she has sailed tens of thousands of miles and hundreds of thousands of people have walked her decks and felt her come to life under a cloud of canvas. Without this necessary work she cannot continue to serve her vital role to our Museum and without your help, our efforts to keep Californian and our other ships in proper condition will not be sustainable.

As is usually the case, much of the skilled labor to accomplish these tasks will be accomplished by our volunteers and a portion of the materials and professional services necessary will be provided at reduced cost or no cost at all. There is still a sizable gap to fill, and once again I am asking if you would consider helping us to fill that gap with a personal contribution, as you have so generously done in the past. As an institution we can lay out our course and set the heading, but without wind we can’t get anywhere. You are the wind that fills the sails.

Sincerely,
Ray Ashley, Ph.D., K.C.I.
President/CEO, Maritime Museum of San Diego

To Give Online Today:
Click Here

Californian Year End Appeal


To learn more about the many opportunities to contribute to the Maritime Museum. Contact Development at 619-234-9153 x 141
or click here to send email.

Planned Giving

Welcome! We are pleased that you are interested in learning about the many benefits of gift plans. If you have any questions about the best way for you to benefit through a planned gift, please call. A member of our Planned Giving Team will be glad to help you. Contact Development at 619-234-9153 x 141

To learn about:

  • Donor Stories
  • Gift Options
  • Personal Planner
  • Washington News
Click Here

Vehicle Donation Program

A San Diego treasure, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is more than a collection of world-class exhibits and ships. It is a family of volunteers, members, and supporters like you, who are joined together by their passion for the sea, maritime history, and creating an inspiring and enlightening experience for children and adults alike. Thank you for your support.

Donating Is Easy!

Donating a car is easy! And so is donating other vehicles. We accept all types of vehicles nationwide — cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, and even boats.

To get started: Click Here
or call 844-790-GIVE (4483) to speak to a representative.

All that you will need to provide is the Certificate of Title upon pickup of your donated vehicle.

Museum Membership

As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, you support our preservation and education efforts, and in return receive many benefits! Bring the adventure and discovery to life as often as you would like – choose the membership plan that is right for you.

Membership packages include these benefits:

  • FREE admission
  • FREE guest passes
  • Maritime journal Mains’l Haul
  • FREE newsletters
  • 10% discount at Museum gift shop
  • FREE or reduced admission to Museum events
  • Plus so much more

Maritime Museum membership benifits

Join, renew, and gift Memberships.

For more information contact our Membership Coordinator at 619-234-9153 x128
or click here to send email.

Through your membership, you support the Maritime Museum of San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting our rich Pacific maritime heritage.

Ticket Donations

The Maritime Museum of San Diego takes pride in our support of local (San Diego County) nonprofit organizations for fundraising events benefiting our community.

Since the Maritime Museum of San Diego is a nonprofit organization, we have established the following ticket donation guidelines:

  • Your organization must be a nonprofit and must be using Maritime Museum of San Diego tickets as a fundraising item.
  • Four general admission tickets are provided per conforming organization and/or event.
  • Requests of donation are limited to (1) one request per year per organization.
  • Donated admission tickets are limited to the value of General Admission only and are not valid use for special events, exhibit surcharges, or any event deemed exempt by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
  • No cash value is applicable for donated tickets although they are fully transferable.
  • Value of donations are subject to change at the sole discretion of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
  • The Maritime Museum of San Diego requests that any organization that accepts any donated items place a reciprocal acknowledgment within any marketing materials or programs that support the representative organization and/or the event.
  • You must be located within San Diego County.

CLICK HERE for online application requesting a donation

If Snail Mail, send your request for donations to:
Maritime Museum of San Diego
Attn: Request for Donations
1492 North Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101
All donation requests will be reviewed within two weeks.


Looking for a venue to host your future fundraising event? Maritime Museum of San Diego offers exceptional nonprofit rates for event rentals. For more information, visit Event Venue Rentals.

Join in the adventure! The Maritime Museum of San Diego is home to the maritime story of the West Coast and beyond with one of the most extensive collections of historic ships in the world. Donations & membership helps to tell the maritime story and to preserve these ships.

Every single gift matters. Taken in the aggregate, all gifts, large and small, are essential to the overall goal. So join us at whatever level you can.