Donation Options

Donation and Membership Options at the Door County Maritime MuseumYour gift to the Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society, Inc. provides educational and outreach experiences for over 65,000 visitors each year. Your contribution will help the Door County Maritime Museum weather the current storm, allowing us to maintain our staff and continue bringing educational resources to our community, even during this time of quarantine.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To ensure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the not-for-profit organizations and causes they are asked to support, we invite you to please review our Donor Bill of Rights

The donation process is easy. Simply select from the options below the fund you wish to support and designate the amount of your gift. You can also call 920-743-5958 for more payment options.

Annual Fund

Your tax deductible donations ensure that our maritime museum will remain “first rate” as it continues to preserve and celebrate the extraordinary maritime heritage of Door County.

Anchor Appeal

As the name implies, the Museum’s annual “Anchor Appeal” is one of our principle fundraising campaigns and is primarily used to help cover the expenses needed to maintain a facility and staff of the highest quality. These funds assist with the sometimes less publicized but essential workings that keep the doors of the museum open as well as help off-set the decline in admission revenue that takes place during the winter.

Donate to our Annual Fund
Sponsor a Day

Gifts in any amount are appreciated. However, for a $250 donation, you may personally Sponsor a Day at the museum. “Sponsor a Day” is a wonderful way to honor a loved one or recognize a birthday, anniversary or a memory! As a sponsor, you will be recognized at all three museum locations, on our web site and in the museum newsletter. You will also receive a support decal for your car window or business entry. See Sponsor a Day Announcements here.


Print & mail the PDF form to tell us the date and wording you would like. Sponsor a Day form

Estate Gifts and Planned Giving

An excellent way to support the Door County Maritime Museum’s mission is to leave a bequest in your will, living trust or with a codicil. Leaving DCMM a bequest in your will or estate plan represents a long-term investment in the financial health of an organization you care about and provides a lasting legacy, continuing the tradition of preserving maritime history that you cherished during your lifetime. If you are considering a bequest to the Museum, please contact Deputy Director & Development Manager Sam Perlman. Specific bequest language can be found here: Making a Bequest to DCMM

If you are 72 years of age or older and have a Traditional IRA, consider making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QDC) to the Door County Maritime Museum.

Endowment Fund

Create a legacy! Gifts to the Endowment Fund provide ongoing support of the museum’s day-to-day operations.

Donate towards Endowment Fund

Maritime Lighthouse Tower Expansion Project

The Door County Maritime Museum, located on the working waterfront of Sturgeon Bay in northeast Wisconsin, has celebrated and shared the rich maritime history of Door County and the Great Lakes for more than 50 years. Now, the Museum is expanding our main location with a landmark Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower addition, scheduled for completion in early 2021. Exhibits within the Tower will use state-of-the-art interactives designed to capture the imagination, immerse visitors in the experience of Wisconsin’s rich nautical heritage, and inspire the next generation of Wisconsin’s workforce.

Commemorative Bricks

The Door County Maritime Museum’s “Walk of Fame” is a unique way to capture your connection to maritime history, honor a loved one or celebrate a special occasion.  Bricks range in price from $150-$2,500. Larger bricks may include an image. If paying online, museum staff will contact you to confirm the details. For detailed information regarding the museum’s commemorative brick walkway, please call us at (920)743-5958.

Download Order Form

Brick Size
My brick should read:

Illuminating Our Heritage: Cana Island Lighthouse Restoration

Since 1970, under lease from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society has maintained the light station at Cana Island and adjacent grounds. The 1869 resources of the island and light station are irreplaceable; a truly unique setting and experience for visitors.

In 2009, the Museum, Door County Parks Department, and a Historic Structures Report project team identified basic flaws in the buildings that hindered access by the public and  limited interpretation. A four-phase action plan was laid out to preserve and protect Cana Island for future generations, and add to the island facilities.

  • Phase 1(2010-2015): new restroom facilities, maintenance building and parking lot; repair copper roof; repaint tower; repair masonry on tower and keeper’s quarters; restoration of windows and doors; other updates.
  • Phase 2 (2016-2017): restoration of outbuildings, including oil house, privy and barn.
  • Phase 3 (2019-2020): construction of new welcome and interpretive center (opening for the 2020 summer season).

Phase 4

2021 – Period restoration to the interior of the keeper’s quarters (estimated cost of $1,000,000)

Help maintain and restore this important historic landmark by getting involved today!


Exhibit Development

Donate towards Exhibit Development

Exhibit development costs can range from $250 upwards to $100,000! Each exhibit must be planned a year or more in advance.


Artifact, Photograph, or Boat Donations

The museum continuously seeks Great Lakes artifacts, photographs, or boats for the museum’s growing collection.  If you would like your donation considered for inclusion, please CLICK HERE to fill out our request form, or call us at 920-743-5958.