Current Giving Opportunites
The Michigan Maritime Museum appreciates the confidence and the resiliency of our supporters! Thank you for considering how you may contribute as we face these most challenging, unprecedented times in our history yet celebrate and recognize that we have also achieved such extraordinary accomplishments.
Now is the time to move forward, to reach for our goals, to Launch A Legacy! Our journey continues with you!
Close The Gap, Covid-19 Relief
For the past decade, the Museum has earned approximately 85% of its revenue. Friends Good Will and the On-Water fleet welcome visitors to our campus to experience and appreciate Great Lakes Maritime History in a unique, exciting, and thought-provoking manner.
- The MMM Campus & Fleet hosts over 50,000 visitors in approximately five months.
- May & September are dedicated to organized educational school visits.
- Friends Good Will & Lindy Lou have been a featured attraction at Tulip Time Festival for the past several years.
- Our Ship’s Store is filled with visitors and contributes to our annual earned income.
- Our MMM events such as the Blessing of the Fleet, Fish Boil, Boat Show, and others bring new visitors and are fundraising opportunities for the Museum.
- Individual boat tickets generate in excess of 50% of the annual Museum gross revenue.
COVID-19 changed this year completely. With restrictions to open, limited capacities, events canceled, schools closed and our concern for the safety of our visitors, volunteers, captains, crew, and staff, we were forced to operate in an entirely different manner. Bottom line, we suffered an absorbent amount of lost income.
High Water Damage Action Plan
The Museum has had a long-term interest in having the opportunity to preserve the Historic Jensen Commercial Fishing property, doubling the size of the Campus, and keeping our wonderfully authentic waterfront available and enjoyed by the public.
- The Museum entered an option & purchase agreement with the Jensen family three years ago.
- Water levels were normal, in fact only a few years prior to that were abnormally low.
- Environmental soil testing and engineering plans had been conducted and approved.
- Plans were underway to preserve commercial fishing buildings for exhibitions and to rebuild a year-round point building to enhance the property and its use.
- The Small Craft Collection owned by the MMM currently in storage would have a new exhibit space on the property to be shared with the public.
Beginning last year, 2019 water levels were on the rise. For those who have long experienced lakeshore living, high and low water levels are part of the norm. This year proved to be much more challenging than most, recalling the nearest levels of this magnitude experience back in 1986. We must preserve and protect this precious waterfront by raising it out of the floodplain and building up and reinforcing the water’s edge.
Launching A Legacy Capital Campaign to Complete the Project
The Michigan Maritime Museum is on the threshold of a transformative opportunity. As the anchor of South Haven’s Maritime District, the Museum has established itself over the past four decades as not only a leader in the preservation of Michigan’s Great Lakes maritime history, but also a center for education, research, and enrichment. Its professionally curated land-side exhibits, combined with on-water experiences offered on a licensed fleet of authentic period vessels, has made it a one-of-a-kind destination asset for South Haven and the greater West Michigan region.
The $8M campaign is ambitious and has been initiated to:
- Enhance the Museum’s education and research capabilities with a new main museum building and exhibit/community event space, new indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, larger and more flexible exhibit areas, expanded programming and more children’s activities year-round.
- Protect valuable harbor real estate and navigational infrastructure as “working waterfront” with public access, regular Great Lakes and upriver vessel excursion opportunities, historic boat-building activity on display and docking facilities for visiting cruise ships, tall ships, research vessels and others.
- Generate exponentially greater economic benefits to the City of South Haven by building the community’s standing as a major, year-round tourism destination, and by providing a new, versatile community cultural space with access to both the harbor’s Maritime District and the downtown.
- Ensure a stable financial future for the Museum through increased generated revenue as well as establishing the Museum as an integral part of the City of South Haven and region.
- Most importantly, it will add an impactful new dimension to the Michigan Maritime Museum’s commitment to preserving and celebrating Michigan’s maritime roots, to providing generations to come with a direct connection to those roots, and to add a stunning new crown jewel to the South Haven waterfront.
The campaign was well on its way raising over $4.3M of our $8M goal. The pandemic hit and suddenly we all became focused on the wellbeing of our families, our loved ones, our students, and quite honestly ourselves. There was fear, concern, and uncertainty for several months. Our team stepped back, we learned how to zoom, we talked……and we decided to pause. It was the right thing to do at that time.