Nonprofit EndowmentsEndowments Managed By the Community FoundationPenobscot Marine Museum


A Museum's "Heart and Soul"

An endowment supports a key position at the Penobscot Marine Museum

Schoolchildren become sailors at the Penobscot Marine Museum.
Schoolchildren take a turn at the capstan. Through a range of educational programs, museum staff works with students and schools to help them understand geography, math, science and art through the museum's collections and stories. Photo courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum.


For someone passionate about the history of the Penobscot Bay region, establishing a fund to support the curator's position at the Penobscot Marine Museum made perfect sense. "The curator is the heart and soul of the museum," the anonymous donor noted; "He or she is the custodian of the artifacts and also often the chief interpreter of their stories."

The recognition that raising money for operations is a struggle for many organizations also influenced the creation of this special endowment. The donor chose to establish the fund as a way to plan for the museum's future.

Founded in 1936, the Penobscot Marine Museum's Searsport campus comprises thirteen historic buildings, including ship captains' residences and an early town hall. Eight of the buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, and together they represent Searsport when it was a bustling port during the "Age of Sail."

"I chose the Maine Community Foundation because of its track record for not only preserving capital, but also making it grow to provide income for good causes," the donor stated. That the foundation is based in Maine and that the fees charged for managing the fund end up benefiting the state further reinforced the donor's decision.

"The recent report from GrowSmart Maine by the Brookings Institution found that one of Maine's greatest assets is the sense of place and community here," the donor pointed out. "Institutions like the Penobscot Marine Museum play a key role in preserving that unique character and using it to build better communities."

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