SBMM Flagship Society

Create A Promising Future & Lasting Legacy
Thank you for considering a bequest or other planned gift to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Your support will make a lasting impact on SBMM and help provide the finest quality exhibits and educational programs for generations to come. (Planned giving information provided by SBMM and its volunteer-based Planned Giving Committee is educational in nature and the Museum cannot render any type of legal or tax advice.)


Flagship Society Story
“I made a legacy gift to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, because I believe the past affects our future, and I want to ensure that all children in Santa Barbara County have the opportunity to participate in the Maritime Museum’s Tall Ship programs. In order to protect our oceans, we have to know as much about them as possible. The Maritime Museum provides that education, those experiences, and makes learning fun.”
George and Judy Writer

About the Museum
We invite you to read our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan to learn more about our vision and goals for membership, volunteers, programs, exhibits and collections, and community engagement. Since opening its doors in July 2000, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum has become a vital community treasure, celebrating the Santa Barbara Channel’s rich and varied maritime history. Thousands of students participate each year in the Museum’s educational programs, including the Spirit of Dana Point Tall Ship,  Marine Science, Science Nights, Maritime on the Move, Ocean Connections, and Love Letters to the Sea. For many students, this is their first experience on our waters. Through permanent and traveling exhibits, monthly lectures, films, books, and special events, SBMM preserves and celebrates the maritime heritage of the Santa Barbara Channel. Since our founding in 2000, many generous patrons, who care deeply about maritime history and youth education, have expressed their lasting support by including the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in their long-term financial plans.

A Future Gift - Chart A Promising Future
In order to join the Flagship Society, an intended donation must include SBMM as the Primary Beneficiary. Unrestricted planned gifts provide the Maritime Museum with the flexibility to meet whichever needs are most urgent. If, however, you prefer to designate your estate or planned gift to the endowment, to benefit our youth programs, or to honor a loved one, please contact us so we might assist you with the wording of your designation to ensure that your intentions are honored.

Q: Are there different ways to leave a gift to SBMM?
Maximizing your gift and participating in planned giving are strategic ways to leave the legacy of Santa Barbara’s maritime history and help secure the work of the SBMM into the future. Your Flagship Society gift may also provide you with significant tax advantages and can continue to provide income to you and your heirs. Individuals may join the Flagship Society by making contributions to SBMM through one or more of the following planned giving opportunities:

  • In Your Living Trust or Will
  • Beneficiary of a Life Insurance Policy
  • By Gifting Assets from a Tax-Deferred Retirement Plan, such as a 401(k) plan or an IRA
  • By Establishing a Charitable Trust that can provide lifetime income to a loved one as well as a significant future gift to the Maritime Museum
  • As a Final Legacy in a Donor-Advised Fund

1) Bequests

You can establish a legacy that will reflect your commitment to maritime history and culture by including SBMM in your will or living trust. Bequests to SBMM are generally exempt from federal or state inheritance taxes, and subject to an unlimited deduction. Please consult with your financial and tax advisors (take out comma here) in selecting a program or specific target for such a bequest. Investopedia: more info on bequests

Q: How do I leave a gift in memory of a certain person for a specific purpose?
A: A gift by bequest is a wonderful way to memorialize a loved one or recognize someone who has made a difference in your life. Through your will or a trust, you can arrange the gift just as you would while living.

Q: What language do I use for my Bequest?

A: Unrestricted Bequest
I bequeath to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, of Santa Barbara, California, a qualified exempt charity, an amount equal to $_______ as an unrestricted bequest.

A: Specific Bequest
I bequeath my ______, further described as _______, to the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum of Santa Barbara, California, a qualified exempt charity.

A: Residue of the Estate
I devise and bequeath __% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located, (comma here) to Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, a qualified exempt charity.

A: Specific Purpose

This bequest for devise shall be used by the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, a qualified exempt charity, for the purpose of__. If at a future time, the governing board of Santa Barbara Maritime Museum determines that it is no longer possible or practicable to make such use of the property, then that governing board shall use the property for the exempt purposes of the charity that, in the opinion of such board, are similar in general purposes to this specific request.

2) Life Insurance Policy
Naming SBMM as a primary beneficiary of your life insurance is a simple way to provide support without giving up current assets. You may also create a new policy or transfer ownership of your existing life insurance policy to the SBMM and receive an immediate charitable gift deduction. If you continue making premium payments to maintain the policy, those payments are tax deductible. Investopedia: more info on giving to charity through a life insurance policy

3) Individual Retirement Account (IRA) - article by Greg Smith
Naming SBMM as a beneficiary of your IRA is a very tax-efficient way to make a charitable gift. In fact, retirement plans and IRAs should be the first asset considered in planned giving. Retirement funds are pre-tax and when funds are withdrawn by the owner they are taxed at typically higher ordinary income tax rates. At the owner’s death, whatever remains in these plans does not escape taxes and is subject to both income tax to the beneficiary, and estate tax to the owner. In the highest estate tax bracket this could reduce the value of your retirement funds by 70 percent or more! Making a gift via your IRA or retirement plan is simple to do and can be changed if your financial or estate plans change. Investopedia: more info on giving to charities through retirement funds

4) Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT)

A charitable remainder trust can be used to bypass capital gains taxes on the sale of highly appreciated assets, generate an increase in income, receive a charitable income tax deduction, and help you fulfill your philanthropic objectives. Typically, highly appreciated property or marketable securities are donated to a Charitable Trust which subsequently pays a fixed income to a designated beneficiary until the donor passes away, at which time any funds remaining in the trust are then donated to the SBMM. You avoid any capital gains tax on the donated assets, and you receive an income tax deduction in the year the trust is created. In addition, the donated asset(s) are removed from the estate, reducing subsequent estate taxes. While this contribution is irrevocable, you may have some control over the way the assets are invested, and may even switch from one charity to another (as long as it’s still a qualified charitable organization). CRTs come in two main types: charitable remainder annuity trust (which pays a fixed dollar amount annually) and a charitable remainder unitrust (which pays a fixed percentage of the trust’s value annually). Investopedia: more information on CRTs 

Charitable Lead Trust
Some individuals with a potential tax liability have charitable intent but would like to provide for their beneficiaries at a later time. Charitable lead trusts are essentially the opposite of Charitable Remainder Trusts. In this type of gift, a donor contributes an asset to an irrevocable trust. The trustee pays an income to the charity for the donor’s lifetime or a specified time period. At the end of the term the trust property is distributed either back to the donor or to the donor’s heirs. The primary advantage of this arrangement is that the property contributed to the lead trust is valued for estate and gift-tax purposes as of the date of the contribution. For assets that are likely to appreciate substantially in value over time, a donor may wish to remove it from their estate now by contributing it to a lead trust. Investopedia: more info on charitable lead trusts

5) Donor Advised Fund
A donor advised fund (DAF) is a charitable giving program that allows you to combine the most favorable tax benefits with the flexibility to support your favorite causes. Investopedia: more information on donor advised funds

Q: Who can help me arrange a bequest or life income gift?
A: If you have a professional financial advisor, lawyer, accountant or other trusted tax advisor, we recommend that you talk to him/her about your gifts and interests to ensure that your investment offers maximum benefits to you and the SBMM. If needed, the SBMM Museum can direct you to volunteer advisers assisting our staff and Board. SBMM cannot render any type of legal or tax advice.

Thank You To Our Flagship Society Members
Gail and Nicolai Anikouchine, Victor Atkins, Don Barthelmess & Carol Kallman, Dr. Herbert Barthels, Russel Behm*, Barbara Bengry, Dwight Brooks III, Ernest Brooks II*, Helen Brown*, Andrew & Mary Jane Cooper, Mark & Eleanor Cooper, Clinton Davis, Silvio Di Loreto*, Harold* & Bettye Fue, Robert Glogow*, Greg Gorga, Steve Epstein, Lad Handelman* & Linda Seals, Dr. Jarrell & Michele Jackman, Marian Jean, Elsbeth Kleen & Ken Clements, Mimi Michaelis, Keith Whiting Moore, Wilson Quarré & Peggy Wiley, Rick & Sarah Reeves, Brian & Judy Robertson, Thomas & Charmaine Rogers, Brooke Sawyer*, Jean K. Schuyler*, Gary & Linda Smythe, Denise Stevens & Quentin Panek, Amanda Thomas & Jay Williams, Willard & Jo Thompson, Douglas Washington, Alex Weinstein MD & Betty Helton MD, Bill & Janne Wissel, George and Judy Writer, Anonymous

*In memoriam

Benefits of Being a Flagship Society Member
We created the Flagship Society to honor those who have included the Maritime Museum in their estate plans. In grateful appreciation we will:

  • Feature member names on a special Flagship Society display in the Museum
  • List members in our annual report and other publications
  • Invite members and a guest to unique receptions held annually in their honor

The greatest reward comes from knowing that you are helping the Museum to fulfill its mission and vision for generations to come.

All Flagship Society gifts are deeply appreciated and all inquiries will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Want to Start Giving Smarter Today?

Learn more about our Endowment Policy
Downloadable Flagship Society Brochure
Downloadable Flagship Society Membership form. Please complete and mail to SBMM
Learn more about Charitable Giving in this short video by Amanda Thomas, CPA and SBMM Past Board President/ current SBMM Board of Directors
Naming a Charity as Beneficiary of Your IRA Article by Greg Smith

Flagship Society Response Form

For more information, please fill out this form below or contact Greg Gorga, Executive Director, (805) 456 - 8742.


    Please check the appropriate boxes and add your information, then submit. We will respond as promptly as possible.


Support the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Thank you for considering a donation and Membership to SBMM.

Our commitment to the community is to showcase our rich maritime history, present inspirational programs, and prompt insightful discussions about the future of our coastal community.