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Martha Donelan Named New Director of Development by Santa Barbara Maritime Museum

Santa Barbara, CA. June 18, 2021 – The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) is delighted to announce that Martha Donelan has been appointed as its new Director of Development, effective June 7, 2021. Ms. Donelan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of marketing and development. According to Executive Director Greg Gorga, “Martha is a great fit for our Museum. Her background in both development and marketing is exactly what the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum needs right now as we continue to expand our educational programming and further our connections to the community.”

A native of Connecticut, Donelan worked on public relations for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Connecticut Humanities Council before moving to Santa Barbara in 1997. Since that time, she has worked on marketing and communications for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Beginning in 2005, she focused her efforts on development at Laguna Blanca School, CAMA, and Habitat for Humanity. Most recently, at the Santa Barbara Humane Society, Ms. Donelan was responsible for all development programs including capital campaigns, major gifts, fundraising events, and grant writing. She also directed marketing strategy, media communications, and inquiries.

In her new capacity at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, Ms. Donelan will be working to develop and sustain membership, attendance, programs and funding sources, as SBMM prepares to reopen fully after 15 months of Covid closures and to expand its program offerings. Donelan, who got off to a running start at the June 6 Paddle Out for SBMM, said, “I’m delighted to join this fascinating museum that celebrates Santa Barbara’s rich maritime history and help raise the profile of the museum and raise funds for all our exhibitions and programs.”


Since 2000, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum has featured many artifacts and stories to share the history of the Santa Barbara Channel with more than 40,000 visitors annually and provides year-round experiential maritime history and marine science education for local youth. Featuring the impressive First-Order Fresnel Lighthouse Lens from Point Conception, SBMM’s current exhibits explore Geology of Oil in Santa Barbara Channel & Chumash Use of Asphaltum, the Honda Disaster, and Wives and Daughters: Keepers of the Light

SBMM is located at the historic Santa Barbara Harbor at 113 Harbor Way, Suite 190, Santa Barbara, CA 93109. Visit or call (805) 962-8404 for details.

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