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2017 Year End Campaign


2017 Year End Campaign

2017 has seen some incredible success, but we continue to look forward. We invite you to consider a year-end gift to the Museum in whatever amount you can give at this exciting time. This past year has been a historic one for The Mariners’ Museum and Park!

Give Here

Gifts made online after 11:59 PM EST on December 31, 2017, will be issued a 2018 tax receipt.
2017 Gifts Deadlines
Use your traditional IRA to make your charitable gift.


As you know, philanthropy from a number of sources allowed us to reduce our price of admission to $1 per person for the entire summer this year. During the summer, I attended a United Way event to show the Museum’s support for the young civic leaders the United Way honored that evening. At the event, a young woman introduced herself to me as the Family Coordinator for a local Human Services nonprofit. She said, “You have no idea what dollar admissions has meant to our families—and we serve over 200 families in the area. They FINALLY have the opportunity to have a museum experience! They can’t afford to go anywhere on the Peninsula, but they can go to The Mariners’ Museum!” She shared a couple of stories of families that came out to the Museum and I was so proud of our team and our community of supporters for taking this calculated risk in service of our community.

The return on philanthropic investment in our summer $1 Admission effort yielded tremendous rewards! Over 61,000 people visited the Museum, a 250% increase in summer visitation in the two short summers after adopting both our new mission statement (at the close of this letter) and our servant leadership posture towards the communities that we serve. Over 20% of our visitors were national or international, and children—for the first time—comprise approximately 30% of our audience. We are growing our future and we believe this model is sustainable. The combination of increased philanthropic support to underwrite our gate and increased earned revenue in our gift shop and movie ticket sales represented an 18.5% increase in summer visitor-related revenue.


With the support of our community, we also opened six new exhibits in 2017, including the blockbuster Speed and Innovation in the America’s Cup, which received international acclaim. We completed the first-ever, start-to-finish repair and resurfacing of the Noland Trail used by tens of thousands of visitors each year. We established a team to completely update and refresh our Ages of Exploration website, the number one online research site for Age of Exploration content worldwide, used by kids from all 50 states and across the globe. Philanthropy also allowed us to extend free student programs to Newport News and Hampton school children.

The return on philanthropic investment in our programs was equally exciting! In the past fiscal year, we saw print media, online news outlets, and broadcast media run unpaid stories or segments on the Museum 517 times. FlipKey (a TripAdvisor brand), placed The Mariners’ Museum and Park on its list of the top 50 (one per state) garden and conservation spots to visit in the country. Our Ages of Exploration website saw over 800,000 users and over three million page views! We push many of our most compelling Park, Trail, and conservation stories through social media, and our social media engagement rate is more than four times national averages. Let this third party validation of our exhibits, programs, research, and conservation efforts validate your support, too!


As you know, our maritime library and archival collection is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It has been in deep storage for the last year-and-a-half, but in 2018, we will restore partial access to that collection, allowing staff to once again satisfy the research requests of people from all over the world. Our goal is to prove the tremendous value of this research function just the way that we have our exhibits, programs, and conservation efforts in 2017. Again, we plan to provide access through $1 admissions to our galleries for everyone in our local, national, and global communities! We will complete and begin to execute on the most comprehensive plan to engage the community and students in our Park and on the Noland Trail. Finally, our World War I exhibit, opening in May 2018, will feature the stories of the mariners here in Newport News and Hampton Roads that shaped the outcome of the Great War.

Thank You!

We have seen that when our community rallies together we can accomplish great things. Your support continues to make a real, lasting impact in the lives of those who experience The Mariners’ Museum and Park. Thank you for all that you do and have done to make our beloved Museum the special place that it is!

Thank you,

Howard H. Hoege III
President and Chief Executive Officer

The Mariners’ Museum and Park connects people to the world’s waters, because through the waters—through our shared maritime heritage—we are connected to one another.