Membership | Island Partners | Planned Gifts | Other Ways to Give

The Island Institute is supported by over 4,000 members around the world who share our commitment to the future of Maine’s islands and coast.  

Our giving circles recognize the generosity of donors who:

Questions? Contact our development team

Join or Renew


When you join the Island Institute, you partner with teachers, fishermen, local leaders, and over 4,000 fellow members committed to sustaining Maine’s island and remote coastal communities.

With programs ranging from home weatherization for energy savings to connecting students across the islands, the work we do supports communities in tackling critical challenges.

The Island Institute is recognized as a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator, based on financial performance, accountability and transparency (their highest rating). We're proud to be an effective and well-respected organization with a strong member base.

Membership begins at $50 per year for a household or individual. We offer reduced rates for seniors, students, and year-round island residents.

  • Home delivery of ten issues of The Working Waterfront newspaper
  • 10% discount at Archipelago, our retail store
  • Invitations to member events
  • Members at the $100 level and up also receive the annual Island Journal.
  • Member benefits change effective July 1, 2015: PDF icon Read a letter of explanation from our President
Gift Membership

Share your love of Maine’s island and coastal communities with a friend or family member with a gift of membership. Your recipient will be welcomed with a card featuring the photography of founder Peter Ralston and one of our signature publications, then begin receiving the member benefits listed above.

Contact us to start a gift membership today


Springtide Society

When you become a member of the Springtide Society, you can rest assured that even more of your contribution will go directly to supporting our programs.

How? Springtide Society members register to make an automated monthly or quarterly gift in an amount of their choosing, starting at as little as $10 per month and with the option to discontinue at any time. Scheduled contributions can be made by credit or debit card, or through secure electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a checking account.

Automated giving is convenient and flexible for you and delivers your support in a dependable, efficient manner. Springtide giving is easier on the environment, too. We will mail you an annual statement in January for tax purposes; transaction confirmations will be delivered by email. Saving paper, postage, and time means more resources for carrying out our core mission: working to sustain island and coastal communities.

Springtide Society donors are eligible for all Island Institute member benefits.

Register today online or by calling us at 207-594-9209 x113. Secure transactions are processed by Network for Good for credit and debit card registrants and by Camden National Bank for electronic fund transfers (checking account transfers).  ETF authorization form


Island Partners

The Island Institute is proud to recognize our most generous donors through the Island Partners giving circles. Although valuable support comes in many forms, the philanthropic leadership of our Island Partners has a significant impact on our ability to deliver on our mission.


Giving Circles
President's Circle $25,000+
Anchor $10,000–$24,999
Waypoint $5,000–$9,999
Compass $1,000–$4,999
In Honor of Your Commitment

Island Partners receive all Island Institute member benefits, plus:

  • Opportunities to connect with Island Institute staff, board of trustees, and community leaders at unique Island Partner events;
  • Communications directly from President Rob Snyder on important issues;
  • A gift membership to share with a friend or family member.

All gifts made to Island Institute operating, program, or endowment funds will be credited toward Giving Circle membership for the fiscal year (July 1–June 30) in which they are received. Unless they request to remain anonymous, Island Partners may be recognized in select Island Institute print materials.




Planned Giving

Through gift planning, you can make arrangements now to support the work of the Island Institute in the years to come. Planned gift commitments are recognized through our Islands in Time Society and may offer tax benefits to you and your loved ones.

Unrestricted gifts offer the greatest flexibility to respond to priority needs, whenever the gift is realized. If you prefer to direct your gift to a particular program or use, we would be happy to work with you to craft a gift that will meet anticipated future needs.


Naming the Island Institute in your will can be a financially responsible way to make a special gift that otherwise may not be possible during your lifetime. If you are considering leaving a bequest for a specific program or purpose, please contact our development staff. We will work with you to craft a designation that honors your intentions while serving the Institute’s anticipated future needs.

Charitable Gift Annuities

Under a Charitable Gift Annuity agreement, you can make a gift to the Island Institute during your lifetime (and claim any tax benefits permitted by law), and in exchange, the Island Institute will pay you or a designated annuitant a fixed and guaranteed annuity payment for life. Donors age 60 or older may begin receiving annuity payments immediately, while donors age 45 or older can establish a deferred annuity.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A Charitable Remainder Trust also provides a life income payment and possible tax benefits; upon the passing of the named beneficiary, assets remaining in the trust are transferred to the Island Institute as a charitable gift.

Life Insurance & Retirement Account Beneficiary Designation

Naming the Island Institute as the beneficiary of a life insurance or retirement plan is a simple way for donors at any stage of life to create a legacy gift. When an insurance policy is fully paid, or in the case of qualified retirement accounts, you may choose to make an immediate gift of these assets by transferring ownership to the Island Institute.

The Island Institute encourages donors to discuss potential gifts, especially those that may affect their estate plans, with a professional adviser.

For more information, please review our Gift Acceptance Policy, confidential Islands in Time Member Agreement form, or contact Michelle Smith, Donor Relations Director

Islands in Time Society

Collectively, the members of our Islands in Time Society have directed over $1.4 million in legacy gifts to the work of the Island Institute. The commitment of each new member is recognized with a letter signed by the Island Institute President, a commemorative gift, and addition of their name to Society letterhead, used in communication with our supporters. The Island Institute respects the wishes of individuals who wish to remain anonymous, and is grateful to those willing to be named for helping to inspire others through their philanthropy.




Other Ways to Give

Gifts of Stock

The Island Institute welcomes gifts of publicly traded or marketable securities. Making a gift of shares, rather than a gift of cash from the sale of shares, may offer tax advantages.

Instructions on how to transfer a gift of stock to the Island Institute can be found here.

Matching Gifts

Employer-sponsored matching gift programs provide an easy way to double the impact of your contribution. If your employer offers such a program, please consider enrolling. Matching gift program forms can be emailed to or mailed to:

Development Department
Island Institute
PO Box 648
Rockland, ME 04841

Tribute & Memorial Gifts

Tribute and memorial gifts provide a meaningful way to honor a special person in your life while helping to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities. To make a gift in honor of a loved one or important event (weddings, birthdays, retirement celebrations), click here and be sure to fill in the dedication line. We will send a card featuring a print by Peter Ralston notifying the honoree that a gift was made in their name, where instructed by the donor.

Gifts In Kind

The Island Institute may also accept gifts of goods or services that may be used to advance the work of the organization, such as housing for an Island Fellow or refreshments for an event. Accepted in-kind gifts are acknowledged at their estimated fair market value.

If you would like to offer an in-kind contribution, please contact our Development Team at

Other accepted gift types and vehicles are identified in detail in the Island Institute’s Gift Acceptance Policy. If you would like to make a contribution and have questions, please contact our Development Team at Thank you for supporting our work!

Gift Acceptance Policy

Please read our gift acceptance policy for further information.

Privacy Policy: Our Commitment to Our Donors

The Island Institute relies upon the generosity of its supporters to advance its mission. In recognition of the trust placed in our organization by these supporters, the Island Institute is committed to protecting donor privacy and subscribes to the Donor Bill of Rights (as established by the Association of Fundraising Professionals).

The Island Institute will not sell, share or trade donors' names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations. This applies to all information received by the Island Institute, both online and offline, as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

To the extent any donations are processed through a third-party service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.

Financial and donor documents are available here