Create Your Free Dockwa Account

I'm A Marina

I'm A Boater


#GivingTuesday: Seaworthy Nonprofits to Include in Your Year-End Giving

Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 11/22/17 7:01 AM
One well-earned reputation of boaters: we heed the call of those in distress. For Giving Tuesday – this year falling on November 28 – and throughout the holiday season, support organizations that speak to your salty side or simply help you give back to whichever community floats your boat. 

Being part of the boating community sometimes means relying on good samaritans to share knowledge or help you out of a jam. From Salty Dawgs to SailorsHelping, here are some of our best options for paying it forward on #GivingTuesday. 

Keep in mind, you can always double-down by making an additional donation in someone else's name. Stay tuned for this and other gifting tips in the 2017 Dockwa Gift Guide by subscribing below. ⬇️   

Banner photo: u/Indominuscami

Community Boating Programs & Maritime Preservation 

Nonprofit community boating programs help make boating accessible for people of all ages, abilities, and interests. 

Preservation organizations help connect boaters (and non-boaters) to boating's rich history 

Find a local community boating center or boat building program near you. New Englanders might consider:

  • The Chesapeake Bay's Valhalla Sailing gives recovering, transitioning and wounded veterans the opportunity to regain and recapture their sense of team work, family, community and self through sailing and racing on the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

  • Warrior Sailing offers specialized training camps and coordinates sailing challenges for maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans throughout the country.  

  • For 25 years, the Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) has brought sailing to persons with disabilities, recovering warriors, and youth in at-risk communities.

  • Boston's Community Boat Building and Community Boating offers summer-long classes, memberships and events for those interested in pursuing boat building as a hobby or career, or looking to 

  • Portland's SailMaine

  • Newport's International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS)

  • On the national scale, the BoatUS Foundation works behind the scenes year-round to provide online boating education, promote boater safety awareness, and more.

Offshore Educational Groups: 

  • I've been a fan of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association since I joined their rally from Beaufort to St. Thomas in 2012. They're an active nonprofit educational organization dedicating to helping cruisers safely realize their long-distance cruising dreams. Join here to support their cause.

Preservation organizations:

To highlight your nonprofit sailing org, email becky@dockwa.com

Ocean Conservation

You spend your free time on the water and the rest of your time dreaming about it. While it's a hot topic right now, the initative isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Support environmental organizations to help our planet:

  • Sailors for the Sea promotes sustainable boating world-wide through their Clean Regatta Program, and has fun doing it.

  • The National Park Service goes beyond Yellowstone, maintaining public parks along our national shorelines. Check out a few of the National Parks you can get to by boat

  • We're having a blast cheering on the Volvo Ocean Race sailors – particularly Dee Caffari and team, whose guiding mission throughout the VOR is to amplify the United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign. Besides spreading awareness, the boat is equipped with on-board data gathering equipment to measure water quality and composition, as well as micro-plastics in some of the world's remotest oceans. Show your support through action: click here to find out how.

  • The Bahamas has a great rap for its pristine bright blue waters – and it has people dedicated to keeping it as such. The Bahamas National Trust  manages the country's parks, which in clude more than 2 million acres of air, land, and sea. 

cane garden bay.png

Hands-on Hurricane Relief with SailorsHelping

If this season's brutal storms didn't impact you directly, you may have already started to forget how hard people in the southeast and islands were hit this fall. 

I've mentioned a few of my favorite organizations in this post, but there's one I haven't been able to shut up about for months. I first heard about SailorsHelping amidst the chaos of the Newport Boat Show, and the mission resonated more than any other fundraiser. Even for someone who only lived on St. Thomas for a relatively short period of time, seeing it and its neighboring islands get crushed by Harvey, Irma, and Maria was absolutely heartbreaking. I can't fathom how it must feel for those who've spent their lives there.

In the weeks following, whenever a boater bemoaned that they wouldn't cruise the islands this winter because "they just weren't the same," I would encourage them: If you're able to get there, this year more than ever, GO. Go, and have your work gloves handy. Go, and bring supplies. Go, and show these people what sailors are made of. These islands still need massive amounts of help. 

SailorsHelping will connect you and your crew's skills, timeline, and boat capacity with the needs of damaged marinas, harbors, and marine businesses – like Habitat for Humanity, except specifically for cruisers to give back to cruising destinations. Imagine creating an even closer connection with these islands you've loved or longed to visit for years. Then GO. 

Find your project. Donate here

Beyond the Sea

The team at Dockwa is full of boaters, but like you we have causes we love both on and off the water. Please consider supporting these organizations that are personally near and dear to the hearts of team members who volunteer year-round to support them.

  • Katharine is involved with Ronald McDonald House Boston Harbor, which helps relieve the child patient housing crisis in Boston. While able to serve 100 families this past year, 400 families remain in need of housing while their children receive medical care. From Katharine: "Giving to RMH is pretty cool, because your donation contributes directly to the house in Boston Harbor (it's not routed through corporate or distributed to other RMHs) so you know exactly where your money is going. If we reach our goal of $40,000, we’ll be able to open a new apartment and serve 10 more families next year." With 67 nights donated so far, the program is already a quarter of the way to their goal! Give the gift of family: Donate here

  • Mat (aka Minty) volunteers for The National GRACE Foundation, an organization that helps children with cancer go to college. Based in Rhode Island, the foundation provides FREE college admissions and financial aid counseling, advocacy, and scholarships to pediatric cancer fighters. They have worked with more than 900 families from all over the country since 2011. Their goal is to raise $30,000 in 2018 to award scholarships to children affected by pediatric cancer. In addition, they are looking to expand their services to hospitals in San Diego, San Francisco, and Miami. Donate here

  • You may have noticed Dockwa raising funds for Vs. Cancer at boat shows and previous holiday campaigns. With a unique mission dedicated to saving kids' lives by empowering athletes and communities to fund lifesaving childhood cancer efforts, we'll highlight them any chance we get. Donate here

Spread the word! Share this post and that you've donated with the hashtag #GivingTuesday!



Post by Becky at Dockwa

Email Me!


Get your cruise or event recap on the Dockwa blog



(Bonus points if you tag us when visiting our marinas!)