A Boater's Guide to #GivingTuesday: Seaworthy Nonprofits to Sponsor

Post by - Published on 11/30/21 13:30 PM

In honor of Giving Tuesday on November 30, we’re highlighting a few of the many organizations that are perfect for boaters looking to give back to those in the community this year. Whether you want to find a local boating center to donate to or aim a bit higher and pledge your support to clean up our oceans, there’s no shortage of worthy causes to support this #GivingTuesday. Below you will find a few organizations that we have highlighted on our blog this year as well as various community programs, offshore educational groups and groups dedicated to preservation efforts. 

Or if, you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the boater on your list, make a donation in their name to one of their favorite causes. You can also check out our 2021 gift guide for boaters for some additional inspiration.

Charities Spotlighted on Our Blog This Year:

  • Brooklyn Boatworks was founded by two naval architects, Carl Persak and Jeremy Wurmfeld, and the program was designed to replicate boat building techniques used around the world. Working with New York City middle schools and educational organizations, they take kids through the boat building process in turn building their confidence and leadership skills. Check out our full blog post on the organization here.

  • The Maine Island Trail Association is an organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of coastal Maine. The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile water trail that spans Maine’s coast and appeals to every sailor, boater and paddler. MITA offers a variety of ways for boaters to give back, whether it’s through an annual trail membership, business partnerships, volunteering opportunities or donations. Learn more on our blog!

  • Ocean Alliance’s mission is to protect whales and their environment through research, scientific collaboration, public education and the arts. This year, Dockwa worked with Ocean Alliance to rent slips at the company’s newly built dock, located at their Gloucester, MA headquarters, in an effort to further support research and expand their facility. Read more here and learn about Ocean Alliance’s Snot Bot!


Community Boating Programs & Maritime Preservation: 

Below are just a few of the many community boating and preservation programs that boaters can donate to. The nonprofit community boating programs help make boating accessible to all while preservation organizations help connect boaters to the industry’s rich history. Through these programs, boaters of all ages, abilities and interests can get involved in activities like building a boat, navigating the water, boater education and more.

  • Located in Salem, MA, Sailing Heals works to provide a day at sea for patients and caregivers navigating significant medical diagnoses such as cancer. 

  • Sail to Prevail impacts the lives of thousands of disabled children and adults each year with sailing trips on their specially adapted 20-foot sailboats. Participants are encouraged to steer the boar, grind the winches and trim the sails.


  • The Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory engages the city’s youth through hands-on, experiential programming inspired by the sea. PWBF offers project-based learning clubs where students can develop a variety of skills. 

  • DC Sail works with the local Washington DC community to promote and sustain affordable educational, recreational and competitive sailing programs. 

  • The Chesapeake Bay's Valhalla Sailing gives recovering, transitioning and wounded veterans the opportunity to regain and recapture their sense of teamwork, 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 27 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.

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    Donating to Newport's International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) helps their educational program along with equipment, faculty salaries, scholarship aid, and career education for their students. 

  • Portland's SailMaine supports keep the sails hoisted and boats whizzing around the Casco Bay.

  • On a 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: 

  • The Salty Dawg Sailing Association is an active nonprofit educational organization dedicated to helping cruisers safely realize their long-distance cruising dreams. 

  • FUEL offers voyages to children and young adults to learn skills outside of a traditional classroom environment and spend time learning the inner works of a ship and navigation. 

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  • Tall Ships America encourages character building through sail training and focuses on youth education, leadership development as well as the preservation of maritime heritage. 

  • Jubilee Sailing Trust offers a unique sailing experience on their special tall ship, SV Tenacious, which is the only tall ship in the world designed and built to be sailed by a mixed ability crew.

Preservation Organizations:



  • The Marine Education Initiative works to engage people through education to further their knowledge on protecting marine ecosystems. 


Did we miss a worthy cause that you’ve supported in the past? We’d love to hear about it – please feel free to email us your cause and we’ll be sure to add it to our list next year. 

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What’s your story? We’re on a mission to highlight the boating world’s entrepreneurs, small businesses, community organizations, and solo initiatives – drop us a line here to get the ball rolling. 

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