In a move that the museum reports will provide it with operating funds while offering significant tax benefits to its supporters, Penobscot Marine Museum has joined the nonprofit Maritime Funding Association of Maine.

The organization manages the boat donation process for other maritime-related nonprofits, to generate funds for their education programs while ensuring that boat donors receive the maximum allowable tax deduction for their gift.

“We’re looking forward to working with Maritime Funding Association of Maine,” said Liz Lodge, executive director of Penobscot Marine Museum, in a press release. “We know that some of our supporters have boats they no longer use, and we can now offer them a way to make a significant donation to the museum in a way that will generate a sizable tax benefit.”

According to Susan Rhodes, executive director of the MFAM, boat donations to nonprofit organizations can be deducted from income for their fair-market value, but only if a complex set of conditions are met. These include:

• the nonprofit recipient must use the boat for at least three years or make material improvements to it before selling it

• boats valued at more than $5,000 must be appraised within 60 days of the donation

• various documentation must be produced and filed on time

“Many marine-related nonprofits are not in a position to fulfill these requirements, and therefore can’t offer the donor the full tax benefits of his or her gift,” said Rhodes, in the press release from PMM.

Rhodes explained that MFAM manages the boats and the process for donors and member organizations, so that the donor can deduct the full fair-market value, and member organizations like Penobscot Marine Museum can receive the proceeds from the boat’s charter or sale.

“We are delighted to have Penobscot Marine Museum join our program,” said Richard Harris, president of MFAM. “We believe their involvement will greatly enhance our mission to provide marine education not only to children but also to adults in the greater Maine community.”

In addition to Penobscot Marine Museum, MFAM includes The Apprenticeshop, the Maine Island Trail Association, Maine Maritime Museum, and Friends of Casco Bay. For more information, call 669-4999 or visit maritimefunding.com.

Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum and home to outstanding collections of marine art and artifacts, small craft, ship models and historic photography. For more information, call 548-2529 or visit penobscotmarinemuseum.org.