Thank you for your interest in supporting our work! Each gift helps to inspire stewardship by creating educational experiences where history and rivers come alive.

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We are a non-profit 501(c)3 institution, and contributions toward our organization are tax-deductible. For reference, our institution’s EIN is 42-6072050.

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Captain's Ball

Our largest fundraiser of the year, Captain’s Ball supports our educational initiatives – from camp and scholarships to outreach programs and beyond. A fun-filled and themed evening of impact awaits you. For more information on how to get involved, visit the Captain's Ball page. 

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people at captain's ball

Annual Support

Annual gifts to the Dubuque County Historical Society support our mission to inspire stewardship of our history and rivers. They provide for the needs of the animals, artifacts, historic buildings, and facilities in our care at both the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and the Mathias Ham Historic Site, so we can share our work with you—educating and engaging guests, visitors, and program participants of all ages.

Did you know? Your gifts drive our ability to:

  • Provide additional interpretive staff and training to support school group tours and provide meaningful visitor experiences where guests are encouraged to ask questions and engage with knowledgeable staff on topics of interest. 
  • Care for, propagate, and provide the means to support endangered species like corals, Wyoming Toads, mussels, and pollinators
  • Better research, protect, and interpret the artifacts in our collections
  • Offset free and reduced admission and programming for specific groups and human service organizations to provide equitable opportunities for all
  • Improve accessibility and inclusivity to meet the diverse needs of guests. Recent examples include installing stroller and wheelchair-accessible doors, adding virtual tours to portions of campus, creating bilingual campus maps, and constructing a comfort room for nursing parents or those needing sensory breaks.

Endowment & Donor Advised Funds

Gifts toward endowment support the organization’s long-term goals and are invested in perpetuity. The organization has its own endowment fund as well as an endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. 

Why chose endowment? Because gifts made to endowment funds support long-term institutional needs for generations to come.

We also welcome donations made through Donor Advised Funds. Simply contact the administrator of your DAF and direct your support to the River Museum.


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Honorariums & Memorials

Donations can be made in honor or memory of a life. Additionally, the organization offers a limited number of benches and pavers for long-term recognition starting at $600. Contact Jessica Schlader, Development Manager, at or 563-557-9545 x250 for more information.

Paver Options

Matching Gifts

Through the generosity of employers nationwide, many employees can double or triple their contributions through matching gift programs. 

Our donation form on this website can manage the process for you through Double the Donation. You may also send paper forms to Vicky Sutter, Director of Donor engagement, at or mail to National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, 350 East Third Street, Dubuque, IA 52001.

Stock Donations

Gifts of appreciated securities are a wonderful way to support our mission. When donating stock, you may take a tax donation for the full fair market value and avoid capital gains tax. To donate appreciated securities, download our Stock Transfer Form here and contact Wendy Scardino, VP of Development & Marketing, at or 563-557-9545 x208.

donation form

Donate Through Your IRA

Individuals aged 70½ and older can use their IRAs to maximize their charitable impact, and individuals aged 73 and older are required to take a minimum distribution from their IRA. Up to $100,000 can be donated tax-free from your IRA to non-profits like ours. You do not need to itemize your deductions on your tax returns to benefit as this transaction does not create taxable income or tax deductions. Plus, your gift can be put to work immediately. 

To donate through your IRA, contact your IRA administrator. Included here is a sample IRA letter of instruction for your administrator.

IRA Letter

Planned Giving

If you’re looking to leave a lasting legacy to support our mission, bequests, and trusts are powerful solutions. They do not impact your current lifestyle, are easy to coordinate, and can be changed if your needs change. 

Sample language is included below and can be used in your estate planning based on your needs:

I (name), a resident of the County of (county), State of (state), declare that this is a codicil to my last will and testament, which is dated (date the original was signed).

I bequeath to Dubuque County Historical Society, 350 East Third Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, the sum of (total bequeathed) or (percentage bequeathed) of my gross estate, to be used for such purposes as the Board of Directors may designate.

We’d welcome and appreciate the opportunity to recognize your intentions through our Legacy Society. Simply complete the General Bequest Form here and return the form to Wendy Scardino, VP of Development & Marketing, at or mail to Attn: Wendy Scardino, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium/Dubuque County Historical Society, 350 East Third Street, Dubuque, Iowa 52001.

Bequest Form

Corporate Support, Sponsorship & Membership

We love partnering with businesses that share similar values. From youth engagement activities and events to new programs and partnerships, we’d love to work with your business to amplify our mission while celebrating and recognizing your support.

In the last few years, we’ve worked with several companies in a multitude of ways. Dimensional Brewing Company sells Conservation Cream Ale annually—contributing a portion of each sale to conservation efforts. Nutrien Ag Solutions partnered in the spring of 2023 to promote Party for the Planet and provide 500 free admissions to regional school groups. 

Several businesses partner through corporate membership programs or discounted admission days for employees and customers throughout the year.

corporate membership

Contact Wendy Scardino, VP of Development & Marketing, at or 563-557-9545 x208, to discuss what opportunities may be available to support your goals. 

Donating Animals or Artifacts

Find an injured animal and don’t know where to take it? Rediscover a family heirloom that you’re interested in donating? Let us direct you to the correct contact.

Animal Rescue, Rehab, or Rehome

Go to Animal Help Now at to find help in your area.

Artifact Donation 

For information on artifact donations, click here.

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Donor Rights and Privacy Policy

To provide the highest level of stewardship to our donors, we are committed to upholding the Association of fundraising Professional's donor Bill of Rights. this document pays out the expectations you as a donor can expect from a relationship with the Dubuque County Historical Society and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

donor Privacy Policy

Dubuque County Historical Society 990 forms and Financial Statements

2020 990 Form  2020 Financials

2021 990 Form  2021 Financials

2022 990 Form   2022 Financials

2023 Financials