Martha Donelan

Martha Donelan

Martha Donelan has been appointed the new director of development at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM), effective June 7. Donelan holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of marketing and development.

“Martha is a great fit for our museum,” said Greg Gorga, SBMM executive director. “Her background in both development and marketing is exactly what the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum needs right now, as we continue to expand our educational programming and further our connections to the community.”

A native of Connecticut, Donelan worked on public relations for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Yale Center for British Art, and Connecticut Humanities Council before moving to Santa Barbara in 1997.

Since then, she has worked on marketing and communications for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Starting in 2005, she focused her efforts on development at Laguna Blanca School, CAMA, and Habitat for Humanity.

Most recently, at the Santa Barbara Humane Society, Donelan was responsible for all development programs including capital campaigns, major gifts, fundraising events, and grant writing. She also directed marketing strategy, media communications and inquiries.

In her new role at SBMM, Donelan will be working to develop and sustain membership, attendance, programs, and funding sources, as SBMM prepares to reopen fully after 15 months of Covid closures, and to expand its program offerings.

“I’m delighted to join this fascinating museum that celebrates Santa Barbara’s rich maritime history and help raise the profile of the museum and raise funds for all our exhibitions and programs,” said Donelan.