We look forward to your active participation in the Reliance Society; an impassioned cohort of generous contributors who provide essential support to the museum and whom we gather together, in gratitude, for thoughtful and provocative events and activities.

Seeking an Invitation?

Please connect with the Museum to inquire about receiving an invitation to the Society. Click the button below to send us an email or call the office at (401) 253-5000.


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Let's Chat!

The Museum Staff would love to talk to you about the Afterguard

Bristol, Rhode Island

One Burnside Street



Please contact us at 401-253-5000

or email [email protected] for more information about the Reliance Society

Reliance Society Members will be invited to participate in:

  • White Glove tours of the Model Room, Restoration Shop, and Curatorial Vault.
  • Day Trips to local maritime museums by bus or boat.*
  • Herreshoff sailboat racing on Narragansett Bay.
  • On-The-Bay Outings including picnics, cocktails, sunset tours and more.
  • Recognition at Gala and reserved VIP Tables. *
  • Replica Prints of iconic historic images from the collection.*
  • House Dinner Parties
  • Luncheon Garden Tours ‘For Members Only’ hosted by members.
  • Calendar (annual) of Maritime Photos by prominent maritime photographers.
  • Large Herreshoff Museum Burgee (in the first year of membership.)
  • Complimentary tickets to Newport Int’l. Boat Show.
  • *Additional terms may apply.


You are invited to become a part of our flagship giving group, the RELIANCE Society.  Be an active part of the Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame, a growing institution, dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company and its founders, brothers Nathanael Greene Herreshoff and John Brown Herreshoff. Enjoy our exhibits, special events, active waterfront and Sailing School. As a member, you will receive special benefits while supporting the Museum's programs.

Donate $3,000 annually for 5 years and enjoy exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the Herreshoff collection, receive a beautiful brass compass, the book Herreshoff of Bristol, as well as special membership privileges, including invitations to RELIANCE Society events. 

Included during your pledge years are: 

  • Tours of the NGH Model Room
  • Invitation to special events and activities
  • Free admission to the Museum and Library
  • Reciprocal free admission to over 60 maritime museums
  • Access to boat rentals, including Herreshoff 12 1/2's Bullseyes, Sea Sprite 23's and a Cape Dory Typhoon
  • Subscription to our publications
  • Free admission to Museum Lecture Series
  • 15% off dockage at the Museum
  • 15% discount on all Museum Store purchases


Reliance Society FAQ

Does my membership expire?

Yes, it is annual membership. We hope you find it a worthwhile venture and that you renew- and suggest others as suitable candidates!

Does this membership extend to my entire immediate family?

Yes, HMM would be thrilled to meet and to develop a relationship with the rest of your family.

Can I transfer this membership to someone outside of the family?

Unfortunately, this is a special invitation to an exclusive cohort of our most impassioned donors and as a result we are limiting the membership at this time. However we’d enjoy a referral of a friend interested and we will consider them at the next round of induction.

Are all of the events and activities free?

Many, if not most, are indeed free. This is essentially a vehicle to express our sincere gratitude for your ongoing support. Some however may be prohibitively expensive for us to deliver without assistance so we may need to ask for a modest fee to underwrite.

Is there a maximum capacity at each event, and will I need to RSVP in advance?

Yes, most events and activities are, by design, meant to be intimate with attendees numbering between 6-12 people. However, that said, there will be several signature events each year, such as a gala, in which attendance will be in keeping with RI Covid-19 safety guidelines at the time of the event. An RSVP is required for all events.

Can I bring guests who are not family or associated with museum?

We will announce events well in advance; posted to this portal and in the form of emails to our members. We will allow guests but they will need to be on a waiting list up to one week before event to allow members first. We actually hope members will bring guests from time to time so that we may demonstrate to them the benefits of becoming a Reliance Society member.

How many members are there in the Reliance Society?

One hundred spectacular individuals currently make up the Reliance Society.

What is the criteria to join the Reliance Society?

Candidates wishing to become a member of the Reliance Society must meet three criteria:

1.    Must be referred by an existing member.

2.    Must have demonstrative passion for sailing, youth development, maritime history or historical preservation.

3.    Must commit to making a philanthropic gift that exceeds $1,000 annually or be a member at the ENTERPRISE level.

Is there an opportunity to be involved, as a volunteer, in the roll out of this nascent and exciting project?

Yes, we welcome anyone who is a member to participate in its growth and development. One need only contact the Museum at [email protected] or by calling 401-253-5000.

Wasn’t there a Reliance Society in the past? What became of that?

Yes, well over a decade ago there was a terrific precedent which asked people to commit to contribute $1,000 for ten years. It was a huge success with over 100 donors participating. 100% fulfilled their obligations. It was concluded last year. This project is proud to be building on its legacy albeit reimagined for the times.

Are there any ‘honorary’ members?

In fact, the leadership at HMM is considering that as we speak. Nominees include state and local public servants, sailing legends, HMM life-long contributors of time, talent and/or treasure. Others include those who are leaders in the fields of youth development and sailing programs. If you have a nominee we’d enjoy knowing more about them.