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Give Forward FAQs

What is Give Forward?

  • Give Forward is our new admission policy and we invite you into our museum site without paying a traditional admission fee.

How does Give Forward work?

  • The History Center no longer relies on admission revenue and visitors are free to experience the exhibitions that bring San Diego’s past to life
  • Give Forward admissions provides complimentary admission to the museums and archives based on the generosity of a previous donor or visitor.
  • After your visit, we ask visitors to determine the value of their experience and demonstrate that with a donation
  • Our suggested minimum donation is $10
  • A donation is not mandatory

Where is the Give Forward admissions policy in place?:

What about my Balboa Park Explorer Pass? / Why should I buy a Balboa Park Explorer Pass?

  • The Balboa Park Explorer Pass allows pass holders access to 17 institutions throughout all of Balboa Park for one year, including the History Center.
  • The value of the Balboa Park Explorer pass is the one-time price for year-round admission to 17 museums with no limits on visits

Is my donation tax-deductible?

  • All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by federal and state law.
  • Your donation helps us keep San Diego history alive and supports our mission to tell the diverse story of our region—past, present and future— educate and enrich our community, preserve our history and foster civic pride.
  • Contributions to the History Center support the conservation and display of our valuable historical collections and support educational programs for San Diego City and County schoolchildren.
  • For information about making a gift to the San Diego History Center: development@sandiegohistory.orgor 619-232-6203 x102
  • The San Diego History Center is a 501 c(3) non-profit charitable corporation.
    Federal ID#: 95-1728991

What if I don’t want to donate? Do I have to?

  • No, but most visitors do give something. We understand there are various reasons why someone may not however, we just ask you to consider it and consider what the San Diego History Center, Archives, and Junípero Serra Museum provide to its visitors and our contributions to our community

Do you still charge for lectures, programs etc?

Can I come back again tomorrow?

  • You are welcome to come back whenever you’d like (with the exception of posted museum closings). We hope with each new experience you find it within you to express the value of that experience in the form of a minimum $10 donation and that you Give Forward for other visitors in the future, however, we ask that you determine what value you place on the experience.

What about the Research Library and Archives?

  • There is no required charge to access the Research Library and Archives.
  • In an effort to be more accessible and available for our community, we invite visitors to access our Photograph and Document Collections in the Research Archives and ask that based on their experience , they make a donation to support the History Center. Our suggested donation is $10
  • We hope our visitors understand that the continued preservation of our collections requires resources and community support. There are still fees associated with group visits, copies and reproductions, and remote research assistance.

How will this affect my membership or memberships in general?

  • If you currently have a membership, you are already supporting the Give Forward program. If you decide to become a member, part of your annual dues will support this, and all of the other programs of the SDHC including: collections, education, exhibitions, and more.
  • There are additional benefits to your membership, like The Journal of San Diego History, The TIMES, member exclusive events, reciprocal admission opportunities, and third-party discounts throughout San Diego.

Why buy a membership?

  • People who buy memberships believe in our Mission: to tell the diverse story of our region – past, present and future – educate and enrich our community, preserve our history, and foster civic pride. By purchasing a membership you are helping our organization fulfill its commitment to the community.

I bought a membership so I could visit the Research Library and Archives. What’s the value now for me who is only interested in the research library access?

  • Please consider this new policy a removal of that barrier
  • As the entity that cares for these community resources, we know that they belong to everyone and therefore access to those should be available.
  • These resources require preservation and conservation, however, and part of your membership supports that
  • We invite you to place a value on that access if you wish
  • If you would like to cancel your membership and/or don’t support greater access to San Diego’s history, please contact the membership department