- Memberships & Donations
- Our Research
- Fun & Games
Being a Dolphin Research Center Member entitles you to year-round complimentary admission, newsletters, online access to our Members Only area of the website, special event invitations, discounts at our onsite and online Gift Shops and other benefits depending on Membership level. As well as for you, adoptions are wonderful gifts for friends and family and all memberships, gifts and donations are 100% tax deductible.
A receipt will be e-mailed to the address you provide. Membership options include:
Wish to symbolically adopt a particular dolphin or sea lion friend? Adoptions include an adoption certificate and color photo, biography and other benefits such as an annual admission pass with additional complimentary guest admission(s) dependent on your adoption level. You can adopt a dolphin or sea lion for as little as $25 a year. Learn more about our Adopt-A-Dolphin Membership options.
Dolphin Society memberships start at only $40 and include annual DRC admission, newsletters, and other benefits. Your donations help us provide the finest care and home for the dolphins and sea lions and support the research, education, manatee rescue and other aspects of our mission. Learn more about our Dolphin Society Membership options.
Classroom Memberships are the perfect way to help Dolphin Research Center help children understand the importance of the marine environment that we all share while at the same time support DRC. Memberships include an adoption certificate, a full color photograph and biography of the dolphin or sea lion of your choice, newsletters, membership cards for the students and other benefits depending on the membership level. A Classroom adoption is the perfect gift for a class. Classroom memberships do not include general admission. Learn more about our Classroom Membership options.
Business Memberships include an annual plaque you can display to show your DRC support, DRC admissions, free admission passes for your staff and customers, newsletters, space for a corporate event, event admission and other benefits. Get full details on the benefits offered by becoming a Business Member.
As a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation, Dolphin Research Center relies on and greatly appreciates support from generous, caring people like you.
To help support DRC’s mission of Education, Research, and Conservation, as well as the direct care of our marine mammal family, we gratefully accept donations for General Support, Special Appeals or particular Wish List items. All types of donations are 100% tax deductible. A receipt will be e-mailed to the address provided by you.
Donations intended for general support allow Dolphin Research Center to apply your money where it is currently most needed. Please Make a donation here.
The following are specific causes that need particular support.
If you would like to directly support one of these programs, please make a donation under General Support. In the Additional Comments or Special Instructions box on the donation page, just let us know to which program you would like your support directed. Thank you so much!
Wish list donations support the purchase of particular items that are currently needed. We've asked our various departments to identify items that support the different aspects of our mission. With the exception of any items with a specific link, we ask that you please do not directly purchase an item yourself as we have very specific needs that may dictate a certain design, style, or make/model of an item.
Donate money for any of the following items.
Special Needs Department
The welfare of the dolphins and sea lions is always our top priority. There are many specific items that we need on a daily basis to provide the high quality care that we devote to our animal family. We have compiled a separate list with links that will take you directly to where you can purchase these items on Amazon. When you shop through the Amazon Smile program and designate Dolphin Research Center as your charity, not only will you be purchasing things that our marine mammal family needs, but Amazon also donates a portion of your purchase to DRC!
You are invited to join DRC’s Major Giving Program to support our long term financial health and help us fulfill our mission. (mission statement)
Major donors are among the most devoted and loyal supporters of DRC. Through annual gifts of $1,000 or more, you provide the critical resources necessary to support and expand our education, research, and conservation programs.
Major Gifts are dynamic and have the flexibility to be directed to a specific need like Field Research Study, Educational initiatives or wherever they are most needed. These critical funds have extraordinary impact on our work together, providing a forever loving home for our incredible dolphin and sea lion family, and provide emergency rescue to sick, injured, or orphaned manatees.
In addition to the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to support the dolphins, we also thank you by offering certain benefits.
Receive all the Founder Level benefits plus:
Receive all the Founder & Benefactor benefits plus:
Receive all the Founder, Benefactor & Sustainer benefits plus:
For more information about our Major Giving Program donor benefits, please contact our Development Office at (305) 289-1121 ext. 241, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dolphin Research Center has established itself as a premier marine mammal research and education facility through the combined efforts of our committed donors, staff, volunteers, and Board. Foundations have played a crucial role in our accomplishments and we invite you to share in our continued success. Below is a brief summary of our diverse programming:
DRC’s Education Department provides resources and programming for children and teachers within the Monroe County school community with goals to expand outreach and education efforts to underserved communities throughout the nation. By incorporating DRC’s extensive catalogue of information with growing research activities, teachers and students receive an insightful learning opportunity that will ultimately help motivate them to become lifelong stewards of the environment.
DRC’s Research Department conducts cognitive and behavioral research projects. Research staff continues to welcome and collaborate with world-renowned scientists who come to DRC to study our resident colony of dolphins. Past and recent papers published include Understanding of the Concept of Numerically “Less” in Bottlenose Dolphins published in 2005 in Journal of Comparative Psychology, What do dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) understand about hidden objects? published in 2010 in Animal Cognition, and (in press) Fetal echocardiographic evaluation of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. In addition, DRC’s Director of Research Dr. Kelly Jaakola recently contributed a Cetacean Cognitive Specializations chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Evolutionary Psychology (in press). DRC is also honored to recently garner international attention for its research project Blindfolded Imitation in a Bottlenose Dolphin, published in the International Journal of Comparative Psychology.
The Gray Cross evolved from DRC’s work with stranded marine mammals including dolphins, whales, sea lions, and endangered sea turtles. While we continue to provide a great deal of resources, support, and knowledge to other teams assisting in dolphin and whale strandings, due to the possibility of transferring illnesses to the dolphins that live at our facility, DRC prudently pulled back from on-site assistance. Instead, this critical care program has now focused on the endangered Florida Manatee. Over the years, Florida Keys residents have initiated hundreds of calls to report manatees in distress, and DRC’s Manatee Rescue Team continues to play a significant role in the rescuing, treating, and releasing of these endangered animals.
DRC's Special Needs Program assists and enables individuals with various physical or mental challenges, chronic, or life threatening illnesses to participate in any of the public interactive programs offered at DRC. Dolphin Encounter, Family Dolphin Splash, Meet the Dolphin and DRC's other educational programs are recreational interactions that can offer the opportunity for individuals to experience an encounter with a dolphin or sea lion. The Special Needs Program helps to remove the barriers to these interactions by providing private workshops, specialized equipment, and in-water or on the docks assistance, if needed. In addition, during our slow periods in September and October we welcome military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and mothers and children from the local Domestic Abuse Shelter as our guests to participate free of charge in these programs. DRC is also proud to host Wounded Warriors for a complimentary swim and lunch during their annual Soldier Ride through the Keys. This year we welcomed 31 guests in addition to 25 Wounded Warrior Project staff.
If you are a member of a grant-making organization with interests in marine mammal and environmental education, research and conservation, please contact our Development Department for more information about any of Dolphin Research Center’s diverse programs at (305) 289-1121, ext. 241, or via email at email@example.com.
Over 35 years ago Jayne and Mandy Rodriguez acquired the Dolphin Research Center with a mission to both nurture the animals in their care and promote the awareness and support for marine mammals and our ocean environment. Mandy and Jayne’s dedication is reflected by the many donors over the years who have, and continue to, provide their collective support to ensure DRC’s goals reach fruition.
Estate and legacy gifts honor Mandy and Jayne’s incredible commitment to DRC by providing future security for DRC. There are many avenues available when considering a contribution of this kind, with the most common way being to designate DRC as a beneficiary in a retirement plan, IRA, or life insurance policy. Both have advantages for you and for DRC. Other ways to make a lasting gift are outlined below:
It is not only rich or elderly people who need a will. A will protects your family and may help ease the probate process. A bequest in your will means you may be able to give far more than you ever imagined. Bequests can be made as a fixed amount or percentage of your estate, as property like securities or land, or as the remainder of your estate after all specific designations have been fulfilled.
When preparing your will, the following wording is suggested:
“I give to Dolphin Research Center - 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050 - the sum of $ XX, or XX% of my estate, or the remainder of my estate after expenses and the disposition of bequests, to be used for such purposes as the Board of Directors of said organization determines.”
Purchasing a life insurance policy which designates DRC as a beneficiary is an economical way to make a substantial legacy gift. The premiums can be fully tax deductible. Life insurance is separate from your will and does not affect the distribution of your other assets. It is confidential and flexible. You can also choose to make DRC a beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement plan.
These are charitable gifts in which you receive a tax benefit at the time of the gift, and usually also still have some type of other benefit associated with the donation. These gifts are usually established with a contract that ends after a fixed period or upon the passing of the donor.
Trusts are the most common mechanism used to make charitable gifts that provide tax benefits to you or your designee during your lifetime. For example, land trusts have historically been used to donate land to a charity, such that the charity immediately obtains ownership of the property, while providing the donor use of the land for his or her remaining lifetime.
With a charitable gift annuity, a tax deductible gift is made to DRC and DRC in turn provides the donor with fixed annuity payments for a specified period of time or until the donor passes. Because of the complicated tax laws and contractual arrangements associated with trusts and annuities, DRC can assist you with locating a professional to coordinate these types of transactions. Please contact our Development Department at 305-289-1121 X241 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Dolphin Research Center is grateful to accept gifts of publicly traded stocks, mutual funds, and bonds. Please call our Development Department at (305) 289-1121 X241 or email us at email@example.com facilitate your gift. As with any gift to DRC, please consult your tax advisor for the exact tax benefits for your charitable contribution.
There are many ways to utilize your IRA’s as a part of your charitable giving plans. Some of these strategies may be affected by legislation currently pending in Congress. Please contact your tax or financial advisor to determine if any of these strategies are appropriate for you and your goals.
Your personal financial, tax, estate and charitable goals will determine if any of these gifts may be right for you.
Enjoy all of the photos and the memories we share. From DRC to all our extended family, we thank you for your dedicated partnership and hope that you will continue to bless us with your incredible support. Thank you to all of the Founders and Guardian Circle members, and their guests, who attended the 2015 Founders Weekend in November. We hope that you had as wonderful of a time attending as we did in welcoming you to this unique event! For those of you who regretfully could not attend, we look forward to your next visit. Please know how much we all appreciate your continued commitment to DRC and our marine mammal family!
DRC Founders are those who donate at least $1000.00 a year. Guardian Circle members have given at the Parent level or more for a minimum of three consecutive years or Sponsor level for five consecutive years. Get more information about becoming a DRC Founder.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Founders Weekend, this is a special time that we reserve every other year for DRC Founders and Guardian Circle members. Dolphin Research Center closes to the public for the weekend as we share special presentations and news, enjoy great fun with the dolphin and sea lion family, spend time together enjoying meals and celebrate at the Gala dinner and auction event.
Who doesn't like to mark a special occasion? At Dolphin Research Center, whether they were born here or were adopted into the family, we love each dolphin and sea lion and enjoy celebrating their special days. If you've visited Dolphin Research Center, perhaps you formed a connection with a particular member of our marine mammal family. If so, you can help honor them by buying them their favorite treat - a big bucket of fish! (Each bucket costs $20.00.) Check the list below for the birthday or anniversary of arrival for every dolphin or sea lion. Thank you!
|Aleta||Dec. 21, 1984||Birthday|
|Atocha||Feb. 21, 2015||Birthday|
|Bowie||May 31, 2022||Birthday|
|Cacica||Feb. 24, 2015||Birthday|
|Calusa||Feb. 15, 2001||Birthday|
|Cayo||Dec. 13, 2006||Birthday|
|Delta||Nov. 22, 2009||Birthday|
|Diamond||Oct. 16, 2014||Anniversary|
|Diva||Nov. 6, 2013||Birthday|
|Flagler||Nov. 15, 2010||Birthday|
|Gambit||Nov. 5, 2010||Birthday|
|Gypsi||Jan. 6, 2007||Birthday|
|Jax||Jan. 8, 2008||Anniversary|
|Kilo||Jun. 25, 2002||Anniversary|
|Lina||Jan. 13, 2011||Anniversary|
|Louie||Feb. 6, 2011||Anniversary|
|Luna||Jan. 29, 2010||Birthday|
|Merina||Nov. 21, 1984||Birthday|
|Pandora||Nov, 22, 1997||Birthday|
|Pax||Mar. 30, 1997||Birthday|
|Ranger||Mar. 25, 2022||Anniversary|
|Reese||Dec. 3, 2012||Birthday|
|Sandy||Aug. 15, 1979||Birthday|
|Santini||Nov. 29, 1986||Birthday|
|Summer||Jan. 27, 2015||Anniversary|
|Talon||Jun. 08, 1990||Birthday|
|Tanner||Mar. 13, 2002||Birthday|
|Tursi||Nov. 26, 1973||Birthday|
|Windley||Nov. 12, 2013||Birthday|
Thank you for supporting Dolphin Research Center! It is our mission that through education, research, and rescue, Dolphin Research Center promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans, and the environment we share with the well being of DRC’s animals taking precedence.
Dolphin Research Center is a 501(c)(3), not for profit organization. Your 100% tax deductible contributions support our mission and help us provide the highest quality care for the dolphins and sea lions who have entrusted us to provide them a safe, happy, and healthy forever home. Additionally DRC is the only licensed manatee rescue facility in the Florida Keys. All our marine mammal family members have been born in human care or were rescued because of injury or illness and were unable or unfit to be returned to the wild.
You can support DRC in many ways: