Carmel Mission Foundation
Carmel Mission Foundation

How You Can Help


Join the Carmel Mission Foundation and become part of a special group of people who want to see the Carmel Mission preserved for future generations. Founded by Junípero Serra in 1771, the Carmel Mission was the Headquarters of the California mission system, ultimately consisting of 21 missions that formed the foundation for the present State of California. The Carmel Mission is also a State and National Historic Landmark.

By becoming a Member of the Carmel Mission Foundation, you are helping to fund the restoration and preservation of the Mission’s art, artifacts and historic structures, including California’s first library. Members also receive free admission to the Museums and discounts at the Museum Store.

Formed in 2008, the Carmel Mission Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, independent from any religious organization. In 2013, the Foundation completed the $5.5 million Basilica seismic retrofit and restoration, and is now proceeding with the restoration of the rest of the Carmel Mission complex. To join us in this effort, contact the Carmel Mission Foundation office or visit our web site.


The Serra Memorial is intended to be a permanent reminder of the life of Junípero Serra, the historic significance of the Carmel Mission, and a caring public’s commitment to maintain it in perpetuity.

Serra Memorial

Add to your legacy, honor someone special, or remember loved ones by purchasing a custom-engraved tile as part of the Serra Memorial. Donations are tax deductible and go to support the ongoing restoration of the Carmel Mission. Next to the major donor wall and surrounding the retired Ave Maria bell, the following ground tiles are available:

8 x 8 inches..........$6,000
8 x 16 inches......$12,000
16 x 16 inches....$25,000
16 x 24 inches....$50,000

For additional information about these tiles, contact the Carmel Mission Foundation office or see Engraving Requirements about the number of lines, letters, and engraving fees per tile.

Construction began on the Serra Memorial in 2011 as part of a multi-year/multi-million dollar capital campaign to fund the restoration and preservation of the historic Carmel Mission. The bronze plaques on the Memorial Wall and the tiles in the Memorial Circle identify major donors who have supported the restoration of the Carmel Mission.



By Mail: To make a current donation or pledge to the Carmel Mission Foundation, simply download and print the donation form. After completing it, mail with your donation to:

Carmel Mission Foundation
P.O. Box 221351
Carmel, CA 93922

Online: You may donate online by credit card. Just click the “Donate” button below and follow the simple instructions.

By Phone: You may call the Foundation office directly at (831) 624-3261 to make your donation by credit card, to organize an electronic funds transfer, or to donate stock.


Many friends of the Carmel Mission Foundation extend their financial support to preserve the Carmel Mission for future generations through charitable planned gifts in their wills, trusts, estate plans, or with other types of life income or outright gifts. Such gifts can offer tax benefits during the donor’s life and/or reduce estate and inheritance taxes. (See Planned Giving Options for more information on various types of charitable planned gifts.)

Charitable planned gifts are used by the Carmel Mission Foundation to support the restoration and preservation of the historical buildings and artifacts of the Carmel Mission. It is the Foundation’s objective to develop the financial reserves to ensure the work Junípero Serra started, and Harry Downie and Father John Griffin resurrected, is preserved into perpetuity. Your bequest will help ensure this legacy.

Harry Downie (1903-1980) was the curator charged with directing the second restoration of the Carmel Mission, beginning in 1931. He devoted over five decades of his life to this endeavor and, according to multiple sources, the Carmel Mission Basilica is one of the most authentically restored of all the mission churches in California, due to Downie’s dedication. He is buried in the Mission’s cemetery.

Individuals who provide for the Foundation in their estate plans will be recognized as members of the Harry Downie Society and, with their permission, their name will be listed and associated with that special group of people that want the Carmel Mission preserved for future generations, just as Harry Downie had envisioned. The members list of the Harry Downie Society will be permanently maintained and housed inside the Mission complex.

If you have already included the Foundation in your estate plans, please notify us so that we may thank you and add your name to the Harry Downie Society. For more information about the Foundation’s planned giving program, please contact the Foundation’s office at (831) 624-3261 or email your request to:






Mission restoration work in 1939. (L-R) Harry Downie,
John Yementes, Msgr. M.D. O’Connell


The Foundation is seeking volunteers to help with a variety of activities. If you are interested in further information about volunteering some of your time to assist the Foundation in this worthy endeavor, please contact the Foundation office to make arrangements.