Join and Support the Center

Join the Center

Members receive four issues each year of Railroad Heritage, the Center’s quarterly journal, which covers a wide range of topics in railroad photography, art, history, and culture.

We are a membership organization, open to all. Your support makes our work possible. You may pay online here, using the Paypal buttons at right, or print the Membership Form (PDF file) and send a check.

Membership benefits

At all levels, you receive:

  • Subscription to our quarterly journal, Railroad Heritage®
  • Discounted prices at our annual conference and other events
  • Free entry in our annual photography awards program

Larger gifts provide for our future and allow us to undertake more extensive initiatives, such as the Chicago project. You can underwrite an issue of Railroad Heritage or support our annual conference by underwriting speakers’ travel and lodging. We look forward to discussing possibilities with you; call or write anytime using the contact information in the footer.

All gifts are acknowledged and tax-deductible to the fullest extent provided. Unless you indicate otherwise, your gifts for the year will be recognized publicly by category in the following year’s spring issue of Railroad Heritage.


$50 per year, which includes four issues of Railroad Heritage®

Additional Support

Make a gift at any level (enter the amount on the next page) to provide extra support for the Center’s programs.

Monthly Gifts

Amtrak on Homestake Pass
Amtrak’s westbound North Coast Hiawatha descending Homestake Pass near Butte, Montana, on August 4, 1975. John F. Bjorklund, Collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Bjorklund-09-14-08

If you find it more convenient to express your support through a monthly gift rather than an annual contribution, PayPal will bill you automatically every month. Monthly gifts enable us to plan ahead; they sustain the Center and make our work possible. Should circumstances require that you discontinue giving, merely visit this page anytime and use the “unsubscribe” button.

Monthly Gifts

Select your level to setup an automatic, monthly gift through Paypal.

Gift Categories

Supporters: Up to $199
Supporters recognize our unique position as a nonprofit arts and educational organization. A gift of support helps us fund our office, operations, and publications so the Center can nurture and cultivate our community. Join us today in these efforts.

Friends: $200 to $499
The Center is fortunate to have individuals and organizations that make the Center part of their annual giving. Friends recognize our unique mission and the value we and our donors together provide to our arts, education, and railroad heritage communities.

Patrons: $500-$999
Patron-level support of the Center delivers the satisfaction of knowing that a gift will aid an organization that sees preservation and presentation as complementary. The Center provides advice and programs to photographers, artists, the public and museum communities about placement of collections, often being in a position to provide a home for them itself. Patrons take that extra step to help us maintain our commitment to preservation and presentation.

Benefactors: $1,000-$4,999
The Center sees railroad art and photography as legitimate artistic, educational, and historical endeavors, recognizing their value and promoting them as professional undertakings. This requires resources—to support and encourage artists, scholars, and writers to create and analyze new and past railroad artistry—and to produce traveling exhibitions, programs, Internet resources, and print publications. All of these are costly, especially because of our commitment to creating mainstream acceptance of railroad fine art. Benefactors recognize and support this challenge.

Leadership Circle: $5,000 and above
People interested in railroad art and photography often have an intellectual curiosity and a fiery passion for the subject. Leadership Circle members (private and corporate) see the Center as both an organization and an institution—committed to promoting and preserving our railroad heritage both today and tomorrow. Their participation demonstrates serious philanthropic investment in preserving railroad history through art and photography. Giving at this level paves the way for the Center’s long-term future and continued recognition of the importance of railroads and railroading to visual history.

Support the Center

Make a gift at any level (enter the amount on the next page) to provide extra support for the Center’s programs.

Gift Categories

Up to $199

$200 to $499



Leadership Circle
$5,000 and above

Estate Gifts

Milwaukee Road Hiawatha passenger trains at Chicago Union Station, circa 1950. Wallace W. Abbey, Collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, Abbey-03-080-01

A gift to the Center’s endowment established through your estate can make a lasting impact on the work of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art while costing you nothing during your lifetime. Leaving a legacy in our railroad heritage community is easy. Just ask your attorney or financial advisor to include the language in the red box at right in your will, trust, insurance policy, or on other beneficiary designation forms.

Your legacy gift can be directed to support any of our specific programs where you have a particular interest or to provide general support for all of the activities of the Center. In your estate plan, it is important to use the endowment’s full and exact name: “Center for Railroad Photography & Art Endowment” (EIN 47-7373395). As a 509(a)(3) organization, gifts are tax exempt to the fullest extent permissible by law.

To ensure that your legacy is established according to your wishes, please get in touch with Scott Lothes, president and executive director. Contact information appears in the footer of this page. Unless you specify otherwise, your commitment will remain fully confidential.

Sample Language

I give ____% and/or $____ of my estate to the Center for Railroad Photography & Art Endowment (EIN 47-7373395), 313 Price Place, Suite 13, Madison, Wisconsin, 53705-3262, to provide funding for _______ at the Center or the program(s) most in need as determined by the administration of the Center and its board of directors, and by the trustees of the Center’s endowment fund.