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Giving Opportunities

Established in 1908 through the foresight and subsequent endowment given by founder Annie Alexander, the MVZ has become a leader in research and education on vertebrate diversity and the steward of one of the premier collections in the United States. To sustain our leadership in discovery and understanding of vertebrate diversity, and to protect the collection for future generations, we now depend on donations. Any gifts, large or small, will make a difference.

Our core needs, related to the funds described below, are:

  • To develop and protect the collections
  • To further develop informatics tools both to enhance our research and to share the knowledge derived from our research
  • To develop our capacity to apply new tools from genomics to long-standing questions about the evolution and dynamics of vertebrate diversity
  • To support student education, including access to our collections and facilities by researchers from developing countries
  • To protect and develop the Hastings Reserve as a site for long-term research on ecological and evolutionary dynamics of vertebrate populations

If you wish to support our program, you can choose among several museum funds. If you are considering a large-scale gift, please contact the Director, Dr. Michael Nachman, at

Greatest Needs

The Grinnell Fund is an endowment that provides essential support to the MVZ collections and programs.
  • Ensures the long-term viability of the collections and support their use by the global community
  • Directly supports MVZ staff positions that are central to maintaining the collections and supporting our program
  • Maintains the international prominence of the MVZ in research and education relating to vertebrate diversity



The Friends of the MVZ Fund provides the Director with an immediate source of unrestricted funds to support operations, research, and education.
  • Maintains and expands the MVZ’s collections
  • Enhances the undergraduate research experience through our award-winning Undergraduate Program
  • Assists researchers from developing countries to visit the MVZ and use our collections and facilities
  • Enables exploration of new technologies, especially new tools from genomics
  • Supports outreach to our alumni, friends, and the public


Other Funds

Your gift to the following three funds will:

  • Increase our ability to recruit and support the very best graduate students in the nation
  • Promote independence of research done by these students
  • Maintain the outstanding record of success with NSF graduate student research awards

The Alden H. Miller Graduate Support Fund supports graduate students affiliated with the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

The David and Marvalee Wake Fund supports student research in vertebrate evolutionary biology.

The Ned Johnson Fund supports field and laboratory research in ornithology.



The Hastings Natural History Reservation is a >2500 acre research station that has supported long-term research on ecological dynamics of coastal oak woodland communities since the late 1930s. Gifts to the Friends of Hastings Reserve Fund will:
  • Support core operations, thereby minimizing user fees and increasing accessibility for students to the field station
  • Enable upgrades to facilities, increasing the scope and impact of research conducted at Hastings
  • Support outreach to the regional community, including programs with middle schools



AmphibiaWeb is the pre-eminent on-line database of amphibian diversity. Gifts to the Friends of AmphibiaWeb Fund will help ensure that:
  • This key information portal is kept current as new species are discovered, conservation status changes, and information on taxonomy and geographic range changes
  • We can continue to involve undergraduate students in reviewing and entering information


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