Press Release

The National Geographic Society Breaks Fundraising Record with $122.8 Million in New Commitments

The nonprofit raises $122.8 million in 2023; the organization’s largest fundraising year to date

Washington, D.C. National Geographic Headquarters. June 13, 2023. Group photo of Explorers, senior leadership and staff who have gathered for the National Geographic Explorers Festival.

Photograph by Washington, D.C. National Geographic Headquarters. June 13, 2023. Group photo of Explorers, senior leadership and staff who have gathered for the National Geographic Explorers Festival.

Washington, D.C., January 25, 2024 — Today, the National Geographic Society announced its largest fundraising year in its 136-year history with $122.8 million in new commitments for 2023 — the Society’s third record-breaking year in a row. Contributions came from individuals, corporations and foundations to support the nonprofit’s mission work, including the transformation of its Base Camp in Washington, D.C., global community of National Geographic Explorers and portfolio of impactful programs.

The Society invests 100 percent of donor contributions into the organization’s programmatic priorities to strengthen its mission of illuminating and protecting the wonder of our world. Donors and partners fuel the Society’s ability to leverage scientific research, exploration, education and unparalleled storytelling to spark curiosity in hundreds of millions of people to learn about and care for our planet. These philanthropic investments accelerate the Society’s sustainable business model and build a culture of philanthropy, key to the organization’s five-year strategic plan, NG Next.

“This achievement underscores our community’s belief in our mission and vision for the future,” said CEO Jill Tiefenthaler. “The dedication of our donors is instrumental to funding the extraordinary National Geographic Explorers who are driving positive change for our planet and its people. Thank you to all those helping us support our Explorers, transform our Base Camp, and achieve our mission and global impact.”

Last year, the Society launched its newly formed Principal Donors Society, the highest designation for lifetime giving, which recognizes individuals, corporations and foundations who have championed the nonprofit through cumulative philanthropic support of $1 million or more for pivotal priorities and impact areas. The second annual Principal Donors Society Induction Ceremony and Celebration will take place on February 7, 2024 in Los Angeles, Calif.

“We are most grateful for the unprecedented generosity of our donors that this year’s giving reflects, as it clearly demonstrates the growing global support of the National Geographic Society's mission to illuminate and protect the wonderful of our world,” said the Society’s Board Chair Jean Case.

2023 fiscal year fundraising highlights include:

  • Secured the largest commitment in the Society’s history from long-time partner, Rolex
  • $122.8 million in overall new commitments, a 4% increase from the previous record-breaking fiscal year ($117.9M)
  • 81 new commitments of $100,000 or above, a 16% increase over 2022
  • 16 new commitments at $1 million or above
  • $13.2 million raised through Annual Giving & Membership, a 13% increase over 2022
  • 100% participation by the Board of Trustees
  • 100% participation by the Society’s Senior Leadership team
  • Increased membership in the Hubbard Council (annual donors of $50,000 or more) by 30%
  • Launched the Principal Donors Society in January 2023, recognizing donors of lifetime giving of $1M or more to the Society, with 65 donors; adding an additional 11 donors during 2023

“We accomplished this tremendous fundraising year thanks to our loyal, global network of industry and thought leaders who are personally dedicated to the Society’s success,” said Chief Advancement Officer Kara Ramirez Mullins. “It’s encouraging to see real investment in, and momentum for, the Society’s key priorities like the Base Camp renovation project. We have a bold vision for the future and the time to invest in the Society is now!”

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About The National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content.

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