Elevate your impact

Generosity funds curiosity, curiosity fuels exploration

We are an impact-driven global nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas.

We chase the big questions, challenge accepted beliefs, and push the boundaries of knowledge about our world in order to ensure a healthy and sustainable future for all. Our ultimate goal is to illuminate and protect our planet, one that provides for humanity and the multitude of other species with which we share the Earth. We believe that meaningful, lasting change for the better is possible — when we work together.

Get in touch

Together we can change the world.

Our major gifts officers would be happy to provide you with more information about how funds are used, what you can expect from your partnership with the Society, and answer any questions you may have.

Lisa Herzog

Deputy to the Chief Advancement Officer &
Campaign Director
[email protected]

Advancement Office

1145 17th St. NW
Washington DC, 20036

Phone: (800) 373-1717
Email: [email protected]

"It’s an incredible honor to know that the National Geographic Society will be a part of my lasting legacy and that they will continue to spark curiosity in future generations."
Donald Martin
Alexander Graham Bell Society Member
Major Gifts
Benefits of leadership giving

When you make a transformational gift to support our work, you’ll receive exclusive benefits that provide special access to the people, places, and work that make up the National Geographic Society.

Named for renowned explorer Eugenie Clark, this council brings together our exceptionally generous leaders looking to push the boundaries of science, exploration, education, and storytelling and pioneer advances in science, technology, research, and conservation.

The Clark Council is entitled to all benefits associated with the Grosvenor Council, plus:


  • Curated annual tour of a National Geographic Museum exhibition for up to 10 guests.
  • Exclusive, bi-annual Clark Council conversations with a National Geographic Explorer.


  • Invitation to and VIP access throughout National Geographic’s annual marquee events, including our Explorers Festival and Storytellers Summit, in Washington, D.C.
  • Invitation to attend the prestigious Hubbard Medal awards dinner, with our most prominent Explorers, Hubbard Council, the Board of Trustees, and National Geographic Leadership.
  • Curated calendar of events with prominent Explorers throughout the country and special invitations to VIP gatherings with Society leadership.


  • Complimentary membership in National Geographic Expeditions’ Lifelong Explorer program, qualifying you for special discounts on National Geographic trips.
  • Personal access to National Geographic Expeditions concierge travel service to assist you with customized travel plans.


  • Annual investment reporting on how your support makes a difference.
  • Bi-annual “Notes from the Field” highlighting Explorer perspectives and progress.


  • Special recognition in select National Geographic Society publications, including the Annual Impact Report and at high level events, as appropriate.

Named for the National Geographic Society's founder and first President, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, this council brings together leaders looking to transform the world.

The Hubbard Council is entitled to all benefits associated with the Clark Council, plus:


  • Welcome Call with National Geographic Society President or CEO
  • Quarterly, interactive calls with National Geographic leadership, Explorers and program staff featuring an update on Society projects and opportunity to connect with our experts
  • Participation in the annual nomination process for the awardee of The Hubbard Medal, National Geographic’s highest honor, which recognizes lifetime achievement in research, discovery, and exploration.
  • Annual opportunity for a private meeting with an Explorer and senior staff member in the Founder’s Room at the historic National Geographic Society’s headquarters
  • Curated, annual private tour of National Geographic Museum exhibitions in Washington, D.C. and a private tour of the National Geographic Library and Media Archives


  • Invitation to the Hubbard Council Annual Meeting in conjunction with Explorers Festival, to include private dinner and presentation of the Hubbard Medal
  • Invitation to exclusive, regional Hubbard Council events, dinners and receptions with Explorers, experts and senior staff
  • Invitations to the Society’s annual Explorers Festival, Storytellers Summit, and exhibition openings


  • Invitation to travel on an exclusive, annual Hubbard Council trip, with curated experiences alongside National Geographic Society senior team leaders, Explorers and experts (to launch in 2022).
  • Opportunity to plan customized travel with National Geographic Expeditions staff
  • Membership in the National Geographic Expeditions Lifelong Explorer program: discounts, advance notice of all new expeditions, and pre-sale reservations



  • Recognition in the National Geographic magazine’s annual donor ad, in the annual report, and at Explorers Festival, Storytellers Summit and NG Live events.
Principal Donors Society
Lifetime Giving

The Principal Donors Society is the National Geographic Society’s highest designation for lifetime giving, recognizing individual, corporate, and foundation donors who have supported the Society through cumulative philanthropic support of $1 million or more. Principal Donors have distinguished themselves as the Society’s most loyal stewards, investing generously in scientific research, exploration, education, storytelling and Base Camp.


Donors qualify by making total lifetime commitments of $1 million or more (of which ≥$500K has been received), OR by making a blended gift to include an irrevocable planned gift of $1M+ (of which ≥$500K has been received).

  • Explorer Level: $25M+
  • Visionary Level: $10M-$24.9M
  • Changemaker Level: $5M-$9.9M
  • Innovator Level: $2.5M-$4.9M
  • Illuminator Level: $1M-$2.49M
  • Invitation to the the annual Explorers Festival, and VIP access to Explorer of the Year
  • VIP invitations to preview exhibitions and participate in private viewings of films and other media presented at Base Camp
  • VIP invitation to annual Principal Donors Celebration
  • VIP invitation to events during Explorers Festival
  • VIP invitation to salon-style events throughout the year
  • VIP invitation to events throughout the campaign
  • VIP invitation to participate in bi-annual hard hat tours of Base Camp before the building opening
  • VIP invitation to Base Camp opening in 2026
  • Regular updates from NGS leadership and program leads
  • Recognition in the Society’s Annual Report
  • Recognition in digital and printed materials
  • Permanent association with an esteemed and trusted international brand
Planned Giving
The Alexander Graham Bell Legacy Society

Named after the National Geographic Society’s second president, the Alexander Graham Bell Legacy Society honors those who have included the National Geographic Society in their estate plans through a will, trust, charitable gift annuity, or by beneficiary designation of a retirement plan such as an IRA or 401(k). Legacy gifts from the dedicated members of this group fund the Society’s science, exploration, education, and storytelling efforts around the world.

To become a member, let us know that you are leaving a gift to National Geographic through your will, trust, a DAF, a charitable gift annuity, or have listed us as a beneficiary of a retirement account, insurance plan, or other financial account.

Learn more about Legacy Giving options or contact us at [email protected] or (800) 226-4438.

Benefits of membership include:

  • Invitations to exclusive receptions, exhibitions, and lectures.
  • Personalized membership certificate celebrating your dedication to the National Geographic Society.
  • The Society’s gift-planning newsletter, Explore Tomorrow, which contains Society program updates, Explorer spotlights, Legacy member stories, and financial planning ideas.
  • Recognition in the Society’s annual report, with the option to remain anonymous.

Photo Credits from top of page: Mauro Sergio, Ami Vitale, Bell Collection. Below: Michael Nichols, Andy Mann, Paul Nicklen, Ami Vitale, Christian Tryon, Kenneth Garrett, Mark Thiessen.

Get updates about our critical work to explore and protect our planet.


National Geographic Society is celebrating Earth and, this month only, you can make TWICE the impact. Donate to National Geographic Society and help us make remarkable discoveries about the ocean’s intelligent marine life. The planet and our Explorers are counting on you.