Denver Museum of Nature & Science Receives Anonymous $25 Million Donation

By Peyton Phillips December 28, 2021
The donation is the largest in the museum’s 121-year history.

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) said it received a very generous, anonymous gift just before the holidays. An anonymous donor is giving $25 million to the museum and its supporting organization, the DMNS Foundation. This marks the largest gift given to the institution in its 121-year history. 

According to the museum, 10% of the funds will go directly to the museum for initial staffing, equipment and launch activities. With the remaining 90%, an endowed fund will be established at the DMNS Foundation. Annual distributions from the endowment will support DMNS’ long-term conservation work.

The museum’s collection contains 4.3 million artifacts and specimens. In a typical year, DMNS fields 350 external research requests, consults with dozens of tribal nation representatives, makes 160 loans consisting of more than 11,000 collection items, and hosts collection tours for about 13,000 people. 

DMNS President and CEO George Sparks said the support will expand the museum’s capacity for collections conservation containing scientifically and culturally significant objects in archeology, ethnology, geology, paleontology, health sciences, zoology and archives.  

“Collections are treasures held in the public trust. Preserving them and making them accessible to source communities, scientists and the public has long been an institutional priority,” said Museum Director of Anthropology and Senior Curator of Archaeology Stephen E. Nash. “This unprecedented gift will take our work to another level, with the expertise and state-of-the-art analytical equipment needed to advance the field and train the next generation of conservation professionals from a wide range of backgrounds. It will position the Museum as a leader in culturally-inclusive object conservation in the Rocky Mountain region, nationally and internationally.”

Image source: Denver Museum of Nature & Science