The Smithsonian Institution has announced plans to raise $1.5 billion by 2017, the first institution-wide fundraising campaign in the Smithsonian's 168-year history.
Since its "quiet" phase began in October 2010, the Smithsonian Campaign has raised more than $1 billion in gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other donors. The campaign is focused on the Smithsonian’s contributions in the fields of history, science, art, and culture, with four different themes: Spark Discovery, Tell America's Story, Inspire Lifelong Learning, and Reach People Everywhere. In addition to providing support for programming, exhibitions, and gallery space, the campaign aims to create new endowed positions for museum directors; attract new supporters to the institution; and deepen relationships with longtime donors.
To date, hundreds of donors have been recognized for their contributions during the quiet phase of the campaign, including David H. Koch, Suzanne and Michael Tennenbaum, the Morton and Barbara Mandel Family Foundation, and Oprah Winfrey.
The three co-chairs of the campaign's steering committee are David Rubenstein, a member of the institution's board of regents and a donor to many Smithsonian museums; Barbara Barrett, a regent and major contributor to the science education center in the National Museum of Natural History; and Alan Spoon, a regent emeritus and donor to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.
"This campaign will ensure the Smithsonian has the power to change and the permanence to endure," said Barrett. "A gift to the Smithsonian is a gift to the nation, the world, and the future."