Spring 2020 Bulletin

The Academy & Its Future

A $100 Million Campaign for the American Academy of Arts & Sciences

For 240 years, the nation has looked to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to offer wisdom and insight into the most profound issues of the time. In 1780, that was the formation of a free republic. In the 1850s, it was understanding the changing natural environment through the theory of evolution. In 1960, it was the creation and exploration of a field called arms control – in fact, the Academy coined that term. Today, it includes such questions as how we can sustain the dream of American democracy in the face of widening divides; and how as citizens of our planet we can respond to environmental change and its implications for migration, conflict, public health, and natural resources in order to provide for a more promising global future.

Numbering nearly 6,000 of the nation’s and world’s most accomplished individuals, Academy members combine their extraordinary expertise and convene other critical stakeholders to put informed recommendations in the hands of those on the front lines of these issues. Though this kind of independent, balanced, and nonpartisan resource is perhaps needed now more than ever, the Academy stands among very few organizations that have the intellectual stature, interdisciplinary representation, and convening power to provide it.

We have launched a $100 million campaign to build a sustainable financial future for the Academy to continue to serve as a source of knowledge on topics and activities of the greatest global significance.

Importantly, the Campaign for The Academy & Its Future builds on essential strengths and priorities identified through our recent strategic plan:

  • Uphold Independent Inquiry: Examine the most pressing challenges of the time and seek solutions with urgency and independence.
  • Achieve Greater Influence and Impact: Offer policy-makers, scholars, the media, philanthropists, and those in the public and private sectors the benefit of the Academy’s intellectual capital in the ways it can be of greatest service.
  • Encompass More Voices and Perspectives: Purposefully increase the diversity of perspectives that shape the Academy’s work through inclusivity of members, staff, contributors, and audiences.

Philanthropic support from foundations and individuals has long fostered our ability to be independent, interdisciplinary, and innovative. As the challenges that we face today – and our aspirations to address these challenges – outpace our existing resources, we seek to ensure our continued stability and growth in the following ways:

  • Double the Academy’s endowment from $35 to $70 million to enable continuity of long-term programs, provide the flexibility to explore new ideas and launch promising initiatives, and pursue opportunities to increase the Academy’s visibility and impact.
  • Secure program grants and major gifts totaling $43.5 million to fund a growing portfolio of influential initiatives.
  • Grow unrestricted annual support by increasing the participation of the members and affiliate institutions so that the Academy can respond to immediate needs and opportunities.

The Campaign for The Academy & Its Future, cochaired by Louise Henry Bryson and David M. Rubenstein, has raised over $65 million and is scheduled to conclude in June 2022.

You can add your support at amacad.org/donate or by contacting the Academy’s Development Office (617-576-5066; dev@amacad.org).