© Gerrit Vyn

Research Grants
Program Revenue
Annual Giving
Endowment Income


The Cornell Lab is funded through a “virtuous cycle” involving scientific research, citizen-science engagement, donors and members, and endowment. The Lab receives 99% of its funding from sources other than Cornell University.


The core strength and hallmark of the Lab is the commitment to new science and the training of new scientists. Much of this work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and other federal funding sources.


Many research projects evolved into earned-revenue programs or powerful citizen science programs that engage hundreds of thousands of people participating in science through Project FeederWatch, eBird, NestWatch, and more.


Through participation in our programs, the Lab has grown a national base of over 55,000 active supporters. We are well on our way to reach our goal of 100,000 active supporters.


Over the past 25 years, the Lab has started building an endowment to ensure a permanent, reliable income stream. The Discover Campaign seeks to increase the endowment to create the world’s best biodiversity fellowship program, ensure excellent program leaders, and create a more sustainable revenue model―as we embark on the next century of discovery.


Our FY 2014 budget is at the left. Through the Discover Campaign, we will achieve a more effective balance among income sources, enabling us to train the next generation of leaders, while engaging millions of people in global programs and motivating them to conserve the earth’s biodiversity.

Together, you and your fellow supporters send scientists into the field. You enable scientific discovery and support innovation. You engage people of all ages and walks of life in learning about and protecting birds and other wildlife. The gifts of endowment made in support of the Discover Campaign will enhance the Lab’s capabilities for generations.

Through a gift of endowment, your investment endures, creating a consistent stream of income the Lab can rely on without touching your original investment. Meanwhile, we can accomplish more with a strengthened annual fund, chart a course for our work years in advance, and take on the most challenging long-term projects.