Bar-tailed Godwits by Gerrit Vyn; Earth image NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring.

Annual Report

Donate to help support birds

“You are helping the Cornell Lab of Ornithology lead the way on the most important conservation issues around the world.”—Cornell Lab director John W. Fitzpatrick

Key ThemesCoastal Solutions for a Global Challenge

With incredible, twice-yearly, continent-spanning migrations, shorebirds exemplify the connectedness, wonder, and complexity of nature. But shorebird declines represent the number one avian conservation crisis in the world today (see our Autumn 2018 cover story). To stem the tide of declines, we created a new Coastal Solutions Fellows program to bring together scientists, developers, and planners across borders.

shorebirds on mudflats in front of an industrial landscapePhoto by Gerrit Vyn.

Shedding New Light on Dark Skies

By observing and learning about birds, we are taking the pulse of the planet. Thanks to the support of thousands of donors, including key gifts from individuals, the Cornell Lab is using new technologies and innovative research techniques to read the planet’s vital signs with great precision. Scientists are now using this information to prescribe solutions to conservation challenges around the world—from mitigating hazards in cities for long-distance migrants, to securing protection for an elusive California songbird.

migration forecast using BirdCast radar analysis

The Bird Classroom of Tomorrow, Today

Discovering the wonder of birds can be the first step in a lifetime of caring about their conservation, so the Cornell Lab always seeks new opportunities to connect with learners of all levels and backgrounds. From the teachers and students using BirdSleuth in elementary schools, to the young birders and college undergraduates who encounter birds at Sapsucker Woods, to the lifelong learners flocking to learn with Bird Academy, the Cornell Lab offers opportunities to learn about birds and biodiversity at every stage of life.

Eastern Screech-Owls by Suzanne Labbé/Macaulay LibraryEastern Screech-Owls by Suzanne Labbé/Macaulay Library.

Financials Revenues and Expenditures

Thanks to friends like you, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a healthy and effective organization. Nested within the fabric of Cornell University, the Lab’s strength lies in its unique institutional model that weaves together research and academics with outreach and conservation programs, and in the support of thousands of members and donors.

As you can see from the top pie chart, membership revenues and gifts are the single largest source of support for our programs and projects. Our members and friends provided 56.9% of our annual revenue, a total of $17.2 million that fuels innovation, growth, and scientific excellence.

We are deeply grateful to our more than 100,000 members and donors at every level, all of whom make it possible for the Cornell Lab to advance the understanding of nature and engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet. We’re pleased to include a downloadable list of our leadership supporters here.

Cornell Lab annual report 2018 revenues and expenditures

10-Year Trend

The bar chart depicts healthy growth over the past 10 years with revenues exceeding expenditures, allowing the Lab to continually expand and strengthen our vital research, education, and conservation efforts.

Download the Full 2018 Annual Report

Download previous annual reports here:
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Cornell Lab 2018 annual report - 10 year trend in financials

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