Planned Giving

Nurture the Next Generation of Scientists

Your Legacy

If you have already made or are planning to make The Field Museum one of your beneficiaries, please let us know so that we may properly thank you. We are here to help you create your philanthropic vision; you may discover possibilities for greater impact than you ever imagined. Please contact Robert Shafis, Director of Major and Planned Giving at (312) 665-7666,, or learn more.

The Edward E. Ayer Legacy Society

The Edward E. Ayer Legacy Society honors extraordinary people who remember The Field Museum through bequests, trusts, and other planned and life income gifts. Membership is open to all individuals who have made an estate provision for The Field Museum regardless of the amount.  Members will be extended unique privileges and invited to exclusive Society events and more. Download the Ayer Society Intent Form.

In 1993, Trustees of The Field Museum created a society named in honor of a founder, Trustee, and the first President of the museum. Edward E. Ayer (1841-1927) was a leader in the cultural growth of Chicago and an avid collector. Ayer strengthened The Field’s core collection through several personal gifts and anthropological artifacts purchased on behalf of the museum over a period of 33 years. He found his greatest pleasure as a collector; at the forefront of his selection of artifacts was the idea that they were for the public. “I was determined if my prosperity continued, “Ayer remarked, “to do something that would give the boy coming after me a better chance for an education than I had been able to get.”

Edward E. Ayer Legacy Society members Robert and Rose Wagner view The Field Museum as a place of beauty, calm and inspiration that makes them feel connected to the world. When asked why the museum is meaningful to them, Robert states he is impressed with the conservation and scientific research and finds the exhibitions highly informative, “Touring the museum is a revelation.” Rose adds “The museum’s position at the juncture of science, nature and art, makes it uniquely able to present the beauty and importance of the natural world.”