Women's Board

Join a committed group of lifelong learners working to ensure a strong future for the Field Museum.

The Women’s Board is a group of nearly 200 civic-minded members that raise more than $2 million annually to support the Field Museum, including programs that invest in young women interested in or studying science.

In addition to an annual giving commitment, the group supports the museum by organizing two major events: the annual Women’s Board Benefit Ball and the Women in Science Luncheon.

Women’s Board members participate in quarterly meetings, which feature behind-the-scenes tours and educational presentations from staff. Members also enjoy exclusive events, outreach opportunities at our partner Chicago Public Schools, and social gatherings, like exhibition openings and volunteer opportunities.


Individual members of the Women’s Board are asked to make an unrestricted annual gift of $2,500 or more (fully tax-deductible). They also support the annual Benefit Ball and Women in Science Luncheon with the purchase of a table or tickets, as well as contributions of time and talent.

Members are also required to pay annual dues of $250 (not tax-deductible) and attend regular meetings. Membership for the Women’s Board is by invitation only.

Send a message to womensboard@fieldmuseum.org with questions about membership or upcoming events.

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The Women’s Board was founded by Ellen Thorne Smith, a passionate supporter who devoted 40 years of her life to the museum as a volunteer, trustee, and finally, founder and president of the board. In 1966, she brought together 155 women to start the organization and promote the Museum’s mission and activities.

Today, the group remains active in fundraising and other support efforts for the Museum, raising more than $2 million every year that contribute to the Field Museum’s mission of creating a brighter future rich in nature and culture.

The Women’s Board takes pride in working on behalf of the Field Museum to strengthen our collective impact on Chicago and the world.