Our Members are incredibly important to us, and we continued to engage with and inspire them through a range of unique onsite and online activities during 2021-2022.
Our online events programme connected thousands of members across the globe with our world-leading scientists throughout the year.
As COVID-19 restrictions eased, we were thrilled to see record numbers of new Members joining, renewing and making the most of our fantastic benefits. In November 2021, we welcomed more than 200 Members to our first family morning at South Kensington Connecting with Nature and in October 2021, more than 500 members attended our Wildlife Photographer of the Year preview.
By April 2022 our membership community increased by an unprecedented 50%.
We extend our gratitude to the Patrons Circle whose generosity - through further donations and the programme - supports everything from the Museum's learning programmes to the care and development of its invaluable collections. Our Patrons remained committed advocates during 2021-2022, embodying the Patrons Circle's principle: take part and make a change. We welcomed Patrons back onsite to engage with the work they enabled through bespoke opportunities and inspiring events.
Highlights included the November's Patrons Open House, which showcased the science being carried out by the Museum, with insights into developing research projects. This was followed by the Patrons private view of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year in January 2022, where photographers and scientists explored this awe-inspiring exhibition through a different lens. Finally, we rounded off in February with giving Patrons the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit our off-site collection - a treasure trove of natural history with extraordinary specimens, including giraffes, elephants and whales.
In 2021-2022, we launched our first integrated public appeal and In-Celebration/In-Memory programme in order to raise £650,000 for our Urban Nature Project. Our loyal supporters were invited to make their mark in support of nature with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their name, or the name of a loved one, engraved in the Museum's beautiful new gardens before anyone else.
So far, we have raised a remarkable £100,000 from Members, Patrons and Corporate Supporters, surpassing our target two months ahead of schedule, which bodes well for our major public appeal where we aim to raise the remaining £550,000.
The Museum's philanthropic supporters have a transformational impact on our work, enabling otherwise-impossible projects.
In 2021-2022, we were delighted to receive a major £3 million pledge from the Calleva Foundation to fund our research into human evolution. This brings the Calleva Foundation's total support of this vital research to more than £10 million since 2011.
During 2022 our ambitious Urban Nature Project campaign was spearheaded with leading donations from the National Heritage Lottery Fund, Wolfson Foundation, Charles Wilson and Rowena Olegario (who have also supported our Digitisation programme) and the Kusuma Trust, taking us to £14.8 million of our £19.6 million target.
We are really pleased to receive renewed support from Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation for Dawnosaurs - a programme offering tailored experiences for neurodiverse audiences, which is back by popular demand following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
We thank all our supporters in 2021-2022 for their generosity. See our full list of supporters.
Working with corporate partners who share our commitment to creating advocates for the planet strengthens the Museum's reach, influence and impact.
Property management and building consultancy firm Workman continued to support our Urban Nature Project, using it as a platform to communicate the importance of urban biodiversity and encouraging action to protect it.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition gained non-alcoholic spirit brand Seedlip as a sponsor - with the brand seeking to drive an awareness of the worth of nature's ingredients. Renewable energy company Ørsted continued its support for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition for the eighth year running, and contributed industry insight as part of the Our Broken Planet programme.
This year we were delighted to welcome BMW Group UK and Virgin Media O2, who join American Express Services Europe Limited, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, GSK and Rio Tinto, as part of our Corporate Membership programme.
Our generous supporters 2021-2022
A full list of our Philanthropic supporters, Ambassadors, Corporate Partners and Members, NHM Development Trust Trustees, Research Partners, Patrons and gifts in wills.