Making Donation Main Photo

Private donations fund all aspects of our operations and are crucial in keeping the museum open to the public and keeping admission free.  We appreciate your support!  


How to make a donation

Cash donations can be left in the donation box near the front door of the museum.  These are anonymous and will not be recognized in our donor list or for tax purposes.

The University of Iowa Foundation accepts donations by check or credit card to support the Museum of Natural History and Pentacrest Museums. To make a gift or to learn more, visit here

Donations support every aspect of our operations, and a substantial part of the Pentacrest Museums ongoing operating expenses comes from gifts or from the return on our endowed and invested funds.  In addition, private support is key to special projects such as exhibit upgrades, collections preservation improvements, and new education and outreach initiatives.

Currently, most private gifts to the Museum of Natural History and Pentacrest Museums through our development funds and annual campaign go to wages for student docents and tour guides, maintenance of exhibits, care and preservation of collections, and general operating expenses.  Most educational and outreach programming is currently paid for by gift shop and program income.  For the Museum of Natural History, student wages and exhibit upgrades are typically the single greatest area of need.

If you have artifacts or objects you are thinking of donating to the museum's collections, please contact our collections manager to discuss the idea.  There are strict rules governing our acceptance of some materials, and some items are covered by state, federal, and international law.  We can also help make sure your donated objects go to the part of the university best able to care for them and use them.

If you represent a local business interested in making an in-kind donation in return for sponsorship credit for events or programming, please contact us at to discuss how we can work together.