Who Funds the Natural History Museum?

The Natural History Museum is an iconic institution that has been a symbol of scientific inquiry and discovery for over a century. This world-renowned museum is home to a vast collection of specimens that showcase the diversity of life on earth.

But have you ever wondered who funds this incredible institution? In this article, we will explore the sources of funding for the Natural History Museum.

Government Funding

One of the main sources of funding for the Natural History Museum is the government. The museum receives annual grants from the UK government, which are used to support its scientific research and educational programs. The government also provides funding for specific projects and initiatives that are aligned with its policy objectives.

Private Donations

In addition to government funding, the Natural History Museum also relies on private donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. These donations can be directed towards specific projects or can be unrestricted, allowing the museum to use them as needed.

For example: In 2020, fashion brand Gucci donated £500,000 towards the museum’s sustainability efforts, including its work to reduce plastic waste and carbon emissions.

Corporate Sponsorship

The Natural History Museum also partners with corporations through sponsorship deals. These partnerships provide companies with opportunities to advertise their products or services while supporting a significant cultural institution.

For example: The museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is sponsored by camera brand Nikon.

Ticket Sales and Merchandise

Finally, ticket sales and merchandise revenue are another important source of funding for the Natural History Museum. Visitors can purchase tickets to exhibitions or events at the museum, which help cover operating costs. Additionally, visitors can buy merchandise such as books, toys, and clothing from the museum gift shop.

  • In 2019-2020 financial year alone,
  • The museum had over 5 million visitors
  • And generated £24.5 million in revenue from ticket sales and other commercial activities.


In conclusion, the Natural History Museum is funded by a variety of sources, including government grants, private donations, corporate sponsorships, and ticket sales. This diversity of funding sources allows the museum to continue its important work of scientific research and education, while also preserving its vast collection of specimens for future generations to enjoy.