Major Gift Priorities

The University of Michigan has embarked on a high-profile fundraising campaign, notable for its intensive goals to financially help students. Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum enrich and, in many ways, complete the university. These unique properties—800 acres in all—are transformative places where students, faculty and members of the community can connect with and learn from nature. Our land and water ecosystems—home to approximately 20 percent of Michigan’s native flora and to several key endangered plant and wildlife species—are rich in unrealized research and teaching opportunities. Campaign funding will secure student internships and faculty research, improve aging facilities, and conserve the ecological health, biodiversity, and beauty of our properties. We aim to raise far more than ever in our history: $7 million

To learn more about how your support can impact our giving priorities, contact Director of Development, Meredith Olson, at / (734) 647 7847.


Undergraduates and graduate students gain critical career experience in fields relating to environmental stewardship, design, and interpretation of gardens and natural areas. You can help the finances and the futures of University of Michigan students.

Gardens & Collections

Help protect our living collections and unique natural settings including, the Peony Garden, Gaffield Children’s Garden, Great Lakes Gardens, and Bonsai & Penjing Garden. Your gift supports the continued maintenance and care of these special spaces.

Nature Education

Your unrestricted gift to the Nature Education Endowment Fund will allow us to respond to our highest priority needs over time and allows us to invest in innovative ideas. You also have the option of creating a new fund in support of one or more of our key giving priorities.

Campus Farm

The Campus Farm located at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens is an educational center that allows students to gain hands-on experience in food production, and allows them to be at the center of activity and innovation. We anticipate the farm will serve as a model for other universities. Help the future of sustainable farming!

Field Study & Research

Our properties offer the unique opportunity for research and scholarship for students and faculty. You can support studies into the role of plants and nature in human health and physical well-being, the testing of ideas/devices used to support sustainability, and the role of art and performance in sharing ideas about nature.

Second Century Fund

In 2007, Nichols Arboretum celebrated its 100th birthday. In 2012, Matthaei Botanical Gardens marked 50 years since its dedication. Our beautiful properties are aging. The Second Century Fund will ensure that we can replenish collections, replace old and dying trees in the Arb, and support ongoing maintenance essential to the University’s living treasures.


Endowments are a wonderful way to make a lasting impact. Endowment funds are invested, and earnings from those investments will grow over time, providing an annual distribution to support giving priorities. You have the option of supporting one of our existing endowment funds, or create a new fund to support an area important to you.