The Wilson Center is supported in perpetuity with an endowment that is comprised of contributions from the private sector.  These gifts are vital to fulfilling the Center’s mission of promoting knowledge in the public service.

Gifts to the Endowment Fund for Excellence and Naming Opportunities

Building the Wilson Center Endowment Fund for Excellence is a major goal.  A significant endowment will enable the Center to plan ahead with assurance, take advantage of extraordinary opportunities and help weather economic downturns, global uncertainties and the expected decline of Congressional support. Both outright gifts and/or planned gifts, including bequests, may be directed to the endowment to help support Center programs in perpetuity.

Lifetime and testamentary leadership gifts of $100,000 or more to the endowment may be restricted and designated by the donor to a Center priority. (Unless otherwise indicated by the donor, all bequests to the Center will be added to the general endowment.)

Naming opportunities for facilities and spaces, programs, series and positions are offered to donors so they may designate support for their particular areas of interest and be recognized accordingly with naming and duration that are mutually agreeable.

Endowing a Series

In addition to its daily programming, the Center has launched two special series.


This is the newest ongoing series which examines overarching themes of U.S. international and domestic policy, drawing on high-profile experts from all political spheres to provide explorations of challenging issues with the goal of informing the national public policy debate. Launched in April 2011 with a discussion featuring Tom Friedman, Ann-Marie Slaughter, Brent Scowcroft and other experts regarding a new national security narrative for the 21st century, these programs are being held at the Center’s headquarters in Washington and in other major U.S. cities.  All events are expected to be webcasted live and covered by members of the media.  The Conversations will occur at least six times annually.


Named for the Wilson Center’s President Emeritus Lee Hamilton, this Series has been established as a tribute to Lee’s values of inclusive, exploratory and above all, nonpartisan dialogue. The Lee Hamilton Lecture Series features renowned, high-visibility leader-speakers representative of varied areas of expertise including world leaders, chief government officers, Nobel Laureates, and notable business leaders, artists, authors, and journalists.  Three of the lectures are centerpieces of A Day at the Wilson Center, a tri-annual, signature event for Wilson Center supporters.  The inaugural lecture was launched on May 25, 2011 featuring Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

For more information or to discuss leadership Annual and Endowment Giving designations and naming opportunities, please contact 202.691.4172.