What is the Mensa Education and Research Foundation?

The Mensa Education and Research Foundation (MERF) was formed to address the first two of the three purposes given in the constitution of Mensa International. Those purposes are:

  • to identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity;
  • to encourage research into the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence;
  • to provide a stimulating intellectual and social environment for its members.

MERF is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, funds both research and scholarship programs, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Mensa Ltd., the national organization. (AML is a registered 501(c)(4) not-for-profit social organization, and addresses the third purpose.)

For more information about MERF, visit their website at http://www.mensafoundation.org/.

How does MERF get it’s funding?

According to the Consolodated Financial Statements, MERF draws its support from American Mensa Limited, Mensa International, Ltd., the members of Mensa, and the public. While AML has both legal control and an economic interest in MERF, MERF’s status as a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization makes direct donations tax deductable.

What does MERF do?

Quite a lot! They provide:

  • Scholarships:
    The Foundation’s college scholarship programs are based entirely on essays written by the applicants.
  • Educational programs:
    The Foundation produces annual Colloquium events and the podcast series Conversations with Mensa. They also underwrite several programs in support of gifted youth, including the Mensa For Kids Web site and funding for Young Mensans’ groups within Mensa.
  • An International data resource:
    The Foundation is an international resource for information on giftedness and intelligence, as well as a source for international educational outreach programs.
  • A Research publication:
    The Mensa Research Journal covers a diverse selection of scholarly articles and recent research related to intelligence from nationally and internationally esteemed authors.
  • Awards:
    The Foundation has regularly recognized individuals around the world who have contributed to the Foundation’s mission, or made significantly advancements of knowledge and education.

Can I help?

In short – YES!

DONATIONS can be either restricted or unrestricted. Restricted donations are applied to a specific program stated by the donor, such as Gifted Youth programs, Project Inkslinger®, or a particular scholarship. Unrestricted donations go in the general fund for use wherever the need is greatest, which is frequently the scholarship program.

VOLUNTEER for your local scholarship committee, help promote Foundation activities, or contribute ideas for the Colloquiums or podcasts.

For more details, visit MERF’s page at http://www.mensafoundation.org/how-you-can-help/.