MERF LogoThe 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:

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

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 deductible.

What does MERF do?

Quite a lot! They provide:

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.

You can help promote Foundation activities, or suggest ideas for the Colloquiums or podcasts.

Or, you can VOLUNTEER LOCALLY. Every scholarship awarded is based on a personal essay by the applicant. Every essay has been through a multistage evaluation process, starting with at least three local readers. They score every essay on several different scales including grammar, organization, and the readers overall reaction. The local Scholarship Chair averages the scores, and passes them up the line to the regional level. When we start looking for readers, we do ask our members first - but for this job, membership is not required. If you're interested, you can email the current Local Secretary ( for more information.

For more details, visit MERF's page at