Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Together we act.

All philanthropy leads to impact. But what happens when the impact donors generate and the science they advance hold implications far greater? Supporters of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology invest in a better future for birds, for the planet and for all people. Conveying the specifics and the scope of this impact lies at the heart of Cornell Lab donor communications. We brought it all to life in the first-ever standalone annual report for this global leader in ornithology, participatory science, and conservation writ large.

what we did

Annual report

Photo of a male Northern Cardinal standing on a tree stump.
Front and back cover of the Together We Act printed annual report.

“Together We Act, the theme of this report, is our rallying cry for a movement now underway as thousands of people, connected by a love of nature, are stepping forward for conservation in their own communities across the hemispheres.”

Ian Owens

Louis Agassiz Fuertes Executive Director, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Quantifying Reach

We also let key numbers enhance our story of turning science and discovery into partnership and action. While the Cornell Lab has long be an expert in data visualization—for example, the migratory maps of BirdCast that show species on the move in real time—we helped them begin expressing the numbers that convey the heft, collaborative dynamics, and promise of their work.

Animated GIF showing a rotating selection of spreads from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology annual report.

A Growing Global Community

Like the best Cornell Lab communications, the annual report portrays a global community acting together for a shared future, on the ground and through participatory science apps like Merlin Bird ID and Song ID. The printed report was mailed to supporters and partners the world over, and its digital counterpart, including a preview and a QR code in its renowned Living Bird magazine, welcomed many more readers around the world. Best of all, the annual report is a first-ever ambassadorial publication, containing in a welcoming, concise publication a whole world of possibilities.

A spread from the Living Bird magazine preview of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology annual report, superimposed on top of the magazine cover.

Donors as Everyday Heroes

We showed how donor stories and voices, detailing what inspires their philanthropy and involvement, become an important lens through which more audience members can see themselves and the change they can bring about.

A flying osprey holding a fish in its talons.
Three phone screens displaying donor stories from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology annual report.


readers, in print and online


supporters (in nearly every country worldwide)


 users of Merlin Bird ID in the past year


birds identified through Sound ID each year

“Together, we are part of a global movement. Our collective action and commitment will surely change the future.”

Linda Macaulay

Chair, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Administrative Board

Photo credits

Northern Cardinal by Gary Mueller/Macaulay Library

Osprey by Don Danko/Macaulay Library

Let’s make something
brilliant together.
Let’s make something
brilliant together.
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