Meet the Mensa Foundation

Human intelligence is the world’s most important resource. The Mensa Foundation is dedicated to nurturing and protecting that resource.

As the philanthropic arm of Mensa, the Foundation designs its awards and publications programs to support and recognize those striving to broaden our understanding of intelligence. The Foundation also encourages the use and enjoyment of intelligence through scholarships, publications and events. These programs are summarized as follows:


The Colloquium is a one-day event held before the start of the Annual Gathering. It provides a forum for Mensa members and the public to study a topic in depth. Colloquium attendees have the chance to interact with international experts as well as engage in small-group discussions. Colloquium topics have been as varied as consciousness, cosmology and humor.


The Foundation’s scholarship program is unusual in that it is based solely on essays written by the applicants; academic success and financial need are not considered. In 2015, the Foundation awarded more than $87,000 in scholarships to college students of all ages. More than 400 Mensa volunteers assist every year in evaluating essays and recommending recipients.

For details about the Scholarship Program, including information on how to apply for a scholarship, see the various pages under the Scholarship menu on this website.

To read about Scholarships for gifted children, see the Scholarships page under the Gifted Youth menu.


The Foundation’s awards recognize individuals who have excelled in intelligence research or who have encouraged the use of intelligence. These awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Awards for Excellence in Research, the Mensa Press Award, the Distinguished Teacher Award, the Copper Black Award for Creative Achievement, and the Intellectual Benefits to Society Award. The Copper Black Award and the Intellectual Benefits to Society Award also have an international component where awards are presented to Mensans around the world by the Foundation and Mensa International, Ltd.

Mensa Research Journal

Published three times a year with occasional supplements, the Mensa Research Journalhighlights scholarly articles from a diverse selection of nationally and internationally esteemed authors. Each issue focuses on a specific intelligence-based theme. Past themes include homeschooling for the gifted, disorders of memory, spatial intelligence and intellectual property in the 21st century.

Mensa for Kids

Sponsored by the Mensa Foundation, provides a place for our Young Mensans and other smart children ages 7-11 to play and learn. The site includes games; resources for kids, parents and teachers; a blog by the site’s mascot, Max the Fox; and a Feature of the Month.

For more information on any of the Mensa Foundation’s programs, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit

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