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Insight & Intelligence™: Dec 19, 2014

Top Charitable Funds and Foundations

These eleven organizations are known for their charitable contributions to life-sci researchers and their institutions.

Top Charitable Funds and Foundations

Check out this list of alternative sources of research grant funding. [© vichie81/Fotolia]

    Years of yo-yo federal budgets, as well as actual or threatened across-the-board spending cuts or sequestration have made more than a few researchers nervous about relying on NIH for their research grant funding. For a few fortunate researchers, however, an alternative to Washington has emerged among charitable funds and foundations that devote at least a portion of their grant funds to projects in the life sciences.

    Following is a list of 11 charitable funds and foundations, unranked and listed in alphabetical order, that fund life sciences research in more than a single disease, and that are known primarily for their charitable contributions to life-sci researchers and their institutions, as reflected in grants and other awards.

    Each fund or foundation is listed by most recent year of data availability in all categories sought; total grants paid out that year; a breakdown of that grant activity by disease, program, or anecdotal example cited in public materials; a total approved grant amount where available; total expense and revenue; and location of their headquarters. Financial figures come from an institution’s annual report or audited financial statement, except where otherwise indicated, such as through tax returns.

    The funds and foundations listed are among top examples as established from publicly available sources, including a “Foundations and Other Funding Sources” list maintained by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, but do not constitute a list of all funds and foundations.

    Burroughs Wellcome Fund 1

    2013, Fiscal Year Ending Aug. 31

    Total Grants Paid: $28.408 million, including:

    • $7.890 million for Biomedical Sciences
    • $5.533 million for Infectious Diseases
    • $5.166 million for Interfaces in Science2
    • $3.640 million for Translational Research
    • $750,000 for Reproductive Sciences

    Total Grants Awarded Net of Cancelled: $35.709 million
    Total Expenses: $42.479 million3
    Total Revenues and Realized Gains: $49.893 million
    Headquarters: Research Triangle Park, NC

    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    2013 Calendar Year

    Total Grants Paid: $3.208 billion, including $1.779 billion for Global Development initiatives and $1.088 billion for Global Health initiatives4, of which:

    • $426.960 million (24% of Global Development) for Polio
    • $338.010 million (19% of Global Development) for Vaccine Delivery
    • $228.480 million (21% of Global Health) for HIV/AIDS
    • $184.960 million (17% of Global Health) for Malaria
    • $124.530 million (7% of Global Development) for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health
    • $152.320 million (14% of Global Health) for Tuberculosis
    • $124.53 million (7% of Global Development) for Family Planning
    • $108.800 million (10% of Global Health) for Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases
    • $108.800 million (10% of Global Health) for Neglected and Other Infectious Diseases
    • $108.800 million (10% of Global Health) for Pneumonia
    • $87.040 million (8% of Global Health) for Discovery Cross-cutting
    • $53.661 million (3% of Global Development) for Nutrition
    • $43.520 million (4% of Global Health) for Integrated Development
    • $21.760 million (2% of Global Health) for Vaccine Development
    • $10.880 million (1% of Global Health) for Life Sciences Partnerships
    • $10.880 million (1% of Global Health) for Special initiatives

    Total Expenses: $4.209 billion
    Total revenues and gains: $9.532 billion

    Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF)5

    2013 Calendar Year

    Total Grants Paid: $61.616 million, of which $13.102 million went for Medical Research projects, including6:

    • $7.78 million over three years in Clinical Scientist Development Awards to 16 junior physician-scientists ($486,000 each) to support their transition from mentored to independent clinical research careers
    • $4.86 million over 3 years to 10 sickle cell disease projects ($486,000 each) “that have the potential to catalyze innovative breakthroughs in sickle cell disease.”
    • $648,000 over one year to 10 teams ($64,800 each) of DDCF-funded investigators and medical students with an interest in becoming future clinician investigators, to support one-year research projects.

    Another $54.653 million in grants were approved 2013 for future payment, of which $6.966 million was approved for Medical research projects.

    Total Grants Approved: $81.408 million, of which $14.294 million was for Medical Research projects
    Total Expenses and Disbursements: $123.327 million
    Total Revenues: $88.099 million
    Headquarters: New York, NY 

    Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation7

    2012 Calendar Year

    Total Medical Research Grants Paid during the Year: $22.754 million, including8:

    • $1.212 million to Dana Farber Cancer Institute
    • $1.083 million to Children’s Hospital Trust
    • $1.009 million to Tel Aviv University
    • $1.000 million to The Rockefeller University 

    Total Medical Research Grants Approved for Future Payment: $23.781 million
    Total Expenses and Disbursements: $24.014 million
    Total revenue: $24.943 million
    Headquarters: Needham, MA

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