Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

The Lists

More »
June 01, 2015

Top 35 Grant-Giving Disease Foundations: 2015 Edition

These Organizations Combine Their Passion for Patients with Resources for Research

Top 35 Grant-Giving Disease Foundations: 2015 Edition

Disease foundations have scrambled to make up the difference as NIH funding has yo-yoed in recent years. [Natalia Merzlyakova/Fotolia.com]

  • NIH’s yo-yo budgets of recent years have prompted some researchers and institutions to look toward nonprofit disease foundations as one of several alternative funding sources. But even the largest foundations have nowhere near the amount of money available to the agency for funding research. For example, the four Parkinson’s disease groups included on this list spent a combined $74.7 million on research grants and awards—just over half the $140 million that NIH estimates it will spend on Parkinson’s research in the current federal fiscal year.

    Some relief may be on the way: Draft versions of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill now before Congress, include a five-year, $10 billion “NIH Innovation Fund” to be spent on priority areas that include funding young researchers. The bill also reauthorizes NIH funding for the 2016 through 2018 fiscal years with increases each year of $1.5 billion.

    With more money potentially available from Washington, it wasn’t surprising earlier this month when many of those foundations were among the 180 academic research institutions, scientific societies, and other organizations that signed a letter to Congress urging passage of the measure.

    “The mandatory funding the Innovation Fund provides, coupled with meaningful year over year growth in the Institutes’ baseline budget, will make a profoundly positive difference in the discovery landscape; pushing the boundaries of knowledge wider to reveal new targets for the development and delivery of transformative drugs, biologics and medical devices,” according to the letter, spearheaded by the advocacy group Research!America.

    Following is a list of 35 nonprofit disease foundations that give grants and other awards (collaborations, fellowships) for research, ranked by the percentage of total expenses spent on those grants and awards. That’s a change from the 2014 list and 2013 list, when GEN ranked foundations on the percentage of total revenue spent on those grants and awards. However, during challenging years for nonprofits, some foundations can make less in revenue over the previous year, sometimes even less than what they gave out in grants, yet still carry out their programs by drawing upon other assets—a reality ignored by the previous ranking.

    Each foundation is listed with its total expenses, total research expenses, amount of research grants and/or awards, and total revenues for its most recent year available. That and other information listed below is furnished by the foundations publicly via audited statements and/or their Form 990s.

    The list does not constitute a complete listing of all disease foundations. Also, the list does not include Section 501(c)(3) exempt private foundations (Bill & Melinda Gates, Clinton) or institutions that care for patients as well as carry out research (Dana-Farber, Mayo Clinic) or research institutes.

  • #1. Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 80.2%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 Total Operating Expenses: $21,048,043

    Year ended June 30, 2014, Total Scientific Awards: $16,880,9491

    • Year ended June 30, 2014 Total research expense: $18,199,5482
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 92.8%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 Total Revenue: $16,701,4303

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #2. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 79.4%

    2013 total expenses: $84,958,053

    2013 research expense: $75,314,541

    • 2013 amount of research grant awards: $67,429,325
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 89.5%

    2013 Total Public Support and Revenue: $92,710,405

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #3. National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (d/b/a Brain and Behavior Research Foundation)

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 79.1%

    2014 total expenses: $28,671,571

    2014 total research grants and awards expense: $24,712,5324

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $22,681,953
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 91.8%

    2014 total support and revenue: $33,037,769

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #4. Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 78.7%

    2013 total functional expenses: $10,787,623

    2013 total research expenses: $9,723,7715

    • 2013 total research grants: $8,485,101
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 87.3%

    2013 Total revenues, public support and other income: $15,677,071

    Headquarters: Washington, DC

  • #5. Rheumatology Research Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 76.7%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total expenses: $14,316,619

    Year ended June 30, 2014, research and education awards expense: $12,374,840

    • Amount of research awards: $10,982,675
      • % of program services awarded as grants: 88.8%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total unrestricted revenues: $18,555,529

    Headquarters: Atlanta

  • #6. Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 60.2%

    2013 total expenses: $11,860,806

    2013 research expense: $7,707,6496

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $7,137,0906
      • % of program services awarded as grants: 92.6%

    2013 Total Support and Revenues: $13,472,636

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #7. Brain Research Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 53.4%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total expenses: $2,348,618

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total functional expenses, research grant programs: $1,395,933

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $1,254,3967
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 89.9%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total revenue: $2,842,895

    Headquarters: Chicago, IL

  • .#8. Parkinson’s Disease Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 49.6%

    Year ended June 30, 2013 total operating expenses: $9,990,753

    Year ended June 30, 2013, total research expense: $5,934,056

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $4,955,8208
      • % of program services awarded as grants: 83.5%

    Year ended June 30, 2013 total operating support and revenue: $10,101,648

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #9. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 46.4%

    2013 total expenses: $190,330,325

    2013 medical programs expense: $134,684,528

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $88,285,6509
      • % of program services awarded as grants: 65.5%

    2013 total revenue: $405,530,384

    Headquarters: Bethesda, MD

  • #10. JDRF10

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 45.8%

    Year ended June 30, 2014, total expenses: $214.896 million

    Year ended June 30, 2014, research, net expense: $119.604 million

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $98,317,342
      • % of program services awarded as grants: 82.2%

    Year ended June 30, 2014, total public support and revenue: $225.228 million

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #11. Foundation Fighting Blindness

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 42.2%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total expenses: $30,166,590

    Year ended June 30, 2014, total research expense: $18,639,12411

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $12,720,76712
      • % of Research Expense Awarded as Grants: 68.2%

    Year ended June 30, 2014, total revenue and support: $42,286,470

    Headquarters: Columbia, MD

  • #12. American Association for Cancer Research13

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 35.4%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total expenses: $66,801,555

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total research expense: $26,050,745

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $23,633,181
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 90.7%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total revenue and support: $70,246,701

    Headquarters: Philadelphia

  • #13. Hereditary Disease Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 32.1%

    2013 total expenses: $2,207,310

    2013 total research program service expense: $1,765,714

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $708,671
      • % of research program service expense awarded as grants: 40.1%

    2013 total revenue and support: $2,352,394

    Headquarters: New York City

  • #14. Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 31.1%

    2013 total expenses: $53,307,072

    2013 total research expense: $23,298,491

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $16,592,814
      • % of research expense awarded as grants: 71.2%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total contributions, grants and other income and support: $67,299,888

    Headquarters: New York City
     

  • #15. PKD Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 26.0%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total expenses: $7,279,341

    Year ended June 30, 2014 research expense: $2,495,467

    • Amount of Research Grants Awarded: $1,894,32314
      • % of Research Expense Awarded as Grants: 75.9%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total revenues, gains, and public support: $7,407,691

    Headquarters: Kansas City, MO

  • #16. Myelin Repair Foundation

    % of total expenses awarded as grants: 25.6%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total expenses: $6,446,827

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total research program services expense: $4,452,060

    • Amount of research grants awarded: $1,648,750
      • % of program services awarded as grants: 37.0%

    Year ended June 30, 2014 total revenue and support: $3,642,560

    Headquarters: Saratoga, CA

Related content