Big Pharma Foundation Boosting Community Heart Health

This is a surprisingly warm and fuzzy RFP, considering it comes from a biopharm healthcare foundation. We’ve reported in the past about the hypocrisy that can sometimes dog big gifts from corporate philanthropies—it’s hard, sometimes, to see certain grants as anything but self-interested PR grabs. Or, put more lightly, it’s hard not to wonder how the industrial influence might color a corporate foundation’s grantmaking.  

Much of the giving undertaken by pharm-led philanthropies seems designed to forward their own bottom lines—generally, by funding research leading to new drugs. Or better drugs. It’s way easier for big pharma to throw a few grand at some small-fry researchers pioneering new discoveries than it is to roll its own R&D department into ground-up scientific research. It’s the kind of research that often turns out to be a wild goose chase, and behemoth pharmaceutical companies strive to avoid things that risky.

Which is all a really long-winded way of telling you about this latest RFP, which totally bucks the self-interested trend. The AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation is inviting proposals from nonprofit organizations in the United States with projects designed to improve cardiovascular health at the community level.

Community level! What could possibly be smarmy and self-interested about doing something for the community? This program is designed to support projects that address unmet cardiovascular health needs  in the community, including creating urgency around addressing cardiovascular health issues. Issues that contribute to cardiovascular disease will also be addressed. Overall, the goal is to improve the quality of the lives of patients and non-professional caregivers in connection with the services provided and work done.

The program is open only to nonprofits working at the community level in the U.S. They have to be addressing cardiovascular health—but that kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it? The twelve-month grants will guarantee up to $180,000 each year.