Deerfield Foundation: Grants for Global Health

OVERVIEW: The Deerfield Foundation prioritizes grantmaking for the health of children in underserved communities, anyone in need of healthcare services, and people suffering from disease.

IP TAKE: Deerfield supports large INGOs and local community-based groups alike. But, no matter the size of the organization, Deerfield tends to support projects that can demonstrate relatively wide-scale impact. 

PROFILE: Established in 2005, the Deerfield Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment company. It seeks to “support healthcare initiatives that benefit children from underserved communities and all people that have disease or need healthcare services, implemented by world-class non-profit organizations and innovative new companies or research institutions.”

Deerfield’s broad approach to global health grantmaking translates into support for a variety of projects, with very little restriction on the field of focus. For example, grants supported organizations opening a maternity ward in Rwanda, building water wells in Uganda, and running pediatric surgery workshops in Rwanda and Zambia.

The foundation does not geographically restrict its grantmaking, but its latest tax filings suggest an interest in organizations serving people in Africa. However, this is not always the case, so this apparent preference should not deter grant seekers that work in developing countries on other continents. 

Deerfield typically awards 15 to 20 grants annually, with most ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, and a handful falling in the $15,000 to $50,000 range. Occasionally, the foundation awards grantees $500,000 to $750,000, but those generally go to large NGOs that have an established relationship with Deerfield. 

Speaking of established relationships, around two-thirds of annual grants coming out of Deerfield each year go to organizations with which the foundation has a longer-term funding relationship. The remaining grant spots seem to be reserved for new grantees.

The Deerfield Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or proposals. Instead, a rotating committee of Deerfield associates chooses projects each year..

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