Locating disease-related grants is more challenging than finding grants for other health issues due to the sheer number of possible diseases. Some funders concentrate their efforts on just one or two; however, some foundations maintain a broad funding approach while others only fund a specific disease or two. Some of the biggest funders focus on only a handful of major diseases, particularly diabetes and heart disease, leaving few resources for other diseases.
The large number of funders in this area means that nearly any strong organization focused on any disease has some hope of securing funding. Moreover, new funders with a passion for specific diseases are coming on the scene all the time, often because of personal connections with that disease. As a result, it is imperative both deeply research current funders, as well as seeking new ones.
We are closely tracking what disease-related funders are doing and all the profiles of funders here are updated regularly.
The IP health team tracks and analyzes major individual gifts for disease research and treatment in our Life Savers guide. We look at who's giving, who's getting, what the gifts are for, and how disease donors are cultivated. READ
AMRF's priority funding areas are neurology, oncology, and immunology. The most distinctive thing about this funder is its big emphasis on collaboration as key to faster breakthroughs in medical research.
Aetna focuses its disease-related grantmaking on ensuring that racial and ethnic minorities receive quality care for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Aetna also awards grants to organizations working to decrease infant mortality rates among racial and ethnic minorities.
Pediatric illnesses and cancer are giving priorities at Stewart. The trust tends to favor organizations located in D.C., Maryland and Virginia in its grantmaking.
Anthem awards grants in 24 states in which the company operates. The foundation focuses on preventative measures in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
The philanthropic arm of the pharma company supports public education about healthcare issues, with a particular interest in heart health in the U.S.
While AT&T doesn't have a dedicated grant program for work in disease, it makes many modest grants to disease-related organizations throughout the country.
This funder supports breast cancer issues including access to care, education, screening, and scientific research. Many grants are $100,000 to $150,000.
This company awards immunology and cancer grants to scientists and research institutions annually. These grants are made for research only, and not toward diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
This funder supports disease prevention and awareness programs in four U.S. geographic regions, with a focus on noncommunicable diseases. It typically provides one-year program support.
The low-profile foundation of a long-time venture capitalist prioritizes cancer research, with support going to researchers at academic institutions.
The high-profile BCRF funds research into breast cancer biology and treatment. Grantseekers may wish to introduce themselves, but unsolicited requests are discouraged.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s disease grantmaking focus in the U.S. revolves around lung and skin cancer, and HIV in vulnerable populations.
Broad's funding focuses on the two main disorders of inflammatory bowel disease: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Brookdale actually comprises three groups whose giving focuses on Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.
The Burroughs Wellcome Fund awards grants across a wide range of biomedical interests including the fields of infectious disease, reproductive health, science education, and population science.
Carmax doesn't have disease grant programs, but often gives awards to disease-focused organizations in communities across the U.S. where its employees live and work.
Chatlos is a largely religious-oriented funder, but about a quarter of its grants go toward "medical concerns," an area in which it's non-sectarian. It's also agnostic in its disease-related support, giving to a range of causes.
This funder supports researchers working to slow the progression of Huntington’s disease and produce clinical benefits. It funds and works with HD researchers and universities around the world.
This approachable funder awards grants to early-career researchers studying cancer immunology, genetics, and cell biology. They award about 20 grants each year.
The Conquer Cancer Foundation offers grants, awards, and fellowships supporting clinical and translational cancer research to physician scientists in every career stage.
C.R. Bard focuses its disease-related grantmaking on vascular medicine, urology, and a handful of surgical specialties.
CurePSP supports researchers studying prime-of-life neurodegenerative diseases, particularly PSP, CBD, MSA, FTD, CTE, and ALS.
This funder backs the best early-career cancer researchers it can identify and backs risky projects. Grants are awarded through six award programs.
The Dell Foundation makes grants in pediatric research into chronic childhood diseases. Dell also has childhood health initiatives for organizations working in India and South Africa.
Doris Duke’s Medical Research Program awards grants to “…support the prevention, treatment and cure of human diseases.”
FirstEnergy gives modest amounts to disease-focused organizations under its health and safety initiative. Grants are limited to organizations located in regions where FirstEnergy operates or provides services.
Foster funds biomedical, cancer, HIV/AIDS, as well as treatment centers and hospitals. Grants are limited to outfits in the Pacific Northwest states, or to work that benefits that region.
This funder supports research that keeps the Parkinson’s drug development pipeline flowing, hopefully leading to better treatment and an eventual cure for Parkinson’s disease.
Geoffrey Beene’s disease support is focused on cancer research and an Alzheimer’s initiative. Grants go towards prevention, treatments, awareness and research.
Genzyme funds initiatives related to rare genetic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, and thyroid cancer. It has a global funding reach and donates millions of dollars each year.
This funder provides awards to nonprofits, agencies, and universities in Alzheimer’s research and caregiving. It also funds childhood diabetes and obesity prevention causes as part of its healthcare initiative.
The philanthropic arm of the biopharma company concentrates giving on HIV/AIDS, liver disease, hematology and oncology, inflammatory and respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular conditions. Gives for research, patient knowledge, access to care, and more.
The Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation supports medical research, mostly related to blindness. Giving is diverse, though, with significant grants for autism, cancer, and other diseases.
Lyda Hill doesn't make many grants for disease, but they tend to be large, and usually go to large institutions. Cancer is a top priority.
Awards grants to groups working with the elderly, disadvantaged children, those with developmental or physical disabilities, and the chronically or terminally ill. It makes awards to Alzheimer’s and cancer research.
Offers nationwide funding to local chapters of large national organizations, but has room for smaller, local groups. It's the charitable arm of the industrial supply company.
This funder exclusively supports prevention, treatment, and cure research for neuromyelitis optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease. It funds prominent research facilities and institutions of higher education.
Helmsley focuses its grantmaking on type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s, and irritable bowel disease. Grants tend to go to large organizations, but it sometimes funds smaller organizations.
Supports research, intervention, patient quality of life, underserved populations, elderly and children. Promotes the next generation of health professionals and scientists.
Highmark awards grants to organizations whose work revolves around the nation’s most widespread chronic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
Hilton's U.S. disease-related grants are awarded to organizations working with individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as research facilities that focus their work on the disease.
The Hoffman Foundation invests in organizations that dedicate themselves to addressing HIV/AIDS across the country.
HHMI does not require its researchers to study a specific list of diseases. It awards flexible funding grants that allow scientists to explore their research in any manner they see fit.
The Iacocca Family Foundation mainly supports innovative research in pursuit of a cure or alleviating symptoms of type 1 diabetes.
EJAF is a major grantmaker in the HIV/AIDS space, and isn’t scared of funding the gritty, front-lines work. Its efforts reach some of the most marginalized groups in the United States.
RWJF awards grants toward preventative measures for chronic diseases. The foundation doesn’t support basic biomedical research, nor does it support work in any specific diseases outside of its focus areas.
JPB has been providing sizable grants to researchers working on Parkinson's disease and diabetes, but says it will expand its list of disease funding targets. Grants go to consortiums of scientists rather than individuals.
Disease-related grants from the Mary Kay Foundation support research into cancers that affect women, including but not limited to breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancers.
Keck's Medical Research Program grants tend to come in at $2 million or less, though grants can range from between $500,000 to $5 million. Keck likes taking risks in its grant funding.
This Koch Foundation has been a huge supporter of medical research, primarily focusing on cancer, but with significant support for hospitals, as well. As with many health funders, Koch's giving has personal connections.
The foundation of a Groupon founder is keenly interested in medical research, particularly cancer. Much of the foundation's grantmaking is directed to large medical institutions and university medical schools.
Most (but not all) support goes to large, national groups. While grants tend to be modest in amount, MacDonald supports a wide range of disease-related projects.
The philanthropic arm of the real estate development firm tends to support health causes with modest grants to groups working in the eight regions of the country where the company operates.
Disease-related grantmaking is pretty broad at Marcus. It does have a history of supporting research in cancer, innovative therapies to treat heart disease and autism, pathology, ALS, and diseases affecting the brain.
Funds a broad range of disease-related organizations nationally, with perhaps some favoritism to East Coast and New Jersey outfits.
McKesson supports larger national disease-related groups as well as local and grassroots outfits. It also supports a wide variety of disease causes.
Beginning late last decade, the couple began to focus on medical research in breast and pancreatic cancer, diabetes, and the neurosciences.
Medtronic’s grantmaking focus is in noncommunicable diseases, access to care, health education, and other projects with a public health focus. Generally speaking, it doesn't fund research.
The MRA brings together other foundations, academic institutions, and biopharma companies to leverage funding for research.
Merck has concluded its HIV and asthma initiatives. For now, its U.S.-based grantmaking is focused on type 2 diabetes.
This funder’s basic and medical research is largely focused on cancer causes, treatments, and cures. The founder, Mike Milken, also established the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
NORD offers research grants to individual academic scientists as well as organizations studying rare diseases. NORD is not a federal grant program, but it does advocate on behalf of the FDA and NIH.
Prefers to back Texas-based organizations, but some grants go out of state. Awards sizable grants for the study of disease including macular degeneration, breast cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's.
Fast-growing outfit helps people affected by pancreatic cancer and provides millions in funding for research into treatment, including precision medicine and early detection.
Pershing Square is emerging as a solid health funder. The majority of the foundation’s health philanthropy centers around a cancer research collaborative.
Pfizer has a decent-sized list of disease-specific research interests—mostly non-communicable diseases, though it occasionally funds research into infectious diseases.
Poses doesn't have specific disease grants, but gives to diverse disease-related groups. A big supporter of outfits supporting people with disabilities and learning and attention issues. Disease grants mostly go to big national orgs, but sometimes to local and regional groups.
Though it has no specific medical or disease-related grant program, Prudential nevertheless gives to a variety of disease causes. It can be hard for new grantseekers to get in the door, and while it gives many grants, they tend to be modest in amount.
This funder's health giving only focuses on inflammatory bowel disease. It is receptive to risky ventures, and seeks grantees that will embark on interdisciplinary ventures.
The Robbins Family Foundation was set up by hedge fund star Larry Robbins and gives health grants mostly in New York and Illinois, with a primary focus on cancer.
Robertson funds “game changing medical research” work.
The prospects for disease-related grants at Rockefeller look pretty grim. Since ending its grantmaking for global disease surveillance, Rockefeller has shifted its focus away from disease-driven research.
Rosenthal provides generally modest grants to national disease-related groups as well as smaller outfits.
Sandler invests heavily in asthma research and basic scientific research. While it has plenty of resources and doesn't shy away from placing big, risky bets, most grantseekers will find this funder inaccessible.
This family foundation’s disease-related grantmaking focuses on the fields of audiology and cardiology. Sidgmore tends to favor outfits in Metro D.C., but it does make grants to a few large national organizations.
Partnering with the Arthritis National Research Foundation, the Sontag Foundation awards $75,000 annually to a single promising scientist working on rheumatoid arthritis breakthroughs. For Sontag, it's all about impact.
The St. Jude Medical Foundation supports organizations working with individuals suffering from chronic cardiac conditions and chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
St. Baldrick’s is the leading all-volunteer cancer charity. It’s given millions to fund childhood cancer research, and its grantmaking process is highly accessible to researchers in this field.
The Tauber Family Foundation focuses its disease grantmaking on research, clinical trials, and public outreach, especially involving breast cancer.
Supports study of a broad range of chronic diseases, including rare and underfunded conditions.
This foundation funds scientific research in a range of sectors, including genetics, biological sciences, and neuroscience. Grants are awarded nationally and internationally.
Thome mainly funds common diseases of old age. An accessible funder, but is managed by the Bank of America, and it may be hard to form relationships with program officers. Makes few but substantial grants.
This discount retailer’s foundation awards disease-related grants through its health program. The areas of focus for TJX are medical research and the treatment of both chronic and congenital diseases.
This funder supports efforts to prevent, treat, and cure a wide range of diseases that affect children. Funding goes to early-career physicians and researchers, as well as experienced doctoral-level principal investigators.
The charitable arm of UnitedHealth Group doesn't have a program in diseases, but it supports groups addressing Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease.
Verizon focuses on improving the quality of life for underserved communities. Nationwide funding and a wide range of grant subjects make it an enticing potential grantmaker. However, grants are relatively small.
The Walther Cancer Foundation has a geographical and academic focus—it gives mostly to Midwest universities. As the name implies, its grants go almost entirely to cancer-related causes.
Funding goes to diverse disease causes and healthcare providers, generally to large national orgs rather than smaller outfits.
This corporate funder doesn’t state specific diseases on which it focuses its grantmaking. But it does have history of supporting large national organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Lung Association.