Helmsley Charitable Trust: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: The Helmsley Charitable Trust focuses its disease related grantmaking on Type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

IP TAKE: Helmsley takes a holistic approach to its funding and encourages a good level of risk taking through “bold thinking and new approaches.” This funder is all about collaboration, so those that don’t play well with others are likely to be turned down for funding by the trust.

PROFILE: The The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Trust focuses its disease grantmaking on chronic diseases, including Type 1 Diabetes, and digestive diseases such as Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). But here’s the deal: the trust funds integrative research in Type 1 diabetes and IBD and Crohn’s disease with the hopes that getting these researchers and programs to work together will result in innovative therapies for other chronic illnesses. This strategy is “based on the hypothesis that inflammation is the key factor to tumor progression.”

Helmsley’s Type 1 Diabetes program awards grants to projects that work toward better understanding of the disease, development of innovative treatments, and improvement of care and access. The overall goal of its grantmaking, according to Helmsley is to “improve health outcomes,” for people suffering Type 1 diabetes, and “strengthen the effort to someday eradicate this disease.” The trust’s IBD and Crohn’s Disease program focuses its grantmaking efforts on finding a cure for IBD as well as discovering better therapies and prevention strategies. Helsmley also supports Basic Medical Research and the development of Biomedical Research Infrastructure.

Helmsley tends to favor large medical centers, hospitals and leading research institutions in its grantmaking. Grants are substantial and typically range from around $150,000 to upwards of $4 million.

The trust doesn’t completely overlook smaller organizations, however, funding to smaller groups is relatively rare. Still, grants here are relatively substantial, typically ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

Helmsley’s grants database offers a closer look at the types of organization it funds, where, and at what level.  

On rare occasions, the Helmsley Trust will announce Requests for Proposals. Otherwise, it only funds organizations it identifies on its own and does not accept unsolicited grant requests.


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