Iacocca Family Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The Iacocca Family Foundation supports innovative research into curing, treating, and preventing Type 1 diabetes.

IP TAKE: This niche foundation is a great potential funder for researchers in this field. Iacocca tends to fund new, off-the-beaten-path research that shows potential. However, the foundation is currently reevaluating its philanthropic strategy and is not accepting new proposals until further notice.

PROFILE: The Iacocca Family Foundation was founded in 1984 by Lee Iacocca, best known for introducing the Mustang, Pinto, and the minivan to the world during his career as CEO of Ford. When his wife Mary K. Iacocca passed in 1983, after battling Type 1 diabetes since she was a young woman, and Iacocca made a promise to her that he would do everything he could in his lifetime to find a cure. Since its inception, the Iacocca Foundation has given over $45 million in pursuit of this goal.

The Iacocca Foundation generally awards grants and fellowships to nonprofit academic, medical or research institutions. These grants typically go to support individual researchers and research projects, and do not go to provide general operating support. Grant guidelines are currently unavailable as the foundation is currently “assessing its future philosophy and process in reviewing all philanthropic proposals.”

The Iacocca Foundation’s grants may range from as low as $10,000 to up to $500,000 with an average grant size of about $225,000 in recent years. This funder generally awards grants for one year at a time, but funds may be renewed if the research is promising. To get a broader sense of the types of projects the foundation supports, review its Current Research page.

The foundation typically issues annual requests for proposals in June with deadlines generally toward the end of the calendar year. However, grantseekers should be aware that the foundation has suspended its grantmaking indefinitely as it reassesses its strategy.


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