Lefkofsky Family Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The Lefkofsky Family Foundation supports medical research toward prevention or cures for diseases. While the foundation does not name any specific diseases of interest, cancer seems to be a major priority.

IP TAKE: While the foundation’s grants may be modest, the Lefkofsky couple have recently signed the Giving Pledge, and take health philanthropy very seriously.

PROFILE: Described by some as a "serial entrepreneur," Eric Lefkofsky began his career by selling carpets as a freshman at the University of Michigan. He went on to create, buy, and sell several companies, which eventually led to his creation of Groupon. In 2006, Eric and his wife Liz formed the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, with the aim of "supporting charitable, scientific, and educational organizations and causes around the world." The foundation makes grants in several key areas, including education, human rights, medical, and arts and culture

In the field of medical research, much of the couple's recent philanthropy has been directed toward cancer. Liz Lefkofsky’s mother Liz's mother Susan Kramer started the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) in the wake of her daughter's death. Outside of cancer research, the foundation seems to fund a wide range of medical research including work related to Crohn’s, Alzheimer’s, immunotherapy, and food allergies, to name a few. The Lefkofsky Foundation tends to support large medical institutions and medical schools at major universities. Past grantees include the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Center, Duke Medecine’s Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

The Lefkofksy Foundation’s grants may range from $100,000 to $1 million, but generally fall between $5,000 and $100,000. The foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.

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