Medtronic Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The Medtronic Foundation works to expand access to healthcare, and although much of its funding goes to causes outside the United States, several million dollars a year stay in the country. 

IP TAKE: Medtronic prioritizes access to health care over individual disease research. Organizations focused on public health, preventative medicine, and non-communicable conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke will have the best shot at funding.

PROFILE: The Medtronic Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Medtronic, one of the world’s largest medical technology copmanies. Its broad mission aims at “improving health outcomes for underserved populations worldwide, as well as supporting communities where Medtronic employees live and give.” Medtronic’s strategy operates on three levels--“as strong partners with organizations striving to improve health outcomes, as volunteers serving as integral members of the community, and as a global citizen engaged on issues affecting underserved populations.” Although much of its funding goes outside the U.S., the foundation supports a number of public health initiatives in the U.S. Its main program areas are Global Health, Social Determinants of Health, and Civic Engagement.

In Medtronic’s Global Health program, chronic care grants “empower patients in self-care of these lifelong conditions, and ensure access to quality healthcare, and linkages to critical community and social services, to reduce barriers to care and holistically address patients’ needs and priorities.” Acute care grants work to “develop and support successful models of care for time critical events like heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest, and stroke.” Grants for patient and frontline health worker empowerment aim to “ensure their experiences are represented in critical policy and advocacy dialogues at local, national, and global levels.” This program is active in six countries: India, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, China and the U.S. Medtronic also works to make current products and therapies more readily available in underserved areas. 

Medtronic’s Civic Engagement program area supports “the vibrancy of the communities where we live and work through grant making, sponsorships and our commitment to volunteerism.” Recent grantees in the field of public health include the North Market Wellness Resource Center in Minneapolis, MN, for “a healthcare hub for residents in a traditionally underserved part of the city,” and Rice County, MN, for “a partnership between the county’s four health systems, community organizations and the Medtronic Foundation” to provide “coordinated care that goes beyond the clinic and into the community.”

The majority of the Medtronic Foundation’s grants range from $10,000 to $150,000. The foundation also runs an employee matching grant program. Most matching grants fall in the $1,000 to $10,000 range. Medtronic is invitation-only, unfortunately, yet it explicitly states its desire to be an "open door" to new ideas. It invites grantseekers to submit a brief program description, which may be followed by an invitation to submit an LOI or full proposal.

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