OVERVIEW: While the Milken Family Foundation prioritizes education, it also funds some basic medical research largely focused on cancer and discovering causes, treatments, and cures.
IP TAKE: The foundation prioritizes prostate cancer in its funding. For grantseekers, persistence—and perhaps making a few key connections with foundation staff—is key.
PROFILE: The Milken Family Foundation (MFF) was established in 1982 by Lowell and Michael Milken, who made their money in finance. Overall, the foundation “strives to discover and advance inventive, effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. The means most conducive to achieving these goals is through education.” Milken funds a variety of medical research and public health causes, supporting organizations that endeavor to “discover and advance inventive, effective ways of helping people help themselves .”
Much of MFF’s funding is devoted to medical research and public health, with a focus on cancer. Particular areas of interest include basic and applied medical research; improving public health, and supporting public health programs through education.
MFF is passionate about curing prostate cancer, and it’s a leading philanthropic organization funding research for a cure. Mike Milken is the founder and chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, which is also the largest recipient of MFF grants.
Outside of one or two six-figure grants to large national health organizations, most of MFF's medical research grants range from $1,000 to $10,000. Efforts toward discovery of causes, treatments and cures for different types of cancer comprise a huge grantmaking focus for the foundation. However, it has supported similar undertakings related to other diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Related grants are limited in number and tend to support large national organizations.
The Milken Family Foundation has a strict policy of not accepting unsolicited proposals, opting to support the initiatives it develops on its own, and those organizations it invites to submit grant proposals.
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