Verizon Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: Children, women, and seniors with chronic illnesses in at-risk communities are at the core of Verizon's disease giving. However, the foundation does not restrict its grantmaking to specific diseases.

 IP TAKE: Despite an invitation-only application process, nationwide funding and a wide range of grant subjects make Verizon an enticing potential grantmaker. However, if you're looking for one foundation to back all of your financial needs, then Verizon probably isn't for you. The average grant amount ranges from $1,000 to $25,000. 

PROFILE: Originally founded in 1985 as the Bell Atlantic Foundation, the Verizon Foundation focuses on programs designed to use technology-based partnerships to address disparities in healthcare and improve quality and access for those affected by chronic disease. 

Children, women, and seniors with chronic illnesses in at-risk communities are at the core of Verizon's disease giving. Besides an emphasis on asthma and juvenile diabetes in kids, potential grantee programs aren't really restricted to any one disease. Sickle cell, cancer, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and AIDS patients are just a few of the groups who benefit from the foundation's generosity.

Being a technology company, Verizon emphasizes the use of mobile devices and software to aid diagnosis and monitoring. It isn’t unusual for the foundation to partner with large health organizations to improve their communication technologies. Luckily, while there is some tooting of the corporate horn on the website, potential grantees are not required to incorporate the company's equipment or network into initiatives. In fact, all applications must show that only 20 percent of a grant's direct costs will be for IT-related purchases.

Officially, Verizon has chosen to back initiatives devoted to treatment over research, but that doesn't mean funding for research is nonexistent. Grants typically fall between $1,000 and $25,000, with most at the lower end of the spectrum. There are, however, occasional exceptions, such as a $200,584 grant in 2013 to the Society for Women's Health Research.

The downside to Verizon's financial backing is that application is on an invitation-only basis. To be considered for an invitation, you have to contact your local community relations manager about your eligibility. Most restrictions for qualification are pretty standard.


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