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4 Steps to Get Started
Step 1 Outcomes - Find the Place
Finding a location where I could access the Foundation Center online database was much more complicated than I had anticipated. I ended up driving ~45 minutes from my house to the Non Profit Resource Center in Riverside, California.
The most entertaining part of the experience was the ancient computer, reminiscent of the one I used in middle school in the mid-90s. The version of Internet Explorer was so outdated, Google couldn't open my email and warned me that I needed to "upgade to a modern browser" to gain functionality.
Step 2 Outcomes - 850 Potential Foundations
I found ~ 850 potential foundations using the first set of filters:
- Cancer + California or International = 158 Foundations
- Higher Education + California = 618 Foundations
- Public Health, Environmental Health, Public Education + California or International = 80 Foundations
I skimmed the vast list of search results and found 24 foundations worth a closer look. I was able to email detailed reports of these foundations to myself (after I upgraded the browser). The most interesting foundations I found were the Dr. Seuss Foundation and the Association of American Geographers (AAG), a professional association I'm a member of. I didn't realize AAG awarded almost a half million dollars in grants in 2011!
Step 3 Outcomes - Select 24 Foundations for Further Screening
- Subject Area: academic research, skin cancer prevention, public education
- Geographic Preference: southern California
- Financing Type: research projects
- Dollar Range: $50 - 200K
- Foundation has funded universities in southern California or similar projects in the past.
Step 4 - The Winners Are...
- W.M. Keck Foundation: "Concentration is placed on strengthening studies and programs in accredited colleges and universities, medical schools, and major independent medical research institutions in the areas of earth science, engineering, medical research, and to some extent, other sciences, and the liberal arts."
- Dornsife Family Foundation: Higher education in California is one of their priorities. They have also made substantial grants to my organization in the past.
- The John Wayne Cancer Foundation: Supports cancer research for the benefit of the general public, with a focus in California.
- Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation: Giving primarily in California with a focus on
cancer research, community/economic development, human services, and medical research.
- The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation: Somewhat broad priorities; although they specifically mention cancer research and education. They have awarded several previous grants to my organization.
- Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation: They have several types of academic awards including Academic-Industry Partnership Awards and Individual Investigator Awards. One of their areas of focus is cancer prevention (including environmental, epidemiological, and biological factors in melanoma carcinogenesis)
Previous stages of the specific research project I want to fund were provided by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. These organizations are also high priorities for potential funding.