How much does HSCI rely on donations vs. other sources of funding such as government grants?
In fiscal year 2012, Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s expenditure totaled $16.9 million, 85% of which was invested in direct research. Individual and foundation gifts and grants fund the majority of HSCI's research and activities. Funds are used to support promising stem cell research projects that are at too early a stage to qualify for traditional grants, either because of a lack of sufficient supporting data, a time delay in funding availability, or the perceived risk in making an investment in an early stage idea or development. By supporting projects at these critical stages of investigation, HSCI fills a critical gap between concept and long-term support, ensuring that important research can continue along its path to clinical application. For detailed information please see our latest Annual Report.
HSCI relies on donor support to fund research at the cutting edge of science and medicine. Since a large part of our mission is to accelerate stem cell research at the critical juncture between original concept and government support, donations provide a means to continue our independent granting system that encourages bold new ideas and timely funding. Private donations are the only way to ensure that we can rapidly allocate funding to the most promising projects and assist investigators in getting important work to those stages at which federal and other funding will be able to join in their support.
How do you decide which projects should be funded?
The Executive Committee, with the advice of the HSCI Disease Program Heads, determines which projects are the most promising, where the greatest funding needs are, and where an HSCI investment may have the greatest impact. Members of the HSCI Executive Committee are a subset of our Principal Faculty, drawn from the University and the affiliated research institutions and include many of the world's most accomplished stem cell clinicians and scientists. The extensive scientific and clinical expertise of this Committee allows it to make the very best choices for the investment of research dollars on behalf of the HSCI community and our supporters.
Can I give to a specific program, project, or researcher?
The most effective way to support stem cell research at the HSCI is to contribute to the HSCI General Gift Fund. As described above, the Executive Committee depends on this fund as the resource that allows them to appropriately and quickly fund those projects that have been chosen on the basis of scientific merit, financial need, and disease impact potential.
The General Gift Fund also allows us to respond quickly to the entry of new technologies in the field, and rapidly share that technology across the entire institute through the development and support of core facilities.
Does a donation have to be "large" to be important?
HSCI welcomes and values all contributions. In fact, donations to HSCI ranging from $10 to $2,000 have come in from individuals from across the US, from Florida to Texas to California, and from across the globe, from Israel to Japan, from individuals who understand the importance of stem cell research, and also know that HSCI is the world's leading center of that work.
We are working on diseases that do or will affect all of us, so your engagement in our work is important to our efforts, both financially and for your show of support of the continued importance of our mission to cure diseases. Each and every contribution matters to our success.
There is an easy and convenient way to contribute online, but you can also give us a call if you have specific questions or requests. We have helped people set up memorial funds, donations to honor life events, and small fundraisers, and are happy to discuss your ideas. Every contribution really does add up and has a significant impact.
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What's the best way to keep in touch with new developments at HSCI and the impact of my contributions?
We keep this website up-to-date with new developments, new research projects, event announcements, and more. We encourage you to sign up on our mailing list to receive the Progress Report, our monthly e-newsletter. Feel free to contact us if you need more information at email@example.com or 617-496-4050.