Special to the Philanthropy Journal
By Becky Chapman Weaver
When we think of medical research and breakthroughs, most envision white coats, laboratories and hospitals. That’s only part of the picture. There are many unseen partners who enable scientists to discover life-saving treatments.
Donors and volunteers play a critical role, and have made the St. Baldrick’s Foundation the largest funder of childhood cancer research aside from the federal government. We describe ourselves as a volunteer and donor powered charity, and our mission is to support the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. We fund research not just at a few well-known institutions, but wherever it takes place. Without our donors and volunteers, some of today’s life-saving treatments simply would not exist. When it comes to funding medical research, foundations make up a much smaller piece of the pie than industry or government. But we have two big benefits. We have greater flexibility, and we can offer donors and volunteers an experience second to none – the knowledge that they are saving or improving lives.