The World of Private Foundations

U.S. Foundations hold more than $700 billion in assets.  They make more than $50 billion in awards each year.  With numbers like those, it makes sense for every biomedical scientist to look at private foundations for possible support.  But, there are more than 86,000 foundations in the United States.  Where do you start?

This workshop is designed to introduce private foundations to biomedical scientists who are already familiar with federal programs like the NIH.  It begins with key concepts that are essential knowledge for anyone seeking foundation support:

  • Every foundation is different.  Each one sets its own rules and operates its own way.
  • Foundations do not have to be consistent or even follow their own rules.
  • Foundations are obsessed with “impact.”  They want to fund projects that will make a difference—before the grant is over.

Building on these and other concepts, the workshop will focus on how to apply what you already know about grant writing to this intriguing and exciting group of sponsors.


This program is for the Tri-Institutional research community.

Date & Time(s)


The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue (East 66th Street)
Carson Family Auditorium
Lower Level Greenberg Building


Jennifer Jackson at


Robert Lowman, PhD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (retired)
University North Carolina at Chapel Hill