Philanthropy Funding for Neurosurgery Research and Program Development

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In times of fiscal and political uncertainty, philanthropy has become an increasingly important mechanism for building, maintaining, and expanding neurosurgical research programs.

Although philanthropy has historically helped launch many hospital systems, scientists and clinicians have generally relied on government grants and industry investment to support research and program infrastructure. However, competition for funds from all sources has increased at the same time as the pipelines for those funds have eroded.

Philanthropy can provide salary support to allow neurosurgeons to pursue research and, ultimately, advance the field to improve outcomes for patients. Funds raised can fill financial gaps to recruit and pay for needed research staff, equipment, and facilities. To foster charitable giving, institutions can develop both a culture and processes to promote and support philanthropy. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that donor relationships are properly nurtured with ongoing stewardship.

In addition to cultivating grateful patients, there are numerous creative models of fundraising for research that can be explored, including venture philanthropy, in which voluntary health organizations or individuals partner with academia and industry to invest in early-stage drug development and other innovations. Other approaches include formation of nonprofit foundations and partnerships with other entities to work jointly on shared development goals.


AANS, American Association of Neurological Surgeons


ACO, Accountable Care Organization


NIH, National Institutes of Health

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