The University of Madison-Wisconsin has partnered with Benefunder, an organization that connects philanthropists with organizations in need of research funding. Individuals or groups interested in being a part of innovation, new technologies, and cutting-edge research will be able to donate to the school, which has one of the highest rates of research expenditures in the country—UW-Madison spent over a billion dollars on research in 2013. Under the new partnership, UW-Madison will be able to find further funding for its large range of fields, including health sciences, engineering, law, and many others.
The University, whose Board of Directors includes John Oros of J.C. Flowers & Co., Thomas Falk of Kimberly Clark, and Jeffrey Wiesner of Accenture, hopes to fuel further innovation by using Benefunder to pair up researchers and philanthropists into long-lasting relationships.
“We are thrilled to partner with the University of Wisconsin, whose high research activity will provide many unique and targeted opportunities for philanthropists to find, fund, and follow researchers,” said Gert Lanckriet, Benefunder Cofounder and Academic Ambassador.
What sets Benefunder apart from other Internet-based funding sources, such as Kickstarter, is its dedication to portfolio-based, planned giving and creating relationships between researchers and individuals who want to help big projects succeed. Their program is scalable and offers a great way to get around the lack of available federal funding for research in the US.
Created in 2014, Benefunder’s cofounders wanted to put together a streamlined way for donors to get smarter about planning their giving and finding worthy research projects. Many institutions and organizations have since partnered with Benefunder to get their projects rolling, including the Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C.; Rutgers; UC San Diego; Syracuse University; The State University of New Jersey; and the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley.
Supporting research at universities and other institutions is vital to growing the wealth of learning available both to college students and the broader community. Partnerships like the one between UW-Madison and Benefunder will keep the future of innovation looking bright.