It’s a matter of getting out into the community and sharing your ideas and communicating with people in a way that can grab their attention and make them think, “Oh, that’s something I would really like to see happen, or I would really like to invest in.”

—Scientific Researcher


Today in Canada, research is being conducted to improve stroke treatments so that the brain can fully recover and stroke victims can regain their quality of life. In the United States, astrophysics researchers are learning to predict solar flares to prevent disruptions in the electrical fields we all rely on daily to power vital electronics. All over the continent and all over the world, scientific and medical researchers are making discoveries that will evolve into tomorrow’s breakthroughs in medicine and technology.

Increasingly, researchers are finding success by seeking private sources of funding through philanthropists whose personal goals and life experiences align with the important work they do. Finding funding for research involves sharing compelling philanthropic opportunities with potential donors by getting the word out and being a full-time advocate for the scientific discoveries that are being made. This researcher explains his strategy:

I very rarely will turn down an opportunity to speak in public and try to share my message and translate that knowledge to the community. I feel really strongly about that. I give talks all over the city. We are engaged with the museums, and with some free public events. Just this week, for example, I’m giving three different community lectures. And we have lectures in the schools. We’re just really engaging with the community at large.

In addition to speaking publicly, scientific researchers can take opportunities to share their work one-on-one. This researcher shares that engaging with philanthropists is both incredibly rewarding and vitally important:

It’s a wonderful way to meet really interesting people. Anyone who is far-sighted enough to think, “I’ve been really lucky, I have the means, and I want to see science advance,” that’s a cool person. So you might learn something new, and you might make a new friend, and I think that’s really fun.

And then secondly, I think it’s incumbent upon us to share our science. All of us have benefitted from public education, public funding in our research. Our work has been funded by the public. Share your knowledge back with the community; whether or not that person is going to be a philanthropist. For us, it’s really important to share our knowledge.

What strategies do you use to help researchers get the word out and find partners to fund the incredible work they do?

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