Benefunder Partners with University of Wisconsin-Madison to Accelerate Research & Innovation

Philanthropists to Have Access To Top Innovators

benefunder_logoJune 18, 2015 — Benefunder, a foundation that connects philanthropists with top research causes across the nation, has added another university partnership to its platform to support the next generation of leading researchers and to help move innovations forward.

Under the new collaboration, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, representing a range of fields – including health sciences, engineering, and law – will be profiled on Benefunder’s platform. These researchers will gain access to Benefunder’s novel funding channel, which will connect them with philanthropists eager to build lasting relationships, and fund cutting-edge research in the sciences and the arts that is impacting and changing our world.

UW-Madison has one of the highest research expenditures among universities in the country, and numerous research centers and programs, ranging from agriculture to arts, education, engineering and life sciences. In addition to generating life-changing research, UW-Madison also educates a significant number of future leaders in science, business, public policy, history, law, journalism, and more.

“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, and have a long-term impact driving research, scholarship, and innovation nationwide,” said Gert Lanckriet, Benefunder Cofounder and Academic Ambassador.

The partnership aligns with the University of Wisconsin Foundation’s mission, which is to provide opportunities to enhance UW-Madison’s learning, research and outreach programs. The Foundation is UW-Madison’s main fundraising arm. While the 167-year-old institution ranks No. 4 in research dollars – with more than $1.1 billion in research spent in 2013 – the university is seeking alternative funding channels as federal research dollars remain stagnant and become more competitive.

“Funding is a critical element in research, and particularly with early-stage work. As funding from traditional sources — private industry and government — becomes harder to secure, we hope that Benefunder will open new avenues, matching researchers with individuals who are interested in their work,” said John Allen, the Foundation’s Managing Director of Alumni Communications.

Allen added that Benefunder also helps fill the funding void left by private firms, which are often reluctant to take on the risk that research may not have any payoff.

“Research funding is always a priority, particularly in areas where a direct return on investment may be years away, or in the social sciences or humanities, where there may not be an immediate business application,” he said.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison joins other leading institutions and organizations that have partnered with Benefunder, including Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., UC San Diego, Syracuse University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California.

About Benefunder

Benefunder is a community foundation for innovation that has created a new funding channel for research while providing philanthropists with a smarter and more meaningful way to give. Through our Charitable Innovation Fund, we connect donors with the nation’s top innovators across all fields of study, including life sciences, technology, the environment and education, and the arts and humanities. Benefunder, whose goal is to close the innovation gap, has the largest active researcher portal in the United States, with more than 600 top researchers who are working on both basic research and breakthrough treatments and solutions that will greatly impact and benefit society.

About the University of Wisconsin-Madison

In achievement and prestige, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has long been recognized as one of America’s great universities. A public, land-grant institution, UW–Madison offers a complete spectrum of liberal arts studies, professional programs and student activities. It ranks as one of the most prolific research universities in the world. Driven by a desire to both explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems, research at UW–Madison is conducted by faculty, staff and graduate and undergraduate students.