A Year in Review: Success of Donor-Supported Programs
From start to finish, 2017 proved to be an incredibly successful year, thanks to the generosity of donors to the Society for Neuroscience.
Hundreds of SfN members from more than 30 countries made charitable donations to the Friends of SfN Fund, the Society’s annual fundraising effort. In addition to individuals, many organizations including public institutions, private foundations, and biotech and pharmaceutical companies joined SfN’s community of donors, supporting Neuroscience 2017 programming as well as initiatives including BrainFacts.org, the Neuroscience Scholars Program, and the Latin American Training Program.
By the Numbers
203 recipients of Trainee Professional Development Awards
32 countries from which individual donors hailed
30+ organizations supported Neuroscience 2017 programming
23% increase in donations to the Friends of SfN Fund in FY2017
Gifts to SfN support the people and programs that benefit the global scientific community and advance the understanding of the brain and nervous system worldwide. SfN dedicates funds to mission-centered activities in the areas that have the greatest funding needs, including training and professional development as well as public outreach and education. Collectively, donations enhance the Society’s ability to serve its global membership. Every dollar counts, and no donation is too small to make an impact.
Professional development for the next generation of researchers extended to new heights, with more than 200 deserving young scientists receiving a Trainee Professional Development Award for Neuroscience 2017. These merit-based awards recognize scientific excellence by providing recipients with the chance to attend SfN’s annual meeting to present their research, attend educational events, and collaborate with peers. The 2017 awardees represented 11 countries and 119 institutions around the world.
Acknowledging challenging economic times for scientists, the SfN Council has pledged to match up to $100,000 in donations from individuals earmarked for Trainee Professional Development Awards for 2018. SfN encourages donors to take advantage of this matching of funds to make the greatest impact possible in the year ahead.
Philanthropic support targeted for public outreach and education also enabled to the redesign of BrainFacts.org, a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and SfN. With a new 3-D brain model and a host of interactive features added with funding from the Wellcome Trust, BrainFacts.org is reaching an increased number of learners around the world, growing awareness of brain research and highlighting its remarkable promise to solve global health problems and improve the human condition.
Supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, SfN’s longstanding Neuroscience Scholars Program, a two-year training program for underrepresented graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, hosted its first “hybrid” conference in 2017, consisting of both in-person and online participants. This pilot event, “Preparing the Next Generation of Neuroscience Leaders,” provided participants with targeted programming on scientific publishing, public speaking, grant writing, and more.
SfN’s Latin American Training Program, supported by The Grass Foundation and the International Brain Research Organization’s Latin American Regional Committee and US/Canada Regional Committee, as well as selected host institutions, provided online training and networking opportunities to early career neuroscientists. Moreover, 15 high-achieving young scientists took part in a three-week, in-person scientific training course in which they attended lectures by respected neuroscientists, participated in laboratory exercises, and expanded their professional skillsets. With support funded by SfN emeritus member John Simpson and The Grass Foundation, they also had the opportunity to present their research at the Diversity Poster Session at Neuroscience 2017.
As with many nonprofit organizations, charitable donations and grants keep all of these efforts going strong and position the Society to divine new ways to increase its value to its members. SfN offers sincere thanks to those who donated in 2017. The Society and the field grow stronger because of your support of the mission to advance the understanding of the brain and nervous system.
To make a charitable donation to the Friends of SfN Fund, please visit www.SfN.org/donate. To include SfN in your estate plan through a charitable bequest, beneficiary designation, or other giving arrangement, contact Jason Sapia, SfN development manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-962-4057.