What We Fund

AREAS OF GRANT FUNDING

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation’s funding decisions are driven by our core values: Excellence, Leadership, Accountability, Innovation and Collaboration. Our portfolios support scientific, charitable and educational organizations conducting spinal cord injury research, training in spinal cord medicine and providing services to assist individuals and families affected by spinal cord injury.

Grants are awarded only to qualifying non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada, and are not awarded to individuals. All grantees will be required to verify tax-exempt status and eligibility for funding as detailed in our Application Guides. Most of the Foundation’s grant competitions begin with submission of a brief Letter of Intent (LOI), submitted online through proposalCENTRAL, and reviewed by staff and external experts. Full Grant Applications (FGAs) are accepted only from applicants invited to apply as a result of the LOI process, and are reviewed by staff and the Foundation’s Review Boards. Funding recommendations are then made by the Foundation’s Review Boards and final decisions are made by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Below, you will find more information on our specific portfolios as well as a link to explore our Funded Grants database.

Man in wheelchair

SPECIAL PROJECTS

In addition to the portfolio competitions, the Foundation undertakes and solicits Special Project grants that may be focused on spinal cord injury relevant goals or reflect the philanthropic vision and values exemplified by Craig H. Neilsen during his lifetime. These Special Projects are initiated by the Foundation.

SPECIAL PROJECTS

SPECIAL PROJECTS

In addition to the portfolio competitions, the Foundation undertakes and solicits Special Project grants that may be focused on spinal cord injury relevant goals or reflect the philanthropic vision and values exemplified by Craig H. Neilsen during his lifetime. These Special Projects are initiated by the Foundation.

SPECIAL PROJECTS

AREAS OF FUNDING
(By Percentage)

FUNDING PHILOSOPHY

In its first decade of giving—2003 to 2013—the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation committed to almost $100 million in grants and pledges. In 2014, the Foundation committed over $26 million in new grants, and expects to maintain or surpass this level of giving in future years.

Following the vision and values of Craig Neilsen, the Foundation focuses the majority of its grantmaking on furthering the promising advances in the field of spinal cord injury research. It supports research in areas of investigation relevant to improving recovery and works to coordinate its efforts with those of other federal and private funders.

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation research funding is directed across a broad spectrum, including mechanistic, translational, clinical and psychosocial research, with a goal of opening innovative areas of inquiry and emphasizing progress across the entire translational spectrum. Another main funding priority is the Creating Opportunity & Independence portfolio that assists individuals affected by spinal cord injury today and builds stronger community and rehabilitative support.

The Foundation provides educational grant programs including postdoctoral research fellowships within its research portfolios and through Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowships and Neilsen Foundation Scholarships for students with spinal cord injury at selected colleges and universities. In addition, Special Projects related to spinal cord injury are developed to support other programs that reflect Craig Neilsen’s philanthropic interests.