Finding Meaningful Connections

January 16, 2024

A researcher with spectacles and a white coat checks information on a computer screen at a desk

In celebrating over 20 years of funding and over 2,500 grants awarded, we also salute the many organizations providing services and conducting research on behalf of the spinal cord injury community. Our grantees are our partners in achieving our mission. Being willing to share ideas and listen to the perspectives of others are ways to enhance these partnerships, so last year, we worked with the Center for Effective Philanthropy to conduct a Grantee Perception Survey. In the feedback we received, there was an increased appetite for connection among fellow grantees and, although the Neilsen Foundation does not convene its grantee partners, we do have a great tool for learning more about who we fund, what we fund, and where we fund.

The Search Funded Grants link on our website was developed to acknowledge the work being done and to build connections between organizations and researchers interested in knowing more about our partners. You can search grants on our website in two places—at the bottom of our homepage or near the top of our Programs page. Both have a bright gold button to make it easy to find. The links take you to a large database of Neilsen Foundation grants.

“But how do I use it?” you may ask. We are happy to provide a few tips. In this day and age, most of us know to look for a magnifying glass icon/search box, but here are a few tips to help search effectively:

  1. The search tool at the top offers users a comprehensive list of Neilsen Foundation grants. Each grant title links to a page with more information about that grant, including information provided by the organization to describe its work.
  2. The web tool is hard-wired to use “research” and “researchers” in the headers, but this listing really is inclusive of Neilsen Foundation grants—programs, education, and research. Each grant is coded by the Neilsen Foundation’s portfolio acronym, COandI (Creating Opportunity & Independence), for programs, SCIMF (SCI Medicine Fellowships) or NSP (Neilsen Scholarship Program) for education grants, and, for research, SCIRTS (SCI Research on the Translational Spectrum) or PSR (Psychosocial Research).
  3. You can enter text in the Search box at the top of the page to focus on any topic. Alternatively, you can use the word ‘AND’ for combinations of interests and portfolios, e.g., ‘pain AND chronic,’ ‘recreation AND COandI,’ or ‘bladder AND SCIRTS.
  4. The menus on the sides of the page are additional tools that allow users to limit the results to specific years, grantees, organizations, or locations. Again, the listing includes all types of grants and collaborations, not just research. The drop-down menus under FILTERS on the left offer suggestions, or you can use the “More” links to search for other people or places. The headers on the right menu allow you to browse all places and organizations included in the search result.

At the Neilsen Foundation, we look for ways to make interactions with those interested in the Foundation’s mission—especially the organizations we support—more meaningful. This tool is intended to be an opportunity for our partners to learn about and connect with one another. We know that searching through long lists can be overwhelming and we understand that no text search is perfect, so we hope these tips get you off to a good start. If you want more information about the Foundation’s funding, or other information on specific topics, our staff are happy to help.