Spinal cord injury profoundly changes life and accessing resources is hard—no matter how old you are, where you live, or the color of your skin. The Neilsen Foundation’s commitment to supporting smaller, grassroots organizations, or those located in a town outside an urban center, acknowledges the need to fill gaps in support across the spinal cord injury (SCI) community. Guided by passionate advocates, collaborative program staff, and expert advisors, bigger doesn’t always mean better.
To embrace the world of SCI, we strive to be proactive in our funding. From increasing investigator salaries and supporting grantees during the pandemic to training the SCI doctors of tomorrow, it is important for us all to be thinking ahead.
The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research engages with the SCI community in rural settings to identify the healthcare needs of those who identify as sexual and gender minorities.
The WheelCats and ThunderCats (pictured) in Mississippi invite locals of all ages with SCI to play basketball and enjoy success at tournaments across the U.S., and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival offers dancers with SCI in New York and New England the chance to show off their artistry and passion through movement.
The Neilsen Foundation also looks to support research with creative approaches, no matter where a scientist is in their career trajectory. We partner with research centers from coast to coast, in college towns like Bloomington, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio, as well as universities in major metropolitan areas.
Meanwhile, the 17 schools who oversee the Neilsen Scholarship Program on their campuses include four-year universities as well as institutions like Portland Community College in Oregon, where 23 students have received both tuition assistance and supplemental support to defray their living and campus expenses.
As we mark 20 years of grantmaking at the Neilsen Foundation in 2023, we’re taking a moment to celebrate success with our partners and grantees. They help us achieve our mission and honor the legacy of our Founder, Craig H. Neilsen, by seeking out new ideas, pushing boundaries, and reminding us we have the ability to make a difference.