Projects available for funding in 1999

Typical descriptions of projects we would like to fund

NOTE: These descriptions are HYPOTHETICAL. We have not received any proposals like these, but if your proposal is similar in impact to any of these proposals, we'd love to hear from you!

  • "We have a way to cure type I diabetes. I  works reliably in 90% of the animals tested. We need funding to try it in humans."
  • "We've have a way to image cancer in animals and believe it will work in human beings. We are the only group in the world to do so. Our finding were published in an established medical journal and there are a variety of prominent people who think this research is great. We want to move quickly into clinical trials."
  • "We have developed a unique new approach to gene therapy. We have endorsements from 10 prominent researchers. We need funding to continue the experiments, but it looks like a major breakthrough."
  • "We've been able to partially reverse the effects of macular degeneration in 4 out of the 4 patients we've tested this technique on."
  • "We've been able to grow new cartilage in 20 out of 20 animals tested. It is weight bearing."
  • "We've been able to grow hair on a bald scalp by causing the hair cells to enlarge back to their original size."
  • "We can regrow torn ligaments."

Typical descriptions of projects we do NOT fund

  • "We are using chess to help kids think strategically"
  • "Contribute to an endowment fund at our school"
  • "Can you supply the funds so I can present my paper at this conference"

Here are some more details...

Here's what we're doing right now

  • Reduce air pollution in California
    • Lobby, testify, and write letters and editorials on benefits of AB71. Due to our efforts and the efforts of others, this bill passed the Assembly Transportation Committee by a vote of 18-0
    • Lobby city councils to allow EVs to park for free at the airport and parking meters
    • Hijack a bill number and write a bill to do more for EVs: all the benefits of Hawaii (no parking or vehicle reg fees) plus a $4,000 per year subsidy which comes from a $5 increase in the vehicle reg fee for non-ILEV (a pollution tax). The subsidy should basically split the pot so the more EV drivers, the lower the subsidy.
    • 90% of the pollution comes from 10% of the vehicles so institute roadsize monitoring using real-time exhaust gas analyzers
    • Put the telemarketing phone ban list bill on the ballot if the Calif legislature doesn't pass it
  • Targesome/Cancer
    • Get their research on the web, get some wide PR for what they are doing,  and get other research groups to use the Targesome particle. Andy Grove and CapCure would be a plus.

$50K or more per year available for any of the following:

  • Medical research: specific diseases (effective treatment or cure)
    • Curing the common cold (I am suffering from one as I write this!)
    • Osteo arthritis, the kind you get in old age when the cartilage wears out (However, we're pretty sure we've got this covered with some really breakthrough research)
    • Cancer
    • Hearing loss as we age
    • Psorasis
    • Presbyopia
    • Lactose intolerance
    • Age related macular degeneration
    • Type I diabetes
    • Cataracts
    • Male pattern baldness
    • Repairing torn ligaments
    • Neurology: why do nerves die and can we heal after nerves are severed?
    • Multiple sclerosis: a chronic debilitating neurological disorder with no known cause or cure
  • Medical research: general quality of life
    • Gene therapy: Assume we know which genetic defect causes a disease. How can you create a virus to fix all your affected cells (or only the ones that make a difference) with the correct gene?
    • Healing after surgery/ACL repair: This really sucks. Is there a better way to repair a torn ACL? Is there a faster/better way to recover from the surgery? Will my knee ever be as good as the original equipment?
    • Can you develop an improved diagnostic to tell me why my "repaired" knee goes "click-click-click" as I extend it? (I've tried MRI and MRT and physical exams and nobody can tell me what is going on!)
    • Can we invent a mouthwash that stops tooth decay/plaque?
    • How can we avoid gum recession?
    • Cloning/Aging/human embryonic stem (ES)/telomerase research: what can we do to improve the quality of life as we age or reverse or stop the aging process? e.g., hearing loss, presbyopia
    • The impact of RF from cell phones on your brain; Motorola appears to have prematurely cut off funding for research just when the results are getting interesting!
  • Medical research: creating smarter human beings
    • Brain research: what happens if you remove factors that cause brain to shrink and open the skull for a brain to keep growing? Will a rat get smarter?
    • DNA mapping: can we find out what genes caused the really bright 9 year old on 60 minutes on Feb 14, 1999 show?

Funding for projects below as required by the specific project

  • Political stuff
    • Require DNA samples from all newborns for FBI records. Start at state levels; then go for federal law. Also supported by NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani
    • Allow ZEVs in HOV lane in Calif
    • Remove the federal ban on human ES cell research
    • Remove federal restrictions on ability of charities to lobby
    • Lobby IRS to require 990 and 990PF to be filed electronically and in the meantime, enable and encourage electronic filing (that then prints to paper to file with the IRS)
    • Pass a law to offer a discount if you file electronically (everyone wins here)
    • Pollution tax and redistribute to clean air vehicle drivers
  • Misc
    • Do research to understand why philanthropy is greater in Seattle than Silicon Valley. Is this due to Paul Brainerd's efforts or something else?
    • Create a free market for dead people's body parts to save lives (see Time, May 17, 1999, p. 100): 62,000 people waiting for kidney's, but it isn't clear we allow people to sell their parts. This is already happening in other countries.
    • Get Donald Stedman's pollution monitoring devices used in California, e.g., by sponsoring a smart sign in conjunction with the Bay Area AQMD people (Amiri Fanai) or even better, pulling over cars that are gross polluters
    • Emergency room care: it's got to get better than the 2 hour wait most people experience
    • Doctors should NOT be able to work more than 16 hours without at least 10 hours off time. Only NY has passed a law to limit doctors hours. It should be passed at the national level, but we need to compensate for the lost hours with more money to train more physicians.
    • Charity website to match donors and recipients (there are 1.2M non-profits out there and last year, Americans gave more than $143 billion to charities and other organizations eligible for tax-exempt contributions.
    • Educating other potential philanthropists about the benefits of giving
    • Figuring out how to make medical research more collaborative
    • Figuring out how to better educate patients on their condition and the options available to them in time-sensitive situations as happened to Infoseek's COO recently
    • Create a "band of angels" investor group of wealthy, well connected investors, but instead of investing money in startups for net profit, it would invest money in charities for net benefit ...or ...
    • Create a 10% club of donors who have a charitable fund of at least 10% of their net worth after taxes

List of areas we'd will fund as we increase the size of our charitable fund

  • Muscular dystrophy/FSHD: what's the gene? is there a more promising treatment than albuterol?
  • Tinnitus
  • Ozone layer repair/global warming
  • Species extinction
  • Brain transplantation
  • Retinitus pigmentosa (gene identification, survival factors)

Steve Kirsch home page
Kirsch charitable giving home page
How to Apply for Funding
List of Available Projects
Why and where we give, and the criteria we use to evaluate donations
The best way to give: should you have a private foundation?
Charity projects submitted to us to consider