At MedCure, our work is motivated by the knowledge that we can help advance the science of medicine and allow more people to live longer and healthier lives. Our donors choose to participate in our program because they share in that ideal. By working together, we hope to change lives and improve the health of future generations.
Choosing to Support What Matters
While whole-body donation is the most direct gift to science an individual can give, many of our donor families also want to contribute in other ways. Their experiences can lead them to become passionate advocates for ongoing research into specific diseases and conditions. Having lived with these issues themselves or having seen the effects on family and loved ones, our donor families want to know for certain that the fight against these conditions is ongoing and progressing. In order to help fulfill their wishes, MedCure is excited to have launched a partnership with a special organization called Consano.
Consano (a Latin word meaning “to heal”) is a crowdfunding platform that allows individuals to make real financial contributions to the medical issues about which they feel most passionately. Today, the bulk of medical research relies on grants from government agencies or other large funding institutions. This creates an environment in which researchers must compete for resources from a limited pool of money. Smaller projects, researches at earlier stages of their careers, and projects which seek to examine less wide-spread conditions can all suffer in this sort of situation, losing out to higher profile projects.
Through the power of crowdsourcing, Consano seeks to enable those under-funded projects to move forward. Individuals can give any amount they choose and can select which medical research projects they want their money to support. Consano collects these donations and pools them with donations from other individuals looking to support the same causes. The pooled funds are then donated directly to the selected projects in order to assist researchers in performing their vital work.
Projects are chosen carefully after review by Consano’s volunteer Scientific Advisory Board. Every project must demonstrate its legitimacy, relevance, ability to be easily understood, and its potential to lead to real improvements in patient care. These projects may be new ideas from well-established and published researchers, intra-university seed money contest winners, ongoing projects in need of additional funds, or promising but unfunded projects that just missed the cutoff for foundation or government grants.
Honoring Our Loved Ones
Visitors to Consano’s website can choose from a list of pre-selected projects to direct their contributions, but this is not the only option. The organization also offers the ability for individuals to establish unique, personalized funds in honor or memory of their loved ones. These “Honor Funds” allow each funder to choose a specific research focus (such as a single medical condition) and then accept donations from family, friends, or community members. These donations can be sent directly to a researcher named by the individual who starts the fund; or Consano can search for a researcher or project that matches the fund’s focus and direct the contributions to that area. Honor funds are Facebook compatible, allowing them to be easily shared with the wider online community so that they reach their maximum fundraising potential.
All researchers who receive funding from Consano are required to specify how the funds they receive are used. Expenses generally include the cost of laboratory supplies or equipment, pay for research assistants, or money paid to clinical trial volunteers in exchange for their time and participation. Researchers must also provide quarterly updates to their donors, though some may choose to provide even more frequent feedback. Consano will post these reports to the project page on its website, its blog, and add links to its Facebook page in order to keep donors up to date and connected to the issues they care about.
Passionate About Progress
Founded by a breast cancer survivor with a family history of cancer, Consano sprang out Molly Lindquist’s desire to direct her personal monetary donations to the research that would offer her own daughters the best chance to live long and healthy lives. The organization operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit enterprise, making all donations to it tax-deductible. They are staffed largely by volunteers, and 100% of the money collected goes directly toward funding medical research. Their overhead costs are funded separately through corporate partnerships, grants, and direct personal contributions.
Team Consano is as passionate about their work as we at MedCure are about ours, so we are excited to join forces in our efforts to advance medical research into the future.