Welcome to the first edition of the Benefunder Impact Report, a bimonthly newsletter created to inform and inspire. Our mission is to help create a new marketplace for planned giving, while fueling innovation. 

April 2, 2015

Linking Wealth Management with Innovation


By Christian Braemer

Cofounder & CEO, Benefunder


Welcome to our inaugural newsletter! Benefunder has achieved several incredible milestones and we want to share them with you, and keep the momentum going. Our hope is to give you an inside look at how Benefunder is helping to change the giving landscape, while providing much-needed dollars to our nation's top researchers.

For example, did you know that over half of all wealth created in the United States since WWII can be directly attributed to university research? Technologies like Internet protocol, MRI, lasers, Google, silicon chips, and countless life-saving medicines were all born out of academic labs. Unfortunately, funding for research has stagnated due to government cuts, inhibiting our ability to innovate and limiting our nation's future economic growth. Benefunder wants to make sure new ideas and discoveries continue to be funded.


We have launched a unique philanthropic financial platform called the Charitable Innovation Fund to help solve this problem. We're bringing financial advisors, donors, and researchers together for the first time ever to solve some of the world's biggest problems. Our goal is to help donors enhance their impact, reduce overhead, and increase engagement through their giving.


I have the distinct pleasure of interacting with some incredible researchers on a daily basis, who are creating new treatments for PTSD, inventing novel ways to measure our universe, and innovating methods for harnessing and storing energy -- just to name a few. The enthusiasm and optimism for what's possible is both palpable and infectious and it makes me excited for our future. At the same time, I meet financial advisors who are looking for new ideas to help clients achieve their life goals, as well as wealthy individuals thinking about their legacy and how they can maximize their impact for the greater good.


Our ecosystem only works if there's something in it for everyone and that's exactly what we had in mind when we designed our fund. By providing a 'plug and play' philanthropic product, advisors can offer a new level of service that allows them to manage charitable assets, introduce a more efficient and engaging giving vehicle to clients, and generate a significant new source of funding for top researchers.


We look forward to keeping you up-to-date on the latest breakthrough discoveries and inventions, while providing creative and more effective ways to give. 

I welcome you to explore our web site at benefunder.org. 




To learn more about our Charitable Innovation Fund or how Benefunder can become an integral part of your practice, please contact Tom Paparatto at tpaparatto@benefunder.org


UC San Diego engineers show wealth advisors the latest innovations.

Merrill Lynch Lab Tour: Benefunder has launched its exclusive lab tours for advisors. We recently worked with Merrill Lynch to arrange  for a group of wealth advisors to visit three different research labs at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. During the tour, the advisors had an up-close and personal look at breakthrough innovations and learned how philanthropy can be used to grow their business. Advisors who would like to be invited to a future lab tour can contact River Brown at rbrown@benefunder.org.



MIT, Harvard, Yale & UF: The Benefunder team recently toured the East Coast, with visits to MIT, Harvard, and Yale, where our film crew captured top researchers who are working on solutions and understanding of obesity, aging, improving women's mental health, and the origin of human disease, as well as managing big data to advance scientific knowledge, and ensuring food security in the future. Our crew also visited and filmed  Peter Stacpoole, a University of Florida physician who is treating  patients with a rare form of mitochondrial disease called pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency or PDCD. Stacpoole joined the Benefunder platform to help fund further studies for an important clinical trial for a treatment for PDCD, which he hopes will eventually be approved by the FDA. Additional funding will give his patients and their families more hope for a better life.  

Click here to watch a short video to see how his treatment is making a dramatic difference for patients. 


Dr. Peter Stacpoole visits with a patient at the University of Florida. Click here to watch a short video. 


Council on Foundations Washington Snapsho
Benefunder hit the 'Hill' in March for Philanthropy Week in Washington, D.C. Larry Mahan, director of development, represented Benefunder as a new member of the Council. In addition to meeting with a variety of community foundations to educate them on Benefunder's paradigm-changing philanthropic model, Mahan met with staff whose Congressional members sit on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee - all areas targeted in Benefunder's research portfolio - to learn about key issues facing our nation and its global competitiveness in innovation.




Benefunder recently announced a partnership with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to help advance scientific breakthroughs and discoveries into the market, while providing philanthropists with a smarter way to give. Read more here. 


Our Cofounder and CEO Christian Braemer also authored a recent OpEd in the San Diego Business Journal about redesigning the philanthropic business model. Read it   here . To stay on top of the latest news and information, visit our News page.


April is Autism Awareness month. Donors who are interested in funding cutting-edge autism research may want to explore Benefunder's researcher portal, which includes several academics who are focusing on this area. One of them is Lauren A.Weiss , a psychiatry professor who also works with the Institute for Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco. Weiss and her team are studying genetic risk factors for autism to identify preventative measures to reduce the disabilities associated with autism. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Unfortunately, families affected by autism have few treatment options. Weiss and her team hope to change that. Learn more here.