The Foundation’s New $6.87M Grant Cycle Lends Strong Support to Scientific Research


The Foundation’s New $6.87M Grant Cycle Lends Strong Support to Scientific Research




Media Relations,  The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, 206-342-2000 or

SEATTLE, Wash. – August 5, 2013 – Support for science is at the heart of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s latest $6.87 million grant cycle, which will reach more than 800,000 individuals throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, the Seattle-based funder announced today. Of the 49 grants awarded in this round of funding, four grants totaling $2.98 million will go to ignite scientific progress in the areas of gorilla conservation and genomic research.

“The Foundation believes in helping vulnerable populations thrive, being stewards of discovery, and sparking innovation,” said Jody Allen, co-founder and president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “We ask our grantees to be bold, take risks and think big to make an impact, and they expect the same from us. We are excited to be expanding our support for international projects, scientific research and education-related initiatives in this round, while remaining firmly committed to fueling the great work of community non-profits in our own backyard.”

More than 40 percent of the Foundation’s funding in this cycle will fuel scientific research projects that have international reach. One is a $1 million grant to support Great Ape conservation in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, led by the Jane Goodall Institute. The other is a set of 3-year grants to researchers studying Human Accelerated Regions (HARs) totaling $1.98 million. These researchers – one from University of Washington, one from Max Planck Institute and another from Boston Children’s Hospital – will step into uncharted territory to look at genomic regions that are highly conserved but uniquely mutated in people, which could help bring us one step closer in understanding what makes us human.

The remaining 45 grants will be given to Pacific Northwest groups that have measurable impact in the areas of arts and culture, libraries, education, financial empowerment, basic needs, and sector support. Some highlights include:

  • More than $1 million to support library reading programs that will benefit more than 24,000 school-age children; these include a program through Pierce County Library District to introduce STEM subjects to young people and funding to allow the North Central Regional Library to offer Spanish-language programming for children for the first time.
  • A $600,000 grant to enable IslandWood, which provides environmental education in Washington, to develop and launch a program focused on developing teachers who are committed to working in urban schools and equipped to engage students in real-world learning in their communities.
  • A total of $1.26 million in arts and culture grants will help bring a variety of contemporary art exhibits, dance performances, theater productions and literary arts to Pacific Northwest residents and visitors.

“The Foundation is not afraid to fund projects and groups that fall outside a traditional funder’s radar, and absorb some risk in order to jumpstart experimental programs and breakthroughs in the communities we are passionate about,” said Susan M. Coliton, vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “We fund with a purpose, and believe each of our grants has the potential to be a tipping point between status quo and real societal change.”

Click here for a full list of grantees.

About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $469 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide economic relief amid the downturn. For more information, go to