Submit A Project

Any neuroscience research project that contributes to the American Brain Foundation’s mission of curing brain disease is eligible for listing on the crowdfunding platform. We will accept a wide range of project proposals from basic neuroscience research to clinical trials.

All proposals will be reviewed by a scientific committee and must have Internal Review Board of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval or exemption before posting on the site.

The maximum amount that can be requested in a single campaign is $100,000. However, those in the $50,000 range are most likely to be fully funded.

Applications for inclusion on the site are accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, researchers must submit a letter of inquiry online. There is no charge for submitting a letter of inquiry. If the letter of inquiry is accepted, there is a $100 application fee to submit a full proposal.

Approved projects will be posted on the crowdfunding platform for 90 days. If the project is not fully funded in 90 days, the project can be extended in 30-day increments until it is funded, with approval from the Research Advisory Committee and the investigator. Once the project is fully funded, a gift agreement will be submitted to the researcher’s institution. Once the agreement is executed, funds earmarked for the project will be transferred to the institution.


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Donor Advised Funds FAQs

How does a donor advised fund work?

Once you have established a donor advised fund at the American Brain Foundation, you can:

  • Make contributions to your fund at any time
  • Recommend that various amounts be distributed to nonprofits of your choosing
  • Receive an income tax charitable deduction for gifts made to your donor advised fund
  • Suggest others make gifts to your fund
  • Name a beneficiary advisor to extend philanthropy to the next generation


Why the donor advised fund option?

Though similar to a private foundation, a donor advised fund is often preferred by donors because of its simplicity. There are no set-up fees or excise taxes, nor are there any annual filing and compliance requirements. The fund removes the managerial aspects of a personal foundation while allowing you to direct your donation toward your personal philanthropic priorities. Plus, donor advised funds receive more favorable tax treatment than private foundations.


What are the benefits?

  • Convenience and timing: You can take a tax deduction now–when you make a gift to the fund–without immediately having to choose the charities you want to support.
  • Simplicity: You can support a number of charitable organizations and centralize your giving without having to retain records for separate contributions.
  • Expertise: You can take advantage of the American Brain Foundation’s expertise, backed by globally recognized neurologists, for the vetting of research projects you want to support.
  • Family philanthropy: Families can build a tradition of giving and teach their children or favorite nieces and nephews the value of philanthropy by involving them in the decisions about which grants to recommend. Plus, you can name a next generation of advisory to carry forward a true legacy of giving.

For more information contact Shelly Rucks at 612-928-6318.

Researcher FAQs

How much does it cost to list my research for crowdfunding with the American Brain Foundation?

There is no cost to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI). If a LOI is approved, there is a $100 application fee to submit a full proposal.

What types of projects can be listed for crowdfunding on the American Brain Foundation website?

Our Foundation will list for crowdfunding any neuroscience-themed projects that contribute to the mission of curing brain disease. We accept a wide range of project proposals from basic neuroscience research to clinical trials. All proposals are approved by a scientific committee prior to posting.

​What are the benefits of crowdfunding for my research project on the American Brain Foundation website?

Through this site, researchers can request funding for research projects directly from anyone, anywhere, anytime through a 90-day crowdfunding campaign. Our Foundation provides an alternative means of funding. An additional benefit of listing your research with us is heightened visibility of the researcher outside of the scientific community into the public space. Finally we provide a platform for networking and collaboration with other listing researchers.​

Who is funding me?

Our Foundation will collect funds from donors who want to support your project. Once the project is fully funded, we will transfer the funds to the researcher’s institution, earmarked for your project.

Can my project include research on mental illness?

The American Brain Foundation believes there are areas in which neurology and psychiatry overlap and should be supported, therefore projects that include research on mental illness will be considered. Click here to view our full statement on supporting mental illness research.

How long can I post a project for fundraising?

Initial fundraising for a campaign is 90 days. If your project is not fully-funded by the end of 90 days, the funds collected for your project will be released into our Foundation’s general research fund, unless: (a) You receive permission from us to extend the length of your crowdfunding campaign; (b) You can show that you can modify your project budget to fit within the funding that was raised; or (c) the Foundation decides to provide additional funding for your project.

How will I raise the funds?

The American Brain Foundation will develop a marketing plan for your project that the Foundation and you and your institution will be responsible for executing. A call between the Foundation and your institution must be completed before your project is posted to the crowdfunding site.

When will my project be posted on the crowdfunding site?

Approved projects will be posted once all requirements have been submitted and a conversation with your institution’s marketing department to discuss your project’s marketing plan has been completed.

How much funding can be requested?

The maximum amount that can be requested on any single campaign is $100,000. Based on prior charitable crowdfunding experiences, campaigns in the range of $50,000 have the best chance of being full funded.

Is there a conflict of interest and disclosure policy?

All researchers who submit proposals for funding must disclose conflicts of interest as outlined in our policy.​

How are projects chosen?

Neuroscience-themed projects with good merit undergo scientific review to determine eligibility for listing. Internal Review Board (IRB) or Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IUCAC) approval or exemption is required before posting for public donations. ​

Who reviews the research projects?

Letters on Intent are reviewed by the Scientific Review Panel. Full applications are reviewed by an Expert Review Panel.

Will the funds be subject to indirect rates at my institution?

Indirect costs can be included in the budget submitted with the online application, however, the maximum amount of indirect costs should be 10% of the total sum requested.

Project Funding FAQs

What is American Brain Foundation Crowdfunding?

The American Brain Foundation Crowdfunding site is an online funding platform hosted by the Foundation designed to allow donors to participate in the fight to defeat brain disease by choosing and supporting neuroscience projects that are aiming to find treatments and cures. This allows donors to specifically fund and follow research that is personally important.

Is the American Brain Foundation a nonprofit?

Yes. The American Brain Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes. Donations are made to the American Brain Foundation, a nonprofit entity.

Who reviews the research projects and how are projects selected?

It is a two stage application process. Applicants first have to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) that is reviewed by a Scientific Review Panel. If the LOI is approved, the applicant is invited to submit a full application which is reviewed by an Expert Review Panel. Approved projects are then posted to the crowdfunding site.

How can I select a project to fund?

Researcher profiles, project descriptions and budgets are viewable online for your review.  You may choose a project based on whatever appeals most to you.  Also, if choosing is challenging, we welcome general donations to advance the mission and work of the American Brain Foundation.

How much of my donation will be available to the researcher?

Once a project is fully funded, 100% of all donations (less credit/debit card processing fees) go to the research’s institution to support the research project. The investigator must use the money for the project that they have submitted and described on the Foundation’s crowdfunding platform.

What will happen if the fundraising campaign falls short of the requested amount?

Crowdfunding campaigns for specific projects generally have 90 days to obtain funding. In the event a given project has fundraising shortfall, existing donations for that project will be re-directed to the American Brain Foundation’s General Research Fund, which supports brain disease-related research. Any single donation in excess of $5,000 can be either returned to a donor or directed to a different project at the donor’s written request.

Are there additional benefits from donating?

Yes. You play an important role in cutting-edge research and know that your gift is making a difference. You can expand that role by sharing your interest in a project with others and encouraging them to fund it, too.

How will I know that a project has been completed successfully?

Once a projected has been completed, an announcement and summary of the findings will be posted online.

Does funding a project guarantee a certain outcome?

There are no guarantees as to specific research outcomes—that is the nature of scientific research.  That being said, panels of qualified neurologists—members of the American Academy of Neurology—screen and approve every project posted on our site. The projects that are posted are highly qualified, exciting, and offer cutting-edge possibilities. While not all of them will work out, science will advance regardless.

Who owns the rights to research discoveries?

The researchers own the rights, subject to their own agreements with their host institutions. The American Brain Foundation will not claim ownership of any interest in the research, but asks researchers to name the Foundation and larger donors as sponsors.

Does the American Brain Foundation share my contact information?

The American Brain Foundation does not sell any donor information. Specific partner organizations (which are identified on crowdfunding research projects) will receive the name and address of donors so they can continue to provide them with updates on their work. Specific information about a gift, including the amount, will not be disclosed to the partners. If you do not want your information shared with our partners, please contact [email protected]

I have a question that is not addressed here – who do I contact?

We welcome your questions at any time.  You may e-mail your questions to [email protected], or give us a call at 866-770-7570.


Have more questions? Please contact us at [email protected].

14 Current Crowdfunding Projects


Submit A Project

Brain Disease

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