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.

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 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.

Fundraising FAQs

Can you provide a few ideas to help me start my FUNraiser?

Absolutely! Almost anything can be turned into a FUNraiser for the American Brain Foundation. Here are a few ideas: Anniversary, Arts & Crafts Fair, Auction, Bake Sale, Bike Race, Birthday, Car Wash, Concert, Cook-off, Game Night, Garage, Golf Tournament, Holiday Gift Wrap, Run/Walk/Hike, Talent Show and more!

Does the Foundation have guidelines or an agreement for Brain Paver FUNraisers?

In order to host a Brain Paver FUNraiser benefiting the Foundation, you must comply with the Brain Paver Guidelines and sign the Independent Third-Party Fundraisers Agreement.

Can the Foundation assist in covering any costs associated with my FUNraiser or reimburse me for my FUNraising expenses, such as equipment costs?

We will not pay any costs associated with Brain Paver FUNraisers.

How do I receive sponsorship or donations from businesses for my Brain Paver FUNraiser?

We encourage you to reach out to companies and businesses in your area for support. You can often receive support from companies in exchange for advertising on your flyers, brochures, letters, t-shirts and other event materials.

Will a Foundation representative attend my Brain Paver FUNraiser?

The Foundation relies heavily on Brain Pavers to achieve our mission to Cure Brain Disease. We often have Brain Pavers represent us in the community. If you would like another Brain Paver to represent the Foundation at your FUNraiser, we will make our best effort to find a Brain Paver or staff person to accept a check and/or to address the attendees. Because of the large number of events and the limited number of staff, staff members are generally unable to attend Brain Paver FUNraisers.

Can the Foundation provide materials such as brochures, donation forms and signage for my FUNraiser?

Yes, we can provide available support material.  Please request at least 3 weeks prior to your event.

Can I use the Foundation logo in any promotion for my FUNraiser?

You are prohibited from using any trademark, service mark, logo or copyrighted materials of the Foundation for your FUNraiser without our written consent. Invitations, press releases, website postings, brochures, paraphernalia (t-shirts, etc.) and all other communication and materials must get our approval in writing in advance.

Can I sell items with the Foundation logo?

No, our logo may not be used on any item that is to be sold.

Can I use the Foundation’s tax exempt status when purchasing materials?

No, you may not use our tax exemption status in conjunction with your FUNraiser. However, our staff can provide a verification letter confirming the organizer’s intent to raise funds for the Foundation.

Does the Foundation offer tax advice regarding donations?

No. You and your supporters are encouraged to seek tax advice from a professional tax adviser.

Is my information secure?

We make every effort to protect your information. We use industry-standard SSL encryption techniques and have contracted with a third party vendor to ensure PCI compliance for donations made via credit card on our website.

What is a matching gift and how can it help my FUNraising efforts? Does the Foundation match gifts?

Many companies offer employees a matching gift benefit that doubles (or in some cases, triples) the impact of their gift. By participating in these programs, you and your supporters can significantly increase the impact of your contribution in the fight to cure brain disease. Contact your company’s Human Resources or Finance department to see if your company has a matching gift program (and encourage your donors to do the same), taking note of any possible restrictions. Fill out the proper forms, and send your paperwork with donations to the Foundation. Remind your donors that their companies may have matching gift programs too.

Are donations to the Foundation tax deductible? Will my donors receive a tax receipt from you?

Yes, donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Your donors will be issued a tax receipt for their donation, provided we have their contact information.

How can I see who has donated to me? If my participants donate directly to the Foundation, can staff provide me with their names and amounts donated?

To see who has donated to you, login to your Personal Page and click the “Progress” tab. On this page you will be able to turn on gift notifications, as well as view who has donated to your Brain Paver FUNraiser. We respect the confidentiality of donors and will not release contact information without the donor’s written consent.

Will donors who support my FUNraising efforts be contacted by the Foundation?

Yes. Unless requested otherwise, we will include your donors in future communications.

What should I do with cash donations?

We strongly discourage mailing cash donations. Encourage cash donors to make their donation online with a credit card or have them download and complete the printable donation form, transfer their cash into a personal or cashier’s check, and mail in the completed form and check to the American Brain Foundation (201 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55415).

What if a check is made out to me, not to the Foundation? Can I accept contributions and write a check to the Foundation from my personal account? Will I be given a receipt to give to those who give me cash donations?

If a supporter makes the check payable to you, simply endorse the check with your signature, write “Payable to the American Brain Foundation”, and submit it with a donation form. We don’t recommend accepting contributions and writing checks from your personal account. If you deposit donations into your personal account, the IRS will likely consider that deposit personal income to you and you may be taxed accordingly. Also, because the check is from your account, we will not be able to issue your donors tax receipts for their gifts.

I forgot my Username and/or Password.

On the Brain Paver homepage, click here or on the “Forgot Username/Password?” link next to the Brain Paver login button. Enter your email address and then your username/password will be emailed to you.

Can I personalize the URL to my Brain Paver page?

Yes, you should see a box at the top of your Personal FUNraising Page edit screen. It says “Personal Page URL” and there is a link called “URL Settings.” Click that link to update and customize, set as public or private, and save.

What is the difference between making my Personal FUNraising Page private or public?

By default, a Personal FUNraising Page is Public, meaning your name will appear in the participant search list. Anyone accessing the site will be able to support your Brain Paver FUNraiser. Setting your Personal Page to Private means your name will not appear in the participant search list. Only people you personally invite (know your personal page URL) will be able to donate to your FUNraiser.

How do I change my team goal?

On your Personal FUNraising Page, click on the “Progress” tab. Click the “change” link next to “My Goal,” enter your new goal, and then click “Submit.”

How can I get offline (i.e. cash/check) donations to show up in my Personal Progress?

On the “Home” tab of your Personal FUNraising Page, click on the “Enter new gift” button in the right hand column. Enter details about the donor and their gift, then click “Save and Add Another.” If you have checks, mail them to American Brain Foundation (201 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55415). If you have cash donations, follow the instructions in the earlier question. Once the Foundation has received the offline donations, we will confirm the donations and it will update in your Personal Progress. To download the offline donation form click here.

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].


Raised for
9 Current Crowdfunding Projects


Submit A Project

Brain Disease

Our Impact