Science Is the Care

At Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, our scientists partner with physicians and clinical investigators every day to understand the biology that drives disease and to develop new preventions and treatments for a range of illnesses like heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, digestive diseases and many others.

Our physicians, scientists and engineers share a common goal—translating laboratory discoveries into exceptional patient care. To achieve this goal, the Lerner Research Institute depends on your support to discover tomorrow’s cures. Every gift, no matter the amount, helps us to advance our mission.

As federal funding for research continues to decrease, our researchers work tirelessly to find alternative sources of funding to support their work. That’s where philanthropy can make a difference—it can be the spark that transforms an idea in a researcher’s mind into the next big medical breakthrough.

Areas of Need

Where will your support provide the greatest impact at the Lerner Research Institute?

No gift is too big or too small

Do you have an interest in giving towards a specific area of research? We welcome the opportunity to help find a “perfect fit” for your gift. We have over 190 research laboratories in the Lerner Research Institute studying a variety of topics, each of which can benefit from philanthropic support.

$1 million

Endowed chairs are reserved for outstanding researchers whose work shows exceptional promise. It is indeed an honor to be named to a chair, but also an honor to give a chair. Your gift, which will last in perpetuity, will provide ongoing funding to the chair holder--forever. This support allows them to use funds in areas where they have the most need. It is a lasting tribute to the donor, in that your name will remain associated with this gift forever.

The cost for establishing an endowed chair is normally $2 million. However, Cleveland Clinic realizes the importance of advancing discovery in our laboratories, so for a limited time, Cleveland Clinic will match a $1 million gift to establish an endowed chair.

No gift is too big or too small

Each department within the Lerner Research Institute has funding needs that are often unable to be included in grants. Philanthropy can provide much-needed support to help labs maintain their day-to-day activities. No matter your interests, chances are there are one or more researchers working on a disease that is meaningful to you or your loved ones.

Needs are many at a variety of levels

State-of-the-art lab equipment can cost millions of dollars, but without it, research progress can be delayed by weeks, months, even years. Because of this, the Lerner Research Institute has established research core facilities that house shared equipment. These core facilities enable us to purchase higher quality equipment, because the cost is shared, and provides access to researchers at all levels. Philanthropic funding for core equipment—like live-cell microscopes, next-generation DNA sequencing machines and sophisticated cell sorting equipment—has tremendous ability to speed the pace of research in many different disease areas.


This initiative is one of the most exciting areas for your philanthropic gift to have significant impact on both research and patient care. The Research Centers of Excellence program establishes multidisciplinary teams to tackle specific diseases from every possible angle. Laboratory scientists and physicians share their expertise to perform truly collaborative, patient-focused research and to develop new diagnostic tests, preventions and treatments. Gifts in this area benefit both research and patient care.

Ways to Give

Outright Gift

Outright gifts (such as cash/check, securities, or a multi-year pledge), are the most popular type of charitable contribution. Donors will qualify for a charitable income-tax deduction with each gift. This includes credit card donations as well.

Deferred or Life-Income Gift

If you would like to provide much needed support to the Lerner Research Institute and receive a dependable lifetime income for your future, a life income gift may be for you.

Gift Annuity

A charitable gift annuity is a simple agreement between a donor and Cleveland Clinic in in which the donor makes a gift and in return, the donor, and someone else if they choose, receive a guaranteed lifetime income. Cleveland Clinic assumes all of the investment risks and the annuity payments are backed by Cleveland Clinic’s assets.

If the donor is younger, the income stream may be deferred, enabling the donor to receive a higher gift annuity rate, reduce taxes now and secure a dependable source of income for their later years.

A Charitable Remainder Trust

A charitable remainder trust, like the gift annuity, provides income each year, but is generally used when there are multiple income beneficiaries. (i.e. you, your spouse and your children) The income can be either fixed (annuity trust) or variable, based on the year-end market value of the trust (unitrust). At the end, the balance in the trust passes to the Lerner Research Institute.

A Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust is an effective way for donors to make a gift but retain the property in their family. The donor first transfers assets to a trust. After paying income to Cleveland Clinic over a set period, the trust transfers the assets back to the donor or to designated heirs. The principal advantage of this type of gift is that it can significantly reduce or even eliminate gift or estate taxes.

A Charitable Bequest

Making a gift in your will or living trust is an easy way to make a meaningful gift to Cleveland Clinic, without affecting the donor’s current lifestyle. The full amount of the bequest is deductible from a taxable estate. Just a few sentences are all that it takes. An example of language that you can use: “I give to The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, (the sum of $ __ or __%) to support the Lerner Research Institute.”.

A Beneficiary Designation

A donor can continue supporting the Lerner Research Institute after their lifetime, by naming us as beneficiary of their retirement plan, life insurance or retirement plans, such as (401(k)s and IRAs. The official name for beneficiary designations is THE CLEVELAND CLINIC FOUNDATION – Lerner Research Institute.

Naming Opportunities

A permanent legacy in the name of a donor or designee (such as a family member or physician) can be created through a gift to support the Lerner Research Institute. Please contact us for more information on naming opportunities.

Personal Fundraising Page

You can create a personal Cleveland Clinic Fundraising Page to honor a loved one or celebrate a special event. Share your page with friends and family to raise support for research and world-class care at Cleveland Clinic.

  • Honor a loved one or caregiver: A simple, yet powerful way to appreciate and cherish a special someone who has touched your life.
  • Remember someone special: Pay tribute to the life of a family member, friend or colleague by creating a page in his or her memory.
  • Celebrate the milestones in your life: whether it’s a birthday, bar or bat mitzvah, anniversary, wedding or the end of medical treatment, you can set up a fund to mark your special occasion.

Contact Us

To request more information about making a philanthropic gift, please call or email:

Heather Huston Barkley, Associate Chair, Philanthropy Institute
Phone 216.445.1038
Email [email protected]