Gerstner Philanthropies focuses on biomedical research, educational opportunities, and assistance for people who have suffered a temporary setback and could use a “helping hand” to restore their equilibrium.

Our Biomedical Research funding falls into two categories:

  • Supporting important genomic research that could lead to breakthroughs in clinical practice
  • Enabling talented young scientists to pursue a career in research

Our Education work supports students who have talent and determination but whose opportunity to excel is limited because of their economic circumstances.

Our Helping Hands program provides assistance for people experiencing an unforeseen emergency through one-time cash grants.

In addition, we make a small number of grants related to or outside of these areas of focus.


  • Hunger on campus: The fight against student food insecurity
    December 5, 2019

    While most Americans will be grateful for second and third helpings this Thanksgiving, there's one surprising group who struggle to find a first helping every day: students at some of the nation's top universities. “I can’t go to the grocery store to buy breakfast because if I use this money I’m not going to be able to use it for something else like dinner or lunch,” said Damian Hernandez, 24, who graduated from Columbia University earlier this year. Hernandez, who is from Chicago, was one of thousands of students who are considered food insecure, meaning they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from, or if it’s coming at all. With the high cost of tuition, living and meal plans, food insecurity on college campuses poses a real threat to student livelihood, especially those who are low income and lack access to government assistance programs. Researchers from Temple University surveyed 86,000 students from over 100 institutions, primarily at public universities and community colleges, and 17 percent said they had been homeless within the past year while 45 percent said they had been food insecure in the past 30 days.

  • November 26, 2019

    On November 18, 2019 Gerstner Philanthropies hosted the first convening of its Helping Hands grantees. Representatives from all 28 grantee organizations gathered to share best practices, discuss and plan how to better tell the story of the program’s impact, and brainstorm new programs and ideas for advancing emergency grantmaking. “As a new grantee, this was very productive and helpful. I appreciate the approach to grantee input,” shared one participant in an anonymous follow-up survey. The event built community among Helping Hands organizations and offered the opportunity to network and collaborate. “We made some great connections with colleagues in Palm Beach and New York and are looking forward to follow-up conversations with them about our in-great-demand public schools prevention program,” said Larry Seamans, President of FamilyAid Boston. Gerstner Philanthropies looks forward supporting and to partnering with its Helping Hands grantees and implementing new ideas generated from the convening.

View More News

About Us

Learn more about us.

Learn More