Benefunder Partners with Children's National Health System to Advance Pediatric Research

Unique Funding Platform Connects Top Innovators With Philanthropists

Benefunder, an organization that works with wealth management firms to connect high net worth clients with top research causes across the country, and Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., have launched a first-of-its-kind partnership designed to propel funding for pediatric research.

Under the collaboration, select Children’s National Health researchers will be profiled on Benefunder’s unique funding platform, including faculty from the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. Researchers at the Children’s Research Institute are investigating a wide range of diseases, including brain and spinal cord injuries and protection, obesity, type 2 diabetes, renal disease, and autism. The Sheikh Zayed Institute’s goal is to make pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive, and pain-free.

Children’s National, one of the nation’s first children’s hospitals, is a leader in pediatric healthcare – from primary to intensive care.

“At Children’s National, our physicians and researchers are constantly exploring new and better ways to treat children and cure diseases,” said Pam King Sams, executive vice president for development. “While we are fortunate to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health, private philanthropy is critical to our ability to reach further, and to move research from the lab to therapies that can heal children today. We are excited to partner with Benefunder to help more philanthropists make an impact for children around the world through meaningful charitable investments.”

Through Benefunder’s Charitable Innovation Fund, researchers from Children's National will be linked to philanthropists who want to build lasting relationships, and fund cutting-edge research that is improving and changing kids’ lives. By joining Benefunder, top researchers can gain access to discretionary funds to further advance important treatments, therapies, devices and other innovative solutions that otherwise would not make it to the market.

“We are excited about the partnership with Children’s National,” said Christian Braemer, Benefunder’s cofounder and CEO. “Our goal is to connect these important causes with the resources they need to create better solutions for children’s health problems.”

Braemer – who was inspired to create Benefunder after his young nephew was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer – said dwindling and competitive federal dollars have placed disproportionate strain on pediatric research. For example, in United States, an estimated 10,380 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed among children from birth to 14 years this year, and more than 1,000 children will die from the disease. Although pediatric cancer death rates have declined by nearly 70 percent over the past four decades, cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. Despite this progress, better and safer treatments for childhood cancers are needed, according to the National Cancer Institute. Also consider this: In the last quarter century, the FDA has only approved three drugs that target and treat pediatric cancers. Meanwhile, only 4% of federal research dollars is dedicated to childhood cancer research.

While pediatrics has a harder time attracting federal research dollars, it is a high priority among many philanthropists, who have a great opportunity to fill the funding void, Braemer said.

“Anything that is children-related is a small, niche market, and does not have as big of a return on investment as adult devices or therapies. Also, prescribing drugs for kids isn’t simply a matter of a lower dosage; you need separate drugs and treatments, which all start with research,” he said. “These researchers need more of a voice and an organized platform to connect them with the critical funding they need, and Benefunder provides that by showcasing their work and linking them directly with donors who want to fund pediatric causes that matter to them.”

Children’s National is Benefunder’s first pediatric partnership. The top ranked health organization joins other leading institutions, such as UC San Diego, Syracuse University, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, Calif., that have partnered with Benefunder to give philanthropists direct access to today’s top researchers, while pushing innovation forward.


About Benefunder

Benefunder is a foundation for innovation that has created a new funding channel for research while providing philanthropists with a smarter and more meaningful way to give.

Through our Charitable Impact Fund, we connect donors with the nation’s top innovators across all fields of study, including life sciences, technology, the environment and education, and the arts and humanities. Benefunder – named the Best Do-Gooder StartUp in 2015 – has the largest active researcher portal in the United States, with more than 650 top researchers who are working on both basic research and breakthrough treatments and solutions that will greatly impact and benefit society. More information at


About Children’s National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, D.C., has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is Magnet® designated, and is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, seven regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as an advocate for all children. For more information, visit