ST. LOUIS, MO, June 1, 2011 – The largest independent plant research center in the world, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, is looking to current and new Center donors to accelerate the mission of improving the human condition through plant science with a new challenge fund.
On May 15, 2011, anonymous donors, recognizing a series of remarkable events in 2011, launched the "Mission Accelerates Challenge Fund." Through December 31, this special incentive will provide a dollar-for-dollar match on increased and new annual gifts.
2011 has already proven to be a year of transformative science. Dr. James C. Carrington joined the Center as president on May 1, with a goal of producing high-impact discoveries in plant science with an eye toward meaningful applications to solve key challenges around the world.
Earlier this year, the Danforth Foundation announced plans to close its operations and make its final grant of $70 million to the Danforth Center this year. The Foundation trustees expressed confidence in the Center’s ability to contribute to a brighter future for St. Louis while engaging in science with the potential to improve the world, saying this was key to their decision.
"The Danforth Foundation has confidence that people in our community will support this opportunity, just as in the past they have embraced promising visions such as the Lewis and Clark exploration and the Lindbergh flight,” said Dr. William H. Danforth, Chairman. “The Danforth Foundation challenges us to embrace a shared vision of how our region can grow in strength and serve the world."
The Danforth Center will continue to rely on the generosity of its donors to ensure rapid growth and mission impact. Gifts from Center Friends strengthen the institution, making it possible for Danforth Center scientific teams to successfully compete for grants and research funding from organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the USDA.
Chief Development Officer, Laura Chauvin, comments: “The ‘Mission Accelerates Challenge Fund’ donors are visionary people who stand ready to match new and increased annual fund gifts because of their belief that critical research at the Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, and preserve and renew the environment. They also recognize that, under the exciting leadership of Jim Carrington, Center science will also truly enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri, strengthening our region’s leadership as the world center for plant science.
About The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science. The Center’s work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.