Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge 2015: The Barr Program

Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge 2015Since I will be asking people to contribute to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in support of my 2015 Boston Marathon run, I feel a responsibility to not only personally understand where that money is going but share some of the projects that donations will support. To that end, I’ll occasionally post some links and information about one of the projects supported by the Barr Program, which is where any contributions to Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge runners go.

Before I get into my first project review though, I wanted to share some overall information on how Dana-Farber uses its charity donations. According to Charity Navigator, Dana-Farber earns the highest possible accountability and transparency score. This essentially means that the majority of the money donated (about 85%) goes directly to support Dana-Farber research and programs, with a small percentage used to pay employee salaries, cover administrative costs, etc.  This high level of accountability is one of the many reasons I’ve been a Dana-Farber donor for years and am proud to run for their team.

The Barr Program, where runners’ contributions go, supports young scientists researching cancer causes, genetics, treatments, diagnostic tests, and cures. According to Dana-Farber, the majority of researchers who receive funding through the Barr Program go on to receive continued support from programs like the NIH.  That so many of these researchers go on to receive funding from selective institutions speaks to the quality of the research they do. The Barr Program gives them the start they need to prove the value of the research. A recent New York Times article specifically discusses the importance of funding young scientists; here is a program that does just that.

For me, the fundraising aspect of running the Boston Marathon is a bigger challenge than the physical training. I’m grateful that the recipient of any donations I receive is such a fantastic organization that truly does good in the world.

Keep your eyes peeled for occasional posts about specific projects coming out of Dana-Farber and the Barr Program over the next few months!