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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Cancer Research, Health

Mission: To accelerate breakthroughs by providing today's best young scientists with funding to pursue innovative cancer research. The foundation's goals are to identify and fund the best and brightest early-career scientists in cancer research; enable them to take risks on bold new ideas; and accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into new ways to prevent or cure all forms of cancer. Its internationally recognized and highly competitive grant programs are designed to achieve these goals.

Results: Since 1946, Damon Runyon scientists, including 11 Nobel Laureates, have made some of the most important discoveries in cancer research, including: > Groundbreaking research confirming the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer (1954) > Identification of the first cancer-causing gene (1970) > Development of treatments to arm the immune system against cancer cells (2008) A timeline of milestones and achievements is also available on www.damonrunyon.org.

Direct beneficiaries per year: All Damon Runyon awardees receive support for at least three years. Each year, the Foundation supports the work of approximately 40 new, exceptional researchers in addition to those already receiving funds. In its history, Damon Runyon has enabled more than 3,250 scientists to conduct the most innovative cancer research.

Programs: Fellowship awards: supports the training of the brightest postdoctoral scientists as they embark upon their research careers. This funding enables them to be trained by established investigators in leading research laboratories across the country, while independently conducting leading-edge science that will bring new understanding and cures for cancer.

clinical investigator awards: supports early career physician-scientists conducting patient-oriented research. The goal of this program is to increase the number of physicians capable of moving seamlessly between the laboratory and the patient's bedside in search of breakthrough treatments.

rachleff innovation awards: supports the next generation of exceptionally creative thinkers with "high risk/high reward" ideas that have the potential to significantly impact our understanding of and/or approaches to the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of cancer, but lack sufficient preliminary data to obtain traditional funding.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

As a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles of which the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund is one of our main charities, I cannot say enough about the research they have done over the years.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) has raised through charity events millions of dollars just by volunteers having fun and a very large amount of that has gone to this charity. It is one of the two largest yearly events we have here in Orlando.

Damon Runyon was a personal friend of Walter Winchell, and as an Eagle (FOE) he spent a lot of time, effort and money for this charity in memory of his dear friend.

Review from Guidestar


Rating: 5

I ran in the 5K at Yankee Stadium for the first time this year. It was very well organized, and everyone was very helpful and encouraging. I look forward to doing it again next year. What a great way to raise money and to get people together to raise awareness. I only learned of this organization a little less than a year ago. So far, I am very impressed.

Dionis R.


Rating: 5

As a volunteer all i can say is that this foundation compares to no other. Everyone that is apart of this organization is extremely helpful and makes you feel welcomed. The marathon itself was extremely well organized, and it was a pleasure to become apart of it; after all it is for a good cause. The event is extremely enjoyable which crates a memorable experience. As a volunteer you get to see and meet people that come for different parts of the city or from different states just to take part on this event. It just goes to show how big of a deal this event really is to most people. I would highly recommend this event to everyone.


Rating: 5

This year, I was in charge of the media booth at Yankee Stadium for the 3rd annual Runyon 5K. The event was extremely organized and the instructions I was given were very clear.

The public relations department did a great job in answering any questions I had and picked up their phones promptly when any press arrived. Many press outlets covered the event and they were properly directed to where they needed to be and all questions were answered fully.

I think the Damon Runyon Team did a way better job this year than last year in regards to organization. All volunteers were used and no one was standing around without any instructions.

Kudos to the whole team~

Previous Stories


Rating: 4

During the Runyon 5K, I was responsible for meeting and greeting media covering the event. As they entered Yankee Stadium, media was required to sign in. Then I handed them a press kit and press pass and asked if they needed assistance, interviews, etc. I pointed them in the right direction and called the communications director to guide them further. The instructions I were given were clear, the room comfortable and the experience thoroughly enjoyable.