9 Best Charities That Advance Stroke Research (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Advance Stroke Research (Complete 2024 List)

By
Dennis Kamprad

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Strokes affect over 15 million people worldwide and are the fifth leading cause of death in the US. Those who survive a stroke, may be affected physically, cognitively, and emotionally. Recovery is often a hard and long road. And despite the impact of strokes, research is underfunded as compared to other diseases. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that advance stroke research?

The best charities that advance stroke research are the American Heart Association and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Charities such as the Brain Research Foundation and the Stroke Foundation have spent decades researching to better understand strokes.

Whether you want to help advance stroke research for women, promote stroke prevention, or find better ways to recover after a stroke, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that advance stroke research are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Advance Stroke Research Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over the world, from North America to Australia. And they all share the same goal–to better understand strokes through life-saving research.

Some of these charities focus on funding stroke prevention research; others research improving stroke recovery.

Yet, they all share the same goal: to advance research in order to improve the lives of all people affected by strokes. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Advance Stroke Research in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that advance stroke research (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

American Heart Association: The Leader in Stroke Research

Logo for American Heart Association
American Heart Association, Life is Why

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the American Heart Association a 3-star confidence rating. GuideStar awards them the platinum seal of transparency. 

“For nearly 100 years, the American Heart Association has been fighting heart disease and stroke and helping families and communities thrive.”

American Heart Association

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What they do:

The American Heart Association provides institutions with funding through their Strategically Focused Research Networks, where they sponsor groups of institutions to collaboratively advance a specific area of stroke research together over a four-year period. They also support and fund research that aims to better predict, prevent, and treat strokes.

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What they’ve achieved:

The American Heart Association is is the largest non-govnernmental stroke research funder in the US, having funded $4.8 billion in research since their inception. For example, they funded $11.12 million to the Centers of Excellence in Hemorrhagic Stroke Research Network and provided data for stroke research the relationship between genetics and stroke 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Heart Association on their website. You can also volunteer your time or help them advocate for better health legislation at the federal and state levels. 

2

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada: Researching Strokes in Women

Logo for Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Make Health Last - Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Intelligence gives the Heart and Stroke Foundation a 4-star rating. 

“We rally the best scientific minds around critical heart and brain issues.”

Heart and Stroke Foundation

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What they do:

The Heart and Stroke Foundation funds life-saving research to prevent strokes and reduce harm following a stroke. Specifically, they are conducting research that examines the unique aspects of strokes in women

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, The Heart and Stroke Foundation has invested over $1.6 billion to heart disease and stroke research. For example, in 2021 alone, they granted $10.1 million for 317 research awards, of which 62 specifically funded stroke research.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation via their website. You can also volunteer at a local chapter. 

3

Stroke Association: UK-Based Stroke Research

Logo for Stroke Association
Stroke Association Rebuilding Lives TV Advert

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Their transparency & ratings:

Per the UK’s Charity Commission, nearly 80% of their income goes directly to charitable activities. 

“Research can make a real difference in the lives of people affected by stroke. It can find new ways and drive improvements in how we can stop stroke happening, treat and support people after stroke.”

Stroke Association

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What they do:

The Stroke Association seeks to improve the quality and quantity of stroke research. They fund research that delves into best treatment practices after a stroke, stroke prevention, and the neuroscience behind strokes.

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What they’ve achieved:

The Stroke Association has put over $56 million towards stroke research since the 1990s. For example, in 2021 they funded $250,000 towards vision impairments related to strokes. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Stroke Association on their website. You can also volunteer your time to help with events or assist with campaigning to ensure that stroke services remain on political agendas. 

4

Brain Research Foundation: Pioneering the Future of Brain Research

Brain Research Foundation logo
Meeting of the Minds

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the Brain Research Foundation a 3-star rating, and GuideStar awarded them the platinum seal of transparency. 

“We believe in the collective power of our donors to support the most impactful research. Driven by our loved ones’ stories, we are determined to pioneer the most innovative brain research.”

Brain Research Foundation

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What they do:

The Brain Research Foundation funds neuroscience research, including stroke research, by providing institutions and researchers with seed grants and scientific innovations awards. These respectively provide researchers with $80,000 and $150,000 over a two-year period. They have specifically funded research studies that examine ways that the brain heals itself after a stroke as well as helping with paralysis after a stroke. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Brain Research Foundation has supported 691 research projects, where they have given researchers over $47 million towards neuroscience research, including stroke research. They also have a track record of helping their grantees secure an average of an additional $25 of future funding from other grant programs for each dollar they award them.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Brain Research Foundation. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

5

Stroke Foundation: Australia’s Authority on Stroke

Logo for Stroke Foundation
Learn the F.A.S.T. signs of stroke

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Their transparency & ratings:

Per the Stroke Foundation’s annual review, they report that they spent 41.7% of their budget on stroke prevention and education, 12.8% on improving stroke care, and 11.3% on research. 

“The Stroke Foundation is a national charity that partners with the community to prevent, treat and beat stroke.”

The Stroke Foundation

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What they do:

The Stroke Foundation supports research by connecting participants with research studies. They also fund several different grants to go towards stroke research. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since starting their grant programs in 2008, the Stroke Foundation has given $5.6 million towards stroke research. For example, in 2021 alone, they funded $300,000 towards four research projects focusing on improving stroke survivors’ quality of life. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Stroke Foundation on their website. You can also help them advocate for better legislation that improve stroke outcomes, or you can volunteer your time. 

6

Kessler Foundation: Researching Stroke Recovery

Logo for Kessler Foundation
Giving That Changes Lives

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the Kessler Foundation an 88 out of 100 for finance and accountability. GuideStar has awarded them the silver seal of transparency. 

We conduct groundbreaking rehabilitation and disability employment research and fund innovative initiatives to provide access to job opportunities.

Kessler Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Kessler Foundation completes stroke research through their Center for Stroke Rehabilitation Research. Their research focuses largely on spatial neglect, which is a common result of strokes. Though they also have smaller programs for reading difficulties and best practice for inpatient rehabilitation following a stroke. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since the Kessler Foundation started their research on spatial neglect (a common result of strokes), 15 major rehabilitation centers have started to use their treatment protocol to complete further research. They have also published 10 academic papers and run two federally funded research projects for spatial neglect treatment. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Kessler Foundation via their website. You can also become a sponsor for the Stroll and Roll, their fundraising walk-a-thon. 

7

Barrow Neurological Foundation: Reducing Damage From Strokes

Logo for Barrow Neurological Foundation
Support the life-saving work at Barrow

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the Barrow Neurological Foundation 100 out of 100 points for finance and accountability. 

“Saving human lives through innovative treatment, groundbreaking, curative research and educating the next generation of the world’s leading neuro clinicians.”

Barrow Neurological Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Barrow Neurological Foundation funds the research for neurological conditions, including strokes, conducted at the Barrow Neurological Institute. Their most current research focuses on two different drugs to reduce the damage from strokes and reduce the recovery time following a stroke. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

The Barrow Neurological Foundation contributes $5 million to neurological disorders (including stroke) research annually. As of 2021, they had over 300 active, ongoing research studies, 14 of these dedicated to stroke research. They are one of only 30 institutions invited to participate in an NIH-funded research program examining cognition after a stroke.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Barrow Neurological Foundation on their website. You can also launch a fundraiser and pledge the proceeds to Barrow. 

8

American Brain Foundation: Uniting Donors and Researchers

Logo for American Brain Foundation
About The American Brain Foundation

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Their transparency & ratings:

Charity Navigator gives the American Brain Foundation a 4-star rating, and GuideStar has given them the platinum seal of transparency. 

“The American Brain Foundation promotes and invests in research across the whole spectrum of brain disease. We believe that when we cure one of these diseases, we will cure many.”

American Brain Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The American Brain Foundation provides research grants to fund neurological research across the spectrum of diseases, including strokes. For example, in partnership with the American Heart Association, they offer the Lawrence M. Brass Stroke Award which provides researchers with $150,000 towards stroke research over the course of two years.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Brain Foundation has awarded over $33 million toward neurological research. For example, between 2021 and 2022, they awarded over $6 million to neurological research with 9% of their funding going directly toward stroke research. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the American Brain Foundation on their website. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook

9

Joe Niekro Foundation: Research for Hemorrhagic Strokes

Logo for The Joe Niekro Foundation
Phoenix 2017 Video

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Their transparency & ratings:

GuideStar gives the Joe Niekro foundation the silver seal of transparency. 

“The Joe Niekro Foundation provides patient services and education across the US, as well as funds critical research through our JNF Grant and our localized grants in the Phoenix and Houston areas.”

Joe Niekro Foundation

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What they do:

The Joe Niekro Foundation provides grants to researchers who are studying brain malformations as well as hemorrhagic strokes. They typically award these grants to researchers searching to improve or develop diagnostic tools, therapeutic treatments, and outcomes. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since starting grant awards in 2010, the Joe Niekro Foundation has given over 40 grants. Seven of these research projects have directly researched hemorrhagic strokes. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Joe Niekro Foundation. You can also buy their merchandise.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that advance stroke research. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to stroke research – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Dennis



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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