Our Programs

The Helmsley Charitable Trust has developed targeted programs in health, selected place-based initiatives, and education and human services, all dedicated to improving life in the U.S. and around the world. 

Lab Health

Basic Medical Research

Our Basic Medical Research Program supports the fundamental laboratory and translational science that is essential to advancing society’s ability to understand and combat disease, treat traumatic injury and improve human health. Advances in areas such as genomics and stem cells have brought us to the precipice of major medical breakthroughs. Unfortunately, government and private funding that has traditionally financed such critical work is shrinking, making it even more challenging for innovative therapeutic discoveries to make the leap from the lab to the patients who need them most. Our program seeks to help fill that void by supporting scientists in their formative efforts to identify pathways and modes of disease and devise novel and effective approaches to the search for treatments and cures.

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Crohn's Disease

The Helmsley Charitable Trust supports leading research institutions across the globe in an unprecedented effort to find a cure—and until then better treatments—for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Crohn’s disease. Helmsley has allocated more than $160 million to institutions in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Israel. Many of these projects bring scientists together in new collaborations to study different facets of the disease and incorporate the latest technologies and most recent scientific insights into their explorations. Across the program, nearly 100 Helmsley-funded investigators are working to understand both how human genetics and the gut microbiome can cause and exacerbate IBD, and to bring those insights into the development of new treatments.

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Rural Healthcare

Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use telemedicine and other information technologies to connect rural populations to specialty medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel, and foster incentives for healthcare personnel to train and serve in rural areas. The program awards grants in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana.

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Type 1 Diabetes

The goal of our program is to improve the lives of all people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Working closely with key players across the T1D ecosystem – patients, physicians, caregivers, researchers, government agencies, funders, pharmaceutical companies, device makers, insurers, and community organizations – we seek to improve care and ultimately prevent the disease.

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Biomedical Research Infrastructure

In 2014, Helmsley launched a new grants program to strengthen the infrastructure for research and enhance the quality and reproducibility of biomedical research.

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Galapagos Place-Based


Our Conservation Program works to resolve environmental threats in ways that ensure the well-being of local communities while sustaining natural resources and protecting biodiversity. We do so by collaborating with outstanding global and local organizations that share our mission. Helmsley's place-based approach, which has focused on the Galapagos Archipelago in Ecuador, Baja California Sur in Mexico, Madagascar, and Myanmar, aims to align biodiversity conservation and environmental protection goals with sustainable human development. This includes promoting development solutions that benefit communities, wildlife and the environment; establishing and supporting the management of protected areas; and working to save endangered species.

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Helmsley's Israel Program is committed to contributing to the continued development and security of Israel, both for the country's benefit and for humanity in general. Since the program began in 2010, Helmsley has committed over $150 million to leading Israeli institutions that seek to strengthen the nation’s leadership in scientific, technological and medical research, its healthcare preparedness, and its standing in the world.

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New York City

Our New York City Program seeks to identify and solve specific problems to help the region’s residents meet basic needs, maintain economic security, and utilize public goods and services that improve economic well-being, security, and quality of life for themselves and their families.

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Education & Human Services


Helmsley's Education Program aspires to advance American economic competitiveness as well as individual social mobility. To that end, the Education Program supports K-12 and higher education initiatives to help ensure that all students, including those who are economically disadvantaged, have access to a quality education and the opportunity to attain a meaningful postsecondary credential.

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Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Helmsley's Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa Program began in 2013. Through select nonprofit implementing partners, we invest in evidence-based interventions that provide at-risk children with greater access to education, improved food and nutrition, and clean water and sanitation. We seek to support sustainable solutions that will leave meaningful and lasting change within the communities touched. The program’s initial grantmaking efforts have been in Kenya, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Angola, Ethiopia, and Zambia supporting a range of integrated development initiatives.

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