by Buck Institute

Giving Tuesday: Why give to the Buck

By Davalyn Powell, Buck Science Writer and Institutional Advancement Officer

The Buck Institute, which opened its doors in 1999 in the heart of Marin County, has a bold mission: “to end the threat of age-related disease for this and future generations.” Over the nearly 20 years since first opening, the Buck has attracted hundreds of scientists, students, and staff to work together toward the ambitious goal of maximizing the healthy years of life. The Buck is characterized by a deep culture of collaboration, not just between scientists but with our community as well.

Our foundation is rooted in philanthropic giving. The Buck Institute was founded through the generous legacy of Marin philanthropist Beryl Hamilton Buck who wanted to do what she could to
“extend help toward the problems of the aged.” The Buck Institute was thus established as the first and only research institution in the world focused singularly on the biology of aging. We are an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) research institution which means we have no tuition, no football team, and no alumni endowment fund. While an annual distribution from the Buck Trust and federal research grants make up an important portion of our funding, we rely on private donations to support the high-risk and potentially high-reward, paradigm-shifting research our scientists strive to perform. Private donations are also needed to support our community outreach and educational endeavors such as the Learning Center and the North Bay Science Discovery Day (sponsored annually by the Buck). Simply put, the groundbreaking research and education achieved at the Buck is only made possible through generous gifts and partnerships with philanthropic donors and foundations over the last two decades.

Today is Giving Tuesday, the honorary holiday which began in 2012 to encourage balance between the post-Thanksgiving holiday personal giving season and philanthropic giving efforts. Today is a great reminder for us all to consider philanthropic giving as a part of our holiday celebrations. At the Buck, we also want to take this day to celebrate and pay tribute to our donors and supporters, without whom we could not keep the lights on, let alone carry out our important and pioneering research. We could think of no better ambassadors to share our mission. And so, in honor of Giving Tuesday and the spirit of philanthropic giving, we asked our donors a simple question, Why give to the Buck?

“I'm always exhilarated by my interactions with our scientists. They are curious, deeply inquisitive and determined to seek out vital information regarding our well-being. Their pride in collaborating with one another at the Buck Institute is exhibited in a joyful restlessness to make discoveries that extend our healthy living.” – Bill Poland, Chair of the Board of Trustees

“When we became members of The Buck more than ten years ago, my thought was that maybe in the next 20 years they'd discover something that could help me and the people who matter to me. I love the exciting, collaborative research that they are doing, and I love being in a front row seat to learn about it. It's extremely helpful to be reminded of the importance of diet and exercise, and it's reassuring to know that as a result of research at the Buck, clinical trials are happening right now for drugs that could extend the healthy years of life.” – Diane C. Rosenberger, Donor

“I don’t think of our philanthropic donations as ‘giving to the Buck’. I think of our philanthropic donations as investments looking for ‘social returns’ from aging research results that can lead to changes for billions of lives, and STEM and aging education that can also change lives.” – Larry E. Rosenberger, Board of Trustees

“There are so many aspects to aging well - our current health, our past histories, the cultures from which we come, and our economic circumstances. There are very few institutions that are taking all of these factors into account in order to deeply understand how to ‘live better longer’. At The Buck Institute, scientists are tackling all these issues and sharing their information with each other and the community. We feel privileged to support The Buck, contribute to the outstanding work it is doing, and be part of The Buck Community.” – Sara and William A. Barnes, Donors

“The Navigage Foundation is excited by the vision and scientific work that is being carried out by The Buck Institute. We donate to the Buck Institute because its goal is aligned with the Navigage Foundation in our desire to have a positive impact on Aging.” – Judy Vallas, Navigage Foundation

“The quality of aging is already improving due to findings of the Buck Institute. I am proud to think that my humble offerings have contributed to making this difference.” – Carole Bennett, Donor

“On a societal level, reproductive equality impacts women’s health, family planning, infertility, and career development. I am excited to support groundbreaking work that has so many touch points for rebalancing our culture and economy.” – Nicole Shanahan, Donor

“My husband, S. William Levy, clinical professor in dermatology at UCSF, was an early Buck Institute scientific advisor. In the fall, the family sponsors a seminar in his memory at the Buck Institute. We decided to support the Buck Endowment Fund so that future generations may benefit from the Buck’s ever-growing exceptional work.” – Elisabeth R. Levy and family, Donors

“We live in the Bay Area and are fortunate to have the only research institution focused solely on aging right here in Novato. We can meet scientists and learn about their work and occasionally learn about things we can personally be doing right now. This is game changing work that will benefit each of us and they are on the edge of key discoveries. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?” –  W. Robert Griswold, Jr., Board of Trustees

You don’t have to be a scientist to make an important contribution to research on aging. This Giving Tuesday, we hope you will consider making the Buck Institute a part of your philanthropic efforts. There are many ways to be a part of the Buck including becoming a supporting member. Our scientists and staff love meeting community members and donors past, present, and future, and so we welcome you to sign up for a tour of our campus so you can see the incredible work our scientists do on a daily basis. Happy Giving Tuesday and happy holidays from the Buck family to yours!

Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.

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