Amount donated in 2013: $67-million
Top beneficiary: American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
Other notable gift: Family House
Background: Mr. Grand co-founded Grand Sakwa Properties, a real-estate-development company in Farmington Hills, Mich.
Mr. Grand, 70, overcame multiple myeloma with help from what he describes as a “breakthrough drug based on Israeli research.” He and his wife, Nancy, 65, said that experience inspired them to pledge $50-million last year to the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science to support research within the institute’s Israel National Center for Personalized Medicine.
The couple hopes the donation will help Israeli scientists study the human genome and develop cures for cancers and other life-threatening diseases.
“We believe that understanding the human genome and finding cures to most diseases can be accomplished today with three components: brilliant scientists, infrastructure, and financial resources,” said Mr. Grand. “We’re providing the financial resources to enable Weizmann to get the job done.”
They also supported the fight against cancer in other ways last year.
The Grands gave $10-million to Family House, a San Francisco nonprofit that provides lodging to low-income families of pediatric cancer patients, enabling them to remain near their children while they are undergoing treatment. The gift will help construct a new building to house 80 families. They also donated $1-million to the University of California at San Francisco’s Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative to support research, which they helped establish with a $2-million donation in 2009.
In addition to gifts aimed at fighting cancer, the couple gave $2-million to Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for its Grand Technion Energy Program to support research into alternative and renewable energy sources. They also donated a total of $4-million to a variety of nonprofits to support the arts and culture, job training for the homeless, global Jewish needs, and science.
The Philanthropy 50: Browse the full list of America's most generous donors in 2013.