Ask the Trustees

Letter from the Trustees


As trustees, one of our responsibilities is to insure that the mission and vision of the Foundation continues to align with the intent of Miss Donaghue under her Last Will and Testament. One way we accomplish this is by periodically reviewing how we express the Foundation’s mission, vision, values and goals. This past summer, we spent time examining these statements with the Foundation’s staff and our Policy Advisory Committee.

It was agreed that the current mission and vision statements were still relevant and accurately represented the Foundation and the donor’s intent. Consequently, we didn’t make any changes to those. As we reviewed what we have previously listed as the Foundation’s “goals” and “values,” we agreed that combining, updating and reframing these statements as “Guiding Principles” would better reflect how we think about and conduct our work. We added a Guiding Principle that focuses on our commitment to focusing in on and enhancing inclusivity, and we removed a reference to “identifying and supporting promising researchers.”

We want to thank our Policy Advisers for their thoughtful participation in our review of these important statements. We hope you’ll take a minute to read them, and we hope you agree that they represent the work of the Donaghue Foundation.

Vision Statement:
We envision continual improvement in people’s health as a result of research being converted into practical benefit.

Mission Statement:
The Donaghue Foundation supports rigorous health research that leads to realized health benefits and thereby gives the vision of Ethel Donaghue its best expression.

Donaghue strives to adhere to these Guiding Principles:

Practical benefit – The founder, Ethel Donaghue, directed that the funds support research that provides knowledge of practical benefit to improve health. We interpret this to mean that Donaghue-funded research studies should have the near-term potential to be adopted and implemented by policy makers, practitioners and the public to improve health.

Engagement – Optimizing the capacity of research in a way that addresses the needs of policy makers, practitioners and the public requires more than simply providing financial resources. Therefore, we commit to continuous learning and actively working with others both internal and external to the research enterprise whose work connects with ours.

Inclusivity – To assure that research can meaningfully contribute to the achievement of optimal health for all, Donaghue will identify and welcome people from under-represented groups to engage as advisers and grantees and to incorporate the health concerns of diverse communities into grant portfolios. Donaghue will assess on an ongoing basis elements of grant programs that may unintentionally exacerbate health inequality.

Integrity – The integrity of grant-awarding programs is an essential responsibility for Donaghue as a research funder. Applicants, grantees, advisers and other colleagues must be assured that the selection, evaluation and oversight are equitable, based on expertise, transparent, accessible, and efficient.

Innovation – Donaghue will explore new ideas and be willing to test them for the purpose of advancing the Foundation’s mission.