I am looking into this, and what you said seems to be precisely the case. I am in the process of modifying the website for my lab accordingly to offer people the opportunity to donate, explain how the donation process works, and explain precisely what type of research this money would put towards.....in other words, make clear that this is not just a blank check for my lab, but the money is to be used for a specific purpose.
I am also teaching a class right now, so this requires some juggling, but I hope to have the first version of the website up and running within a week.
The text of the e-mail I received from the CEO of the MSU charitable arm (MSU Foundation) explaining how this works is below.
Thanks for your interest,
Thank you for your thoughtful note. The only thing that you would need to do to receive donations is to open an account with the MSU Foundation and direct that all gifts to your research be made to the MSU Foundation and earmarked on the check memo for Halford Herpes Research Fund. Send the checks to MSU Foundation, P.O. Box 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717-2750. Gifts can also be made online at http://www.montana.edu/foundation/give_now.htm and the donor can designate in the “Other” category for Halford Herpes Research Fund. You need to have a gift to open the account and when you do so, you must sign a fund agreement that states how the funds will be used and who has signatory authority on the account. Your dean will have to approve the account and your signatory authority.
Hope this helps.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Montana State University Foundation
1501 South 11th Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59717-2750
From: Halford, William
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 2:13 PM
To: Talbott, Connie
Subject: Query regarding individual donations to support a specific research program at MSU
October 16, 2006
Dear Ms. Talbott,
I am a researcher in the Dept. of Vet Molecular Biology, and part of the major thrust of my research lies in devising an effective vaccine against genital herpes. This is currently featured in the MSU website news area at this link:
In the past four days since the story ran, I have received three e-mails to the effect of "Where do I donate to support this research?"
Herpes infections affects a ton of people, and it's a very emotional issue for people with the disease because despite all the advances in medicine in the past 30 years, little help for those who suffer from herpes simplex virus has been provided by NIH-sponsored research. I attend the virology meetings of NIH-funded scientists every year who are supposedly working to cure this disease. Frankly, herpesvirus research has become very esoteric and most of the scientists who do the work seem to have lost sight of the fact that they are squandering time and money while literally several million Americans continue to live with genital herpes or ocular herpes (both potentially debilitating conditions). Given this situation, the "herpes constituency" of the United States is less than pleased with what has been accomplished.
I believe that my research has reached point where I see a clear path to a genital herpes vaccine, and I would really like to consider setting up a website within the auspices of the University for giving herpes sufferers around the world a silent, anonymous way to contribute directly to research that might provide some relief sooner rather than later.
Is it possible that I could meet with you sometime in the next few weeks to discuss the possibility of setting up a "Support herpes vaccine research" website which would provide a means for people to donate to this cause via the MSU Foundation? There have to be some legal issues to consider here......but I don't know what they are, and am hoping you do.
If a small blurb on the MSU website can generate such interest, I really think it is worth considering if we could achieve a bit more through more mainstream lines of communication....an internet website and/or a magazine article or two describing the research and why this new line of research is very promising.
Thank you for considering this request.