For Meg and Don Steiner, philanthropy is a passion. “All people who are philanthropic understand the feeling of pleasure and delight from supporting something they believe in,” says Meg.
Recently, the Steiners took great pleasure in making a gift of $1 million to The Dana-Farber Campaign in support of cancer research under the direction of their friend and neighbor Stephen Sallan, MD, Dana-Farber’s chief of staff emeritus, and Institute physician David Fisher, MD. The funds will be applied at the discretion of both physician-scientists to advance promising research through the lens of their specialties—pediatric and adult blood cancers.
The Steiners have lost loved ones to blood cancers and, over the years, have come to know Fisher, who specializes in this area. They have a keen interest in advancing research that will lead to new, more effective treatments and are encouraged by the breakthroughs in cancer medicine over the last decade. They feel that their support can help the greatest number of patients by furthering cutting-edge research.
“We invest in Dana-Farber because of the high likelihood of success,” says Don. “The most impactful projects today may not be the most impactful projects three years from now. We trust Drs. Sallan and Fisher to use these funds to support research projects that are gaining traction and have the best chance of helping patients.”
“David and I are so grateful to have this support from our dear friends, Meg and Don,” says Sallan, who is also the Quick Family Chair in Pediatric Oncology at Dana-Farber. “At the Institute, we have a dual focus on adult and pediatric cancer research, which uniquely positions us to translate findings from studies of genetically simpler pediatric cancers to more complex adult cancers. Our research has the potential to transform the way we treat cancer and greatly expand targeted treatment options— ultimately for both children and adults.”
Savvy philanthropists, the Steiners give to Dana-Farber and other nonprofits through their donor-advised fund—a philanthropic investment account that provides an immediate tax benefit and enables donors to increase their charitable giving potential as their investment grows. “We get a wonderful feeling about our donor-advised fund,” Don says. “We’ve already given the money away, so it’s no longer ours—we just get to decide where it will have the greatest impact.”
The couple, who has supported the Institute for many years, also joined the Dana-Farber Society by making a provision for Dana-Farber in their will. Meg adds, however, “We would rather do more while we’re alive and while others are alive who might benefit from this work. With a donor-advised fund, we have the pleasure of watching Dana-Farber benefit from our dollars now.”