Funding provides resources to a research or exploratory project so that a person, business, or any other private or public institution, may successfully accomplish the objectives of the project. A request for funding is an attempt at fundraising. The resources provided can be income, computing time and access, libraries and databases, or specific facilities such as observatory time or use of laboratory equipment.
Research funding is often in the form of donations or grants. The higher the risk of success, the closer to a gift the resource becomes. The lower the risk of success, the closer to an investment or loan usually with interest, the resource is.
In between these two extremes is funding provided by a foundation where some reasonable likelihood of success can be demonstrated usually on the basis of past achievement or credentials.
Obtaining funding (income to cover research costs) is important because research takes a toll on time, energy, and resources. It may not lead to profit-making yet may be valuable in its contribution to society. The results of the research or exploration that contribute to the better good of society should be made available for the public good and funded accordingly.
"[Anne] Schelhorn was one of the first German scientists daring to venture in November 2012 to the newly established sciencestarter.de platform. After the creative industry proved crowdfunding was possible, sciencestarter.de claims to be the first portal in Europe only for scientific projects. There are several English-language role models, such as petridish.org or sciflies.org." 
Private funding may bias the resulting findings, since members of the institute, or individuals, might lose their income when the results aren't to the funder's liking. Another consequence is that more and more results will only be available to the funders, or to parties willing to pay and use the results under restricted conditions.
Funding for 2012 from some private foundations:
- Michael J. Fox Foundation, 82.6% of revenues awarded as grants, $53.858 million in grants.
- Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 57.0%, $110.071 million.
- Myelin Repair Foundation, 53.9%, $4.840 million.
- Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, 52.0%, $4.750 million.
- Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 46.2%, $4.750 million.
- Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation, 24.3%, $5.104 million.
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 22.4%, $68.398 million.
- Muscular Dystrophy Association, 21.7%, $33.945 million.
- The ALS Association, 18.4%, $3.500 million.
- American Heart Association, 18.3%, $116.872 million.
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 17.9%, $54.707 million.
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 16.4%, $35.273 million.
- American Diabetes Association, 16.1%, $33.588 million.
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, dba Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 15.3%, $60.931 million.
- American Parkinson Disease Association, 15.1%, $1.293 million.
- American Cancer Society, 11.5%, $106.882 million.
- American Liver Foundation, 11.1%, $947,759.
- March of Dimes Foundation, 11.1%, $23.387 million.
- National Parkinson Foundation, 9.8%, $902,784.
- Arthritis Foundation, 8.8%, $9.294 million.
- Canadian Space Agency
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
United States funding
- National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Research Programs encourages research and writing in all areas of the humanities, including the study of history, literature, philosophy, religion, and foreign cultures. Through grants to individual scholars and institutions, the division fosters work that enables Americans to understand the world.
- Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- National Institutes of Health
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- National Science Foundation
- Office of Naval Research
- U.S. Department of Education Grants
- U.S. Geological Survey
- European Social Fund
- European Space Agency
- Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences
- Swiss Society for Humanities
- U.K. Arts and Humanities Research Council
- Max Planck Institute (Germany)
- Gisela Gross (May 2, 2013). "Wissenschaftler sammeln online für die Forschung". heise online. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
- Dani Simmonds (May 28, 2013). "Top 20 Grant-Giving Disease Foundations". Retrieved 2013-06-01.
- Wikipedia:Research funding
- Wikipedia:National Institutes of Health
- Wikipedia:National Science Foundation
- Unlock the Value - Funding and 10 million dollar prize for developing better ways to extract silver from silica ore
- Members Project - $2.5 million in American Express funding
- Project 10 to the 100
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