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Foresight Challenge Grant

Deadline for matching funds: Jan 31, 2001
Deadline for year 2000 U.S. tax deductions: Dec. 31, 2000

Thanks to all those who participated in the 2001 Foresight Challenge Grant effort. The full amount of the Challenge was earned.

    Foresight must raise $35,000 by January 31    
    Why give to Foresight    
    To donate    
    Watch our progress!    


Foresight must raise $35,000 by January 31

One of Foresight's Senior Associates has made a Challenge Grant: he will match, dollar-for-dollar up to $35,000, every new donation we can pull in by January 31.

If we succeed, we'll have new funds totaling $70,000 to invest in growing Foresight. To those of you in big companies, this may not sound like a lot, but you'd be amazed what we can do with this sum. Every dollar stimulates donated volunteer work, giving big results.

To trigger these matching funds, you can:

To get the most from your U.S. tax deduction, consider giving publicly-traded stock — you write-off the full appreciated value, without paying capital gains.

Finally, for the contrarians among you — and there are many! — for donations of $1000 or more, you have the option of joining the "Challenger" side of this fundraising race, raising the stakes and bringing out the best of Foresight members and staff as we race to meet your challenge.

We're counting on you to help Foresight as we keep pace with the rate of advance in nanotechnology.

—Christine Peterson, President


Why give to Foresight

Nanotechnology action has taken off like a rocket over the past year. Even Nanodot, our online "daily newspaper", can barely cover it all. Private investment, government programs, and media hype continue to accelerate.

So far, Foresight is keeping up, but to maintain our influence as nanotechnology grows, we must grow too — and do it fast. Even with lots of volunteer help, this takes money.

How do we turn your donations into real-world influence? The key is to find issues of high leverage and take action far in advance of the existing special interests. Here are some examples:

  Goal:   Spread the benefits of coming technologies, e.g. nanotech  
  Action:   Current intellectual property law is interfering with technological progress and the wide dissemination of benefits. Foresight is taking this on, helping to nucleate a new community around IP reform, as we did earlier with Open Source.  
  Goal:   Reduce the downside of coming technologies, e.g. nanotech  
  Action:   Nanotech has both safety and arms control issues. Foresight has already taken on the first: the Foresight Guidelines outline how to develop this technology safely. Now we move on to a much tougher issue: preventing deliberate abuse.  
  Goal:   Educate the public to improve public policy on powerful technologies  
  Action:   We publish books online and/or on paper, including Nanomedicine, Engines of Creation, and Unbounding the Future. We reach out 24/7 via our heavily-accessed websites, and We hold special topic conferences on nanotechnology and, soon, intellectual property. We continually brief the media, reducing their error rate on key topics. Most of all, we do networking and matchmaking — helping good people find other good people to work together on projects that support Foresight goals.  

Are we perhaps a bit controversial? You bet, and we're proud of it. Compared to those who don't look ahead, we'll always sound radical. But isn't it odd how much of today's nanotech rhetoric sounds just like Foresight did ten years ago? That's called memetic engineering, and it's our specialty.

And yes, it takes a special kind of person to donate to Foresight. Our work is relatively abstract, very long-term, hard to measure precisely, and has little short-term emotional payoff. It's like medical research — today's "warm fuzzies" go to the folks who alleviate short-term problems, not those who try to solve the underlying cause.

That's why we band together to form a real community — to give each other the moral support that those we're helping can't give. And to have fun: a necessity if we are to keep working as long as it takes to exert major effects on large complex systems such as human society.

Do we mind that not every idea orginating from Foresight gets labeled as ours? Not a bit — spreading idea successfully requires letting go of credit. New folks picking up our ideas need to make them their own, and continually reminding them that "that's OUR idea" slows that process. We don't mind operating mostly in the background; that's the most effective place to be, given our strategy.

If you can handle this powerful "delayed gratification" style of giving — and if you've read this far, we bet you can — Foresight may well be the highest-payoff use of your charitable dollars and volunteer hours.

In fact, if you've gotten this far, you're probably "on the team" already. Now all that remains is to type in that credit card number, or mail that check.

We look forward to working with you as we continue to tweak the future in a positive way.


To Donate

For One-time Donations:

Donations may be made by VISA, MasterCard, check or international money order valid in the U.S. Make checks payable to "Foresight Institute"; checks and bank drafts must be in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. Bank. Donations with payment by credit card may be faxed, or you may use a secure server for on-line donation. To donate stock, contact Foresight at 650-917-1122 or by email: More information on donating stock.

For five-year Senior Associate donations and upgrades


Follow our Progress

Total Challenge: $35,000
  Number of Donations Dollars
Dollars Earned
  Associate Fellow Colleague Friend
New Pledges 12 1 3 1 $11,500 $11,500
Increase to N/A          
One-time Donations 19 $11,023 $11,023
Employer Matches      
Totals as of Dec. 7, 2000 $295 $295
Dec. 22, 2000 $1,844 $1,844
Dec. 31, 2000 $4,094 $4,094
Jan. 5, 2001 $7,694 $7,694
Jan. 11, 2001 $14,494 $14,494
Jan. 19, 2001 $14,994 $14,994
Jan. 25, 2001 $19,023 $19,023
Jan. 30, 2001 $22,523 $22,523
Thanks to two large stock donations
we have completed our Challenge Grant.
$35,000 $35,000
Challenge Grant
Yet To Be Earned
Yet Needed

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