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Sarcoidosis: A Giving Smarter Guide

The Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy and the Ann Theodore Foundation have released a new request for proposals (RFP) focused on understanding the underlying biology of sarcoidosis. Applications are open now through Tuesday, January 10, 2023. Please download the RFP above for more information. 

Difficulty breathing, joint pain, extreme fatigue, and eye inflammation—these are among the debilitating symptoms of sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that can affect nearly any organ in the body. While somewhat rare, sarcoidosis symptoms for some last one to two years; for others, it can be a lifelong battle with no hope of a cure. Existing treatments have side effects that are sometimes severe, and, if left unmanaged, sarcoidosis can lead to major organ damage and sometimes death.

Due to misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis, exact numbers of people affected by sarcoidosis are difficult to find. However, the best estimates at this time suggest that around .05 percent of the US population has been diagnosed with sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis is more prevalent in women, many of whom are African American.

Because sarcoidosis is so underfunded, there is a tremendous opportunity for philanthropy to make investments in the field and drive the momentum that is so desperately needed. This Giving Smarter Guide by the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy lays out what is known about the condition, provides analysis of the research landscape, and makes recommendations for how donors can drive collaboration, unlock more funding, and improve the health of those who endure this debilitating disease.