Although the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a Federally funded organization and not a fund-raising organization, it has been authorized by the U.S. Congress to accept bequests and donations to support the mission of the Institute.
Donations to NIMH are handled in our “Gift Fund” account, which is separate from the appropriation that we receive from Congress. Since our basic operating expenses and administrative costs are paid from our appropriation, all donations to NIMH are used for special projects in support of mental health and disorder research.
According to NIH policy, all donations to the NIMH Gift Fund are considered to be “unconditional”, regardless of the purpose that may be specified by the donor. This means that all donations are merged into a general account to be used at the discretion of the NIMH Director to support any type of mental health research that is part of NIMH’s mission. If the donor has a more targeted purpose in mind (for example, research or treatment services directed exclusively toward an area such as depression, suicide, schizophrenia, etc.) the donor may wish to consider contributing to a community mental health organization which has a more focused mandate.
The projects supported through the Gift Fund may vary from year to year depending on the needs of the Institute. The following is a partial list of areas that have been supported through the Gift Fund:
- Designated fellowships, salaries, and benefits to train young scientists or support their attendance at meetings.
- Equipment and supplies for clinical laboratories.
- Workshops/Conferences on subjects of priority importance to mental health/disorder research.
- Printing of pamphlets for the general public.
A contribution can be made to NIMH by sending a check or money order payable to “The National Institute of Mental Health” addressed to:
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6101, MSC 9655
Bethesda, MD 20892-9655
A letter should be sent along with the check indicating that the donation is to be used for research and related activities at NIMH. If a contribution is to be made as a memorial, please indicate the name of the deceased as well as a name and address of the individual to whom an acknowledgment can be sent. All donors are acknowledged.
If you are considering a bequest in a will, the will should show the address of the National Institute of Mental Health to avoid confusion about your intentions. Again, the will should indicate that the bequest is to be used to support the research and related activities of NIMH.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to write to the address above or call the NIMH Financial Management Branch at (301) 443-3704.