In making grants and contributions, the Gallagher Foundation seeks to identify NPOs whose missions fall into four basic categories:

  • Research and practical applications for such research on quality of life issues including air quality, water resources, health care, climate change and resource conservation,
  • Access to and improvement of quality of health care, with particular focus on children with special needs,
  • Expansion of educational opportunities at all levels from primary though graduate institutions and exposure of communities to intelligent and diverse discourse,
  • Direct assistance for the delivery of essential services to less fortunate members of society and for fact-based, reasoned analysis of important community issues.
Water Resources

Approximately 740 million people (11% of world population) lack access to improved water resources and more than 2.5 billion live without basic sanitation. Contaminated water and poor sanitation contribute to 88% of all diseases in the developing world. The Gallagher Foundation has made this issue one of its key priorities. Among its projects are:

2014 Challenge grant of 50% of the total amount requested to help expand the relationship between the Desert Research Institute (DRI) and Global Impact, and to significantly add to DRI’s capacity to focus on water research for the benefit of humankind, through the work of DRI’s Center for International Water and Sustainability (CIWAS).

2014 Leadership challenge grant of $100,000 per year for up to five years to fund the DRI Global Water Initiative (constituting 20% of established goal of $500,000 per year for five years) to conduct key knowledge-based projects and international collaborations that contribute to a social, economic and environmentally sustainable future for global water resources and humanity’s well-being. The grant will support direct and indirect research, education and training on water related issues in Africa and China.

Other projects by the Foundation in the field of water resources include:

2012 Funding for the acquisition and donation of watershed land to the Monterey Preservation Land Trust for the preservation of natural resources and protection of waterways, ponds and lakes.

Annual grants and contributions to other organizations such as:

Archaeological Projects

A long-standing interest in archaeology by Foundation Trustees has resulted in support for a range of projects designed to discover, learn from and preserve artifacts and objects from ancient and prehistoric times and recognize scientists who conduct such research. Examples of such projects and support include:

2018-19 Funding for The Umm el-Jimal Project in Jordan, an ongoing research endeavor to understand, preserve, and share the ancient site and modern community of Umm el-Jimal. The best-preserved Byzantine town in the Southern Hauran region, archaeological investigation has been underway on location for over a century. In ancient times the site was occupied from roughly the 1st to 8th centuries AD. After its decline, Umm el-Jimal’s dark basalt architecture lay silent until Syrian Druze and bedouin Msa'eid reoccupied it at the start of the 20th century. Umm el-Jimal was a frontier town in the desert, likely first inhabited by Nabataean traders caravanning between Petra and Damascus. With the arrival of Rome in the second century AD the village eventually became part of the Limes Arabicus—the line of garrisoned forts that protected the Roman province of Arabia. Even so, Umm el-Jimal’s inhabitants existed in relative autonomy, and by the 5th and 6th centuries it peaked as a prosperous Byzantine town of perhaps five thousand souls. Over the following centuries Umm el-Jimal’s residents remodeled and reused its stone structures, until its probable decline and gradual abandonment in the late 8th century.

2014 major sponsorship for the Nevada Medal Dinner honoring Dr. Albert “Yu-Min” Lin. Dr. Lin's research has taken him into the most remote regions of the world, has led to industry-changing innovations and has expanded the role of media in science. The effort he is most known for, the Valley of the Khans Project, is a high-tech ground, aerial and satellite-based, remote sensing, non-invasive search for the tomb of Genghis Khan.

2013 Donation of Terra Cotta Warrior figures for display in recognition of research conducted by Dr. Judy Chow and Dr. John Watson to help preserve the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an China.

Further support for archaeological and anthropological research by the Foundation is a five year grant (2009-2012) for purchase of important equipment for archaeological research to dramatically expand the capability of researchers to identify biological and archaeological materials of value such as hair, charcoal and bone for research concerning prehistoric human adaptations and paleo-environmental change in arid environments. Researchers use techniques such as ground penetrating radar (GPR) and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), often in combination with geographic information systems (GIS) and specialized laboratories equipped with traditional light and electron microscopes.

Improvement of the quality and delivery of healthcare and disease research are major interests of the Foundation. It continues to support health research institutions, hospitals, medical centers and community clinics. In addition, since 2004 the Foundation has given particular attention to the extraordinary challenges faced by special needs children and their parents. Projects include:

UNLV Medical School

UNLV Medical School The Foundation has funded two four-year full-tuition scholarships for first year incoming class of medical students at the newly formed UNLV Medical School in Las Vegas, Nevada for the period 2017-2020.

George Mark Children’s House

George Mark Children’s House is the first freestanding pediatric palliative care center to open in the United States. It exists to serve families with children who have a serious medical illness and who are seeking family-centered medical care that emphasizes quality of life in a compassionate, supportive atmosphere. The Foundation has made annual grants to support such care.

Angel Flight West

Since 1983 Angel Flight West has arranged nearly 60,000 flights by volunteer pilots to provide free non-emergency air transportation to medical care and other humanitarian services in the 13 western states. Pilots donate their time and all flight costs to enable children and adults to reach services otherwise unavailable because of economic circumstances, physical limitations or geographic location. The Foundation has made very significant contributions of funds and advice by its Trustees to AFW, including:

2012 – 2014 Challenge grant to Angel Flight West to assist with the expenses associated with fund-raising initiatives throughout the western states

The 2014 Endeavor Awards celebrated and honored three volunteer pilots from a nationwide call for nominees. This inaugural awards ceremony brought together legendary aviators, academic medical centers, volunteer pilot organizations and those who share a commitment to raise awareness and support for the gifts of flight provided by general aviation pilots and their commercial airline partners in service to their communities across the country.

Lead sponsorship of 2014 Endeavor Awards and assistance from Foundation Trustees to develop and manage this inaugural event with nationwide impact for the work of public benefit aviation

Research and treatment of brain disorders

Periodic grants in support of research on brain disorders by Cleveland Clinic/Lou Ruvo Center

Other projects and grants:

  • Lucille Packard Children’s Fund
  • Blind Babies Foundation
  • Care Coalition
  • Community Alliance for Special Education
  • Nevada Health Sciences Foundation
  • Nathan Adelson Hospice

For twenty-five years the Foundation has furnished major financial support and services by its Trustees to primary, secondary, collegiate and graduate educational institutions as well as institutions created to support such educational missions and to broaden the exposure of communities to intelligent and diverse discourse. Particular projects receiving major financial and technical support include:

Black Mountain Institute

Black Mountain Institute is an international center for creative writers and scholars. It supports a series of initiatives that promote humanistic and cross-cultural dialogue, including public readings and panel discussions, degree programs in creative writing, residential and faculty fellowships, and literary publications. The Institute’s City of Asylum program founded in 2001provides safe haven for writers whose voices are muffled by censorship, or who are living with the threat of imprisonment or assassination and was the first such program in the United States.

BMI offers nine-month fellowships to published writers. Fellowships are awarded to candidates whose work ranges away from the American experience and into international terrain and whose ongoing project would benefit from a period of sustained immersion. The program accepts applications from novelists, poets, playwrights, journalists, nonfiction writers, historians, political scientists, and public intellectuals. Since 2009, the Gallagher Foundation has funded such fellowships for:

Matthew Davis is the author of When Things Get Dark: A Mongolian Winter's Tale, a work of non-fiction weaving memoir, travel essay, and journalism that stems from his time in Mongolia as a Peace Corps volunteer. Work from this first book won awards from The Atlantic, The Best American Travel Writing anthology, and Peace Corps Writers. Davis was a Jurgens Fellow at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies from 2008-2010 and a Fulbright Fellow in 2010-2011 to Jordan and Syria.

Kris Saknussemm is an Australian-American novelist and media artist. Saknussemm has published three novels and a short story collection. His first novel, Zanesville, became a modern science fiction cult classic. He was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in 2004. A champion of outsider art, Saknussemm’s writing is known for its bizarre imagery and fierce satire. He is also a painter and sculptor, He divides his time between America’s West Coast and the old goldfields region outside Melbourne.

Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda, in southern Nigeria. His first collection of stories, Say You’re One of Them, received the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book, Africa region, and was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. The collection was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, as well as a nominee for the Guardian First Book Award, the Caine Prize for African writing, and the Story Prize. While at BMI, Father Uwem will be working on a novel about street kids in Kenya, as well as a novel about child trafficking in Gabon. Father Uwem was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and is currently one of three priests in a 15,000-parishioner church in Mushin, Lagos, Nigeria. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006.

Timothy O’Grady is the author of several recent books of nonfiction, including Curious Journey: An Oral History of Ireland's Unfinished Revolution, with Kenneth Griffith; On Golf; and Divine Magnetic Lands: A Journey in America. He has also published three novels, including Motherland, a recipient of the David Hingham Award in 1989, and I Could Read the Sky, a novel with photographs by Steve Pike and winner of Britain's Encore Award for best second novel of 1998. He is currently at work on a novel about a retired IRA sniper, never caught or tried for his crimes and is concurrently working on a book of nonfiction about the barely visible subculture of those living off the societal map - in transient hotels, trailer camps, and the wilderness - in the modern American West.

Public Radio and Television

The Foundation has provided significant funding and expertise to public television (Vegas PBS) and public radio (KUNV) and Foundation trustees have served on the board of directors and advisory boards of these two entities. Included in the services provided are fundraising and development and program development, including the relaunch of public affairs programming.

Educational Pathways International

Educational Pathways International was established to recognize, support, and empower gifted young people from families of need in the country of Ghana through a comprehensive university scholarship program, enabling them to develop their talents and make a positive difference in their home country. The EPI scholarship program identifies the best and the brightest from families of the greatest need and offers a university education in fields of study that are vital to Ghana’s future. Scholarship recipients attend well-reputed in-country universities, receive comprehensive counseling, guidance and support, and make the promise after graduation to “give back” in ways that will help their country grow. Beginning in 2013, the Foundation has sponsored scholarships for four such young people.

Clark County Public Education Foundation

The Public Education Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of teaching and learning, advancing academic achievement, increasing the graduation rate, promoting the use of technology, and championing school improvement in Clark County, Nevada. From 2004 through 2011, the Gallagher Foundation sponsored annual grants to assist in generating community resources and facilitating collaborations and partnerships to ensure high-quality public educational opportunities for all children.

Human Rights Campaign – Las Vegas

The Human Rights Campaign seeks to improve the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBT-inclusive policies and practices. In 2014 the Gallagher Foundation was a major sponsor of the HRC Las Vegas event honoring the efforts of community leaders to increase such understanding.

In addition, during the past ten years the Foundation has donated more than $450,000 to primary, secondary, university and graduate educational institutions.

The continuing problems of homelessness, hunger, and abuse of women and children are deeply troubling, as is the continuing disparity between the lives of friends and colleagues and those less fortunate. For this reason, the Foundation annually devotes significant resources and direct advice to community non-profits that seek to address these issues in meaningful ways.

Funding has been provided to a wide range of groups including, among others:

  • Ag Against Hunger
  • Three Square
  • Food Banks of Northern and Southern Nevada and Monterey County
  • Community Foundations
  • Las Vegas Rescue Mission
  • Legal Aid of Southern Nevada
  • Los Angeles Mission
  • Martha’s Kitchen
  • Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
  • Parasol Community Foundation
  • SAFE House
  • Second Harvest
  • The Shade Tree

In addition, in order to help address these problems on a systemic basis, the Foundation is now increasing its involvement in efforts to improve the nature and extent of public knowledge and discourse on public policy issues. The Foundation is a major participant in the organization and launch of the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities – a nonprofit, bipartisan, think-do tank focused on independent, fact-based, relevant, and well-reasoned analysis of critical policy issues facing the state of Nevada. The Guinn Center engages policy-makers, experts, and the public with innovative, fact-based research, ideas, and analysis to advance policy solutions, inform the public debate, and expand public engagement.Our Managing Trustee currently serves as Chair of the Guinn Center which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2019.