Accessing Charitable Resources, With Keith Valentine, Vision Foundation


Click here to watch the video version of this podcast.

Keith Valentine is the first and only visually impaired head of a national sight loss organization in the UK.

As the President and CEO of Vision Foundation, London’s leading sight loss charity, Valentine guides an organization that provides services for blind and visually impaired people countrywide. He also has plans to increase the organization’s research commitment.

In March 2023, Vision Foundation merged with Fight for Sight, the leading UK charity dedicated to stopping sight loss through pioneering research. Combined with Vision Foundation’s legacy as a service provider, the new organization intends to make a bigger impact on both science and services.

Valentine said out of all the sight loss funding currently available in the UK, the majority goes toward much-needed services. Only a small slice is available for research. Vision Foundation currently distributes about £2 million per year to fund research, and it’s one of the larger UK sight loss charities.

Valentine told host Rob Rothman, MD, the deficit of research funding “will be felt by the investor community and the scientific community. It will affect the sustainability of science in the UK and the ability to attract people to ophthalmology as a profession.”

Valentine intends to use what he learned in both the private and non-profit sectors to avert that deficit.

Listen to the podcast today to discover:
• More about Valentine’s background, including his transition from the private sector to nonprofit sight loss, and how his experience with retinitis pigmentosa influenced his career path.
• The structure and scope of the charitable sight loss sector in the UK, including its approach to funding.
• How Valentine’s experience as a start-up founder influences his role leading a nonprofit.
• How Valentine plans to accelerate Vision Foundation’s scientific investment.
• His thoughts on whether nonprofits could or should benefit financially from their scientific investments and what that would look like.
• The potential and risks involved for nonprofits that invest alongside venture capital firms to advance innovation.

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Vision Foundation:
Keith Valentine:
Robert Rothman, MD: