Filling a gap in autism research

May 18, 2022 Tarah Wolking
As a mom of two children with nonverbal autism, Jill is passionate about finding ways to make an impact for people with autism.

As a mom of two children with nonverbal autism, Jill (a Schwab client located in CA) is passionate about finding ways to make an impact for people with autism.

Jill wears many hats in the autism world. In addition to caring for her own children, she has dedicated her life to advocating for families affected by severe autism, and she generously funds autism-related programs and research.

Supporting cutting-edge research

Jill’s philanthropy is pushing the envelope in autism research. The research she supports focuses on the area where genes meet environment, and toxic exposures can cause damage that’s possibly passed down from parents to their offspring.


“We’ve helped fund several studies published in major scientific journals, with more on the way. The work we support is on the cutting-edge of biology and would not easily be funded through conventional means.”

- Jill, autism research donor, CA

Jill hopes support like hers for out-of-the-box research will help move the field in productive and innovative new directions.

Making a bigger impact

Jill uses her donor-advised fund account at Schwab Charitable to spearhead autism research and community programs such as camps, recreation and adult day programs.

“I believe donor-advised funds provide an incredibly powerful tool for philanthropic giving,” shares Jill. “They allow our appreciated assets to go to work for charitable purposes. I can focus on our philanthropic goals instead of paperwork and administration—making a grant only takes a few minutes.”

While Jill is happy about the ease of donating, she says having an account that potentially grows tax-free is one of the biggest benefits and has enabled her to give more to the causes she’s passionate about.

“Our grants are filling a crucial gap in autism research. And we want to be able to give everything we can to the worthy recipients of these much-needed charitable dollars—that’s the biggest win.” 

Philanthropy for all

If you’ve ever considered donating but don’t feel like you have enough to make an impact, think twice.

Jill encourages everyone to be a mini-philanthropist and says it's not just for the rich crowd. She says it’s about doing the “absolute utmost with the money you have to be able to make the changes you want to see in your community.”

“I think almost everybody has it in them to be a philanthropist and to donate and benefit their communities,” says Jill. “There's a tremendous need for charitable work of all kinds, especially in the world of developmental disabilities, and having a donor-advised fund gives you a way to make change in your community now.”