Ways to Engage

Get involved, have fun, make a difference.

Support VAI

Philanthropic Events

Events at VAI bring our scientists, educators and supporters together for exciting, informative and often glamorous occasions. Guests will learn more about the Institute’s work and mission, and all proceeds directly support our research and education programs.

Explore upcoming events

Purple Community

Van Andel Institute Purple Community is a grassroots fundraising network powered by you — the dedicated volunteers and community members who support VAI’s mission to improve human health now and in the future. Purple Community volunteers host dozens of events each year that raise critical funds for the Institute. There are plenty of ways to get involved, including organizing and hosting an event, becoming a Student Ambassador, volunteering at any number of events, and more!

Purple Community

Board of Governors

Support the Institute financially and serve as an ambassador who shares VAI’s mission, vision and important work with others in Grand Rapids, West Michigan and beyond. Board of Governors members are encouraged to make an annual contribution of $3,000 or more per couple.

Board of Governors

JBoard Ambassadors

Connect with a vibrant group of young professionals at special Institute events throughout the year while supporting biomedical research and education.

JBoard Ambassadors

Marathon Team

Take on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon or TCS New York City Marathon with Van Andel Institute’s Marathon Team! VAI has access to a limited number of free, guaranteed entries to each of these marathons in a given year.

Marathon Team

Individual Giving

Many individuals give directly to the research and education at VAI by working with one of our gift officers to discover how to direct their giving to an area that both interests them and makes the greatest impact.

Explore Individual Giving


Help spread awareness and educate the community on VAI’s mission and work by volunteering with us. Provide event support, be a listening ear to those who’d like to share their experiences and bring energy to supporting the groundbreaking research and education efforts at the Institute.

Volunteer at VAI

Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence

For the past 10 years, the Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Van Andel Institute’s mission through volunteer service and philanthropic efforts.

Learn More