Low research investment from charitable diabetes organizations

I recently did some research on how much large diabetes organizations invest in research. I was under the impression that most of their budget is spent on research. I was really disappointed to find out that the % of the budget spent on research is low. For instance, the ADA spends less than 20% of its budget on research (and 35% of its receipts is used to fundraise).

This is causing me to reconsider my charitable contributions this year.


I don’t know how it is currently, but waaaaay back, my parents gave to JDF (which later became JDRF). At the time, they were more focused on research than the ADA, which was more focused on education.

So what you are saying about ADA does not surprise me.

You are right, the JDRF spend a lot more of its budget on research, which is its official mission. Disappointingly, though, it is only 38%:


The JDCA, which issued this report however, has an agenda – it is focused 100% on a cure. Here is a discussion of the big splash they made last year. However, I believe the report is accurate. The representation from the JDRF is somewhat misleading, because it groups both research grants and grant administration, so that you don’t see how much was actually given to research: https://www.jdrf.org/about/financials/

FYI – more JDCA reports.

Here is an interesting research institute that allows donors to directly fund a research project: https://diabetesresearchconnection.org/


Sadly, most charities only contribute a small % to their root cause. We need kickstarter or gofundme for research. I’m sure there is already something, but I don’t know about it.


This is really interesting! My older son, who is in college in EECS, has told me for months now that he is considering starting just that (because of what happened to his younger brother). The only thing that exists in the space right now is Consano, which is not doing well at all.

Just a personal observation, but I am always galled by charities that pay their CEO’s really well, unless they are delivering some amazing value for the money. JDRF is paying more than $500k for their CEO, has 24 senior leaders on their website who I am sure are all drawing an above average salary, and they set it up as a chapter type of organization where every chapter has an executive director making >$100k. These types of structures are not very efficient at delivering money to the cause.

Not sure about JDRF, but my friend’s wife worked at the American Cancer Society and was given a % of her fundraising in addition to her above average salary. Not very “charitable” unless you are working there. While they do fund research, I am much more comfortable giving my money to more efficient organizations.