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JDRF International

Improving Lives, Curing Type 1 Diabetes

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.

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Why should I support your work?

JDRF-funded research has led to many landmark advances in type 1 diabetes (T1D) science. JDRF is taking that research knowledge and translating it into real therapies that will make life-changing differences for those facing the daily challenges of T1D. JDRF also strategically partners with industry, governments, foundations, academia, healthcare insurers, and clinicians to ensure that JDRF and its partners are aligned and working toward a common goal of a world without T1D.

JDRF’s advocacy efforts support a variety of issues that are critical to JDRF achieving its research objectives. Our focus includes securing government funding for T1D research and working to create a regulatory environment that allows people with T1D to benefit from potential new therapies and devices as quickly and safely as possible. Finally, JDRF’s outreach efforts provide practical support and resources for people with T1D and their families every step of the way as they live with T1D.

Why does your charity exist?

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on T1D research. T1D is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. Unrelated to diet or lifestyle, T1D causes lifelong dependence on injected or pumped insulin and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.

More than 1.25 million Americans currently have T1D. The number of people with T1D in the U.S. is expected to increase to 5 million by the year 2050, including nearly 600,000 youth. There is no way to predict who will get T1D or to prevent it, and, currently, there is no cure for T1D.

Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. JDRF’s goal is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising research opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D.

What specifically do you do?

JDRF works every day to change the reality of this disease for millions of people—and to prevent anyone else from ever knowing it—by funding research, advocating for government support of research and new therapies, ensuring new therapies come to market and connecting and engaging the T1D community. 

Founded by parents determined to find a cure for their children with T1D, JDRF expanded through grassroots fundraising and advocacy efforts to become a powerhouse in the scientific community with approximately 100 U.S. locations and six international affiliates. We’ve funded nearly $2 billion in research to date and made significant progress in understanding and fighting the disease. We must keep up the pace of funding so progress doesn’t slow or stop entirely.

How will this make a difference?

JDRF’s research goal is to discover, develop, and deliver advances that progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we find a cure. JDRF is driving research across the entire scientific spectrum, from discovery in the laboratory to delivery of new technologies and treatments to people with T1D.

The full impact of JDRF’s research investment extends well beyond our direct funding. Now more than ever, we see the value in leveraging partnerships with academia, industry and clinicians to ensure that the most promising research opportunities are funded and accelerated and eventually brought to market. 

Our investments are supporting the development of next-generation therapies like artificial pancreas technology, beta cell encapsulation, smart insulin that can turn on and off in response to blood sugar levels and, ultimately, methods for curing and preventing T1D.

How is your work different from that of other, similar charities?

JDRF is the only global organization with a strategic plan to bring those living with T1D a continuous flow of life-changing therapies and, ultimately, a cure for the disease.

JDRF’s highest priority remains funding research to deliver a cure for T1D and its complications. At the same time, JDRF is also focused on developing better treatments that will transform the way people with T1D treat the disease today, in order to help them live healthier lives now and in the future. Finally, JDRF also seeks to prevent T1D, to keep future generations from developing the disease.

This is all part of JDRF’s promise of “less until none”: to progressively remove the impact of T1D from the lives of those living with the disease until it is no longer a threat to them or their families.

What have you accomplished?

JDRF was founded by parents of children with T1D in 1970. Since then, we have awarded more than $2 billion to T1D research. The JDRF mission is the same today as it was more than 45 years ago: to find a cure for T1D and its complications through the support of research. Ultimately, what that means is finding a way to completely restore normal physiology, and JDRF will not rest until that end is achieved.

JDRF’s unrelenting passion and commitment to work to remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives is driven by our staff and volunteers at over 100 locations. Whether it’s providing funding for a late-stage clinical trial, advocating faster regulatory approval of new devices, or partnering with a company on research that might not otherwise receive funding, every decision JDRF makes is driven by our commitment to achieving a world without T1D.

How can I be sure you’ll use my money wisely?

JDRF has always been dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of efficiency to ensure that our time, resources, and dollars can achieve the greatest possible impact on the lives of people with T1D. We have a solid track record of funding research efficiently and effectively. Approximately 80 percent of what JDRF spends goes directly to research and research-related education—among the highest percentages for charities nationwide.

We respect the commitment our donors have made to funding T1D research, and we strive to keep our fundraising and operational costs low. JDRF follows stringent accounting and financial reporting procedures. The JDRF International Board of Directors includes more than 30 business, healthcare, and philanthropic leaders from around the world, who meet quarterly to provide oversight and leadership of the organization and to monitor finances.

The most recent audited financial statements for JDRF can be found in our annual report at jdrf.org/about/financials/