At JDRF, our mission is our reason for existence, and we are committed to operating as efficiently as possible to maximize the money we raise for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. On November 19, our efforts received a prestigious stamp of approval when Forbes magazine named JDRF one of its five “All-Star” charities. The annual end-of-year rating—which Forbes conducts to help its readers make informed holiday-season decisions about where to focus their charitable donations—represents an endorsement of our financial efficiency.
What makes JDRF such reliably efficient stewards of our donors’ charitable donations? First and foremost, we owe so much to our generous donors and volunteers. Many other single-disease-focused organizations receive most of their funding through expensive solicitation campaigns. JDRF, on the other hand, relies in large part on its network of tens of thousands of volunteers across the country, who participate in our flagship fundraising programs (such as the Walk to Cure Diabetes, Kids Walk, Ride to Cure Diabetes, and Gala) and pilot their own creative, local fundraising vehicles.
Another way in which we keep costs down while striving to attract as many resources to medical research as possible is through our Government Relations program and the network of advocates who help us to persuade Congress to fund T1D research. Additionally, the Web-based tools that JDRF has implemented within the last few years to support our fundraising and advocacy programs have proved highly effective and enable us to raise funds while expending far fewer human hours.
The Forbes All-Star rating ranks JDRF among some of the country’s most highly respected organizations; the four other All-Stars are the Boys & Girls Club of America, Brother’s Brother Foundation, the International Rescue Committee, and United Way. JDRF routinely receives high marks from charity-rating agencies. For example, we have received an “A” grade from the American Institute of Philanthropy for 13 consecutive years, and we are a Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charity Seal holder for meeting all standards of charity accountability.
Bottom line: JDRF operates as efficiently as possible to put the most dollars to work to achieve a world without T1D.
About the Forbes ranking
Every year, Forbes ranks the 100 largest charitable organizations in the country—“largest” defined as those that received the most money in private donations in the most recent fiscal year for which data is available. The magazine bases its rankings of financial efficiency on a combination of three ratios. First is charitable commitment, or how much of an organization’s expenses were directly mission related. The second calculation is fundraising efficiency, or the percentage of private donations left after subtracting the cost of a charity’s fundraising efforts. Last but not least is donor dependency, a ratio of revenues to expenses. JDRF’s numbers (for fiscal year 2011): charitable commitment, 82 percent; fundraising efficiency, 89 percent; and donor dependency, 100 percent. For more information about the Forbes ranking methodology, click here.