JDRF: Accelerating Mission and Becoming More Volunteer Powered

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JDRF has a bold vision for the future: to accelerate mission and become more volunteer powered than ever before. The vision, available here, outlines JDRF’s strategies to drive greater impact to unlock cures and drive research that improves the lives of people with type one diabetes (T1D) today.

T1D research is advancing at unprecedented rates. Beta cell therapies are being tested in people with T1D. And an immune therapy, teplizumab, was recently shown to delay onset of T1D by three years in people almost certain to develop the disease. These are some of the recent advances that would not have been possible without JDRF.

In the midst of this progress comes a global pandemic, which upended our fundraising model. We’re now fast-tracking new strategies to maintain our mission momentum. The strategies focus on three areas: mission, funding and community engagement. 

Mission:

We continually evaluate our research portfolio and will prioritize opportunities with the greatest potential to lead us to cures and life changing advances in the shortest amount of time. A top priority will continue to be accelerating the development of first-generation beta cell replacement therapies that demonstrate six months of insulin independence or more. We’re also focusing on the development of disease modifying therapies that delay, stop or reverse the development of T1D. 

We are putting our focus on research closest to becoming real world, life-changing interventions, both through our research grants and T1D Fund investments. And we will continue to use our leadership to drive advances through the research and development pipeline so they get into the hands of people with T1D as soon as possible.

Funding:

We will continue our critical core community-based fundraising events, reimagined in a new operational model, while seeking to grow multi-year philanthropic giving. Events build community and engage our supporters. However, the need for social distancing has upended this model, showing the vulnerabilities of our reliance on in-person events. Also, greater efficiency is crucial. Our largely event-based model is resource intensive as we host hundreds of local events, such as Walks, Rides and Galas, around the nation. And we must do more to reach all those with T1D. That’s why we have realigned our chapter footprint to leverage chapter and regional staff, as well as volunteers, to support broader geographies more efficiently and become a more “volunteer-powered” organization. We are also working to prioritize multi-year philanthropic giving, venture philanthropy, and individual giving to bring more dollars to mission.

Community Engagement:

We know that volunteers are the engine driving our success. We will become even more volunteer powered as JDRF enables volunteers to have greater impact on mission than ever before. We’ll also engage people outside the areas where we have chapters and staff, using new digital strategies to reach even more supporters. We can widen our tent to include people outside the T1D community who also benefit from our research, such as people with insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes who, for instance, can benefit from our work driving innovation and access to diabetes technologies. 

We hope you will spend a few moments to read in greater detail JDRF’s vision for the future and discover how you can support our mission to create a world without T1D