ADA 2016: 3% of Income Dedicated to T1D Research Grants

June 8, 2017

The ADA posted online their financial statements for 2015, yesterday, June 7th. This is the JDCA's fifth annual analysis of the ADA's funding for research. The main purpose of reviewing and sharing this data is to help ensure that the T1D community can make informed donation decisions. The ADA merits review because it is one of the two largest fundraising organizations for diabetes in the United States, along with JDRF.  

Summary Points:

  • Research spending for T1D did not increase from 2015 to 2016.
  • Only 3% of ADA annual income was spent on research specifically for T1D, despite 86% of ADA fundraising messaging featuring a promise to use proceeds to fund cure research.
  • The ADA is primarily focused on type 2 diabetes (in contrast to JDRF, which focuses exclusively on type 1).
  • Despite the ADA's focus on T2D, fundraising materials continue to utilize images of children which implies a commitment to Juvenile Diabetes/T1D.
  • Research grant support is only a minor part of ADA resource utilization. In 2016, the ADA generated $171 Million in income, of which only 19% was used to fund research grants. 
  • 81% of ADA annual income was spent on things other than research such as publications, fundraising, education, and salaries.
  • In 2016, the ADA had a deficit of $20m, with $171m in total revenue and $190m in total expenses.This decrease in total income resulted in a percent increase in research spending, despite having attributed the same amount to research grant spending. See Appendix B.
  • In 2016, fundraising declined 9% from $140m in 2015 to $128m in 2016.
  • 10-year trends in research funding by the ADA are relatively consistent. "Appendix A" shows the absolute amount spent on research grants over time. "Appendix 'B" shows the percent of income used for research grants.

In preparing this report, the JDCA team reviewed financial data the past twelve years and reviewed all projects funded during 2016. Financial data is contained in the ADA's publicly available IRS Form 990, and project abstracts can be reviewed through the research project database.

Click here to view the ADA financials.

Appendix A

Appendix B

unnamed (1).png