9 Best Charities for Diabetes Research (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities for Diabetes Research (Complete 2024 List)

By
Dennis Kamprad

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In the US, over 37.3 million people suffer from diabetes. Diabetics are at higher risk for life-threatening diseases and disabilities. And excess medical costs associated with diabetes reached $327 billion and are projected to continue escalating. Thankfully, several charities are working diligently to find a cure, improve the lives of, and financially support those living with diabetes. So we had to ask: What are the best charities for diabetes research?

The best charities for diabetic research are Diabetes Research Institute Foundation and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute. Other charities, such as Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Diabetes Research Connection provide majority funding to specific Type 1 Diabetes research.

Whether you want to support global research initiatives, focus funding on a specific type of diabetes, or promote novel research ideas there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for diabetes research are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Diabetes Research Have in Common

The charities on this list were selected based on their mission, impact, transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate around the world, from North America to Europe, driven to find a cure for the diabetes epidemic. 

Many of the charities on this list are dedicated strictly to developing a cure for diabetes. Others, however, provide additional research in areas such as prevention, management, and holistic therapies.

Each organization funds various types of critical groundbreaking research.

Yet, they all possess the same goal – to make themselves obsolete by curing and eradicating diabetes.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Diabetes Research in 2024

Below are our favorite charities for diabetes research (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation: Finding the Cure Now

Logo Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
Inside the Diabetes Research Institute's Lab

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The organization also boasts a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator

“To provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now.”

Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

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What they do:

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation provides funding to the Diabetes Research Institute to develop a biological cure for diabetes. The DRIF focuses on restoring natural insulin function without inducing other risks. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation supports research progress to find a cure for diabetes, including pancreatic cell regeneration and islet cell transplantation. Among the DRIF’s most substantial accomplishments are its support of one of the largest islet transplantation centers worldwide. This center has performed over 101 islet cell transplantations on over 57 transplant recipients.

Ways to contribute:

You can support the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation through a one-time, monthly, or corporate donation. You can also support the charity by attending an event, hosting a fundraiser, or joining the leadership council

2

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute: Research, Education, and Clinical Care 

Logo Sansum Diabetes Research Institute
A message from SDRI's Executive Director

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Additionally, this charity holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

“Dedicated to improving the lives of people impacted by diabetes through research, education, and clinical care.”

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

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What they do:

The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute secures research funding in Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. This institution emphasizes the impact of their research by providing clinical care made possible by their grants. Lastly, the SDRI educates the public on diabetes management and prevention through their ExCarbs Program

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What they’ve achieved:

The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is responsible for revolutionary research data that allowed for automated insulin pumps and glucose monitoring for Type 1 diabetics. For example, in 2021 alone, they conducted over 20 clinical research trials in Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes. The SDRI also assists more than 150 mothers with gestational diabetes and is currently conducting the first US study involving the artificial pancreas in pregnancy. 

Ways to contribute:

You can support the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute by donating via their online portal, through Donor Advised Funds, or using Cryptocurrency. You can also attend a fundraising event such as the SDRI’s Gratitude Gala.

3

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: Many Against 1

Logo for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
JDRF National Diabetes Awareness Month 2021

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. This organization also holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Improving lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat TD1 and its complications.”

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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What they do:

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation funds innovative research into the prevention, cure, and treatment of Type 1 Diabetes. Additionally, the organization supports government advocacy programs to secure federal funding and healthcare equity. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has funded around $2.5 billion towards researching Type 1 Diabetes. They oversee more than 500 active grants. Under these grants, research progress has been made in several priority areas such as beta cell replacement and reproduction, diabetic immunotherapies, and progress in the advancement of the artificial pancreas

Ways to contribute:

You can support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by donating, participating in an event, or creating a fundraiser of your own. 

4

American Diabetes Association: Connected For Life

Logo for American Diabetes Association
Make Diabetes a Thing of the Past

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Diabetes Association holds a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has a 2-star rating from Charity Navigator due to the amount of money they spend on their charitable projects. 

“To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.”

American Diabetes Association

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What they do:

The American Diabetes Association improves the lives of all people affected by diabetes by delivering services, such as their Co-Pay Relief Program and Lifestyle Change Programs. They also provide educational resources directly to the community. Beyond this, they fund political advocacy programs to seek equity in healthcare and fund independent researchers making advances in the cure and prevention of diabetes. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The American Diabetes Association manages over 200 grants for independent studies. These grants have allowed for several advances in diabetic research such as new indicators for Type 1 Diabetes, improved continuous glucose monitoring, and new ways to prevent immune cells from attacking beta-cells. More recently, the ADA highlighted the link between COVID-19 and those with Type 2 Diabetes in their breakthrough research report.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the American Diabetes Association through their website. There are also other ways you can get involved such as volunteering in their support events, signing up to be a political advocate, or participating in their fundraisers

5

Diabetes Research Connection: Connect For A Cure

Logo for Diabetes Research Connection
Imagine: A World without Type 1 Diabetes

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Diabetes Research Connection holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also possesses an 82 Encompass Rating from Charity Navigator

“To support innovative scientific inquiry until diabetes is eliminated.”

Diabetes Research Connection

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What they do:

The Diabetes Research Connection encourages original research in Type 1 Diabetes by distributing funds to novel projects developed by early-career scientists. These projects are vetted by a committee of diabetes experts to ensure innovation, value, and feasibility. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The Diabetes Research connection has raised over $2.4 million in funding for research in Type 1 Diabetes. This funding supports over 13 scientists in 48 unique projects involving stem cell research and immunity engineering. More recently, the DRC sponsored 8 new promising studies totaling $400,000.

Ways to contribute:

You can support the Diabetes Research Connection by donating online. The DRC even allows you to allocate your donation towards specific projects. There are other ways you can get involved, such as volunteering or attending events like their Annual Dance for Diabetes

6

Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation: Research and Education for Prevention and The Cure

Logo for Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation
Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity boasts a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator as well as an A+ rating from Charity Watch. Additionally, the organization holds the Best in America Independent Charities Seal of Excellence. 

“Research and education for prevention and the cure.”

Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

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What they do:

The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation actively supplies funding to research in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and diabetes kids camps. This charity also hosts Diabetes University, a free comprehensive diabetic education program. Additionally, they sponsor the American Indian Diabetes Prevention Program focused on lessening the impact of diabetes on native communities. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation has provided grants to over 300 research studies with a focus on nutritional and complementary therapies. In addition, they have sponsored over 50 separate diabetes camps for children. 

Ways to contribute:

You can support the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation by donating directly to their cause. Another way you can be involved is by creating a Diabetes Action Team and fundraising

7

Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation: Staying Healthy Until A Cure Is Found

Logo for Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation
Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation - who we are.

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation only received a 68.3 score, leading to a 1-star rating from Charity Navigator due to the amount of money spent on charitable projects. However, they’ve received a 90 score for accountability and transparency.

“To help and find the cure for diabetes and until that goal is achieved, to provide the care needed to combat the detrimental and life-threatening complications of this terrible disease ”

Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation

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What they do:

The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation grants funding to established researchers and overlooks the development of new coming scientific minds. These grants sponsor internationally collaborative research and clinical trials toward uncovering a cure for diabetes. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation has funded over 50 research projects in areas such as islet cell transplants. They have made contributions to reputable clinics, hospitals, and institutions that totaled over $25 million

Ways to contribute:

The Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation supports several ways for you to donate including legacies, trusts, and payroll giving. Other ways you can get involved include volunteering your time or writing services. 

8

American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund: Diabetes Research Saving Lives

Logo for the American Diabetes Research & Treatment Fund
Screenshot of the American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund homepage

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Their transparency & ratings:

The American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has a perfect 100 Encompass rating from Charity Navigator and holds a Best in America Seal of Excellence. 

“Our mission is to find the cure for diabetes through research programs and, until that goal is achieved, to provide the aid and education needed to combat the detrimental and life-threatening complications of this terrible disease.”

American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund

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What they do:

The American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund provides financial support to seven outside programs and organizations dedicated to diabetic research and nutrition management. They are committed to raising public awareness of the programs they support by facilitating connections and campaigning for the cause. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund has channeled funding to organizations such as the Scripps Research Institute and the Oasis Hope and Research Hospital. Their donations have propelled advancements in diabetic research from these institutions in areas like expirimental compounds for prevention and single-cell analysis for early detection. 

Ways to contribute:

You can join the American Diabetes Research and Treatment Fund in its mission by donating. You can also contact the organization to inquire about their volunteer needs. 

9

Diabetes National Institute: Creating Brighter Futures for Children With Diabetes

Logo for Diabetes National Institute
Screenshot of the Diabetes National Institute homepage

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Diabetes National Institute has not yet been scored by major charity rating organizations. However, personal testimonies from those sponsored by the charity’s programs and letters of thanks from their partner organizations highlight their high level of impact. 

“Our mission is to fund and engage in research to fight, manage and find a cure for diabetes. ”

Diabetes National Institute

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What they do:

The Diabetes National Institute provides funding for multiple reputable research organizations and continuously updates donors on new advances through their Diabetes Newsletter. Additionally, the DNI awards grants for children going to diabetes camps and sponsors youth support groups. They provide hands-on educational seminars and free nutrition consultations to help those impacted by diabetes improve their quality of life. 

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What they’ve achieved:

The Diabetes National Institute sponsored promising novel research in macroencapsulation. In addition, they also supplied grants to 17 diabetes youth camps across the US and hosted events such as Virtual Diabetes Tech Day

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Diabetes National Institute via their website or through the Combined Federal Campaign. You can also become involved in the organization through their volunteer program by filling out an online form on their website. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for diabetes research. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to diabetes research – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Dennis



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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