9 Best Charities That Combat Gastric & Digestive Diseases (Complete 2023 List)

9 Best Charities That Combat Gastric & Digestive Diseases (Complete 2023 List)

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Diana Stancu

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The complexity of the digestive system can also give rise to an overwhelming number of digestive issues which can afflict people. For example, each year, around one in five Americans get diagnosed with a digestive disorder. Furthermore, digestive diseases are rising because of stressful social and environmental conditions, with gastric cancer being the fourth cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Fortunately, charities are fighting to improve and protect people’s gut health by advancing digestive treatments and education. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that combat gastric & digestive diseases?

The best charities that combat gastric & digestive diseases are the World Gastroenterology Organisation and the Digestive Health Foundation. Charities like Guts UK and the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders fight for improved treatments and possible cures for digestive issues.

Whether you want to help improve current treatments and knowledge of digestive diseases, ensure that patients receive social and medical support, or fight to overcome the stigma surrounding gut health, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that combat gastric & digestive diseases are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Combat Gastric & Digestive Diseases Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their reach, impact, transparency ratings, and mission. They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia, improving the digestive health of communities in need.

Most of the charities below fight to advance existing treatments and patient care to protect digestive health and prevent digestive diseases. For this, they fund research grants for scientists and connect patients with vital clinical trials. Some of the charities focus on stomach health, while others advance medical knowledge of the gut as a whole, focusing as well on other important organs like the pancreas or the liver. Furthermore, most charities provide supportive services to people with digestive conditions, like empowering support groups or online communities. Yet, through different means, all of the charities share the same goal of improving the digestive health of people worldwide.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Combat Gastric & Digestive Diseases in 2023

Below are our favorite charities that combat gastric & digestive diseases:

  • World Gastroenterology Organisation
  • Digestive Health Foundation
  • Guts UK
  • International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • National Pancreas Foundation
  • Gastric Cancer Foundation
  • Debbie’s Dream Foundation
  • Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
  • No Stomach for Cancer

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

World Gastroenterology Organisation: The Global Guardian of Digestive Health. Serving the World.

The World Gastroenterology Organisation was founded in 1958 in Belgium by Georges Brohée, considered the father of modern gastroenterology, to enhance the level of education and training for digestive conditions. Today, the charity fights to raise awareness of the worldwide impact and optimal care of gastrointestinal disorders.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The World Gastroenterology Organisation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

We guard digestive health worldwide by improving the care of GI disorders through the provision of high quality, accessible and independent education and training.”

World Gastroenterology Organisation

What they do: The World Gastroenterology Organisation supports their network of healthcare professionals with educational and research opportunities to advance the quality of digestive care worldwide. For this, they establish local Training Centers to develop the skills of medical practitioners and design relevant gastric treatments. In addition, they offer financial grants to physicians from underserved regions to increase their learning opportunities. Also, their Train the Trainers project educates leading gastroenterologists worldwide. They also organize annual congresses and international meetings to gather the most influential professionals in digestive health.

What they’ve achieved: Today, the World Gastroenterology Organisation is a global network of 66,500 gastroenterologists and other digestive-related professionals from 108 countries. Furthermore, they have coached 2,500 members of their global community across 23 Training Centers. In addition, through their Train the Trainers program, they have held 28 workshops across 18 countries with over 1,100 participants from over 90 countries. Also, since 2007, they have organized the annual World Digestive Health Day, raising awareness of nearly 20 digestive conditions. Moreover, in 2021, their global summit GASTRO 2021 connected over 1,170 digestive-related doctors from 71 countries.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the World Gastroenterology Organisation on their website. You can also support them by becoming a member of their healthcare professionals community.

Digestive Health Foundation: Introducing Groundbreaking Research

The Digestive Health Foundation was founded in 2015 by Stephe Hanauer and Scott Strong, two prominent American gastroenterologists, to advance the knowledge and understanding of the gastrointestinal system. Today, they invest in critical research and ideas to find cures for the most pressing digestive conditions. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Digestive Health Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

Together, we are changing the landscape of digestive health.”

Digestive Health Foundation

What they do: The Digestive Health Foundation advances research initiatives to improve patient outcomes and available treatments for various digestive conditions. They do this by funding research studies and in-depth trainings for the body of gastroenterologists at the Digestive Health Center of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. In addition, they run public events to raise awareness of the impact of digestive issues and work to improve the quality of patient care to support the healing process.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Digestive Health Foundation has continued to invest in research and improve digestive treatments. For example, between 2015 and 2022, they invested nearly $18 million in 75 innovative research studies to help change the future of digestive health. Moreover, in 2022, their Digestive Health Foundation Gala raised nearly $2 million to advance medical research. In the same year, their Digestive Health Center at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital ranked 7th in the US News and World Report Hospital Rankings

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Digestive Health Foundation on their website. You can also support them by participating in their annual fundraising gala or following their Twitter and Facebook profiles. 

Guts UK: Committed to Fighting All Digestive Disorders

Guts UK, formerly known as the British Digestive Foundation, was founded in 1971 by Dr. Nelson Coghill, the president of the British Society of Gastroenterology. He wanted to increase funding for digestive research, as he considered digestive disorders a national health issue. Today, Guts UK is the only UK charity funding research into the entire digestive system and increasing public awareness.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Guts UK spent 70% of their total income on charitable activities – mainly research and public education -, and 30% on fundraising events. 

Our guts have been underfunded, understaffed and undervalued for decades. Together, we will join forces and bring about important change in this misunderstood area of health.

Guts UK

What they do: Guts UK funds research initiatives to advance treatments for 22 types of gastrointestinal conditions, including stomach cancer, liver disease, and pancreatitis. For this, they award grants to experienced and early-career scientists who propose innovative ideas for improved medical care. Moreover, they provide in-depth information to patients with digestive conditions, to better understand their symptoms and improve their wellness. In addition, they run public awareness campaigns to reduce the stigma around digestive disorders and empower people to seek help and get treated in the early stages. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Guts UK has funded nearly $20 million in 300 research projects to support treatments and prevention methods for digestive diseases. For example, they have invested in 84 research programs for liver and pancreas illnesses, as well as 30 scientific initiatives for digestive cancers, which improved existing medical knowledge. Furthermore, in 2022, they financed $2,3 million in 30 research studies across the UK, supporting 24 researchers in their efforts to treat or prevent various digestive disorders. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Guts UK on their website. You can also support them by fundraising, buying their merchandise, or participating in their awareness events

International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders: Because Digestive Health Matters

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders was founded in 1991 by Nancy Norton as she was struggling with a chronic GI disease. She wanted to present the perspective of patients and their needs to the healthcare community. Today, the charity supports and encourages gastrointestinal research while advocating for better patient outcomes worldwide.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal (GI) disorders.

International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders

What they do: The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders provides resources on how to manage digestive health, such as tips for daily living, how to organize travel with a GI disorder, or how to shape the diet to support gut balance. They also run advocacy campaigns with legislators to inform them about the needs of patients and how to take policy action. Furthermore, they connect GI patients with vital clinical studies and involve them in community research to better understand the impact and prevalence of GI conditions. In addition, they grant research projects to improve diagnostic and treatment options for gastrointestinal disorders.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders has offered 46 scientific awards to nearly 50 scientists across the US and Europe to develop treatments for GI illnesses. Moreover, from 2008 to 2022, they funded $300,000 in 5 research projects from 9 research scholars and their teams. Furthermore, from 2016 to 2021, they partnered with 13 digestive institutions to reach 58 policymakers and advance GI federal funding. In addition, in 2022, they launched the Norton Education Series to equip people with chronic Gi illnesses with the education and resources to better navigate their lives.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders on their website. You can also start a personal fundraiser or participate in their Virtual Awareness Events. In addition, you can become an advocate for GI patients

National Pancreas Foundation: Changing the Face of Pancreatic Disease

The National Pancreas Foundation was founded in 1997 by Joan Birsic and Jane Holt after they had both suffered from pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis, respectively. They aimed to increase awareness and education about diseases of the pancreas. Today, they empower patients and caregivers by funding research and providing supportive services. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Pancreas Foundation has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

We are the only foundation dedicated to patients who are suffering from all forms of pancreas disease by advocating for better therapies and caregiving.” 

National Pancreas Foundation

What they do: The National Pancreas Foundation runs a learning center with helpful information for patients. They also give advice on how to eat healthily and manage pancreatic cancer, as well as chronic or pediatric pancreatitis. In addition, they lead an online Pancreatitis Support Community and connect patients with research studies nationwide. Furthermore, they offer grants to promising research projects to advance the quality of treatments and potential cures. They also encourage community members to advocate for increased federal funding for pancreatic conditions. Moreover, they organize camps for children with chronic pancreatitis.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the National Pancreas Foundation has given over $4 million to fund 127 innovative research projects and advance pancreatic treatments. For example, between 2016 and 2022, they invested in nearly 40 scientists nationwide to accomplish 30 research projects, each worth $50,000 or more. In addition, in 2022, they ran local branches in 24 states to unite the network of gastroenterologists across the US. In the same year, they were managing 52 NPF Pancreatitis Centers and 31 NPF Pancreatic Cancer Centers across their branch states.

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the National Pancreas Foundation on their website. You can also contribute by volunteering or starting a corporate sponsorship. In addition, you can become a patient advocate in your local community. 

Gastric Cancer Foundation: Together, We Will Defeat Stomach Cancer

The Gastric Cancer Foundation was founded in 2009 by JP Gallagher to advance research leading to cures for stomach cancer after he was diagnosed with the disease. Today, the charity helps patients and caregivers to understand and cope with a gastric cancer diagnosis while advocating for better public support.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the Gastric Cancer Foundation spent 73% of their total income on charitable programs, 16.7% on management expenses, and 9.5% on fundraising activities. 

We fund emerging science in the gastric field. Think of us as a form of seed investor, encouraging and funding great minds with innovative ideas.”

Gastric Cancer Foundation

What they do: The Gastric Cancer Foundation funds research initiatives to improve stomach cancer prevention and detection. For example, they support early-career researchers with “seed funding” to start promising projects that can later receive large grants. They also give three-year grants to research scholars to advance medicine and insight into the causes of gastric cancer. Furthermore, they encourage patients to join clinical trials and have an active role in the development of cures. They also aid patients through an online support community and resources for better living with stomach cancer, like nutritional advice and a long-term care planner

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, the Gastric Cancer Foundation has invested over $3,4 million in 18 research initiatives from 8 US medical institutions to advance possible cures for stomach cancer. For example, between 2015 and 2022, they funded nearly $1,25 million in 12 research projects from 10 early-career researchers to support innovative treatments for gastric cancer. Furthermore, they have helped a chef who lost his stomach due to gastric cancer to create a cooking series of over 40 videos with all-meal nutritive recipes for stomach cancer patients. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Gastric Cancer Foundation on their website. You can also contribute by starting your own fundraiser, following their Facebook page, or becoming a corporate sponsor

Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer 

Debbie’s Dream Foundation was founded in 2009 by Debbie Zelman to fund research into new and effective treatments for stomach cancer after she had been diagnosed with the disease. Today, the charity fights to improve patient support, advance research, and raise awareness of gastric cancer.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Debbie’s Dream Foundation spent 79% of their total income on charitable programs, 13% on fundraising activities, and 8% on overhead fees.

Our vision is that stomach cancer will no longer be fatal. If not curable, it will be a manageable disease. We are fighting to achieve that dream.

Debbie’s Dream Foundation

What they do: Debbie’s Dream Foundation connects stomach cancer patients through a one-on-one mentorship program, where one patient is the mentor and the other the mentee, to help them navigate their diagnosis. They also organize monthly support groups and provide an online support community as a place for connection and inspiration among patients. Moreover, they match patients with relevant clinical trials and award research grants to clinicians and scientists to advance medical care. They also provide critical knowledge of nutritional and emotional habits to help patients care for their digestive and mental well-being.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Debbie’s Dream Foundation has awarded $1,4 million in research grants to 16 scientists who created 55 publications to improve treatments for stomach cancer. In addition, they have established 30 international branches in the US, Canada, and Germany. Furthermore, they have advocated for the inclusion of stomach cancer in the national Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program and urged increased funding from the National Cancer Institute. These efforts have contributed to the funding of almost $18 million in stomach cancer research. They also held the first Stomach Cancer Capitol Hill Briefing to increase public awareness. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to the Debbie’s Dream Foundation on their website. You can also support them by buying their merchandise, volunteering, or joining their advocacy events

Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association: Advancing HPB Care to Impact Patient Lives

The Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) Association was founded in 1994 by a group of HPB surgeons to combat the human suffering caused by HPB disorders nationwide. Today, they work on HPB education, research, and patient care to improve surgery and treatments for digestive diseases.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association has a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

We bring together some of the greatest minds and ideas in HPB surgery, creating the opportunity for exchange and friendship that lasts a lifetime.

Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association

What they do: The Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association supports researchers studying diseases of the liver, bile duct, and pancreas to improve the quality of surgery and patient care. They do this by providing educational opportunities, as well as nationwide programs and summits for HPB professionals. In addition, they fund research to increase knowledge of HPB diseases and advance treatments. They also connect researchers with clinical trials and provide webinars for clinical training. Furthermore, they organize outreach missions to provide HPB medical services to underserved communities in South America and Asia.

What they’ve achieved: Today, the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association has a network of over 1,500 members and collaborates with HPB professionals from Canada and 18 South American countries. For example, between 2013 and 2020, they ran 20 humanitarian outreach missions in 7 South American countries and Iraq. Furthermore, in 2022, they funded 10 educational and research awards to 24 promising HPB scientists to improve existing treatments and seek cures for HPB-related diseases.

Ways to contribute: You can make one-time or monthly donations to the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association on their website. You can also support them by becoming a professional member, volunteering, or by applying for a job

No Stomach for Cancer: Supporting Research. Empowering Families.

No Stomach for Cancer was founded in 2009 by Karen Chelcun Schreiber after two of her family members died from gastric cancer. She established the charity to advance awareness and education about stomach cancer. Today, they support research efforts for early detection, treatment, and prevention of gastric cancer nationwide. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: No Stomach for Cancer has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

Our mission is to support research and unite the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer. We fight for you, and for everyone we have lost to this disease.

No Stomach for Cancer

What they do: No Stomach for Cancer supports patients’ well-being after their gastric cancer diagnosis by connecting them with local cancer centers and innovative clinical trials. They also fund critical research projects for scientists worldwide to improve stomach cancer detection, treatment options, and survival rates. In addition, they offer patients one-on-one, specialized emotional support and empowering online communities while sharing uplifting resources for caregivers. Furthermore, they collaborate with nationwide programs that aid patients with financial grants and advocacy campaigns that advance gastric cancer funding. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, No Stomach for Cancer has remained committed to improving treatments and the life quality of gastric cancer patients. For example, between 2012 and 2022, they funded $680,000 across 22 research projects proposed by scientists worldwide. Additionally, in 2010, their policy advocacy efforts helped create the Stomach Cancer Awareness Month campaign. Moreover, in 2020, they launched a genetic testing program to help patients discover hereditary cancer syndromes associated with gastric cancer. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to No Stomach for Cancer on their website. You can also contribute by joining their fundraising events, volunteering, or advocating for gastric cancer patients. In addition, you can shop on their online store

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that combat gastric & digestive diseases. 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.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • 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 combating gastric & digestive diseases – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Diana

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:

Sources

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Diana Stancu

Diana loves to research and write about topics that bring awareness to communities in need. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and considers herself a lifelong learner who strives to increase her knowledge and expertise. Outside of work, she enjoys writing fiction, creating cooking recipes, studying philosophy, and taking sunset photos.

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