9 Best Charities That Fight Dementia (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight Dementia (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Around 50 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, yet there is still a huge amount of stigma and confusion surrounding the condition. Dementia is costly in every aspect, both financially and emotionally, for everyone involved, which is why the support of dementia charities is so crucial. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight dementia?

The best charities that fight dementia include the Alzheimer’s Association, the Dementia Society of America, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, and the Lewy Body Dementia Foundation. These charities have a big impact on dementia research and provide excellent advice and resources for people living with dementia.

Maybe you have witnessed firsthand the debilitating effects of dementia, or you have a burning desire to ensure dementia sufferers receive the respect and care they deserve – you can make a difference. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight dementia are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight Dementia Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. Many of these charities are focused on funding research projects around the globe in the hope of finding a cure, others work tirelessly to provide emotional support for dementia sufferers, their families, and caregivers. 

From small local charities to country-wide organizations, every dementia charity across the globe has one common goal; to ensure that all dementia sufferers have the best quality of life possible and to fight the debilitating illness through research, so that one day a cure can be found.   

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight Dementia

Below are our favorite charities that fight dementia (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.)

Alzheimer’s Association: Fighting the Most Common Cause of Dementia

The Alzheimer‚Äôs Association was founded by Jerome H Stone in 1980 after his wife Evelyn was diagnosed with the disease. During that time, information about Alzheimer’s disease was limited so, alongside a group of other caregivers who shared his vision, Jeremy set about starting a global conversation about Alzheimer‚Äôs. Today, the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association is the leading voluntary health organization in the care, support, and research for Alzheimer‚Äôs disease and other causes of dementia. It is also now the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s disease research.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Alzheimer’s Association holds a Platinum GuideStar Seal of Transparency, which showcases their commitment to the highest level of transparency in their work. They also boast a 3-star rating on Charity Navigator

‚ÄúA world without dementia.‚ÄĚ

Alzheimer’s Association

What they do: As the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer‚Äôs research (the most common cause of dementia), the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association is committed to funding the acceleration of global research into methods of treatment, prevention, and eventually a cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia. They also offer localized support services across America for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, via face-to-face support groups, community education programs, and a free 24/7 support helpline.

What they‚Äôve achieved: To date, the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association has invested more than $235 million in over 650 active research projects across the globe. In collaboration with like-minded organizations and research institutions, the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association was integral to the launch of the world‚Äôs first database of over 4000 individuals who participated in more than 11 clinical trials of Alzheimer’s treatments. The organizations‚Äô online Alzheimer‚Äôs Navigator and LiveWell tools have also empowered millions of sufferers to understand their needs and determine their own action plans for living with the disease.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Alzheimer‚Äôs Association directly through their website. You can also join one of their numerous community events to raise awareness, such as ‚ÄėThe Longest Day‚Äô and ‚ÄėWalk to End Alzheimer‚Äôs‘.

Dementia Society of America: Serving The Nation For All Causes Of Dementia

Kevin Jameson founded the Dementia Society of America in 2013, after being inspired by his experiences of living with his wife who suffered from dementia. The charity is now the nation’s leading volunteer-driven dementia awareness organization, providing hope and knowledge to thousands of dementia sufferers and their families every month.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Dementia Society of America holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. They also have a 94% encompass rating for finance and accountability from Charity Navigator.

‚ÄúWe know you matter‚ÄĚ

Dementia Society of America

What they do: The Dementia Society of America provides a variety of dementia awareness materials and resources for individuals and organizations across America, including a set of handy online directories to help families find valuable support close to them. Their Ginny Gives Grant program also offers caregivers and communities access to meaningful therapies that can enrich the lives of dementia sufferers through art, dance, music, and touch. The charity can be contacted through their 1-800-DEMENTIA line by anyone looking for more information or advice on Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia.

What they‚Äôve achieved: The Dementia Society of America provide an impressive array of resources for all dementia sufferers. This includes a KeepSafe ID kit which helps first-aid responders and members of the public re-connect the individual with family members or allocated caregivers. Their Dementia CARER, Dementia QUEST, and Dementia SMART programs also provide recognition for individuals who serve the dementia community through care, technological solutions, and research respectively. 

Ways to contribute: You can make a direct donation through the Dementia Society of America‚Äôs website. You can also apply to be a part of the Ginny Gives Grant Program or make a bequest to the Dementia Society of America in your will or trust. 

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation: Dedicated to Developing Drugs to Cure Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) was founded in 1998 by co-chairmen Leonard A. Lauder and Ronald S. Lauder, and led by Howard Fillit. The charity provides funding to scientists around the world who are investigating novel drugs to prevent, treat, and cure Alzheimer’s disease.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Alzheimer‚Äôs Drug Discovery Foundation holds the Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, and a 100% encompass rating on Charity Navigator, for finance and accountability. 

‚ÄúWe will conquer Alzheimer‚Äôs disease.‚ÄĚ

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation

What they do: The Alzheimer‚Äôs Drug Discovery Foundation aims to bridge the gap in funding by supporting preclinical drug discovery and early-stage clinical trials of novel Alzheimer drugs, in the hope of finding a cure. 

What they have achieved: To date, the Alzheimer‚Äôs Drug Discovery Foundation has awarded over $193 million to more than 680 Alzheimer drug discovery programs and clinical trials in 19 countries. In 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Amyvid; the first diagnostic test for Alzheimer‚Äôs disease which was funded in its early stages by this charity. 

Ways to contribute: You can directly donate money to the Alzheimer‚Äôs Drug Discovery Foundation through their website, organize a fundraising event, or purchase items from their online shop. 100% of all donations go towards funding drug research programs. 

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund: Focusing Exclusively on Finding a Cure

The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund was founded in 2004 by three families frustrated with the slow pace of research into Alzheimer’s disease. So using their collective experience in corporate start-ups, Jeff Morby, Jacqui Morby, Henry McCance, and Phyllis Rappaport decided to set up the charity to fund research into the disease and find a cure.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre here to cure Alzheimer‚Äôs‚ÄĚ

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

What they do: The Cure Alzheimer‚Äôs Fund works with leading scientists around the world who are pursuing a cure for the disease. The charity focuses its grants in nine major areas of study including whole genome sequencing, therapeutic strategies and drug discovery, and immune system structures. 100% of donations made to the charity go towards research. 

What they‚Äôve achieved: To date, the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $129 million to Alzheimer‚Äôs research and has been integral in several key breakthroughs. One of these breakthroughs has been the ‚ÄėAlzheimer‚Äôs in a dish‚Äô study which promises to greatly accelerate drug testing. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly through their website. You also have the option to donate to the charity with purchases you make on Amazon: When shopping, simply visit smile.amazon.com to ensure a percentage of your purchases go directly to the Cure Alzheimer‚Äôs Fund. Alternatively, you can create a fundraising page via CrowdWise or set up a fundraiser event. 

Lewy Body Dementia Association: Raising Awareness of Lewy Body Dementias

The Lewy Body Dementia Association was set up by a group of caregivers in 2003, to raise awareness and increase support for people suffering from Lewy Body Dementia (the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer‚Äôs disease). 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Lewy Body Dementia Association holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 3-star rating on Charity Navigator

‚ÄúA cure for Lewy body dementias and quality support for those still living with the disease.‚ÄĚ

Lewy Body Dementia Association

What they do: Through research, education, and outreach programs, the Lewy Body Dementia Association is dedicated to ensuring people suffering from LBD, as well as their families and caregivers, are offered the quality support they need. Patients can access support from licensed professionals through their LBD Lewy line, and use their numerous online support resources to learn more about how to deal with Lewy body dementia. 

What they’ve achieved: The Lewy Body Dementia Association has collaborated with 26 of America’s leading LBD medical institutions to further research into the methods of diagnosis and treatment of the disease. To support the 1.4 million families living with LBD across America, the charity has set up face-face support groups in over 30 states and their active social media presence has brought together around 30,000 caregivers across America, to share stories and offer peer-to-peer support.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly through their website, plan a fundraising event, or apply to become a volunteer for the charity. 

BrightFocus Foundation: Working To Save Mind And Sight

The BrightFocus Foundation (formerly known as the American Health Assistance Foundation) was founded by Janette and Eugene Michaels in 1973, to fund essential research into Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The BrightFocus Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, and a 3-star rating on Charity Navigator. 

‚ÄúCure in Mind. Cure in Sight.‚ÄĚ

BrightFocus Foundation

What they do: The BrightFocus Foundation is at the forefront of brain and eye health. Through their three main programs; the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program, the Macular Degeneration Research Program, and the National Glaucoma Research Program, the charity funds early-stage investor-initiated research projects around the globe. They also educate the public by providing a range of expert-led resources both on their website and in print form.

What they‚Äôve achieved: To date, the charities‚Äô Alzheimer‚Äôs Disease Research (ADR) Program has awarded nearly $140 million to 133 research projects in ranging fields from molecular biology to epidemiology. The official scientific journal Molecular Neurodegeneration published by the BrightFocus Foundation is now the top-ranking open access journal in its field. 

Ways to contribute: You can make a direct donation to the BrightFocus Foundation through their website. You can also donate to their Walkway of Hope and create a personalized bench, paver, or tree plaque which will permanently be displayed in a tranquil garden setting located at the charities Headquarters in Maryland.

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America: Supporting Families Living With Alzheimer’s Disease

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America was founded in 2002 by Bert E. Brodsky after he acted as a caregiver to his own mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for 12 years. The charity provides support, services, and education to caregivers, individuals, and families affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia nationwide.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America boasts a 5-star rating on Charity Navigator. The charity also holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre here for you.‚ÄĚ

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

What they do: The Alzheimer‚Äôs Foundation of America provides support to Alzheimer‚Äôs sufferers and their families through their AFA Helpline, where individuals can ask for guidance and find resources in their area. The charity also offers free, confidential, memory screening and provides training programs for healthcare professionals and carers. 

What they‚Äôve achieved: The Alzheimer‚Äôs Foundation of America has awarded over $1 million in grants to support innovative community and respite care, public safety programs, and research projects surrounding Alzheimer‚Äôs disease and other forms of dementia.  The charity‚Äôs network now includes more than 2,000 member organizations across the 50 states. 

Ways to contribute: You can make a direct donation to the Alzheimer‚Äôs Foundation of America through their website. They also encourage members of the public to hold their own fundraising events to raise awareness of Alzheimer‚Äôs and dementia. 

American Brain Foundation: Leading the Fight Against Brain Disease

The American Brain Foundation was founded by the American Academy of Neurology in 1992, to actively pursue improved treatments, prevention, and cures for all brain disorders and diseases, including dementia. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The American Brain Foundation boasts a 4-star rating on Charity Navigator, which is the highest level rating that can be achieved. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.

‚ÄúCure one, cure many.‚ÄĚ

American Brain Foundation

What they do: The American Brain Foundation supports innovative and breakthrough research into brain disease and disorders through their Cure one, Cure Many program. They also support early-career researchers working in the field of brain research, through their Next Generation Research Grant fund.

What they‚Äôve achieved: Through their Next Generation Research Grants, the American Brain Foundation has provided $33 million to 270 researchers. Over 86% of which have achieved NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding for long-term research projects. They also launched a live behind-the-scenes interview with Susan Schneider Williams and Tyler Norwood, after the release of the film ‚ÄėRobin‚Äôs Wish‚Äô, which documented the iconic actor Robin Williams’ unknown battle with Lewy body dementia. Not only did this raise awareness of Lewy body dementia, but it also led to the launch of the AMF Lewy Body Dementia fund which has raised more than $3.25 million to date.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly through their website, where you have the opportunity to choose the type of brain research you would like your donation to support.

Dementia Spring Foundation: Connecting the Dementia and Artistic Communities 

Dr. Marc Rothman founded the Dementia Spring Foundation in 2020, to help people with dementia live their lives with meaning and dignity, through therapeutic arts programs. His experience with dementia sufferers is both personal and professional, with over 20 years of experience working with dementia patients.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Dementia Spring Foundation holds a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. Their Charity Navigator rating is currently pending. 

‚ÄúEvery dementia community inspired by art.‚ÄĚ

Dementia Spring Foundation

What they do: The Dementia Spring Foundation provides grants to creative artists who tell the stories of people with dementia, and local arts programs that cater to people with memory loss, in visual arts, music, drama, songwriting, and poetry.  The charity also helps connect grant awardees with top dementia experts and offer one-to-one mentoring programs to artists, with the aim of breaking new ground artistically and clinically. 

What they’ve achieved: The Dementia Spring Foundation offers grants of $1,000 Р$2,500 to creative artists working in the dementia community. The charity also has a very active YouTube channel where they post helpful advice, Q&As on various dementia topics, and spotlight new creative artists working with dementia patients.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Dementia Spring Foundation online. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer for the charity, including writing, blogging, and artist mentoring.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight dementia. 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. Familiarise 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 the progress a charity makes in reaching its targets, the chances are not making 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

Worldwide, over 50 million people are living with dementia and the number continues to grow year on year. With no cure for the illness, it can be heartbreaking to watch a loved one suffer and can be overwhelming and tiring for you as a caregiver or family member. There are so many charities out there that are dedicated to helping people with dementia so it is crucial to find one that meets your needs and desires; whether it‚Äôs ensuring dementia sufferers have the care they deserve or investing in the cure of the future. The choice is yours. 

Stay impactful,



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:

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