9 Best Charities That Fight Heart Disease (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight Heart Disease (Complete 2022 List)

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Carla Shaik

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One person dies every 36 seconds in America from cardiovascular disease, which includes stroke and aortic disease. Globally, heart disease is the leading cause of death, taking 17.9 million lives every year. Charities are fighting to combat heart disease and give people a second chance at life. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight heart disease?

The best charities for fighting heart disease in terms of overall impact are the American Heart Association and the Children’s Heart Foundation. Charities such as Mended Hearts and WomenHeart do amazing work providing emotional support to people with heart disease. 

Whether you want to fund vital research into heart disease, or ensure every child with heart disease has access to cardiac medical care, or make sure every sufferer has emotional support available to them, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight heart disease are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

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

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate all over the world, from North America to Ethiopia, funding critical heart disease research and providing support to people with heart disease.

Many of the charities on this list focus their efforts on understanding the causes of heart disease so they can develop effective cures. Others focus their attention on providing emotional and peer-to-peer support to people living with heart disease. Yet they all share the same goal – to fight back against heart disease and save lives.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight Heart Disease

Below are our favorite charities that fight heart disease:

  • American Heart Association
  • The Children’s Heart Foundation
  • British Heart Foundation
  • Mended Hearts
  • WomenHeart
  • World Heart Federation
  • Masonic Medical Research Institute
  • National Stroke Association
  • Chain of Hope

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

American Heart Association: Saving Lives Through Heart Disease Research

The American Heart Association was founded in 1924 by six cardiologists as a professional society to learn more about heart disease. Today, the charity is America’s largest volunteer organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: The American Heart Association holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives.”

American Heart Association

What they do: The American Heart Association funds scientific research to find cures for cardiovascular disease. They also provide scientists with cloud-computing technologies and workspaces equipped with state-of-the-art analytical tools through their Precision Medicine Platform. In addition, the charity acts as an online information hub for people suffering from heart disease and runs regular CPR training courses for professionals and the general public. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, the American Heart Association has invested $4.8 billion into heart disease and stroke research. This has led to a 13.6% reduction in deaths from strokes and a 15.1% reduction in deaths from heart disease. The charity also trains 22 million people in CPR techniques every year and has reached over 19 million patients through their Quality Care initiative for high blood pressure. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the American Heart Association through their website. You can also support the charity by becoming a volunteer or by purchasing items from their online shop.

The Children’s Heart Foundation: Placing Children at the Heart of Research

The Children’s Heart Foundation was set up in 1996 by Betsy and Steve Peterson after their 8-year-old son tragically passed away from a sudden heart-related collapse. Today, the charity is America’s leading organization dedicated solely to funding congenital heart defect research. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the Children’s Heart Foundation spent 64.9% of their income on research and related programs, 21.3% on fundraising, and 16.7% on operating costs. 

“To advance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital heart defects by funding the most promising research.”

The Children’s Heart Foundation

What they do: The Children’s Heart Foundation provides grants to research projects that are working to improve the survival rate of children born with CHD. The charity also funds the Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards and the Pediatric Cardiology Research Fellowship Awards to recognize the pioneering work of scientists. In addition, the charity runs My Heart Visit which is a communication network designed to connect sufferers with trained volunteers for emotional support. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, the Children’s Heart Foundation has funded $15 million into CHD research. This has led to a 37.5% drop in death rates from congenital heart defects over 20 years. Their research projects have included a self-regenerating artificial heart valve to decrease the mortality rate of Valvular heart disease, which is the third most common cause of heart problems in America. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Children’s Heart Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or by participating in their Congenital Heart Walk campaign.

British Heart Foundation: Using Science to Cure Heart Disease

The British Heart Foundation was set up in 1961 by a group of medical professionals to fund extra research into the causes and treatment of heart disease. Today, the charity is a globally recognized organization that is committed to ending the heartbreak caused by heart disease.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the British Heart Foundation spent 62% of their income on government support and trading costs, and 32% on research and healthcare innovation. 

“A world free from the fear of heart and circulatory diseases.”

British Heart Foundation

What they do: The British Heart Foundation funds research into all heart and circulatory diseases to find innovative management and treatment techniques. The charity also provides information and support to the general public on risk factors, symptoms, tests, and diagnoses of all heart conditions. 

What they’ve achieved: The British Heart Foundation invests around $136 million into heart research every year. This vital work has increased survival rates for heart attacks by 40% since the 1960s. They are currently supporting over 900 research projects, 340 PhD students, and 508 principal investigators.  

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the British Heart Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by fundraising or by taking part in one of their awareness events

Mended Hearts: Supporting Heart Surgery Patients

Mended Hearts was founded in 1951 by Dr. Dwight E. Harken and four of his open-heart surgery patients, to provide support to others facing similar experiences. Today, the charity is the largest cardiovascular disease peer support organization in America.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Mended Hearts holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has yet to be scored by Charity Navigator.

“To inspire hope and improve the quality of life of heart patients and their families.”

Mended Hearts

What they do: Mended Hearts provides emotional support to patients through group meetings and educational programs that help patients understand the help and treatments available to them. The charity’s volunteers also conduct accredited hospital visits and distribute bravery bags to young children in hospital for heart conditions. In addition, the charity advocates for heart surgery patients to be heard and accepted in their community, through their Mended Hearts Action Network.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Mended Hearts has remained committed to supporting heart surgery patients through their 242 local chapters. In 2020, the charity directly supported 277,988 patients through their emotional care initiatives. In the same year, the charity also distributed 3,900 bravery bags and reached 1.4 million people through their social network awareness campaigns.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Mended Hearts through their website. You can also support the charity by joining the Mended Hearts Action Network or by purchasing items from their online shop.

WomenHeart: Fighting for Equity in Heart Health

WomenHeart was founded in 1999 by three women; Nancy Loving, Jackie Markham, and Judy Mingram, as they all faced social and medical obstacles after suffering from heart attacks. Today, the charity is America’s only patient-centered organization dedicated to serving women with heart disease. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, WomenHeart spent 28% of their expenditure on public outreach and awareness, 23% on volunteer and patient support, and 23% on fundraising. 

“To improve the lives of women with or at risk for heart disease.”

WomenHeart

What they do: WomenHeart connects women at risk of heart disease with trained volunteers to provide vital emotional support via their SisterMatch program. They also offer bi-monthly virtual meetings led by WomenHeart Champions who have lived through similar experiences. Their website contains an extensive array of information for women suffering from heart disease, covering everything from diagnosis to treatment. 

What they’ve achieved: So far, WomenHeart has developed a nationwide network of 100 support groups in over 30 states. In collaboration with Mayo Clinic, they have also trained 900 WomenHeart Champions as community educators. In 2020, the charity supported over 32.000 women through their virtual events and provided more than 140 monthly volunteer hours to support women with heart disease. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to WomenHeart through their website. You can also support the charity by joining one of their ongoing campaigns or by signing up to be a WomenHeart Champion.

World Heart Federation: Every Heartbeat Matters

The World Heart Federation was founded in 1978 as a merger between the International Society of Cardiology and the International Cardiology Federation, to improve cardiovascular health for everyone. Today, the charity is the leading voice in global cardiovascular health. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the World Heart Federation spent 48.9% of their expenditure on research projects and 10.6% on other charitable activities. 

“A knowledgeable and caring world heart, beating equally for everyone.”

World Heart Federation

What they do: The World Heart Federation provides research-based information and reliable knowledge to try to manage and prevent cardiovascular disease through their World Heart Observatory. The charity also acts as an online education hub for anyone wishing to find out more about cardiovascular disease. In Mozambique, the charity is raising awareness of rheumatic heart disease in children through their Colors to Save Hearts Campaign. 

What they’ve achieved: The World Heart Federation raises awareness of cardiovascular disease and heart health through their global network of over 200 heart foundations that work across 100 countries. Since 2015, the charity has launched 13 projects that have engaged over 13,000 children, teachers, parents, and professionals through their Small Grants programs

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the World Heart Federation through their website. You can also support the charity by getting involved in their global campaign; World Heart Day

Masonic Medical Research Institute: Improving Medical Science Through Innovative Breakthroughs

The Masonic Medical Research Institute (MMRI) was founded in 1958 by the Grand Lodge of the State of New York as a laboratory to research a range of human diseases. Today, the charity is focused on curing cardiovascular disease through innovative research studies.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Masonic Medical Research Institute holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for all humankind.”

Masonic Medical Research Institute

What they do: The Masonic Medical Research Institute conducts research into the causes of cardiovascular disease. Through their Genetics Core, the charity is working to identify the factors that are responsible for heart disease so they can create cures for arrhythmias and accurately diagnose those most at risk of sudden cardiac arrests. The charity also runs internship programs to train the next generation of research scientists.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the Masonic Medical Research Institute has remained dedicated to finding cures for the most prominent diseases, including cardiovascular disease. In the 1990s, they discovered the first gene responsible for sudden cardiac death and also discovered a vital link between heart defects and Autism in 2021. Over the years, the charity has contributed to the development of the pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, and a range of drugs to treat heart disease. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Masonic Medical Research Institute through their website. You can also support the charity by shopping at their online store or via AmazonSmile

National Stroke Association: Rebuilding Lives Affected by Stroke

The National Stroke Association was founded in 1899 by dermatologist Malcolm Morris to fight against the raging tuberculosis pandemic. Today, the charity is dedicated to supporting stroke survivors and funding stroke research. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the National Stroke Association spent 70% of their income on stroke support services and community development, 22% on fundraising, and 5% on research grants.

“To support people to rebuild their lives after stroke.”

National Stroke Association

What they do: The National Stroke Association supports stroke survivors through their various online and face-to-face stroke support groups. They also provide assistance and advice through their Stroke Helpline. In addition, the charity funds research projects into the causes, treatment, and aftercare of strokes. 

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, the Stroke Association has remained dedicated to supporting people who have suffered strokes; a cardiovascular disease that affects 795,000 Americans annually. In 2020, the charity directly supported 70,736 stroke survivors and carers. In the same year, their social media stroke awareness campaigns reached 3.2 million people around the globe.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Stroke Association through their website. You can also support the charity by taking part in one of their research studies or by fundraising.

Chain of Hope: Treating Heart Disease in Underdeveloped Countries

Chain of Hope was founded in 1995 by Professor Yacoub to enable all children with heart ailments to have access to specialist medical care. Today, the charity develops cardiac services around the world to treat heart disease in impoverished countries.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Chain of Hope spent 77% of their expenditure on charitable activities, 14% on support costs, and 9% on fundraising.

“Working towards a world where all children, wherever they are born, have access to quality cardiac care in their own countries.”

Chain of Hope

What they do: Chain of Hope works closely with cardiac teams in poor countries to develop the infrastructure needed to perform cardiac surgeries and provide life-saving treatments. They do this by donating specialist equipment and providing life-saving cardiac training through their onsite and overseas training programs. They also ensure that children in need are transferred safely to their nearest cardiac unit to receive treatment.

What they’ve achieved: Since its founding, Chain of Hope has developed cardiac services around the world, including Egypt, Ethiopia, and Jamaica. In 2020, the charity carried out 54 life-saving cardiac procedures in Ethiopia and saved the lives of 48 children in Jamaica by donating specialist equipment. In addition, the charity financially supported the Rwanda Heart Care & Research Foundation to establish the country’s first dedicated cardiac hospital.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Chain of Hope through their website. You can also support the charity by sponsoring a child in need or by fundraising.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight heart disease. 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 fighting heart disease – based on the causes that matter most to you.

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:

Sources

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Carla Shaik

Carla is passionate about animal welfare and our natural environment and is on a mission to give you the knowledge you need to help protect our planet and all of its inhabitants. She holds a bachelor's of science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, is a teaching support officer at the College of West Anglia, and also works as a cat sitter in her local community. Aside from writing, she has a love of music, teaching her daughter how to play piano, and enjoys getting creative with craft activities.

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