NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new report from the Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance gives the four major diabetes charities failing grades in reporting on cure progress, concluding that they lack accountability and transparency in communicating goals and measuring results.
“Right now, there’s a black hole when it comes to information on cure progress and no way to hold management accountable.”
The JDCA, a watchdog organization seeking a cure for type 1 diabetes by 2025, found “systematic deficiencies” in how the diabetes charities operate. The research shows that no one is holding the diabetes nonprofits or their management accountable for how they use donor funds and whether the projects they support actually advance a cure for diabetes.
The report concludes that the reporting practices and leadership policies of the major diabetes nonprofits fall well short of the corporate governance standards followed by public companies.
“Public company standards were developed to ensure that shareholders, who are owners of the company, are kept openly and fully informed about performance of their investment,” said Phil Shaw, general manager of the JDCA. “Right now, there’s a black hole when it comes to information on cure progress and no way to hold management accountable.”
Of the four charities evaluated in four areas of corporate governance, none received more than two stars out of five overall. A two-star rating means that an organization meets only some of the best practices for corporate governance set forth by public companies.
The report graded the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, JDRF, Joslin Diabetes Center and American Diabetes Association using the STAR methodology. The analysis was based on each organization’s strategic direction, transparency and timeliness, accountability and resource utilization.
Each nonprofit was ranked in each category and given an overall STAR rating:
- JDRF was awarded two stars, the highest rating out of all four organizations. The organization fared best in the strategy, utilization and transparency categories. Accountability is lacking, however, as the JDRF fails to discuss goals or regularly review its research portfolio.
- The American Diabetes Association received 1.5 stars overall. The charity’s annual reports do not thoroughly review research strategies and results and are not released within 90 days after the year’s end. Although donors prioritize cure research, nearly 60 percent of funds go toward information, awareness and advocacy.
- The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation received a rating of 1.5 stars overall. While the organization’s spending is consistent with the mission of funding cure research, accountability of management to donors is minimal as DRIF does not release goals or tangible cure progress reports.
- Joslin received one star overall, the lowest ranking in the report. On the accountability side, the most recent annual report is from 2009. Similarly, transparency for investment rationale and the utilization of donor funds to offset an operating loss for the clinic fail to meet for-profit governance standards.
“These glaring areas of weakness make it difficult for donors to know where to give,” said Pete Miselis, director of research for the JDCA. “Donors are being left in the dark with no way to find out whether their contributions are advancing a cure. We believe a more informed donor base will result in more contributions, which will bring us closer to finding a cure.”
To download a copy of the report and explore more research on the major type 1 nonprofits, visit the JDCA website.
About the JDCA
The JDCA is an independent analyst of the type 1 diabetes charitable universe and brings a business-like perspective to help donors focus research toward a practical cure. The mission of the JDCA is to achieve a type 1 practical cure before 2025 by steering donor contributions to the most effective charities.
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