The American Heart Association (AHA) is one of the most popular and recognized non-profits in the United States with enormous public support as evidenced by the $830 million raised last year. That the AHA also has nearly a billion dollars in their net fund balance is also noteworthy.
By most accounts, this organization is a magnet for public contributions and an expert at raising and saving money. But, are they accomplishing their mission, which is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke? With heart disease the number one cause of death in the United States for decades, one has to wonder if all the contributions to the AHA are really helping to prevent and reverse heart disease? Read more
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has a very impressive name with the four key words – American, Institute, Cancer, and Research – that draws prospective donors to make millions of dollars in contributions annually.
A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based out of Washington, DC, AICR “educates the public about the relationship of nutrition, physical activity, and weight management to cancer, interprets the scientific data and funds research.” In other words, AICR does not do research; they read and interpret the research to educate the public and they provide grants (less than 6% of total revenue collected goes to grants in the USA and Europe, according to the IRS Form 990). Read more
When people think of St. Jude’s, they often think of a children’s hospital but St. Jude’s is actually two organizations:
- ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inc. (ALSAC)
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inc. (Hospital)
ALSAC stands for the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities and “exists for the sole purpose of raising funds and building awareness to support the current and future needs of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Inc.” However, ALSAC only gives 50 cents of every dollar raised to the Hospital (based on the IRS Form 990’s). The other 50 cents is spent on supporting the fundraising organization – (about 29 cents of every dollar) while the remainder (21 cents of every dollar) is placed in the ALSAC fund balance which totaled more than $3.4 billion (net), concentrated in cash and securities as of June 30, 2015. Read more
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States with more than 600,000 people succumbing annually to this preventable and treatable disease in the US. Although advances in medicine have contributed to both an overall decrease in the annual number of deaths (860,000 in 1950) and the number of deaths per 100,000 population (589 sixty-five years ago compared to 170 in 2013) since 1950, the country’s biggest killer is hard to tame. Medical and pharmaceutical research along with information garnered from studies on diet and exercise have greatly contributed to this improvement but we still have a long way to go. Read more