October 22, 2009

Only Christians Get Type 1 Diabetes?

The JDRF just sent me one of those mailings that makes me question whether to send them another dime.

You know the kind I mean--the ones that contain expensive "gifts" intended to guilt you into sending them a bigger contribution, but which, if you have already sent a contribution or two, make you wonder why your money went to buy greeting cards or stickers and expensive postage for oversize envelopes instead of funding research that might help people with Type 1 Diabetes.

I get a lot of these expensive mailings from the JDRF and they are turning me off to the organization.

This one was more annoying than usual, because it contained a big fat pack of Christmas cards. And I mean "Christmas" cards. Red and green with text and imagery that even on the cards that did not use the "C" word still made them unsuitable for sending to people who aren't Christian.

So I came away wondering why the JDRF's fundraising geniuses decided to send out a fundraiser that carries the subtext that people who do not celebrate Christmas need not feel guilty for not sending them money. Bad move folks!

But least they didn't send out candy cane stickers like the ADA does every year. Which reminds me it's time to remind you that before you respond to the American Diabetes Association you should check out what percentage of your dollar will go into "activities"--in California it may be less than 33% elsewhere not much better. The Charity Navigator gives them the very lowest ranking possible--one star out of four.

The ADA raised $213,464,233 last year. That's a lot of money. It does NOT fund its journals which are subscription only and very expensive--and which researchers must pay to get their studies published. Did it fund direct research? No. Because that isn't the ADA's mission.

So where did that money go? Good luck in finding out. Perhaps it went into printing and distributing flyers telling people to eat healthy whole grains, pasta and bananas or urging them to keep taking Avandia until more studies are done. That's the main "educational" message I've seen from the ADA over this past year. And of course it must be expensive gearing up to put "Diabetes friendly" labels on low fat boxed breakfast cereals--that's the ADA's next big "breakthrough".



Khurt said...

You sound a bit miffed. I also don't like getting donation soliticitations with religious "incentives". As for the ADA. I've had diabetes (Type 1) about 3 years and I quickly realized that the ADA was useless to me.

Colleen said...

I had to call ADA recently to be removed from their calling list. Several calls, every day, got annoying. Guess that's why I didn't get the package of cards.

Jim Purdy said...

Excellent insights, as always, Jenny. You're a gem.

renegadediabetic said...

Diabetes doesn't discriminate by religion or anything else.

Labeling Kellogs cereals as "diabetes friendly" is a new low. Typical stupidity of dieticians and nutritionists.

Boz said...

ADA - just another group of money grubbers profiting from a disease they could care less about. Good job ratting them out. Keep the great work coming.

Lili said...

I got that same mailing and tossed it into the recycling bin.

I actually get cards that benefit JDRF from More Than Cards. Their website is a little difficult to navigate (to put it mildly), but the cards are really nice and professional. True, they don't have all that many that aren't Christian, but I've always found one I liked. It's a little pricy (they're intended for businesses), but I like the cards so much that that's what I get now.

d101d102 said...

I do see your point. I'll go on a different take for this. I believe they are trying to go for the most money with as little offense as possible. Putting Christ into Christmas (or shall I say the holiday season) is a gain for retail sales. I suspect it's the same for asking for donations. Yes, it is exclusionary and a blunt sales tactic but at the same time if your end goal is profits / donations I think you will see why they are doing it.
I suspect the more we say 'Happy Holidays' the less we celebrate leading to fewer dollars gained by selling gifts or obtaining extra donations to charity organizations. Regardless of what holiday is celebrated.
Kind of like an uncarved pumpkin makes you think of fall but a carved one makes you think of Halloween and going out and buying a costume & treats for kids. Most people celebrate Halloween as do most celebrate Christmas. Not nice to exclude but when one is going after the most funds as possible...
Only explaining why I think they went this route.

Amy said...

Where DOES the money go? And don't get me started on the Christmas card thing!! Great post.