Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Art Of Fundraising Vs. The Science Of Curing A Disease

Augie's Quest has announced that the $18 million fundraising goal over the last three years has been met.

The ALSA About-Us webpage indicates, "during the past decade, we have committed close to $40 million toward ALS research."

Not-for-profits' marketing materials all tout their relentlessness and and certainly nobody is leaving stones unturned. The financial footprint is used to distinguish an organization's effectiveness. Presenting a perception of a big financial footprint in research certainly helps attract new donors; however, the numbers we see are terribly difficult to understand.

If we were to put together the actual annual annual expenditure on ALS research in 2008, we would probably see much smaller numbers than we perceive with the three-year and ten-year millions. Oh, and we need to make sure that we take out any double counting when one organization gives a research grant to another.

The ALS-research bottom line is terribly small in the big medical research arena. That fact is often lost in the unfortunately necessary fundraising marketing techniques that involve multi-year, cumulative numbers that are hard for many of us to normalize.
Much more needs to be invested. Are the billboards on the highway to a cure distracting us from this big problem?

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