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Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) is the organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate, and committed to curing diabetes. Its mission – to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes – is a testament to the belief that tomorrow is not soon enough to cure those living with diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Institute has become the world leader it is today through the substantial funding provided by the DRI Foundation. Supported by private philanthropy, the DRIF ensures the jumpstarting of new ideas and the continuation of innovative research projects that remain cure-focused and will ultimately benefit those with diabetes.

The DRI Foundation is recognized as one of the world’s most respected diabetes organizations. Garnering the attention of influential people who are personally affected by diabetes, the Foundation has grown into an international coalition of business leaders, celebrities, scientists, clinicians, families and other concerned individuals who have elevated the importance of cure-focused research and provided meaningful support for the DRI’s multidisciplinary research program. This funding is provided through individual and corporate donations, special events, sponsorships, cause marketing relationships, and planned giving, which allows donors to provide a gift in the form of a will, trust, or other deferred giving vehicle.

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the DRI Foundation has thousands of supporters in the United States and worldwide, and, in addition to its headquarters in Florida, operates a regional development office in New York.

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation was created for one reason – to cure diabetes – which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of individuals and families affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is the best hope for a cure.

A History of Commitment

It started with a small group of parents in South Florida in 1971. Their children had diabetes. Some were suffering from the devastating complications of the disease. The parents were focused on a single goal: to find a cure. They discovered promising research underway at the University of Miami – a pioneering program focused on islet cell transplantation. They dedicated their lives to funding it by raising money through events and private donations.

Over the years, the Foundation grew and, in 1984, formed a close relationship with North America’s Building Trades (formerly the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO). In an unprecedented partnership that continues today, the men and women of the unions joined with the Foundation’s leadership to help fulfill its mission to cure diabetes. The unions made a historic commitment, – to fund, and to then build – the most comprehensive diabetes research facility in the world. The DRIF’s largest contributor, North America’s Building Trades have raised tens of millions of dollars for the DRI and today, under the banner of Blueprint for Cure, thousands of union members undertake fundraising projects nationwide to provide ongoing support. Read more about our history.

Providing Vital Support

Funding from the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is the driving force that allows DRI scientists pursue new and innovative ideas, and to speed these discoveries to patients. Having this steady funding source is unique for a research center and makes a critical difference in the ability to work toward a shared mission.

The DRI Foundation provides vital support in three key phases of research:

First: The Foundation provides the funding for DRI scientists to immediately begin work on promising ideas.

Second: With preliminary research results in hand, scientists can then apply for outside, competitive funding. This evaluation process – called “peer review” – can take up to a year. During this process, DRI scientists remain funded by the Foundation and can continue to advance their work.

Third: While researchers may receive grant support for their projects, rarely are grants large enough to cover all costs. Again, the support of the DRI Foundation allows scientists to forge head and pursue various promising research avenues in a waste-no-time approach.

The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is the organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate and committed to finding a cure for diabetes. Learn more about our longstanding focus on this one goal.


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