JDRF's cost of administering research grants continues to skyrocket.  During 2015, the internal costs associated with selecting and allocating research grants reached $0.27 per dollar of grant, a 15 year high, as shown in the chart above.   Conversely, during the exact same time frame, the actual amount going to research grants dropped to a 15 low, as we noted in prior reports.  This trend is not sustainable.

From a donor standpoint, the erosion in efficiency means that fewer and fewer of our donation dollars make their way to actual research grants.

A few additional key details:

  • Research administration costs include payroll, office rent, professional services, meetings, and other expenses associated with allocating and overseeing research grants.  These costs are now the highest in the history of the JDRF.  
  • Prior to 2010, annual research support costs never surpassed $0.10 cents per grant dollar.  Costs began to escalate in 2011 and have quadrupled in the past 5 years. 
  • Several explanations for the cost inflation have been suggested, including an increase in the number of JDRF staff positions, an increase in salaries of the JDRF research staff, and an increase in the number of meetings.  
  • While some cost increase may be justified, a 4x cost growth within the past 5 is a dramatic and gross increase that suggests either a decrease in management focus or a shift in strategy.   Again, this recent trend is inconsistent with the entire prior history of the organization.
  • It is unclear what corrective action, if any, the JDRF leadership is taking.

As we have stated in prior reports, our main concern and reason for sharing this data is to raise awareness for a trend that may compromise speed to a cure.  Donors concerned by this data are encouraged to express their perspective to JDRF leadership.  

The source for the data are the 2015 JDRF Financial Statements which are available here:  http://jdrf.org/about/financials/ 

Previous JDCA reports may be found here:  http://thejdca.org/2016-reports/