Frequently Asked Questions


Welcome to our frequently asked questions for donors page. Here, you will find helpful information about who we are, how we are different, how to support a project, and how to make a donation that truly makes a difference. Click any of the plus signs below to see our frequently asked questions for donors.

EIN: 90-0815395

What is Diabetes Research Connection?

The Diabetes Research Connection is a 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization that created a crowdfunding platform to connect individuals who are concerned about type 1 diabetes with scientists who need funding for innovative diabetes research projects.
On this crowdfunding site you can select projects you want to support from an array of meritorious, peer-reviewed proposals.

Scientists will keep their donors informed and involved throughout their investigations by posting updates on their project pages.

The Diabetes Research Connection provides donors with tangible evidence that their support has an impact, that their money is used efficiently, and that it delivers measurable results.

How does Diabetes Research Connection differ from other organizations that fund diabetes research?

We give early-career scientists the opportunity to perform innovative, discovery-stage diabetes research for which seed money is scarce.

Many diabetes sufferers and their loved ones express that they feel powerless over this disease. We empower donors to influence the direction of diabetes research by inviting them to select the research they wish to support from an array of meritorious, peer-reviewed proposals. A project that you sponsor could be the very one that precipitates a major breakthrough.

Donors are kept in the loop, from the time they donate all the way through to project completion.
Our application process is considerably shorter than most – a project can be approved in as little as 12 weeks. A group of donors has offered to pay the organization’s overhead. As a result, 100% of funds that you donated to projects go straight to our researchers. We post all research outcomes because they add to the body of knowledge about diabetes.

How do I make a donation?

Click on Support a Project at the top of any webpage. Once you have chosen the project(s) or category(ies) you want to support, click the DONATE button to make your contribution. Donations are processed immediately.

Is my financial information secure when I donate to Diabetes Research Connection over the Internet?

Donations are handled by Stripe, a leading secure payment processor, or through PayPal. The Diabetes Research Connection does not retain or store donors’ credit/debit card numbers.

If you are uncomfortable making financial transactions over the Internet, please mail your check to the Diabetes Research Connection, 1400 Maiden Lane, Del Mar, CA 92014. Be sure to identify the project(s) or category(ies) you want to fund in the memo field on your check or include a note in the mailing envelope.

How does a donor know that proposed research projects are meritorious?

Every project posted has passed two peer reviews by diabetes experts.
Our Scientific Review Committee, a group of 80+ top diabetes researchers, assesses each project concept on the basis of NOVELTY, SCIENTIFIC MERIT and FEASIBILITY. If the majority approves it, we form a three-member Specialty Advisory Panel to examine the science behind the proposal. If two out of three approve the proposal, it becomes eligible for funding.

What happens if a scientist runs out of money?

Research can be an extended process, but our projects are limited to a one-year timeframe. To assure that the project is adequately funded, the researcher must submit a detailed, accurate budget as part of the project proposal.

How long does a researcher have to raise the money needed for the project?

Projects are posted on our website for up to three months.

Once research projects are underway, how are donors kept apprised of their progress?

Our grantees are required to submit a detailed progress report after six months, and a final summary of results upon completion of the project. We forward these reports to all project sponsors.

Researchers also provide periodic updates to donors via Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. We may occasionally schedule webinars to bring donor attention to exceptional progress of sponsored research.

What happens after a research project is completed?

The Specialist Advisory Panel that originally approved the project reviews the researcher’s final data and findings and offers informed commentary and advice. We post all research results on our website to increase the body of knowledge related to research whether or not the outcome is positive.

The researcher may be in a position to leverage results from the study you funded to submit a comprehensive application for a larger grant to entities such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

The Specialist Advisory Panel may encourage the investigator to submit outcomes to peer-reviewed scientific journals for publication. We ask our researchers to acknowledge their larger donors in such publications.

Who owns the rights to research discoveries?

Researchers own the rights, subject to their agreements with their host institutions. The Diabetes Research Connection will not claim ownership of any interest in the research, but asks researchers to name us and larger donors as sponsors. If a researcher receives compensation based on results of a project that our donors funded, the researcher is asked to consider repaying the grant to the Diabetes Research Connection to support additional, early-stage diabetes researchers.

Is there a way to get more deeply involved in the research projects that I sponsor?

We offer the opportunity for an enhanced association for donors who fund an entire project. Perks include acknowledgments in manuscripts, signed copies of publications resulting from the studies and special recognition on a Featured Donors page. Contact for more information.

Who can be a donor?

Any individual, foundation, corporation, university or other entity worldwide may donate.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount one can donate?

There is no minimum. There is no upper limit unless your donation pushes the project beyond its fundraising goal. Funds in excess of any project goal will be allocated to the general fund. We are grateful to receive as much as you can give.

Are donations tax-deductible?

The Diabetes Research Connection is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so, yes, but you should always check with your accountant to determine how the donation will affect your state and federal income taxes. The Diabetes Research Connection acknowledges each donation by email.

Will my name be listed on your website after I donate?

Donors who contribute $5,000 or more will have the option of being listed on our site or remaining anonymous.

Do most donors support more than one research project?

Yes! The Diabetes Research Connection is all about empowering donors to choose projects they want to fund. The maximum funding available per project is $50,000. Some donors support a single project; others contribute to multiple projects. Some fund an entire project. You can contribute to as many projects as you’d like.

You can also donate directly to our General Fund. Discretionary monies in the General Fund are used to complete funding for projects short of their goal, or to help cover our operating overhead.

Check our website often for exciting new projects.

How will my donation be spent?

A small group of donors has committed to paying the Diabetes Research Connection’s overhead. So, 100% of the funds designated for research (less credit/debit card processing fees) go directly to the scientists. The investigator uses the money to cover the direct costs of the research lab and, typically, indirect costs (IDC or “overhead”) such as utilities, lab rent, administrative support, etc. Most hosting institutions require a contribution to IDC.

What happens to my contribution if a project I sponsored fails to reach its fundraising goal?

Wherever possible, the Diabetes Research Connection may supplement up to 20% of funding for projects that have raised some, but not all of the money they need for their project. In the event the organization has no discretionary funding available, the Board will work with the researcher in an effort to modify the project and budget and still achieve important results. If a project cannot be fully funded after exhausting all options, we will re-allocate the funds to other projects or to our General Fund.

Donors who have contributed $5,000 or more to such a project may redirect the funds to a different project, or opt to have their donation returned.