Medical charities (such as Sansum Diabetes Research Institute) constantly seek funds. In addition to applying for grant support from the federal government, they also rely on philanthropy and fundraising events for income. As a result of COVID-19, in-person fundraising events have been cancelled, forcing some nonprofits to cut staff and limit activities. Some wealthy donors are also now directing their donations to the COVID-19 response rather than to the medical charities they usually support. Donations have dried up from small donors who lost their jobs because of the pandemic. For example, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), a 50-year old organization supporting type 1 diabetes research, announced funding cuts due to COVID-19. The organization will reduce its staff by about 40% and end some of its grants due to limited revenue. This means they will have to rely more on volunteers. The pandemic’s full impact on medical charities has yet to be felt, but if the damage continues, the situation could worsen. The situation could also make medical nonprofits more reliant on funding from drug and medical device companies. This can create conflicts of interest.
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