In FY20, generous supporters continued to recognize the importance of the Alzheimer’s Association mission even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the unprecedented economic and logistical challenges that prevented many Association galas, fundraisers and events from taking place, donor gifts fueled the Association’s commitment to provide care and support to families in need while advancing critical global research. In FY20, Association donors and partners contributed to total revenues of $409 million.
Direct marketing efforts using email, print and phone campaigns raised $65 million through engagement with 692,206 donors. Digital donations across all platforms increased by 13% over FY19 to reach $24 million, while gifts over $1,000 showed an 8% increase. Donations from generous constituents on Giving Tuesday grew 6%, for a total of $754,000. An additional day of charitable giving, Giving Tuesday Now, was held in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and raised $333,000 through email, digital acquisition and social media.
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, generated $98 million — a $1 million increase over the previous year. More than 512,000 people took part in 631 Walk events across the country. The 2019 season saw 48 companies and organizations participate as National Teams, with 7,702 teams raising $13.7 million.
Participation in The Longest Day — held on the summer solstice, June 21 — remained strong, raising $7.9 million for Association care, support and research efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic shifted The Longest Day from in-person activities to creative virtual fundraising, including events such as live-streamed cooking and workout classes, video game tournaments, a virtual dog show and selling crafts for donations. Global Teams continued to support the event, with the American Contract Bridge League hosting online bridge play that raised $823,000, and Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary organization of women educators, returning for its fifth year and raising $550,000.
Financial services firm Edward Jones marked its fourth year of a national strategic alliance with the Association. Edward Jones contributed more than $6 million to the Association in FY20, raising its total to more than $25 million. The firm once again served as the National Presenting Sponsor of Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and through the participation of nearly 19,000 participants on 3,725 teams, raised $3.5 million for the event. The firm also sponsored the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2019 (AAIC) through a gift of $50,000, demonstrating its commitment to the Association’s International Research Grant Program. In addition, Edward Jones raised Alzheimer’s awareness by launching a new diversified strategy that included educational and support resources, such as teaching financial advisors how to spot early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, and hosting joint seminars for clients and communities to discuss protecting health and wealth when facing a long-term illness.
While its signature spring gala was postponed due to COVID-19, the Alzheimer’s Association Part the Cloud global research grant program, led by philanthropist Michaela “Mikey” Hoag, still made significant contributions to the Association through a partnership with Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder joined the Part the Cloud movement in a shared vision for innovation by making a $10 million award. The Association then worked through Part the Cloud to raise $20 million, doubling the total clinical research investment to $60 million. This strategic funding will help propel high-risk, high-reward research aimed at uncovering underlying brain cell changes, potentially leading to new treatments for Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.
Dagmar Dolby and David Dolby were recognized with the 2019 Jerome H. Stone Philanthropy Award for Alzheimer’s Research at AAIC 2019. The Dolby family has provided funding for the Alzheimer’s Association research grant program and several Alzheimer’s research institutes at universities around the world. In addition, Dolby Family Ventures invests in research exploring the causes of Alzheimer’s, biomarkers and diagnostics, cognitive assessment, brain imaging, drug discovery and development, clinical trials recruitment and data analysis. The firm has also made direct investments in disease-modifying therapeutics, supporting more than 25 life science companies to advance the development of 14 novel pharmaceuticals for Alzheimer’s.
The Alois Society experienced significant growth in FY20. The group, which includes members who make an annual gift of $1,000 to $9,999, grew revenue by 8% to $15.1 million.
Comprising philanthropists who make a gift commitment of $1 million or more to the Association, the Zenith Society sets the bar for philanthropic leadership, engagement and impact. In FY20, Zenith Society members generated $63 million for the Association’s mission through personal gifts, special events, direct marketing challenges, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and more. This impressive figure represents a more than 50% increase over last year. Zenith members also gave $377,000 to support the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), a separately incorporated advocacy affiliate of the Association. Three new Zenith Society members joined in FY20, increasing the group’s total to 89. Jerre and Mary Joy Stead gave $1.5 million in May 2020 and launched the Zenith Society Challenge with their pledge to match new gifts from fellow Zenith members through the end of fiscal year 2021 at 50% once the $10 million mark is reached. Dagmar Dolby and Bob Thistle made gifts that counted toward the challenge in FY20.
Members of the Founders Society make gifts through a will or trust, by beneficiary designation, through a charitable gift annuity or other planned gift arrangement. The Association received nearly $59 million from thoughtful Founders Society donors who made legacy contributions in FY20.
AIM welcomed 18 new members to the AIM Leadership Society. This group comprises generous donors who make an annual commitment of $5,000 or more to help develop and advance public policies to overcome the burdens of Alzheimer’s and all dementia through increased government investment in research, enhanced care and improved support. The society now has 81 members, who gave a total of $848,000 in FY20.
Celebrating its 35th year, the reimagined Rita Hayworth Gala, now titled the Imagine Fall Benefit, raised over $1 million. The event, founded by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, was held Oct. 22, 2019, at the iconic Rainbow Room in New York City. Highlights included a book excerpt reading and flute performance by former CBS News correspondent Eugenia Zukerman, who is living with younger-onset Alzheimer’s, and a performance by Grammy and Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. The Chicago-based Rita Hayworth Gala scheduled for spring 2020 was postponed due to COVID-19.
Originally slated as an elite, in-person cycling event in Fort Collins, Colorado, the inaugural Ride to End ALZ® shifted gears and launched as a Virtual Challenge in June in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Spring Virtual Challenge allowed cyclists from around the world to participate, offering free registration and no fundraising minimums. Cyclists chose between outdoor routes in their community or joined other participants on a virtual reality course online. A live starting line ceremony hosted on social media kicked off the event, with 500 participants from 50 states and five countries riding and raising $185,000 for Alzheimer’s research.
Revenue from generous corporate contributors totaled more than $24 million and earned millions of impressions to increase concern and awareness of the disease. A complete list of corporate supporters at the $50,000 level and above is available later in this report.
CVS Health made a three-year, $10 million commitment to the Association in FY20. This included support as national co-sponsor of Walk to End Alzheimer’s, participation in the Walk National Team program and in-store customer fundraising during National Family Caregivers Month in November.
Thanks to the Association’s partnership with NASCAR driver and #ENDALZ Athlete Ryan Blaney and the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation, a 1974 Gateway Bronco was auctioned in support of the Association for a record-setting $650,000.
In its 18th year, Bankers Life’s Forget Me Not Days pivoted to a virtual campaign during the COVID pandemic, raising $190,000 through public donations and associate contributions. The community collection campaign relied on social media to help fundraise and promote its efforts versus its traditional method of street-corner collection. The event has grown to span multiple channels, including an online donation platform, social media promotion and employee giving campaign. In June 2020, Bankers Life and partner company CNO Financial recognized the Association with a $179,000 corporate donation, local sponsorship of Walk to End Alzheimer’s events in Chicago and Indianapolis, and a contribution to a financial literacy grant.
With the support of its generous customers, Marshalls, one of the nation's leading off-price family retailers, was able to raise vital dollars for the Association in FY20. The 2020 Marshalls in-store fundraising campaign raised $1.6 million for Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Since 2013, Marshalls has supported the Association through an annual in-store fundraiser, donations from The TJX Foundation and participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s National Team Program. These combined efforts have raised almost $11 million for the Association.
In FY20, the Association was highlighted as one of four featured charity partners by AmazonSmile, a program that donates 0.5% of a supporter’s eligible purchases on Amazon to their charity of choice. This selection, coupled with the AmazonSmile integration within the Amazon app, led to record-breaking digital contributions. In total, supporters raised $334,000 for the Association through the AmazonSmile program.
Socially responsible lifestyle brand Lokai has partnered with the Association since 2016 by offering an Alzheimer’s Lokai bracelet. For each bracelet sold, $1 is donated to the Association to fund dementia research grants. The success of this partnership led Lokai to create three additional bracelets in support of the Association, the most recent of which is the Love Lokai, the second bracelet designed by renowned muralist James Goldcrown. For each Love Lokai sold, Lokai will donate $1 to the Association. The partnership with Lokai raised more than $80,000 to the Association in FY20.
AAIC 2019 received two new sponsors, bringing the total number of sponsors to 15 who pledged $1.6 million in support. Current Alzheimer’s Association Research Roundtable membership is 16 members contributing $775,000.