In March, the Association released the 2020 edition of Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, its annual compilation of national statistics and information about Alzheimer’s and dementia and its impact on individuals, families, government and the nation’s health care system. It included the special report “On the Front Lines: Primary Care Physicians and Alzheimer’s Care in America,” which examined the experiences, exposure, training and attitudes related to dementia care among primary care physicians and recent medical school and residency program graduates now in primary care practice.
The Alzheimer’s Association Board of Directors approved new vision and mission statements. The vision (“A world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia”) and mission (“The Alzheimer's Association leads the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support”) reflect the Association’s commitment to advancing Alzheimer’s and dementia research and increasing access to resources and support for all those affected.
Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, recognized each June, is one of the Association’s leading consumer engagement platforms to raise concern and awareness of the disease, share available resources and engage the public in the cause. The 2020 campaign focused on the perseverance of the dementia community in facing the disease and the work of caregivers and advocates. Social media initiatives included a virtual gallery wall of hero stories and the promotion of the #ENDALZ and #InThisTogether hashtags across social channels.
The Association released Know Where Alzheimer’s Hides, a concern and awareness campaign designed to educate the public on the warning signs of Alzheimer’s. Through television, radio, digital ads and social assets, the campaign emphasized the ways that the disease can hide in common behaviors and aimed to build awareness and encourage individuals and their families to engage with Association resources.
The Association’s robust social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram saw a 6% increase in followers, bringing the total to nearly 1.2 million. Facebook continued to serve as a significant fundraising platform and overall engagement levels remained high, outpacing other large nonprofits in this sphere.
The Association’s Science Hub app was released in fall 2019 to provide a convenient, mobile platform for the general public and scientists to learn the latest in Alzheimer’s and dementia research. The free app alerts users to breaking news and highlights the Association’s blog, grant programs and leadership perspectives.
The “United” campaign, which aimed to raise concern and awareness of Alzheimer’s during the 2020 election cycle, received a Shorty Award for Best Real Time Media Buy. “United” positions Alzheimer’s care, support and research as a bipartisan issue that someone of any political affiliation can and should support by using the messaging “red + blue = purple.” The campaign was featured prominently during the July, September and October 2019 presidential debates with national newspaper, television, magazine and digital support.
“Our Stories,” a national public service campaign created in partnership with the Ad Council to raise awareness of early detection of Alzheimer’s, was honored with the Platinum Hermes Creative Award in the website category, a Shorty Award for Best Social Good Campaign, an Internet Advertising Competition Award for Outstanding Integrated Campaign and a Webby Award in the Website: Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit category. The campaign features individuals — including members of the Association’s National Early-Stage Advisory Group and their care partners — who noticed signs of potential cognitive decline and initiated a conversation. The campaign’s messaging was extended through a partnership with Facebook and the Snap Judgment podcast to feature the stories of Alzheimer’s Association Celebrity Champions Yvette Nicole Brown, Liz Hernandez, Art Smith, Mary Hogan and Richard Lui.
The Association’s website, alz.org, continued to serve as a valuable resource for Alzheimer’s care, support and research, providing services to constituents 21,791,815 times in FY20. The Association also delivered critical Alzheimer’s information to the public via 11.4 billion media impressions.
In March 2020, the Association released its first-ever awareness album, “Music Moments,” a multigenre collection of songs highlighting how music marks meaningful moments and people in our lives. The album and companion video series, created to spark public conversation to advance the Alzheimer’s cause, features 10 new cover tracks by award-winning artists such as Sting, Nile Rodgers, The Head and the Heart, Joan Jett and Jason Isbell. The project’s launch included a promoted Twitter trend with a custom emoji and a social opt-in feature for users to receive special album-related content, and garnered press coverage in Billboard, Rolling Stone and more. The album is available on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.
ALZ™, the Association’s nationwide full-mission magazine, published two issues in FY20, featuring actor Kyle Chandler and musician Chris Daughtry on the respective covers. Distribution and subscriptions continued to grow, totaling 471,000 print and digital copies by the end of the fiscal year, a 31% increase over FY19. Total impressions also rose by 31%, surpassing 1.4 million. The free publication shares inspiration and information about ending Alzheimer’s and offers tips on how to make your brain the focus of a healthy lifestyle.
In recognition of the 16 million people providing care to someone living with Alzheimer’s, the Association introduced the “CareGiving” campaign during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month in November. The theme honored the personal experiences of caregivers while encouraging them to access crucial support services, including tips to facilitate discussions around self-care during the holidays.
The Association also continued to strengthen relationships within Major League Baseball (MLB), including promoting awareness at games. While the 2020 MLB season was delayed due to COVID-19, it provided an opening for new engagement opportunities, including donated fan cutouts and mascot videos promoting the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Through a partnership with the National Hockey League, the Association was selected as the 50/50 beneficiary for several teams’ games, and the league continued to hold Alzheimer’s awareness games to raise funds and awareness.
The Association partnered with the National Basketball Coaches Association — which represents the coaches in the National Basketball Association — to create an Alzheimer’s Health Bulletin that was distributed to every coach in the league, sharing information about the community and insight into the disease.
For the 11th year in a row, the Association was named one of The NonProfit Times’ “Best Nonprofits to Work For,” finishing in the top three in the Large Nonprofit category. The annual survey emphasizes employee development, recognition measures and workplace culture.