I am writing this as a former employee of the Executive Office of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, now also called the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. While I worked there quite some time ago, what I saw going on there while I was one of their employees was appalling in the extreme. Never, and I do mean never, have I seen any organization bring in so much money - and squander it so relentlessly upon themselves.
There were constant catered lunches at JDF; constant meetings where people would be flown around the country on JDF donation money; a pompous, ineffectual "consultant" - a friend of two of the executives - who was based in Pittsburgh and who was flown to and from New York, and put up in a hotel where his every expense, including his razor blades and magazines bought in the hotel gift shop, were covered by JDF, simply because he was those two exec's little buddy; money was blown all over the place by these people.
The Executive Office was very strangely set up, in that just about everyone who was there when I arrived was either trying to leave, had already resigned, or was a temporary employee. Nobody, except for about five employees who I'll get to in a moment, wanted to stay there; everybody else on the staff wanted out, and there was a sick sort of desperation about it. They had all been pushed to the point that they'd take ANY job at ANY company just to get away from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation; one middle management executive even took a job driving a truck just to get out of there.
The people who were there and who seemed to want to stay were all involved with the finances of JDF. You had to wonder why they'd want to stay at the organization when everyone else just wanted to bail out of there. It was interesting, though, that the individuals who handled all the incoming donations were the ones who most wanted to stay. Circumstantially suspicious.
At the time the Executive Director was a woman who later was found to have extorted money from the American Music Association; another woman who was later found to have lied on her resume about a mythical Masters Degree from Columbia that, it turned out, she did not have; one of the Directors of Fundraising was an inveterate cocaine user, coming to work, locking himself into the john, and getting high daily, who was later fired for incompetency - and then promptly threatened to MURDER the Executive Director, who had to call the Pinkertons to guard her from him as he cleaned out his desk. How interesting is it that the FUNDRAISING DIRECTOR who was hired to work for JDF was literally too high to see straight at this organization? That's also circumstantially suspicious. How could such a man be expected to keep a keen eye on the finances if he could not even see straight? THESE were the sort of people that the money parents of diabetic children were working to raise all over the country was being entrusted to. The Executive Director who stole from the Music Association and the phony MBA's stories are both a matter of public record; I found them later by Googling their names.
Then there is the case of a long-term JDF employee who has been there for years, and who is in charge of the JDF national advertising department - and whose husband, by "complete and total coincidence," is a medical researcher whose work, while brilliant, is nevertheless FUNDED by the foundation. You've got to wonder about nepotism.
I wish Ripoff Report had existed when I worked with JDF because after I left the company I had wanted very much to spread the word to the parents of the children who had the disease, as well as the general public, that the Executive Office of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation was desperately in need of an investigation, but there wasn't a place back then where people could report this strange group. So better late than never: I am reporting all this now. I hope SOMEONE looks into this organization and goes over every penny they have ever raised, and where it went, with a fine-tooth comb. I hope the parents of the diabetic children can take this foundation back from the idiots who have been running it for years. I hope there can be an accounting. Diabetes runs in my family too, so what these JDF people were doing hits home with me, and what I saw going on at the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation was wrong on many levels. Someone needs to find a golden shovel and clean up all of their...well, you get the general idea!
New York, New York