The American Diabetes Association's functions are funding research, raising public awareness, providing community services, and advocating in support of the prevention, cure and management of diabetes. Since its inception, the association has invested over $700 million in 4,500 diabetes research projects, and its yearly meeting, Scientific Sessions, brings together thousands of diabetic clinicians and researchers. The association conducts a variety of diabetes awareness programs and wellness efforts, such as National Healthy Lunch Day, and summer camps for children and youth.
In 2015, American Diabetes Association summer camps were held in 49 locations around the United States. The camps help campers learn about self-care as counselors work individually with campers and model appropriate diabetes self-management.
The association's advocacy goals focus on increasing state and federal funding of diabetes research, increasing the accessibility of adequate, affordable health care and eliminating discrimination against people with diabetes. The association provides local chapters and volunteers with advocacy messages, materials and ideas for engaging local leaders, and the association's regional advocacy directors provide support to local advocacy efforts.
To fund diabetic research, the American Diabetic Association undertakes a variety of fundraising efforts including memberships, planned giving, vehicle donations and an online store that features diabetic books, gifts, and holiday cards and decor. It also provides opportunities for donors to give by participating in various promotional programs, including collaborations with Kay Jewelers, AmazonSmile and Survey Monkey.