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Where does your donation go?

Gifts to the American Lung Association come in many different forms – one-time donations, memorials, planned giving, funds raised through events, such as Fight For Air Climbs or LUNG FORCE Walks. No matter how you give, as good stewards, we are committed to making your donation go as far as possible with proven-effective strategies.

For every dollar donated to the Lung Association, 87 cents* goes to activities supporting people at risk for or living with lung disease. Gifts to our organization enable research, education and advocacy work to support those living with lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other lung diseases. But what does that money really do?

Your donation funds research projects like that of Dr. Justin Oldham at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Oldham is using cutting-edge genomic technology to identify specific genes and gene varieties associated with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He is optimistic that his research will lead to much needed treatments for the 200,000 Americans who live with IPF.

Research is a major priority for the Lung Association and this year, we are funding 69 unique research projects in 50 institutions across the country through our Awards and Grants program, and funding the Airways Clinical Research Centers Network – the nation's largest not-for-profit network of clinical research centers dedicated to asthma and COPD treatment research.

We help people such as Judy Reisman quit smoking. As a smoker of 45 years, Judy tried to quit a number of times but to no avail. Smoking is a serious addiction, and eventually Judy realized that she needed help quitting and enrolled in our Freedom From Smoking® program. Freedom From Smoking helped Judy develop a quit plan that fit her needs to break her addiction to tobacco. Your donations help us train people like Peggy Russo, the facilitator who ran Judy's Freedom From Smoking program and played a crucial role in helping Judy quit smoking for good.

Smoking cessation is just one of our health education activities. Your donations also help us provide: Better Breathers Clubs, support groups for those living with chronic lung disease like COPD and pulmonary fibrosis; Asthma Basics, a free online course to help people better understand and manage asthma symptoms; and the Lung HelpLine, a free resource with experts standing by to answer your lung health questions.

We also directly support lung disease patients and their caregivers. More than 600,000 lung disease patients receive monthly support from the American Lung Association through our digital resources.

Dr. Karen Jakpor lives with severe asthma, yet her home community of Riverside, California has some of the highest air pollution levels in the country. Some days she can't even leave her house because the air pollution level is too high and it could trigger an asthma attack. This is no way to live, and the Lung Association works with local, state and federal lawmakers to pass stronger regulations and laws that protect our air and keep it clean from harmful toxins that damage our lungs.

Our advocacy team lobbies for lung health measures – whether related to tobacco, indoor and outdoor air or lung cancer research – in state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. We author the "State of Tobacco Control" report, which grades states and the federal government on efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and protect workers and the public from the harms of secondhand smoke. We also author the annual "State of the Air" report, which analyzes data from official air quality monitors and grades metro areas on healthy air across the country. Additionally, we have formed a team of advocates with the Lung Action Network who reach out to lawmakers with their own stories and urge them to make decisions for healthier lungs.

These are just a few examples of how the Lung Association uses your gifts. We are a Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance Accredited Charity, meaning that we value financial accountability and are transparent with our donors and the public. We publish our Annual Report and audited financials every year.  
Whether you donate $10 or $100, you are helping the American Lung Association better serve patients of lung disease and their families. To us, and to them, your gift matters.

*The rest supports fundraising and administrative costs.

Related Topic: Impact

  • John F. Emanuel, JD
    Immediate Past Board Chair and Governance Committee Chair
    Community Volunteer, Husch Blackwell LLP
    John Emanuel is senior counsel at the law firm Husch Blackwell LLP in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His practice is concentrated in corporate and business law, with emphasis on corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, general corporate counseling and corporate tax. He also works in the field of non-profit and charitable organizations.

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