Jim Himelic Foundation Pod Logo: Eradicate ALS

fundraising $1,000,000 in seed money to eradicate ALS

JHF Strategy

JHF Philosophy

JHF Pillars of Success: Excellence, Education, Efficiency, and Expansion

Commitment to Fundraising, Donors, and the Community

Seed Model Approach to Research

Working Relationship with the University of Arizona

2008 JHF Fundraising Video

JHF Philosophy

The Jim Himelic Foundation (JHF) believes Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) can be cured through focused, dedicated neurological research within the next quarter century. Due to its low frequency of occurrence relative to other neurological diseases, ALS has traditionally not been a primary focus of pharmaceutical companies. In addition, current federal restrictions on funding limit research involving cell-based regenerative methods. Therefore, JHF acknowledges that a cure for ALS requires a great deal of support from the private sector to help fund ongoing and new research.

The short-term focus of JHF is to continue hosting an annual event that raises funds for ALS research at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Neurology. The long-term focus of JHF will be on expanding our existing network of resources to raise additional funding for ALS research as well as to educate more of the public on the devastating effects of this disease.

Private fundraising is a competitive business, with several different charities all in need of resources in order to advance their own respective initiatives. As a result, JHF requires a dynamic strategy that will not only allow the organization to compete but also grow. This strategy will direct the organization towards a central position in privately funded, local ALS research and help establish a local ALS network. By completing these objectives, the Jim Himelic Foundation will achieve synergistic results, thereby ensuring donors that their generosity is being utilized to the maximum extent possible.

JHF Pillars of Success: Excellence, Education, Efficiency, and Expansion

The strategic philosophy of JHF and its board members revolves around the following four pillars of success:

  • Excellence: Inspiring and motivating people with compelling values to join our organization and assist JHF in carrying out its annual event and seeking funds for ALS research from public and private institutions;
  • Education: Informing the local community about ALS and ongoing research in the field and how they can support it;
  • Efficiency: Keeping administration costs to a minimum by relying on committed board members and multiple volunteers to donate their time and apply their connections with the local community in raising funds and increasing awareness of our organization; and
  • Expansion: Leveraging existing resources to further develop our diverse ALS network and to acquire additional financial support from external organizations.

These pillars serve as a reference for the organization, providing a clear definition of its scope and reminding board members and volunteers of JHF’s values. In addition to embracing an overall culture that is focused on increasing ALS awareness and achieving breakthroughs in the laboratory, the members of JHF are fundraising champions for ALS research who strive to carry out the objectives of our organization.

Commitment to Fundraising, Donors, and the Community

JHF believes an effective fundraising campaign that raises funds for extramural, collaborative research is the most effective approach in finding a cure for ALS. Through its annual event, the Jim Himelic Foundation raises funding from the local community for neurological research focused on eradicating ALS. In addition, JHF works throughout the year to raise additional proceeds for research and educate the community on ALS. Furthermore, JHF provides personal tours of the Jim Himelic Neuromuscular Research Laboratory to directly show donors the impact their donations have on local ALS research. Complementing its concerted fundraising efforts, JHF acknowledges the importance of connecting current patients and their families to a strong ALS network and strives to provide that opportunity through its annual fundraising event.

Seed Model Approach to Research

The Jim Himelic Foundation continuously works towards expanding and improving on its diverse network of existing donors in southern Arizona. To preserve the communal aspect of JHF, all proceeds go to support ALS research at The University of Arizona College of Medicine Department of Neurology located in Tucson, Arizona. All researchers receiving financial support from JHF are strongly encouraged to utilize the funding in a manner that will provide the best opportunity to garner additional financial support from external organizations. This common “seed model” approach to fundraising allows researchers to build off preliminary, promising results achieved from research partially funded by JHF. Leveraging the results from these initial trial experiments, researchers will be able to procure additional funding from larger government and private grants in their pursuit of new, additional findings.

Working Relationship with the University of Arizona

By working closely with the University of Arizona, JHF ensures adequate oversight over all financial matters concerning the raising and spending of funds. In addition to the Foundation tracking all financial records, accountants for U of A’s Department of Neurology verify the amount raised by JHF and provide financial status reports on the researchers’ expenses to the organization. JHF also works closely with the UA Foundation, the organization that is responsible for all fundraising matters involving the University, for additional oversight of transactions involving JHF and the Department of Neurology. This attention to detail and close relationship with the University assigns accountability for the actions of all parties and gives donors additional assurance that their contributions are being appropriately allocated as originally intended. JHF also works closely with the UA Foundation to co-develop fundraising strategies to optimize existing resources and create additional sources of fundraising.