Nonprofit Federation Member Spotlight Series: American Diabetes Association (ADA) | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

Nonprofit Federation Member Spotlight Series: American Diabetes Association (ADA)


ANA member American Diabetes Association (ADA) is working to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of everyone affected by the disease. As ADA's chief marketing and digital officer, Simone Grapini-Goodman is tasked with a broad remit of responsibilities to fulfill the organization's mission. Alicia Osgood, director of communications for the ANA Nonprofit Federation, spoke with Simone about her journey to ADA, how ADA is navigating a tough fundraising environment, embracing new technologies, and powering their purpose through partnerships.

Tell us about your organization and your role within the organization.

At the American Diabetes Association (ADA), we work to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by it. This mission has never been more urgent. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in the world, [as]136 million Americans live with diabetes or prediabetes, and one American is diagnosed with diabetes every 26 seconds.

As chief marketing and digital officer, I oversee a team with a diverse remit including:

  • Brand, Communications, Digital and Creative
  • Constituent Engagement: Specifically individual giving, professional membership, events marketing, and Center for Information (inbound call center)
  • Publications: An internal publishing group with a growing portfolio of journals and podcasts

Describe your career path and what led you to your organization.

I've dedicated my 20+ year career to improving the business of health care:

  • At the Health Services/Care Delivery level (Optum), and within the payer industry (UnitedHealthcare), focused on the Medicaid population, while working for UnitedHealthGroup (UHG), a Fortune 10 company,
  • Within digital health startups, as chief marketing officer for DiRx, a digital pharmacy platform focused on generic medicine, operating outside the insurance framework.
  • Currently at the ADA, as chief marketing and digital officer.

With so many people living with diabetes, prediabetes, or caring for someone who has it, this is truly an everyone problem. After realizing the individual and economic impact of diabetes and alarming growth trends, I didn't hesitate to join the cause as part of this iconic organization. With an 80+ year history, the ADA tirelessly works to provide life-changing programs, affordable diabetes medicine, and drive research that can save lives.

How is your organization navigating the quadruple threat of a decline in charitable giving, inflation, weakened donor trust, and low response, especially from new donors?

Indeed, the environment is tough. Here are some of the ways we're navigating these challenges to foster a sustainable donor community, online and offline.

  • Differentiated Campaign Creative: Our award-winning brand campaign seeks to embed ADA in the hearts and minds of the diabetes community while building and maintaining their trust.
  • Multi-Channel Media Approach, with AI Optimizations: Continuous testing of new media channels allows us to find tried and true approaches. We also leverage platform-based AI to identify the most effective audiences, creative elements, and media tactics.
  • Donor Expansion: Recognizing the importance of diversifying donor pools, we actively identify media and creative opportunities to attract younger donors, aligned with their giving habits and in anticipation of the expected great wealth transfer in the coming years.
  • Personalized Experiences: We work to segment donor audiences and chart the path to loyalty to personalize the donor experience.
  • Community Engagement Events: Fostering a sense of community and encouraging participation through in-person and virtual events, we actively involve donors and strengthen their connection to the ADA, with initiatives like Facebook peer-to-peer challenges and Step Out Walk.

Has your organization begun using AI and if so, how? If not, what other new technologies are you investing in and why?

AI is not entirely a new concept, yet it has gained massive attention with tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E. We're continuing to lean into current usage (e.g. segmentation, personalization, customer service, bank and account reconciliations, invoice/PO matching, fraud monitoring, system monitoring) and coalesce around an integration framework for new AI capabilities. The framework we established below allows us to take a measured, proactive approach, realistically prioritizing utility, longevity, and scalability over novelty.

  • Explore Possibilities and Potential Challenges
  • Identify Priorities and Build Capabilities
  • Establish a Baseline for AI Integration
  • Evaluate Impact
  • Commit to Continued Learning

Can you talk about your partnerships with brands? Are you seeing increased interest from brands?

The ADA leads the fight for everyone affected by diabetes, but we cannot fight this epidemic alone. As we like to say, "It takes all of us to end diabetes." We partner with a broad range of organizations and entities – including the government, private foundations, other nonprofit organizations, and corporations – to help us advance our vision: life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

With diabetes being one of the fastest growing chronic diseases in the world and the ADA's strong commitment to ultimately end diabetes, we are seeing tremendous interest from partners who want to join us in this fight. We select partners who have a shared vision for moving our mission forward and who provide services and resources that are consistent with our Standards of Care and advocacy strategy.

Interested in participating in this series, email Alicia Osgood at

Alicia Osgood is director of communications at ANA Nonprofit Federation.

The views and opinions expressed in Industry Insights are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.