Nonprofit startup fund
Be a part of our mission to improve life for people with dry eye disease!
The cause: We are starting up a nonprofit educational and research foundation on behalf of people suffering from dry eye disease. The best epidemiological studies tell us that dry eye affects between 5% and 50% of the population. The numbers are staggering, and the range is baffling. Can you believe that while tens of millions suffer from this simple-sounding disease, it is still so poorly understood that we can’t even measure it consistently? Furthermore, while the stereotypical dry eye patient is middle-aged or elderly, people of all age groups are increasingly being affected by dry eye, particularly when it comes to dry eye induced by drugs or surgery. For example, 22 of the 100 best-selling drugs in America list dry eye as a side effect, and there are 16 different classes of eyedrops known to cause or worsen dry eye! Worst, technology use is exacting a heavy toll, and children suffering from dry eye symptoms are now visiting eye doctors in unprecedented numbers. All this, and yet there is no nationally active nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding and addressing patients' needs. Dry eye patients need to have a voice!
Who will benefit: Dry eye patients. Our vision is for an organization that identifies patients’ needs and priorities and works actively to bring about change on their behalf: (1) directly, through education, peer support groups, etc, (2) through raising awareness of patients' needs amongst medical professionals, the industry and the regulatory authorities in order to improve the standard of medical care and products being provided, and (3) through research that prioritizes the outcomes patients themselves want. In other words, we want to act as a communication bridge between patients and the people best positioned to help them. For more information, please sign up for our weekly updates at dryeyefoundation.org where we will be starting to tell the story of our vision for this organization.
Where the funds will go: This campaign is for immediate startup costs to propel us through our first months in existence. We have incorporated, and the fun is just beginning! We promise to keep a tight rein on expenses, but we also want this organization to be thorough and professionally run from the get-go. That means we have a number legal costs (legal assistance, applications for federal and state tax exempt status, fundraising registrations where required, etc), some office and administrative costs, and a part-time salary for the founder.
How soon we need the funds: Right away! In 2019, after we get our IRS tax-exempt determination, we will have many more fundraising opportunities open to us. These first few months are when we could really use a leg up from anyone and everyone who wants to see real change take place in the world of dry eye care and dry eye research!
Who is “We”? The founding board of directors - longtime dry eye advocate/educator Rebecca Petris (President), nonprofit foundation expert Rosalyn Owen (Treasurer), and DryEyeStories editor Aidan Moore (Secretary). We will be appointing additional directors as well as patient and physician advisory board members in the coming months.