Foundation Fighting Blindness Strategic Plan, 2011-2016

Vision Statement

The urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases.

The mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness has remained steadfast for 40 years, and the organization’s collective efforts as a team, comprised of its Board of Directors, Trustees, Visionary Council, chapters, volunteers, Scientific Advisory Board and staff, have always directly served as a means for success.

As the Foundation enters its fifth decade in the fight against blindness, often referred to as an era of clinical trials, it is keenly focused on advancing translational research to people affected by retinal degenerative diseases – that is, clinical trials in which human participants will help determine the safety and effectiveness of treatments showing promise for slowing or stopping specific retinal degenerative diseases.

To advance this promising research toward treatments and cures, the Foundation has established a five-year goal:

By 2016, the Foundation Fighting Blindness will have played a major role in adding at least 10 new human clinical trials to its translational research portfolio which includes seven trials right now.

A critical step on the path to treatments and cures, translational research is exceedingly more expensive than basic research – tens of millions of dollars per trial. To make this vision a reality by 2016, the Foundation Fighting Blindness must drastically increase revenues from its family of supporters – individuals, corporations, foundation and other non-profit and governmental organizations.

To facilitate this, the Foundation has developed a set of six strategic priorities to increase fundraising and more effectively position its research efforts to maximize commercial investments. While not new, the priorities outlined in this plan have been identified as those that warrant increased attention and focus, and will allow for realization of this ambitious and critical goal.

Priority: Funding cutting edge research

Continue to support innovative research by clinicians who dedicate themselves to the care and treatment of patients with retinal degenerative diseases and scientists dedicated to leading the research necessary to find the causes and cures for these diseases, including career development awards, to attract the most promising physicians and scientists to the field.

Priority: Developing new treatments and cures

Continue building a robust network for therapy development and clinical trials that will advance the most exciting new therapy development programs to a stage where they will attract external support from industry or government, in order to reach the patients faster.

Priority: Identifying new therapies

Being the internationally recognized clearing house for assessing scientific breakthroughs that could lead to new treatments and cures for retinal degenerative diseases by providing the funding and expertise necessary to conduct pivotal validation studies that result in comprehensive treatment development plans and funding for those plans.

Priority: Improving diagnoses

Identify unmet needs for rapid and accurate diagnosis and support the development of new diagnostic technologies that will both improve diagnostic capabilities for patients and expedite clinical trials for new treatments.

Priority: Education, awareness and support

Continue being a premier information resource for people diagnosed with retinal degenerative diseases, and their families, by providing ready access to the most up-to-date information on currently available diagnostic methods and treatments, new treatments under development and in clinical trials, new diagnostics, and the most promising emerging research in the field of retinal diseases.  Also, provide information on outside resources that will help patients maintain a high quality of life while living with a retinal degenerative disease, and provide connections with other members of the Foundation community.

Priority: Attracting broad support

Relentlessly seek to build collaborations and partnerships with individuals and organizations that share the Foundation’s commitment to eradicating retinal degenerative diseases and can help accelerate the process.

An increased focus on these six strategic priorities will elevate the Foundation Fighting Blindness organization to the next level of success – translating the most promising research into treatments and cures for the millions of Americans and many millions more worldwide who are losing their sight to retinal degenerative diseases.

Foundation Fighting Blindness Values


At the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we are committed to identifying, funding and/or facilitating the funding of research that will lead to treatments and cures for those affected by retinal degenerative diseases.

  • We bring a sense of urgency to our research efforts.
  • We are in business to put ourselves out of business, as quickly as possible.
  • We fund exceptional science with the potential to provide treatments and cures of retinal degenerative diseases.
  • We strive to put every available dollar raised into research, within prudent business practices.
  • We work hard to leverage other sources of funding for retinal disease research.
  • We invest prudently in creating and maintaining an efficient, effective organization to carry out our mission.
  • Our core functions are funding the best research and raising the necessary funds to achieve that goal.
  • Our public education and awareness activities inspire and educate constituents, researchers and the public on our innovative research efforts.


  • At the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we are relentless in our pursuit of promising research that will lead to treatments and cures.
  • People affected by retinal degenerative diseases and their families are at the center of everything we do.
  • Our volunteers and staff bring great energy and drive to our fundraising and research efforts.
  • We will remain dedicated and passionate until our mission is fulfilled.
  • We are effective advocates for research funding with our elected officials.

Commitment to Excellence and Integrity

At the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we pursue only the best science, wherever we find it.

  • We relentlessly pursue the best scientists and the highest quality research opportunities.  Our scientific advisory committee and high quality peer reviews guide all of our research funding decisions.
  • We believe in and require collaboration and the free flow and sharing of research information.
  • We interact openly and transparently with our donors and volunteers, and treat everyone involved in this effort with respect and compassion.
  • We manage the activities of the Foundation in accordance with the highest moral and ethical principles.