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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Autism Science Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Disabilities, Health

Mission: The Autism Science Foundation supports autism research by providing funding and other assistance to scientists and organizations conducting, facilitating, publicizing and disseminating autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism.

Results: ASF has awarded nearly $3 million in funding to scientists doing autism research since our founding in 2009. We provide travel awards for autism stakeholders to attend the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) Annual Meeting (formerly, International Meeting for Autism Research or IMFAR) each year. We launched an awareness campaign to encourage brain tissue donation so scientists can investigate the neural underpinnings of autism spectrum disorders, registering over 1,000 new individuals in 2017 alone. ASF advocated successfully for a new medical classification code for autistic wandering, which became possible after the ASF-funded wandering study published in the journal Pediatrics. ASF board members and staff are frequently sought after by major national media (CNN, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, etc) to comment on autism related issues.

Target demographics: The Autism Community

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017, ASF provided nearly $1 million in funds through autism research fellowship grants and autism science initiatives.

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: We provide funding directly to scientists doing cutting-edge autism research to discover the causes of autism and develop better treatments. We also provide information to the general public and support the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Community Stories

90 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ASF is one of the premier organizations in the world dedicated to expanding our knowledge of autism and related developmental disorders. Their organization, in collaboration with their internationally renown scientific advisory board, continues to provide vital support to the autism research community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful Science coming from a small team. They are a great alternative Autism NPO. Communication is excellent, they even do a weekly podcast related to the latest Autism research. I've volunteered for them the past two years at the scoring goals for Autism' fundraiser near Philly,

Vanessa V.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ASF is an amazing organization that is active in all aspects of improving the lives of those affected by Autism Spectrums Disorders. The ASF organizational activities encourage and promote quality research and collaborations that are truly changing the landscape of what is known about Autism and driving change in the science and care of those with ASDs.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The funding provided by the Autism Science Foundation affords scientists and organizations the means to conduct and disseminate peer reviewed, science-based autism research. Its efforts to increase societal awareness of autism spectrum disorders and to serve the needs of families raising children with autism is unmatched in its thorough, objectively based approach, carried out by its knowledgeable, passionate team of highly educated experts in the field.

Megan Lynch O.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation has funded novel and critical science as well as supporting the needs of the autism community, including but not limited to the genetic cause of ASD.
They provide much needed support for early career investigators at a critical time and communicate new science to the public in an easy to understand, friendly way. ASF is also very collaborative and encourages cross-condition research.

Ali Kline L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation works diligently to not only provide support and funding for autism research but also to conduct scientific based, peer reviewed research studies to identify and determine forward thinking approaches to further discoveries. Its team is comprised of highly educated, devoted members who are passionate about establishing and disseminating scientific approaches and truths.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is dedicated to funding researchers who will advance the field of autism science. We have known for many years how complex the spectrum is, and too often there is limited funding opportunities for emerging researchers. ASF's grants ensure that all promising lines of research have a chance to be explored.

Stephan S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The ASF plays a leading role in advancing high-quality science to improve our understanding of autism spectrum disorder. They have been involved in many of the major research questions of key importance to the field and have providing fellowships to many trainees who have continued to pursue careers in autism research.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have participated with ASF as a donor. The organization does a great job at funding scientific research for autism, which is a cause I feel strongly about! They have also built a community of people invested in understanding more about autism.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Funding I received from ASF during my PhD training was critical to helping me complete my research projects. My research resulted in 2 publications and many impactful insights into how autism manifests in male and female brains. I'm a basic science researcher but my work has clinical applications.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Useful information. Grateful for their work towards helping the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An organization devoted to letting science guide it, the Autism Science Foundation serves as a critical facilitator of research in the autism community. Not only does ASF strive to fund proposals asking interesting questions, it brings science to the community. Through their podcasts and talks, ASF is playing an important role in keeping the autism community scientifically minded.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Autism Science Foundation is a welcoming, inclusive and supportive research and advocacy organization that exemplifies 'partnership' - with autistic individuals and their families, and with the research community. They have brought the human touch to autism research funding, fostering positive relationships and building capacity by focusing on trainees and new faculty. As a pediatrician and autism researcher, I am extremely grateful to this wonderfully supportive and passionate organization and its leaders.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ASF has quickly become the premier nonprofit for trusted, empirically-sound information on current knowledge about autism. It is remarkable that such a small and dedicated (read: efficient!) team can operate so comprehensively at the front lines of autism science.
More than any other autism-focused nonprofit, ASF has a strong and well-recognized commitment to young scientists (including undergraduate students) with an interest in studying autism. Truly, ASF is seeding the future of the field with their work now! A truly outstanding - in every sense of the word - organization!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The premier organization focused on promoting awareness of and support for autism science.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The ASF is an incredible organization run by some amazingly selfless, dedicated individuals. I have been involved with the Autism Science Foundation for a few years now, participating in a soccer tournament called Scoring Goals for Autism. And our family was selected to represent the Recipe for Hope 2017 campaign so I got to work closely with some of the staff and they were just terrific.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is exactly what I look for in a nonprofit. It has clear goals and a great team of dedicated individuals. I know my donations are well-spent and care for with ASF. Thank you for all that you do!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ASF is really one of the most well run, rigorous and impactful non profits I have worked with, and they have become a leader in the autism field. Alison Singer brings together experts in advocacy, science and education in autism, and through her work the organization has funded cutting edge research studies, hosted dynamic symposia on autism research and has inspired students to pursue careers in autism through their fellowships. With very limited funds and manpower, ASF has accomplished more in the autism field than organizations with 10x the budget and staff. This success speaks directly to the excellent personnel that they employ and the leadership of Alison Singer. I have sat ( and still sit) on the board of many non profits, so I understand the challenges around running these organizations, which makes me even more impressed by ASF's success.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation has been a wonderful organization to work with professionally. It funds meaningful and groundbreaking translational research within the field of Autism that will enable us to better understand the condition and develop interventions to better serve those with ASD.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a unique organization that is devoted to raising awareness and supporting scientific research. They achieve so much with relatively little!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is so amazing! They gave me the opportunity to conduct my own research study as an undergrad. It ended up being the best experience. I am so thankful for everything they have done for me!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am thankful to have received a grant from ASF that allowed me to engage in a summer research project focused on autism. I have been a strong advocate for research fellowships like the one I received, since it absolutely helped to foster an interest in different aspects of the field, particularly from a neurological perspective.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I look to ASF for the most timely information on autism research and education, and they certainly do not disappoint.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is the only autism charity that shares my values. I believe that the greatest hope for progress in treatment and understanding of autism is through supporting science. I also believe in following the advice of leading scientists, and the ASF is a great resource - the only one like it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a parent of a child with autism, I am grateful for Autism Science Foundation for providing sound, credible, research-supported information on everything from causation to treatment. Educated caregivers are better equipped to help their loved ones in effective ways. Thank you, ASF!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When our son was diagnosed with autism, we were desperate for sound, credible, research-supported answers.
Autism Science Foundation was the source of information we needed to make responsible treatment planning decisions.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation's commitment to research and education is unparalleled! Their support will help us make advances in the field.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ASF funds cutting edge-research, while supporting investigators at all stages (students, fellows, early investigators) . A truly excellent organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is an informative and inspiring organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with the Autism Science Foundation for several years and their genuine commitment to autism research is inspiring. The entire team at ASF has an unwavering dedication to funding the best science that will result in improvements in the lives of those affected by ASD.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is my go-to source for the latest information on autism. I particularly enjoy reading the science updates and look forward to continuing to learn from them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A fabulous non-profit totally committed to advocacy, research, and patient care.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is incredibly committed to this important work. Their grant funding has made cutting edge research in the field of autism possible.

L.B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation offered me an undergraduate summer research grant, with which I was able to conduct autism-related research this summer. This experience gave me the exciting opportunity to work one-on-one with a qualified researcher in the field, and it helped me develop a skill set suited for a future in neurodevelopmental research. It has been wonderful working with the Autism Science Foundation, and I would love to do it again.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is one of the most genuine organizations I know. Their ongoing commitment to their mission is inspiring to me.

jill.escher

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Autism Science Foundation on several projects and they are extremely knowledgeable, professional, absolutely 100% on top of autism research, and paving the way for new advances. They are also passionately committed to engaging with the broader autism community, for example, the Day of Learning and the wonderful ASF podcast. This nonprofit punches way above its weight, and is one of the most impressive organizations in autism today.

Jane116

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I work with the Chief Science Officer mostly and see the organization as a rare pure biomedical research global effort. The mission is still to support cutting edge autism research and provide educational media. Enhancements to the website really contribute to the latter goal. ASF fills an important niche as one of few (the only?) such organization for autism.

Rita41

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is committed to funding science which is what will help peoplewith autism in the long run. Every year they have funded more significant science. They also raise awareness and disseminate important information to the public.

Donor

Rating: 5

ASF does extraordinary work for the size of the organizations. They use a rigorous review process for grants, funding the most innovative researchers in the field of autism treatment. They run an unusually tight, streamlined ship.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit funded my summer undergraduate research experience. With this fund, I was able to really get involved in the project and learn so much about the research process. I'm excited to continue doing research on autism!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have worked with and alongside Alycia Hallady from ASF for several years. Her professionalism reflects the highly impressive work of the ASF as a whole.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is so focused and so well run! The researchers they fund and he information they relay are extraordinary!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

ASF provides essential support to budding scientists which gives me great hope for the future of autism research.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ASF helps the community understand science and navigate the field of autism research. Understanding the process of research can be frustrating, but ASF has many resources to help families!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at the Autism Science Foundation over the summer of 2016 and found it to be a remarkable organization. They provide excellent information for both families and students who wish to learn about autism. They are also incredibly efficient in their direct funding of researchers working to discover evidence-based causes and treatments of autism. Overall, ASF is a trustworthy, dedicated, and knowledgeable organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Crazy people here who are not at all interested in the science and spew vaccine propaganda.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a student I appreciate having a place to go for accurate autism information. I know I can write about research the Autism Science Foundation shares, because I know I can trust their sources.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is making a difference in so many lives.
They have always provided excellent information to the public to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders. Most importantly the money they raise goes directly to scientists to conduct research into the causes and to find treatments for autism. Their strict adherence to good science has always been a hallmark of their mission.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation is an organization of dedicated people funding top scientists working to discover the causes of autism and develop better treatments. As a parent of a child with autism, I am grateful to Alison Singer for her tireless efforts to focus on evidence-based science and her work to communicate these findings to the general public.

1 Jessica247

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation has participated in the Seaver Center Annual Advances in Autism Conference for several years as part of the Exhibitor Session, and attendees always appreciate that they are there. ASF is an incredibly valuable partner for the Seaver Autism Center both for this conference, and in the autism community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Terrific organization dedicated to understanding the science of autism. ASF reviews new studies and findings and summarizes them in language parents can understand. No junk science/fads here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization! Everyone is so committed and dedicated to their work and the latest research and development in the field.

1 Alycia

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is dedicated to finding the answers for families based on science. They are committed to sharing science with the public and supporting researchers understand the truth in ways that no other organization is doing.

Sciocity

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation helped me travel to the International Meeting for Autism Research in 2010 to learn more about the science behind autism, so that I could better help my students. The ASF team is receptive to all questions, and will go out of their way to present the public with opportunities to learn about autism science. For example, ASF President Alison Singer accepted an invitation to speak to Columbia and Barnard undergraduates. While it wasn't a high-profile event, Alison was happy to come and talk to my peers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Autism Science Foundation has been and continues to be a fantastic proponent of sound science in the ASD community. Their public presence is tactful and informed, and they provide an excellent weekly podcast that reviews cutting-edge literature. Knowing several researchers and undergrads funded by their grants (including myself, on this year's undergraduate summer fellowship), I can say with confidence that the science they fund is solid and targeted to the real needs of the community.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm consistently impressed with the info and reliability of ASF. Moreover, the staff's devotion is absolutely remarkable. Among non-profits, they stand out in their willingness to make sacrifices to improve the lives of people with autism and contribute to the latest research.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Autism Science Foundation remains true to its mission of improving the lives of families and individuals living with ASD through its excellent research grant programs. ASF not only funds the important endeavors of established scientists, but it also encourages younger, budding researchers to pursue autism research careers through summer grants.

Importantly, nearly each dollar donated to ASF goes directly toward helping individuals with ASD. The outcome of ASF-funded research on the needs of adults with ASD is an excellent example: the results of the study led to the development of new programs to support social skills training at work for adults with autism, and to training programs for parents of adults with autism.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a 26 year old high functioning autistic adult who works 20 hours a week. I want more people to know that there are possibilities out there. The Autism Science Foundation invited me to speak about my autism. It was the best day of my life to tell everyone how it feels to have autism. Autism Science Foundation made a difference for me and will make a difference in the future of autism.

1 Christine Matthews

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a mom to an autistic son, I have found the Autism Science Foundation to be truly remarkable with their funding directly to scientists to perform research to discover the causes of autism and develop the best treatments. I am proud to be able to take part in the ASF’s participation in the “It Takes Brains” outreach program in order to respond to the severe shortage of brain tissue so desperately needed for continued autism research. They are bringing to light an often difficult to discuss topic that addresses the need for brain tissue donation, through pre-registration, from people with autism, the families affected by autism and even unaffected people. The ASF also participates in numerous outreach events allowing for direct talk with the families about the importance of learning the early warning signs of autism and by providing them with the tools they need to become strong advocates for their children with autism.

1 Bill81

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the former creative director of Autism Speaks it was a honor to work with The Autism Science Foundation. Alison Singer and I worked together when she was at Autism Speaks and her vision and knowledge about autism science research is extraordinary. The top scientists in the country support the work that the The Autism Science Foundation is funding, like their Autism Brain Net program and their Wandering Study, which was published last year. In fact it was just announced that autism advocate Temple Grandin has agreed to donate her brain to the Autism Brain Net program. Wow!
I had the honor of working on their 5th year anniversary video and to see the work that The Autism Science Foundation has done in that short amount of time is mind blowing.

1 Mark Matthews

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am the father of a child with severe autism. I am extremely thankful that the Autism Science Foundation is in the forefront by encouraging families through outreach events to participate in autism research that will hopefully allow for more evidence based treatments that could be developed for my son and the multitudes of other children diagnosed with ASD. My dream of having my son live an independent life, as limited as it may be, is kept alive based on the efforts of a foundation such as the ASF.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of attending ASF's 5th Anniversary event in April. The information that was delivered that day from experts in autism research, individuals with autism, and Alison Singer, was amazing. Mrs. Singer and her staff are some of the most dedicated people in the nonprofit community. They continue to amaze with their dedication and drive to raise money, awareness, and support in the fight against autism.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Simply the most dedicated and focused organization I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Although somewhat small in size, they are quickly making up for it in stature by being an important player in providing both information to the autism community as well as spearheading an amazing number of important research initiatives.

Other non profits should take a long look at how an organization can remove itself entirely from internal conflicts and bickering, and spend all the time and resources staying focused on the job at hand.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the parent of a child with autism. I have worked with ASF on the formation and launch of It Takes Brains, the public outreach program of Autism BrainNet, which is a new group of leading research institutions that will collaborate on brain research. Scientists are unable to conduct this important research because of the severe shortage of donated brain tissue, and It Takes Brains is reaching out to families to register to donate brain tissue. I'm proud to support ASF, for its dedication to science-based research and its role in informing and supporting the autism community.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the parent of a child with severe autism, I am so grateful to ASF for fighting for research and treatments to improve the quality of life of individuals like my son. Their incredibly important projects include alerting the public to the issue of wandering in the autism community and funding research that will hopefully lead to new therapeutics for treating aggressive and self-injurious behaviors, and ultimately, core deficits in language and socialization. I have tremendous hope that someday my son will be able to lead a more independent, meaningful life because of strategies and treatments that became possible due to support from ASF.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a professional in field of autism and greatly appreciate the funding that Autism Science Foundation provides to scientists for research. I also have a great respect for the grant opportunities available to pre and post doctoral students. Further, I am most impressed by the great minds and people that comprise the scientific advisory board. I happen to work with two of these individuals on a daily basis which is enough alone to endorse Autism Science Foundation as a five star foundation! This is an amazing foundation that will continue to help change lives of children with ASD, their families and the professionals working with individuals on the spectrum, both nationally and internationally, for many years to come.