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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Spondylitis Association of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arthritis, Arthritis Research, Health

Mission: Our mission is to be a leader in the quest to cure AS and related diseases, and to empower those affected to live life to the fullest. There are more than 100 types of arthritis. For over 25 years, SAA has focused on just one - yours. So that no one has to face spondylitis alone.

Programs: SAA provides public and patient education programs to facilitate early diagnosis, promote effective treatment, and encourage self-help care for optimal quality of life. 

SAA’s website, www.spondylitis.org, is updated regularly with the latest news and information about spondylitis treatment, medications and research. In addition, information about SAA events and seminars, supportive programs and the online Message Board community can also be found here.

SAA hosts free educational seminars in different metropolitan areas throughout the United States each year. All seminars include an experienced rheumatologist who provides an overview of spondyloarthritis along with current medications and other available treatments. Secondary speakers complement the program with presentations on other topics of interest including exercise, physical therapy, occupational therapy, the emotional impact of living with spondylitis, etc. These seminars provide an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and meet other people from the area impacted by spondylitis.

SAA offers free online seminar events, referred to as webinars. These webinars allow people to learn about specific spondylitis-related topics in the comfort of their home without having to travel. SAA hosts approximately 3 webinars each year; the live event is free and open to everyone in the spondylitis community. 

SAA provides a library of audio interviews (podcasts) to SAA members, which include questions posed to spondylitis experts to provide information on a wide range of topics including spondylitis symptoms, medications, treatment, complications, etc. Members are also asked to submit their own questions to be answered during future podcasts.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers of SAA are very knowledgeable about AS and are passionate about providing as much detailed educational information as possible. Their web site is an amazing resource as are their great volunteer support group leaders. I'm continually impressed by the compassion and caring of this organization. SAA is clearly very dedicated in it's quest to help find a cure for AS.

5 Charis H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2013 I faced a dearth of information I felt I could trust. I was skeptical of my doctors as well as what I could find online from resources that were supposed to be accurate but weren't. Then I found the Spondylitis Association of America. The staff and the website were and are easy to trust and navigate, and I know that the resources and information were and are reputable and up-to-date. I have even become friends with some of the staff through the years. I refer people to the SAA website all the time through my blog (www.beingcharis.com) and individually. I am also a volunteer support group leader (one of many SpA support groups sponsored by SAA across the USA) for people with spondyloarthritis and am proud to represent the organization in that small way. The SAA seems to balance a tricky mixture of good relationships with patients, researchers, pharmaceutical companies, and more with grace. I can't imagine living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and not having the SAA to turn to for advice, research reports, seminars, opportunities to engage, support for patients like me, and trusted current news and information.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am biased - I have been a contributing member of SAA for 20 years and joined the staff 1 1/2 yrs ago. I have an MBA in non-profit management and have been honored to work at many amazing non-profits over the last 25 years. So, from an inside, outside and professional viewpoint, SAA is a truly wonderful organization. EVERYONE on the staff is professional, dedicated and knowledgeable. SAA stays focused on the mission with every decision - to be a leader in the quest to cure AS and related diseases and to empower those affected to live life to the fullest. 2.7 million people live with SpA. Yet it is often an invisible and lonely disease that does not get the attention & funding that other issues get. With a relatively small budget -all from donations- the staff and volunteers produce high quality programs and continuous support. SAA is behind the scenes everyday pushing for advancement in the search for cure and care for people living with SpA. In this age, with so much mis-information circulating, SAA is a beacon of correct information. It's such a blessing to be a part of this team. When people are diagnosed, it is the SAA that provides an opportunity to meet others with AS. It was & continues to be the SAA that provides the information needed to manage the disease.

3 Diann P.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a longtime employee of the Spondylitis Association, I may be biased in my opinion but I hear everyday the firsthand outpouring of gratitude from the people who turn to SAA for information, resources, support, and sometimes just someone to listen who understands what they're going through. Knowing that the organization is making a difference is a powerful motivator and all of us here are honored to do our part for the spondylitis community.