Chris and Bill Johnson
19 Mar 2024

Making an Impact Through Recurring Monthly Donations: Chris and Bill Johnson

Through their monthly recurring donations to HudsonAlpha, Chris and Bill Johnson are impacting the lives of people around the world

Chris and Bill Johnson are two of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology’s most passionate champions. From free public educational seminars to annual fundraisers, the Johnsons are present at most HudsonAlpha events, either as members of the HudsonAlpha Impactors volunteer group or as attendees, and always sporting a warm and eager smile on their faces. 

“We’ve been hooked on HudsonAlpha ever since we attended Dr. Neil Lamb’s Biotech 101 many years ago,” said Chris. “After we finished Bioech 201, we realized we wanted to do more for HudsonAlpha and made the easy decision to support HudsonAlpha philanthropically.”

A retired nurse, Chris is fascinated by the medical world and has enjoyed discovering how HudsonAlpha’s research is improving healthcare for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and rare diseases. Though Bill worked in business management, his childhood summers spent on his family farm have given him a keen interest in HudsonAlpha’s work in plant genomics, improving agriculturally significant crops to help feed, clothe, and fuel the world.

“HudsonAlpha is all about helping people,” said Bill. “That’s our priority for philanthropic giving. HudsonAlpha helps people to be healthier, physically and financially. The human health research ensures patients have access to cutting-edge medical care to be well, and the plant genomics research ensures families get fed and farmers’ livelihoods are protected.” 

Monthly donations to the HudsonAlpha Foundation allow the Johnsons to support HudsonAlpha’s mission across many different programs, from human health, to plant genomics, the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine, and the Institute’s educational programs. 

Read on as Chris and Bill share about what inspires them to support HudsonAlpha and why recurring monthly donations is their preferred way to give.

HudsonAlpha Foundation: What has inspired you to be a regular supporter of HudsonAlpha?

Chris Johnson: We all know someone who has been affected by a disease HudsonAlpha studies, whether it’s cancer, neurodegenerative diseases or a rare disease. Being a small part of the healthcare advances HudsonAlpha drives is amazing. I also love how accessible genomic medicine is through the Hero Fund at the Smith Family Clinic. Bill and I both grew up fairly poor, so limited resources is something we’ve experienced personally. For the clinic to be able to help people who can’t afford care but need it, that’s a big part of what motivates us to keep giving.

Bill Johnson: I worked on my uncle’s farm every summer when I was younger and have a deep appreciation for the plant genomics work HudsonAlpha does. I’m interested in processes that increase efficiency and yields from land to help feed more people around the world.

HAF: You support HudsonAlpha through monthly recurring gifts, which is an incredible way to make a big impact on our mission. Why did you choose to be a recurring donor?

CJ: Recurring giving is the easiest way to give for us. We don’t have to think about it and we have the peace of mind of knowing we won’t forget to give. Plus, it feels like less of an impact on our cash flow when we break it down month by month.

HAF: What makes recurring giving the best option for you?

BJ: Monthly donations allow us to have a bigger impact on HudsonAlpha’s mission and we can be consistent about showing support. We are so passionate about HudsonAlpha and would not feel good about forgetting to make a donation, so this helps us meet our philanthropic goals.

CJ: Recurring giving can also be flexible for a lot of people’s situations. Our monthly donations are smaller than our utilities bill, but it adds up to make a lot at the end of the year.

HAF: For donors who may also be considering making a recurring gift of their own, what would you tell them? Why be a recurring donor?

CJ: Your money is important. You can make a big impact and help find solutions to some of our world’s biggest problems through monthly giving. Never underestimate the value of that small gift you might make because it adds up to make a big difference. 

HAF: What value does the Institute bring to our community, and why should other donors support it?

CJ: HudsonAlpha is an asset to our community, to Alabama, our country, and beyond. It’s producing tremendous amounts of scientific, economic, and educational results. The outcome of HudsonAlpha’s work will change the world and the next generations will see the benefits of it. 

BJ: I’m so proud of the city of Huntsville and HudsonAlpha for being a part of our community. Chris and I donate to HudsonAlpha as a way to give back to our community, but by doing that we also help the rest of the world. Giving to HudsonAlpha isn’t just a pebble in the pond, it’s a boulder.

As a nonprofit organization, HudsonAlpha relies on philanthropic support to fuel genomics research, STEM education, and the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine.
If you’re interested in learning how you can support HudsonAlpha through a monthly recurring donation, please contact Elizabeth Herrin, Senior Director of Advancement, at or 256.327.0442.