Vandross died in July 2005 at age 54, more than two years after suffering a debilitating stroke. The R&B icon had a family history of diabetes, and he suffered from the disease, the foundation said.
"Luther was one of the most generous persons whose personality and talent left an imprint on everyone," Carmen Romano, his longtime business manager and executor of his estate, said in a statement. "Given his family history of diabetes, and his own personal struggle with the disease, it was important for him to help find a cure for diabetes."
"Luther's gift will live on in the hope and promise of a better life and ultimately a cure for all people touched by diabetes. His generosity will help speed the pace of research leading to a cure," added Amy Franze, executive vice president of development for JDRF.
The foundation did not specify the amount of the gift.