Staying Alive Foundation: Grants for Global Health

OVERVIEW: The Staying Alive Foundation supports global HIV projects and campaigns that address discrimination, increase awareness, promote safe sex, and increase sex education amongst youth populations around the world.

IP TAKE: This foundation exclusively supports youth-led HIV prevention projects. Since this grantmaker prioritizes small and grassroots organizations, it is an excellent resource for campaigns seeking to effect positive change in the field of HIV prevention within their local youth communities.

PROFILE: In 1998, MTV launched Staying Alive, an international initiative focused on encouraging young people to protect themselves against HIV. MTV also created a documentary of the same name as an effort to further its HIV prevention goals. In 2005, MTV International, along with its partners, turned the initiative into the Staying Alive Foundation. The foundation seeks to "[b]uild an empowered and educated generation of young people, equipped with the tools and knowledge to protect themselves and their peers from the HIV epidemic." The foundation operates in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Staying Alive was specifically created to support youth-led (ages 15 to 27) HIV-prevention organizations. According to the foundation, young people ages 15 to 24 account for over 40 percent of new HIV infections and HIV-related deaths have increased by 50 percent among 10 to 19-year-olds since 2001. 

Generally, the foundation supports global HIV projects and campaigns that fight discrimination, increase awareness, promote safe sex, and increase sex education. The foundation also supports media campaigns that are bringing awareness to and creating a positive response to HIV prevention.

Staying Alive awards small grants that range from about $5,000 to $15,000. Exact grant amounts are difficult to clarify since Staying Alive is not one of the more financially transparent foundations. Its most recent tax filings only specify a region and total grant amounts, rather than individual grantee listings. 

In addition to financial support, Staying Alive also offers grantees “Staying Alive materials (including programming and teaching kits), a small fund to buy technical media equipment, a local mentor, a personal grant manager, as well as training and development.”

Grants are typically awarded for a period of 12 months, and existing grantees are encouraged to reapply for multi-year support after their initial grant period has ended. Multi-year support is capped at four years. There are no stated geographic restrictions for Staying Alive grants, but the foundation largely supports projects in developing countries where HIV is most prevalent amongst youth. 

Staying Alive accepts unsolicited applications. Grantseekers should keep an eye on its website to stay on top of upcoming deadlines.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)