Elton John AIDS Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) is a major grantmaker in the HIV/AIDS field, but is not an endowed foundation. It raises money from donors and then distributes grants to like-minded organizations throughout the year.

IP TAKE: EJAF is not afraid to fund the gritty, front-lines work required to prevent and hopefully eliminate AIDS. Its efforts reach some of the most marginalized groups in the United States. 

PROFILE: Initially established in 1992 as a pass-through organization for funds coming from the National AIDS Fund and others, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has revised its focus to be as much about fundraising as activism. With branches in the United States and the United Kingdom, EJAF has raised over $300 million for AIDS research and support since its founding. The foundation’s New York office handles grantmaking activities taking place in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and South America, while the United Kingdom office also supports work in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

EJAF supports EJAF supports HIV/AIDS organizations whose work aligns with its grantmaking priorities, which include wellness, rights, quality of life and resilience for people affected by HIV. Its main targeted areas are gay men, youths, black communities, injection-related HIV, former prison inmates, and government HIV programming. EJAF prefers organizations that are “led by and based in the communities being served,” “advocating for improved government health policies,” “piloting or scaling up innovative programs,” “grounded in evidence about where and among whom HIV infections are happening,” and demonstrate “a history of activism, creativity, and urgency.”

Most grants out of EJAF range from $50,000 to $150,000, with occasional awards in the $300,000 to $1 million range. For a better idea of the type of HIV/AIDS work EJAF supports, review its Past Grants.

EJAF accepts Letters of Inquiry between May 1 and June 15. The foundation releases a Call for Proposals at the start of each calendar year.


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