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American Kidney Fund

Reaching Out; Giving Hope; Improving Lives

Needing dialysis is hard. It's even harder when you can't afford it. Donate to AKF and help people in desperate circumstances afford the healthcare they need to survive.

Why should I support your work?

The American Kidney Fund is the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease. Our mission is to help people fight kidney disease and live healthier lives, and we fulfill that mission by providing a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention activities, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. We also invest in clinical research to improve outcomes for kidney patients, and we fight tirelessly on Capitol Hill for legislation and policies supporting the issues that are important to the people we serve. We provide these critically needed services while maintaining a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s leading charity watchdog agency. For our excellent fiscal management, we are proud to be on Charity Navigator’s list of top 10 charities in the United States, out of 8,000 reviewed. We spend 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs that directly serve and educate patients and the public.

Why does your charity exist?

There are more than 678,000 people with kidney failure in the United States, an increase of 74 percent since 2000. Of the 678,000, 477,000 are on dialysis and 201,000 are living with kidney transplants. Nearly 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. The number of people who need kidney transplants is far greater than the number of available donor organs. About 19,000 kidney transplants are performed in the United States each year, so the vast majority of people who develop kidney failure will begin dialysis. Kidney failure is expensive—costly to patients, their employers, and taxpayers. The typical patient AKF assists with treatment-related expenses has an annual household income less than $20,000, yet faces out-of-pocket costs of nearly $7,000. The American Kidney Fund’s vision is a world without kidney disease. Until that day comes, every kidney patient should have access to health care and every person at risk for kidney disease should be empowered to prevent it. AKF exists to provide financial support to patients in need and deliver programs that educate, build awareness and drive advocacy, resulting in greater public understanding and ultimately the prevention of kidney disease.

What specifically do you do?

The American Kidney Fund provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention activities, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. We also invest in clinical research to improve outcomes for kidney patients and we fight tirelessly on Capitol Hill for legislation and policies supporting the issues that are important to the people we serve.

How will this make a difference?

30 million Americans are living with kidney disease and 1 in 3 are at risk. Kidney disease is an enormous public health threat and to address this, we provide many vital programs and services, including public and professional health education materials and courses, our Kidney Action Day community outreach program, our nationwide advocacy network and our toll-free HelpLine.

How is your work different from that of other, similar charities?

Last year, the American Kidney Fund provided direct financial assistance to 1 out of every 5 dialysis patients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and every US territory. No other organization comes close to providing this scope of direct financial support to patients in need. This financial support is a lifeline, ensuring that patients can maintain access to lifesaving health care.

What have you accomplished?

In 2016, 82,000 kidney patients maintained their health insurance coverage through our Health Insurance Premium Program. With the help of our Safety Net Program, 14,000 kidney patients were able to pay for transportation to dialysis, nutritional products, emergency assistance and other expenses not covered by health insurance. 1,400 patients received donated medications at no cost, helping them to manage common complications of kidney failure. We also provided education about preventing and treating kidney disease to millions of people. Three million people visited our website to learn about kidney health. In 25 cities nationwide, we provided free kidney health screenings to more than 10,000 people, checking for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes and other important health measures. More than 5,900 health care professionals took our free, certified online courses, obtaining continuing education about caring for people with and at risk for kidney disease. We awarded our newest Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowship, who joins a long list of leading nephrology researchers who have begun their careers with a fellowship since the program began in 1988. Nearly 1,500 people became Kidney Health Educators in their communities.

How can I be sure you’ll use my money wisely?

We are recognized as one of the nation’s most trusted nonprofit organizations. We continue our longstanding record of spending 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs and services. In 2016, we received our 15th consecutive "Four Star" rating from Charity Navigator, ranking among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide out of more than 8,000 reviewed for fiscal accountability. Additionally, we were named to Charity Navigator's "Top 10" list of organizations with the most consecutive "Four Star" ratings. In 2016, Consumer Reports listed AKF as one of the "Best Charities for Your Donations." We continue to maintain our A+ rating from CharityWatch. Consumers Digest has named AKF one of the top three health charities in the country for spending efficiency. AKF is a seal holder with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. AKF meets the National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence.