Charity Choices

A Resource for Donors

Still Fighting on All Fronts

Today American Kidney Fund is providing life-saving financial assistance to more than two million kidney patients
"Making a tangible positive difference in the lives of people with kidney disease and those at-risk has been at the heart of AKF’s mission since its founding."


Fifty-two years ago, a small group of friends created a nonprofit that in its first year saved the lives of 79 people with kidney failure, and a mission was born. Today, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is still fighting for patients and families, driven by the same spirit of compassion and commitment that fueled its founding in 1971.

AKF fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. Through programs of prevention, early detection, financial support, disease management, clinical research, education, and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF.

Making a tangible positive difference in the lives of people with kidney disease and those at-risk has been at the heart of AKF’s mission since its founding. With the support of the AKF community, we have…

  • Provided lifesaving financial assistance to more than 2 million kidney patients.
  • Funded clinical research grants to more than 50 scholars through the Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program.
  • Provided access to award-winning education content on to millions of people.

For decades, AKF has been working to combat the disproportionate impact that kidney disease and kidney failure has on historically populations underserved by the health care system. Now AKF’s Health Equity Initiative aims to tackle health inequities with a particular focus now comprising four pillars:

  • Preventing and slowing the progression of kidney disease
  • Increasing diversity in clinical trials to reflect the populations the medications will treat
  • Increasing awareness and utilization of home dialysis, which can result in better outcomes, as an available treatment option
  • Increasing access and removing barriers to kidney transplantation among people of color

AKF’s recently launched Kidney Health for All website serves as an online education hub for education and outreach and provides tools to help people take lifesaving action.

In addition to the Coronavirus Emergency Fund, AKF also offers financial assistance through our Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP), Safety Net, and Disaster Relief programs. Patients experiencing financial devastation from kidney failure access lifesaving care through AKF’s financial assistance programs, which helped nearly 75,000 low-income dialysis and transplant patients in 2022. .

The American Kidney Fund also reaches at-risk individuals and communities and empowers them with prevention education and early detection. AKF enables those with kidney disease to live their healthiest lives through disease management education, award-winning public and professional health education materials, courses, webinars, and AKF’s virtual Kidney Action Week. Kidney Action Week has previously included cooking and fitness demonstrations, “Ask a Nephrologist” and “Ask a Dietitian” webinars, and a special Congressional briefing to educate policymakers about the crisis in kidney disease.

Finally, AKF drives innovation through strategic partnerships and investment in clinical research to improve patient outcomes and fights tirelessly for legislation and health policy to improve the lives of kidney patients.

AKF is one of the nation’s highest-rated charities, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in patients and programs. Charity Navigator has awarded AKF its highest rating for 20 consecutive years, recognizing AKF’s outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and Candid (formerly GuideStar) has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.