Top 15 Private Donors to Global AIDS Relief

Private Philanthropy in the Spotlight

Photograph © Ramsey Jehm

According to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than a half of the donor countries contributing to global AIDS relief had reduced their donations in 2014.  Even the United States, which represents the lion's share of funding ($5.6 billion) only granted a scant 1% increase over 2013.

As global efforts are now in place to expand the testing, treatment and care of people living with HIV, private donors have had to increasingly step in to fill the budgetary gaps--to the tune of nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars each year.

They range from domestic philanthropic donors like the New York-based Robin Hood Foundation ($2.9 million in 2013) and France's Solidarité Sida ($5.2 milion) to such international funding organizations as Canada's Stephen Lewis Foundation  ($7 million) and the U.K.'s Comic Relief ($4.2 million).

The top 15 private donors, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Funders Concerned About AIDS, contributed over $450 million in 2013, with one not-for-profit organization contributing nearly a half of that amount.


Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). "Financing the Response to AIDS in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: International Assistance from Donor Governments in 2014." Menlo Park, California; report published July 14, 2015.

Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA). "Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2015." Washington, D.C.; published December 2014

15. Abbvie Foundation and AbbVie - $9.2 million

Dr. Gilles Wandeler (center) of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study received an AbbVie grant in 2013 for his research on late testing and treatment of HIV.. Swiss HIV Cohort Stduy

Amount: $9.2 million (2013)

Headquartered: Chicago, Illinois

Noteworthy Achievements: Among their charitable contributions, the pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie and the AbbVie Foundation have together donated $58 million in cash and products to the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, which serves over 216,000 children globally in seven countries.

14. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS - $10.5 million

Broadway Cares/ Equity Fights AIDS

Amount: $10.5 million (2013)

Headquartered: New York City

Key Achievement: Founded in 1988, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised over $200 million to support critical care services for people living with HIV. The organization's National Grant Program has distributed well in excess of $155 to community-based HIV service organizations throughout the U.S.

13. Open Society Foundations - $10.6 million

Used under a Creative Commons license at
World Economic Forum

Donated: $10.6 million (2013)

Headquartered: New York City

Key Achievement: Established in 1993 by business icon George Soros (pictured), the Open Society Foundations distributes a portion of it annual funding to programs that effectively address sexual health and  rights, with the aim of improving global HIV treatment policies and preventive services for affected populations.

12. Sidaction - $11.4 million

Sidaction's Ensemble Contre de Sida campaign in Paris, 2008. Sidaction

Donated: $10.5 million (2013)

Located: France

Key Achievement: Sidaction is a national charitable event in France that has been  raising funds since 1994  to address the medical care and social needs of those living with HIV, not only in France but in over 30 countries internationally.

11. Conrad N. Hilton Foundation - $12.7 million

Conrad N. Hilton at opening of the Amsterdam Hilton in 1962. Harry Pot/Anefo

Donated: $12.7 million (2013)

Headquartered: Agoura Hills, California

Key Achievement: The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, founded by the eponymous hotel tycoon in 1944, focuses much of it charitable efforts on addressing the medical and developmental needs of children under the age of five who have been affected by HIV in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia

10. Children’s Investment Fund Foundation - $12.8 million

Children's Investment Fund Foundation

Donated: $12.8 million (2013)

Headquartered: London

Noteworthy Achievement: Among its numerous grant intiatives, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) had reportedly distributed over $50 million in 2014 to increase the number of children receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy in association with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

9. South Africa's National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund - $13 million

Credit: National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund

Donated: $13 million (2013)

Headquartered: Pretoria, South Africa

Key Achievement: South Africa's National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) allocates proceed from its national lottery to fund social and arts programs across the country. Within the context of HIV/AIDS, the NLDTF primarily focuses on non-profits that provide care for orphans and vulnerable children in rural communities.

8. Aids Fonds/STOP AIDS NOW! - $14.4 million


Donated: $14.4 million (2013)

Headquartered: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Key Achievement: Aids Fonds, through its collaborative STOP AIDS NOW! campaign, provides HIV prevention, treatment, care and support to over 400,000 people in at-risk communities in sub-Saharan Africa. One such program is working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to ensure HIV testing of all 1.1 million citizens of Swaziland.

7. Elton John AIDS Foundation - $17.4 million

Elton John AIDS Foundation

Amount: $17.4 million (2013)

Location: London and New York City

Key Achievements: Founded in 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised over $200 million to support HIV/AIDS programs in 55 countries. The organization is renowned for its annual, high-profile Academy Awards Party in Los Angeles, which raised over $8 million in 2010  through ticket sales, donations and a celebrity auction.

6. ViiV Healthcare - $18.2 million

ViiV Healthcare

Donated: $18.2 million (2013)

Headquartered: London

Key Achievement: Viiv Healthcare, founded as a joint effort between pharmaceutical giants Glaxo Smithkline and Pfizer, is among the top contributors to global AIDS relief. One of ViiV's key initiatives is the Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF), which aims to support  the prevention of mother-to-child transmission in high prevalence populations. From 2009 to 2019, ViiV has committed to provide nearly $80 million in PACF funding.

5. The Ford Foundation - $19.7 million

Volunteers at the Ford Foundation-sponsored Greater Than AIDS campaign at the XIX International AIDS Conference. The Ford Foundation

Donated: $19.7 million (2013)

Headquartered: New York City

Key Achievement: Founded in 1936 by Henry and Edsel Ford, the Ford Foundation has long been recognized for its efforts to improve sexuality and reproductive health and rights aroudn the world. To that end, it supports such intiatives as the Greater Than AIDS campaign (pictured), aimed at ending HIV/AIDS discrimination and exclusion.

4. The Wellcome Trust - $26 million

Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies

Donated: $26 million (2013)

Headquartered: London

Key Achievement: The Wellcome Trust is the second largest private of medical research after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Among its many contributions to AIDS research, the Wellcome Trust enabled the construction of the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (pictured), which also functions as one of the region's largest antiretroviral therapy programs.

3. Gilead Foundation and Gilead Sciences - $26.8 million

Holy Name Medical Center's Korean Medical Program receives $300,000 Gilead Foundation Grant to improve hepatitis B screenings and treatment. Holy Name Medical Center

Donated: $26.8 million (2013)

Headquartered: Foster City, California

Key Achievement: The Gilead Foundation, established in 2005, along with pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences provide grants to HIV/AIDS programs both in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to direct support of AIDS research, their funding initiatives has supported such innovative HIV support programs as Metro TeenAIDS in Washington, D.C. and Grassroots Soccer in Zimbabwe.

2. M.A.C AIDS Fund and M.A.C Cosmetics - $39 million


Donated: $39 million (2013)


Key Achievement: Established in 1996, the M.A.C AIDS Fund has emerged as one of the most important and innovative private funders of HIV/AIDS programs worldwide. With its annual, celebrity-supported Viva Glam campaign, which directs 100% of the purchase price of its Viva Glam lipstick and lipglass to charity, the M.A.C AIDS Fund has raised in excess of $380 million, the proceeds of which support organizations serving underserved regions and populations.

1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - $209 million

Used under a Creative Commons license at
Kjetil Ree

Donated: $209 million (2013)

Headquartered: Seattle, Washington

Key Achievement: The names Bill and Melinda Gates have become synonymous with philanthropic support of HIV/AIDS research and programs worldwide and is today the single, largest private foundation in the world. As a private donor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alone contributed over $6 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and has been a major contributor to the Geneva-based GAVI Alliance (formerly known as the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization).

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