PLATINUM2024

American Kidney Fund, Inc. HQ

Fighting on all Fronts

aka AKF   |   Rockville, MD   |  www.kidneyfund.org

Mission

The American Kidney Fund 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 post-transplant living. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid.

Ruling year info

1971

President and CEO

Ms. LaVarne A. Burton

Main address

11921 Rockville Pike Suite 300

Rockville, MD 20852 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7124261

NTEE code info

Kidney (G44)

Diseases of Specific Organs (G40)

Specific Organ Research (H40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Patient assistance programs

We are proud to be the nation’s leading patient-focused kidney nonprofit, providing the largest and most comprehensive programs of charitable assistance to dialysis patients and recent transplant recipients in the United States. Our financial assistance programs help patients to maintain their health insurance coverage and pay for treatment-related essentials that insurance will not cover, such as transportation to dialysis, nutritional products and emergency assistance. We help patients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Our grant programs include:
 Health Insurance Premium Program, which provides grants to low-income dialysis patients to pay insurance premiums for Medicare, Medigap, COBRA, employer group health and other commercial health insurance policies. The majority of our grants are to help people afford their Medicare and Medigap premiums.
 Safety Net Program, which provides grants to pay for treatment-related expenses not covered by insurance

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

When a flood, hurricane, tornado or other disaster strikes a community, the American Kidney Fund’s Disaster Relief Program helps kidney patients get back on their feet. The program provides emergency grants to help patients replace medications, food and household items. pay for other lost necessities. and pay for transportation to treatment. AKF has provided significant assistance over the years during all major catastrophes, such as hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and more recently, Hurricane Ida, winter storms in Texas, and other local disasters.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

Empowering kidney patients and those at risk for kidney disease to live their healthiest lives is at the heart of our broad-based, award-winning education programs. We aim to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate content to our audiences, with a heavy focus on health literacy, to ensure everyone can easily understand and engage with our materials. We offer many of our materials in English and Spanish to help remove barriers to access and promote health equity.
 Know Your Kidneys empowers individuals to fulfill life’s possibilities by preventing or slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease.
 Looped In on Lupus Nephritis is an educational campaign aimed at improving diagnosis, awareness and equitable treatment of lupus nephritis.
 Our award-winning Kidney Today blog brings voices from the fight against kidney disease—patients, their loved ones, caregivers and more.
 Our award-winning website
 Free webinars for patients and caregivers
 Free online courses

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

To address the enormous public health threat of kidney disease, AKF reaches into communities at risk to increase awareness and empower those at risk to help prevent the disease.
• Kidney Action Week is a week-long, virtual event aiming to connect the kidney community with AKF’s on-going efforts to bring patient-centered kidney-related education to the public.
• The Kidney Health Coach program amplifies our outreach by training members of the community to spread awareness of kidney disease in group settings, one-on-one counseling in places of worship, or anywhere in their communities.
• AKF’s Kidney Disease Health Equity Coalition was formed in 2021 to advise and guide development of AKF’s health equity initiative.
• The Unknown Causes of Kidney Disease Project seeks to improve understanding of how undiagnosed or misdiagnosed causes of kidney disease directly impact patient care and outcomes: improving access to genetic testing , developing national s standards, expanding education

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Ethnic and racial groups

Since 1989, our Clinical Scientist in Nephrology (CSN) fellowships have funded some of nephrology’s brightest young researchers. The program is designed to improve the quality of care provided to kidney patients and to promote clinical research in nephrology. Our CSN fellows conduct prevention and outcomes research while receiving advanced training in essential skills such as medical ethics, biostatistics and epidemiology. Many former CSN fellows have gone on to distinguished careers in the field, conducting groundbreaking research that advances knowledge and treatment of kidney disease.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

The American Kidney Fund's more than 17,000 Ambassadors make up our Advocacy Network, and the team plays an important role in our efforts to raise awareness of kidney disease and ensure that every kidney patient has access to quality health care.
We advocate on behalf of more than 810,000 Americans living with kidney failure, the 37 million Americans with kidney disease, and the millions more who are at risk. Our Ambassadors perform a vital role by influencing legislators and thought leaders so that public policy aims to improve the lives of kidney patients. Our Ambassadors also educate communities about kidney disease, its causes, and how to prevent it.
AKF’s Living Donor Protection Report Card, first launched in 2021, offers a comprehensive look at how each state rates with regard to living donor protections and removing barriers to becoming an organ donor. In two years, 15 states have passed living donor protection laws spearheaded by AKF.
KidneyFund.org/Advocacy

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

Our nationwide grassroots fundraising community, KidneyNation, unites Americans who are raising funds to support AKF’s mission of helping people fight kidney disease and live healthier lives. Through KidneyNation, fundraisers can create uniquely personal fundraising campaigns that reflect their personalities, their interests and their reasons for funding the fight against kidney disease. Many members of the American Kidney Fund’s KidneyNation fundraise by doing the things they already love doing—everything from holding a bake sale to running a 5K race to climbing Mount Everest. Twice annually, the KidneyNation community participates in the 37 Mile Challenge, a special opportunity to run or walk 37 mile in one month to raise awareness and donations to support kidney patients across the U.S. KidneyNation.org

Population(s) Served

AKF identified a need from patients to deal with the financial impact of COVID-19 and provided $250 one-time Coronavirus Emergency Fund (CEF) grants to over 13,000 kidney patients in 2020.

Population(s) Served

National Virtual Camp Program, which brings virtual camp activities to children with kidney disease, providing an opportunity for them to share their experiences living with kidney disease and increase their confidence and self-esteem.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
People with diseases and illnesses
People with diseases and illnesses
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

4 star rating for 20 consecutive years 2021

Charity Navigator

Top Rated Charity A+ 2020

Charity Watch

Accredited Charity 2022

BBB for Nonprofits -Wise giving Alliance

Top Charity 2012

Consumers Digest

Best Places to Work 2021

Non-Profit Times

America's Favorite Charities 2021

Chronicle of Philanthropy

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of new advocates recruited

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Caregivers, Families, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Advocating for kidney patients

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AKF advocates for kidney patients. AKF has over 20,000 advocates. We fought against discriminatory health insurance practices & advocated for increased federal funding for kidney disease research.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

AKF has 157,000 patients, loved ones, renal professionals and people at risk following AKF on social media learning about the risk factors of kidney disease and how AKF financially helps patients.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Patient assistance programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

AKF provided treatment-related financial assistance to more than 81,000 people in all 50 states, DC and every U.S. territory in 2021, representing 1 out of every 6 U.S. dialysis patients.

Total amount of direct financial assistance to low-income ESRD patients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Patient assistance programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

AKF provided treatment-related financial assistance to more than 62,000 people in all 50 states, DC and every U.S. territory in 2021, representing 1 out of every 6 U.S. dialysis patients.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The AKF Strategic Plan contains two new critical focus areas. The first is to increase the proportion of persons with CKD who know they have impaired renal function, or high-risk factors for CKD, and by so doing, contribute to a reduction in kidney disease-related deaths and disabilities. This objective aligns with goals contained in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020 initiative. Specifically, the national goal is to increase by 4 percentage points the number of people ages 45 and older who have CKD and are aware they have reduced kidney function. The government measures awareness with the NHANES survey, which asks, “Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health
professional that you had weak or failing kidneys?"
CKD is a progressive condition. It has no symptoms in the early stages. Individuals with early CKD can only become aware of having CKD if they are tested for it. Early detection is the key to managing its progression and preventing CKD from leading to kidney failure, cardiovascular events, or death. Individuals with risk factors must know about CKD and their risk so they can request screening; and healthcare providers must test individuals who are at risk and explain to them their results.
In its earliest stage, stage 1, kidney function is slightly impaired. In its final stage, stage 5, kidney failure has occurred and the individual must have dialysis or transplant to survive.
Between 1999 and 2004, federal survey data showed that only 7.3 percent of adults 45 and older with CKD stages 1-4 were aware they had the disease.
Achievement of this Healthy People 2020 awareness objective will mean that by 2020, 11.3 percent of adults 45 and up who have CKD will be aware they have it. On a practical level, that means fewer people will experience cardiovascular events from undiagnosed kidney disease, fewer people will show up in emergency rooms with sudden symptoms, only to be told they are in kidney failure, and fewer people will die from CKD. More people will work with a physician to manage their early kidney disease, slowing or stopping its progression. More people will be able to prepare appropriately for dialysis if it is needed, and thereby have a greater likelihood of positive health outcomes. For all of these reasons, it is critical to increase the number of people who are aware they have CKD, or who know that they have risk factors for the disease and should be tested.
A nationwide effort is necessary to achieve this objective. No organization can do it alone. The American Kidney Fund will contribute to achievement of this Healthy People objective in several important ways. Our second focus area is to lead a long-term, strategic advocacy effort that engages patients, caregivers, strategic partners and others who will collaborate with AKF in a variety of ways to increase awareness and understanding of kidney disease among the public, media and policymakers.

Public awareness efforts, including media campaigns and community events, to alert individuals with diabetes, hypertension, and other key risk factors that they need to be tested for CKD; health education and kidney health screenings for individuals who have risk factors
for kidney disease; and Professional education for primary care practitioners to encourage screening of individuals with risk factors, and to encourage practitioners to consistently report test results and implications for health to patients.
Developing our nationwide Advocacy Network, by giving members the platform and educational tools they need to educate their friends, neighbors, communities and media about kidney disease;
Engaging our strategic partner organizations by providing kidney disease educational tools that they may use with their own constituents, and by enlisting their support to help us achieve key policy or legislative goals; and working with these key stakeholders to influence media and policymaker awareness and understanding of kidney disease.

AKF has grown into the nation's leading provider of charitable assistance to dialysis patients.• In 2021, AKF provided direct financial assistance to more than 81,000 low-income dialysis and recent transplant patients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and every US territory, gain access to lifesaving healthcare, including dialysis and transplant, by providing need-based grants to pay for health insurance premiums, transportation to treatment, prescription medications and nutritional products, and emergency assistance in the wake of natural disasters. With AKF’s support for health coverage they otherwise could not afford, nearly 1,900 dialysis patients had lifesaving kidney transplants and post-transplant care, representing 7% of all U.S. kidney transplants during the year. We provided more than 2,400 dialysis patients disaster relief assistance in the wake of storms, floods, and wildfires. We continued our Post-Transplant Testing Program, for low-income recent transplant recipients. Patients seeking help from AKF must demonstrate financial need through completion of a grant application. On average, our grant recipients have total household incomes less than $25,000 per year.
37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and most don’t realize they have it. AKF’s education programs help individuals identify their risks for CKD and manage CKD, kidney failure and co-morbidities. We reached millions of people in 2021 with awareness and prevention information on our website. Due to the pandemic, we transformed our national screening program into a virtual Kidney Action Week. We brought together patients, medical experts and advocates for 14 sessions that focused on healthy living in the face of kidney disease, with an emphasis on confronting health disparities. Our website, KidneyFund.org, had more than 14 million pageviews as we continued to add new educational content. We continued to build our diet and nutrition website for kidney patients, Kidney Kitchen, which now features over 500 recipes, all of which have been evaluated by a dietitian and tested by a professional chef. We continued to run awareness campaigns which focus on managing various aspects of kidney disease and its co-morbidities; free, monthly webinars for patients, families and caregivers; our Kidney Health Coach peer-to-peer community outreach program; and a comprehensive series of printed health education and disease management materials for people with kidney disease and kidney failure. We continually enhance our education content and offerings. In 2021 we expanded our information on anemia, gout, rare diseases, unknown causes of kidney disease and many other topics.

We provided treatment-related financial assistance to more than 71,000 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and every U.S. territory in 2021.

With AKF’s support for health coverage they otherwise could not afford, nearly 1,900 dialysis patients had lifesaving kidney transplants and post-transplant care, representing 7% of all U.S. kidney transplants during the year. We provided more than 2,400 dialysis patients disaster relief assistance in the wake of storms, floods, and wildfires. We continued our Post-Transplant Testing Program, for low-income recent transplant recipients. Patients seeking help from AKF must demonstrate financial need through completion of a grant application. On average, our grant recipients have total household incomes less than $25,000 per year.

37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and most don’t realize they have it. AKF’s education programs help individuals identify their risks for CKD and manage CKD, kidney failure and co-morbidities. We reached millions of people in 2021 with awareness and prevention information on our website. Due to the pandemic, we transformed our national screening program into a virtual Kidney Action Week. We brought together patients, medical experts and advocates for 14 sessions that focused on healthy living in the face of kidney disease, with an emphasis on confronting health disparities.

Our website, KidneyFund.org, had more than 14 million pageviews as we continued to add new educational content. We continued to build our diet and nutrition website for kidney patients, Kidney Kitchen, which now features over 500 recipes, all of which have been evaluated by a dietitian and tested by a professional chef. We continued to run awareness campaigns which focus on managing various aspects of kidney disease and its co-morbidities; free, monthly webinars for patients, families and caregivers; our Kidney Health Coach peer-to-peer community outreach program; and a comprehensive series of printed health education and disease management materials for people with kidney disease and kidney failure. We continually enhance our education content and offerings. In 2021 we expanded our information on anemia, gout, rare diseases, unknown causes of kidney disease and many other topics. We also published many additional pages for our Spanish-language website.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

American Kidney Fund, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

American Kidney Fund, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Maureen Franco

PRE Commercial

Term: 2021 - 2023

LaVarne A. Burton

American Kidney Fund ex-officio

Jerry D. Klepner

JK Consulting

John F. Hanley, CFA

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Elaine Milem

William J. Schuyler

DRI Capital

Julie Wright-Nunes, M.D., MPH

University of Michigan

Donna M. Christensen

Michael W. Flood

Northleaf Capital Partners

Pamela McNamara

Health Helm, Inc.

Silas P Norman

University of Michigan

Lisa A Robin

Federation of State Medical Boards

Andrew M. Shore

Jochum Shore & Trossevin

Heidi L. Wagner

Meter Health

Frances E. Ashe-Goins

Kenneth R. Bridges

Oliver Tate Brooks

Watts Healthcare Corporation

Jamie A. Green

Geisinger

Brian Krex

Clover Biopharmaceuticals

Gregory P. Madison

Sheild Therapeutics

John D. Ring

Tax Analysts

Sean P. Roddy

Society for Human Resources Management

Malay B. Shah

University of Kentucky

Melanie J. Turieo

PA Consulting Group

Priscilla VanderVeer

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America

Gail S. Wick

Trustee Emeritus

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/23/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/23/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.