The American Kidney Fund in 2017 touched the lives of tens of thousands of people affected by kidney disease, providing financial assistance to 1 in 5 U.S. dialysis patients, giving free kidney health screenings to at-risk individuals nationwide, educating the public and kidney care professionals about kidney disease, and working to advance public policy on behalf of patients. This work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors nationwide. AKF spent 97 cents of every donated dollar on patient programs and education in 2017, earning the highest ratings from charity watchdog organizations.

Patient financial assistance

AKF provided treatment-related financial assistance to more than 93,000 people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and every U.S. territory in 2017, representing 1 out of every 5 U.S. dialysis patients.

  • Nearly 74,000 low-income people living with kidney failure maintained their health insurance coverage through our Health Insurance Premium Program 
  • With help from our Safety Net Program, 11,500 dialysis patients were able to pay for transportation to dialysis, nutritional products, emergency assistance and other expenses not covered by health insurance.
  • 1,600 patients received medications at no cost, helping them to manage common complications of kidney failure.
  • More than 3,600 patients affected by natural disasters received grants from our Disaster Relief Program.
  • 40 children with kidney disease received grants to attend summer camps specially equipped to meet their medical needs.

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Free kidney health screenings

We provided free kidney health screenings to more than 12,000 people in 23 cities nationwide in 2017. These screenings checked for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes and other important health measures. In four cities, we held Kidney Action Days, major community outreach events bringing free screenings and healthy living information to people at high risk for kidney disease.  

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Patient and public education

We provided education about preventing and treating kidney disease to millions of people in 2017.

  • Our outreach to increase awareness of kidney disease generated more than 800 million media impressions.
  • More than 2.8 million people visited our website,, to learn about kidney health.
  • More than 140,000 patients, caregivers and kidney care professionals participated in our social media community.
  • Nearly 1,900 AKF Kidney Health Coaches are educating their communities about kidney disease and how to prevent it. 
  • Our award-winning blog, Kidney Today, featured informative and lively content written by patients, health care professionals and others involved in the fight against kidney disease.

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Professional education

More than 6,700 health care professionals took AKF's nine free, certified online courses in 2017, obtaining continuing education about caring for people with, and at risk for, kidney disease. 

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Clinical research

AKF awarded its newest Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowship to Dr. Katherine Wang. She joins a long list of leading nephrology researchers who began their careers with an AKF fellowship since the Clinical Scientist in Nephrology program began in 1988. 

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AKF advocated tirelessly for issues of importance to kidney patients in 2017. We fought against discriminatory health insurance practices and advocated for increased federal funding for kidney disease research. Our Advocacy Network of patients, loved ones, caregivers and renal professionals grew to more than 8,700 members from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Members of our Advocacy Network sent thousands of communications to their elected representatives on issues that affect kidney patients, traveled to Washington, D.C. for meetings with policy makers, and visited their elected representatives in their home districts.

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Financial stewardship

We depend on the generosity of the American public to carry out our mission. We continue our longstanding record of spending 97 cents of every donated dollar on programs and services.

  • In 2018, we received our 17th consecutive “4-Star” rating from Charity Navigator. AKF ranks among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide out of more than 9,000 reviewed for fiscal accountability.
  • In 2018, we were again ranked in Charity Navigator's “Top 10" list of organizations with the most consecutive 4-Star ratings. AKF is the only health nonprofit included in the list.
  • We achieve GuideStar's Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition given to organizations that report metrics important to donors.
  • Consumer Reports listed the American Kidney Fund as one of two "high-rated" charities in the Health category. 
  • Our disaster relief efforts were recognized in Charity Navigator's lists of highly-rated organizations helping those affected by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the California wildfires.
  • AKF continued to maintain its A+ rating from CharityWatch in 2017.
  • Consumers Digest has named AKF one of the top three health charities in the country for spending efficiency. 
  • AKF continued to be a sealholder with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance in 2016.
  • We continued to meet the National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence in 2016.

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