Through our programs of prevention, early detection, financial support, disease management, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. 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 2019, once again earning the highest ratings from charity watchdog organizations.

Making a direct impact on the lives of people affected by kidney disease

Through the largest national program of free kidney health screenings for at-risk individuals, AKF builds awareness of kidney disease among at-risk individuals and communities, and empowers them to do something about it by fostering prevention and early detection.

  • In 2019, we provided free kidney health screenings to more than 12,000 people in 30 cities nationwide. These screenings checked for indicators of kidney and heart health, diabetes and other important health measures.

AKF enables better health outcomes with direct, treatment-related financial support that ensures access to life saving care, making a tangible and lasting impact in people’s lives.

  • AKF is there for people with kidney failure who cannot afford the cost of care, providing lifesaving treatment-related financial assistance.
  • In 2019, we provided direct financial assistance to more than 84,000 low-income dialysis and transplant patients in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and every U.S. territory:
    • We helped nearly 74,000 patients pay their health insurance premiums so that they could access the health care they need to stay alive, including dialysis and transplant.
    • 1,400 low-income dialysis patients had kidney transplants and post-transplant care with AKF’s financial support, a scope of assistance for kidney transplant that is unmatched in the nonprofit community.
    • Through our Safety Net Program, more than 10,000 kidney patients were able to pay for transportation to dialysis, nutritional products, emergency assistance and other expenses not covered by health insurance.
    • We provided disaster relief assistance to more than 200 patients affected by hurricanes Barry and Dorian, as well as wildfires in California and flooding in Arkansas and Houston.
    • 66 children with kidney disease were able to attend specialized summer camps that are equipped to meet their medical needs thanks to our Summer Enrichment Program.

To help people with kidney disease lead longer and healthier lives, we provide education to both patients and health care professionals. Our top-rated education materials and award-winning education campaigns support patients in managing all aspects of this complicated and life-threatening disease.

  • In 2019, more than 3,350 health care professionals, patients and students registered to take AKF’s 10 free, certified online courses to obtain continuing education about caring for people with, and at risk for, kidney disease.
  • More than 100,000 people learned about living well with kidney disease by viewing our free monthly patient and caregiver webinars.
  • In 2019 we launched three major educational campaigns:
    • Kidney Kitchen, a one-stop resource designed to help put the joy back into food for patients who follow a restricted renal diet.
    • Beyond Bananas, an educational campaign designed to educate patients about the critical connections between potassium and kidney disease, with tools to help them have conversations with their care providers and resources to help them limit potassium in their diets.
    • We launched Know Your Kidneys, an education and awareness campaign that empowers individuals to fulfill their life’s possibilities by preventing kidney disease or slowing down its progression by understanding the central role of the kidneys in their overall health.

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Uniting people in the fight against kidney disease

We provide a platform for people to effect positive change in the future of kidney disease and build opportunities for patients and families to connect with each other.

  • More than 14,000 AKF Ambassadors from all 50 states participated in our Advocacy Network in 2019, fighting against discriminatory health insurance practices, and advocating for living donor protections and increased federal funding for kidney disease care and research.
  • More than 170,000 patients, caregivers and kidney care professionals followed AKF on social media in 2019.
  • More than 1,200 AKF Kidney Health Coaches educated their communities about kidney disease and how to prevent it.
  • 1,100 members of KidneyNation, AKF’s grassroots fundraising community, raised money in support of our mission through fundraising campaigns they designed themselves.

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Operating with urgency to achieve long-term positive change

We drive innovation through clinical research and strategic partnerships.

  • In 2019, we awarded our newest Clinical Scientist in Nephrology fellowships to Dr. Allison Potok of the University of California San Diego for her work investigating how differences in estimates of kidney function correlate with muscle mass and frailty in older adults, and Dr. Pablo Garcia of Stanford University for his research to better understand the causes and prognosis of primary tubulointerstitial kidney disease.
  • In 2019, we continued our partnership with TMF Health Quality Institute to insert a module on kidney disease into TMF’s six-week diabetes education curriculum. Over two years, 400 TMF Diabetes Health Educators in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Puerto Rico will be certified as AKF Kidney Health Coaches, using our curriculum to educate people living with diabetes on how to protect their kidney health.
  • We worked closely in 2019 with the kidney community and the federal government on initiatives that promise to drive innovation in kidney care.
    • We supported the Advancing American Kidney Health initiative and its goals of increasing awareness and early detection of kidney disease; increasing the use of home dialysis, and increasing the number of kidney transplants.
    • We supported efforts that resulted in federal funding for KidneyX, the Kidney Innovation Accelerator project, and increased funding for kidney research.
  • In 2019 AKF continued our work to break down barriers to clinical trial participation, particularly among members of racial and ethnic minorities, with enhanced educational materials and an awareness campaign.

We advocate for legislation and regulations that improve the health of people and families affected by kidney disease

  • We were instrumental in the passage of legislation to protects living donors and allow more Americans to consider living organ donation in 9 states.

We are raising awareness and increasing understanding of kidney disease on a national scale.

  • Our award-winning website,, received over 19.4 million pageviews in 2019 by visitors seeking to learn about kidney health.
  • Our outreach to increase awareness of kidney disease generated more than 2.4 billion media impressions in 2019.

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Working hard every day to earn our donors’ trust

We’re proud to be the most efficient and highest rated national kidney nonprofit in the United States, with 97 cents of every donated dollar invested in patients and programs.

AKF is one of the highest-rated organizations in the entire nonprofit sector, and holds the longest-running track record in the kidney community of top charity ratings.

Nearly 63,000 individuals across the country made charitable contributions to AKF in 2019 to support our programs.

We continued our longstanding record in 2019 of investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in patients and programs—not overhead.

  • We received our 19th consecutive “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator—one of only a handful of nonprofits nationwide with this distinction. AKF ranks among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide out of more than 9,000 reviewed for fiscal accountability.
  • We were again ranked in Charity Navigator's “Top 10" list of organizations with the most consecutive Four Star ratings.
  • We maintained GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition given to organizations that report metrics important to donors.
  • Consumer Reports listed AKF as one of the "Best Charities for Your Donations."
  • We continued 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 sealholder with the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.
  • We meet the National Health Council’s Standards of Excellence.

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