Stephen Lewis Foundation

501-260 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2E4
Executive Director: Ilana Landsberg-Lewis
Board Chair: Stephen Lewis

Charitable Reg. #:89635 4008 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity’s website.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 83 cents are available for programs.

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About Stephen Lewis Foundation:

Founded in 2003, Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) works with community-based, grassroot organizations fighting HIV/AIDS in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since its start, SLF has worked with 300 organizations, funding more than 1,400 initiatives to tackle the HIV/AIDS problem. SLF funds grassroots organizations that provide counselling and education about HIV prevention, care and treatment; distribute food, medication and other necessities; reach the sick and vulnerable through home-based health care; help orphans and vulnerable children access education and work through their grief; and support grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 68% of all people living with HIV in the world, but has only 3% of the global health workforce. SLF particularly supports grandmothers, women, and orphans, since the charity believes they are the worst victims of AIDS and HIV. SLF calculates there are close to 3 million children living with AIDS and approximately 14 million orphans of AIDS in Africa – of these orphans, 40-60% live with their grandmother.

In F2016, Stephen Lewis Foundation spent $3.3m on programs for grandmothers, $1.8m on orphan support, $1.0m on women support, $989k on other AIDS and HIV victims programs and $1.2m on special initiatives. In its 2016 annual report, SLF states that through its partnership with Stepping Stones International in Botswana, 26 of the 50 young mothers who graduated from Stepping Stones’ income generation programme already have jobs or have started their own businesses. Community Asset Building and Development Action, one of SLF’s partnerships in Kenya, reports that 100 caregivers now generate income after receiving business management training. Both partnerships focus on improving financial stability in families affected by HIV/AIDS to ensure those living with the disease can receive the care they need.

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Stephen Lewis Foundation is a big-cap charity, with donations of $12.0m in F2016. Administrative costs are 8% of revenues and fundraising costs are 9% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.83 goes towards its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Of the charity’s $5.1m in funding reserves, $195k are endowed. Excluding endowed funds, SLF’s reserves can cover only 52% of annual program costs, indicating a funding need.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Stephen Lewis Foundation. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 23, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.1%8.6%9.1%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 8.7%11.1%10.9%
Program cost coverage (%) 54.3%54.0%47.4%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 12,04910,52610,388
Investment income 334047
Total revenues 12,08210,56710,435
Program costs - International 8,3837,0917,301
Program costs - Canada 9339931,037
Administrative costs 977901946
Fundraising costs 1,0501,1691,131
Cash flow from operations 73941321
Funding reserves 5,0624,3663,948

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 33

Avg. Compensation $65,277

Top 10 staff salary range

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The Stephen Lewis Foundation partners with community-based organizations that are working on the frontlines of the HIV & AIDS epidemic in Africa. Many of these organizations were originally formed by small groups of  individuals responding to the crisis AIDS had wrought in their own  lives and in the lives of their neighbours, and have developed over the  years into thriving local institutions. All of our partners have deep connections with their communities, and operate their programmes with the assistance of extensive networks of community volunteers.  Through our partnerships, the Foundation has been supporting people in the African countries hit hardest by AIDS to design and implement their own solutions to the multiple devastations, losses and challenges inflicted by the epidemic.


Our partners’ work is holistic and people-centered. Community-based organizations are helping to deliver life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) medication and healthcare, but they are also doing so much more. The task they have set for themselves goes far beyond tackling the medical aspect of the epidemic. Their programming aims, ultimately, to restore hope, dignity and possibility to individuals and their communities, so that they can begin to move forward again with their lives.


This approach makes all the difference in the world. To HIV positive children, who not only receive medication, but also benefit from community care, counseling, music and play therapy, educational assistance, and peer support. To teenage girls, who have new opportunities to stay in school, get better protection against exploitation and violence, and are joining with the youth in their communities to challenge discriminatory and dangerous ideas about sexuality and male control over women. To grandmothers, who finally have help in their struggle to raise a generation orphaned by AIDS, are now seeing hope for their grandchildren’s futures, and are gaining greater respect and protection for their rights. And to the people living with HIV & AIDS, who are regaining their strength, rebuilding their lives, and working together with their governments to ensure that the promise of ‘treatment for all’ becomes a reality.


SLF partnerships are enabling immediate investments in service delivery to translate, over time, into more substantial, longer-term benefits for people and their communities. Immediate needs are met through SLF support to help cope with crisis: entry into treatment, entry into school, adequate nutrition, removal from violent situations, adequate housing, and counseling and therapy. Once those needs are met, further investment is made to help individuals and communities regroup and rebuild, in areas such as income generation, medical care, and positive living. And particular attention is paid to psychological and emotional well-being, and the bonds that connect people—nurturing relationships within families, creating social networks through child, youth, and granny groups, or community organizations.


With this comprehensive support, stability begins to return. Children stay in school, HIV positive people stay on treatment, family units function, and small but reliable incomes are produced. Ultimately, there are signs that people have recuperated to the extent that they have regained their self-determination and can take active control over their own lives. Children graduate from school and start working, women become community leaders, and local groups engage with their governments to claim their rights.

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