Stephen Lewis Foundation

260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 100
Toronto, ON M5T 2E4
Executive Director: Meg French
Board Co-Chair: David Morley

Charitable Reg. #:89635 4008 RR0001


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

[Charity Rating: 3/5]



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) 79 cents are available for programs.

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About Stephen Lewis Foundation:

Stephen Lewis Foundation is a 3-star charity with fair demonstrated impact. The charity has reasonable overhead spending and full financial transparency but has below-average accountability to donors in its C+ results reporting grade. 

Founded in 2003, Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) is a charity that works with local organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa to fight HIV/AIDS. SLF works in the 15 countries most affected by the AIDS pandemic.  Since its creation, it has partnered with 325 community-based organizations on more than 1,800 initiatives. SLF reports that in 2020, 37.7 million people were living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa. This represents two-thirds of all people with HIV. SLF runs programs in the key areas of Grandmothers, Orphans and Vulnerable Children, People with HIV/AIDS, and Women.

In F2021, SLF spent $2.6m on programs for Grandmothers, which represents 34% of total program spending. This program provides parenting help, leadership training, and income-creating opportunities to grandmothers in communities affected by AIDS. In 2020, over 50,000 grandmothers attended SLF support groups.

SLF spent $2.0m on programs for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, which represents 25% of total program spending. This program delivers HIV prevention, treatment, and care to children and youth to improve their lives. In 2020 it provided over 54,000 children with psychological support.

The charity spent $1.3m on programs for People Living with HIV/AIDS, which represents 16% of total program spending. This program aims to increase access to both testing and treatment for HIV. In 2020 SLF gave HIV testing and counselling services to 170,000 people.

SLF spent $550k on programs for Women, which represents 7% of program spending. This program aims to reduce violence against women and prevent HIV by improving reproductive health. In 2020, SLF helped 1,300 women and children access safe shelter.

The charity spent $1.0m on Project Support, which represents 17% of program spending. It spent $14k Monitoring and Evaluation, which represents less than 1% of program spending.

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Results and Impact

Stephen Lewis Foundation's latest data is dated 2020, although it is unclear if this represents calendar year data or fiscal year data. According to Stephen Lewis Foundation, 84% of HIV-positive people supported by its partners were consistently taking HIV medication in 2020.

Charity Intelligence highlights these key results. They may not be a complete representation of SLF's results.

Charity Intelligence has given Stephen Lewis Foundation a Fair impact rating based on demonstrated impact per dollar spent.

Impact Rating: Fair

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SLF received $9.9m in Canadian donations and $483k in international donations in F2021. This represents a 4% decrease in total donations from F2020. It also received $563k in federal government funding.

Fundraising costs are 14% of donations. Administrative costs are 7% of total revenues excluding investment income. This results in total overhead spending of 21%. For every dollar donated, 79 cents go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

SLF has $4.2m in funding reserves, of which $215k is donor endowed. SLF’s funding reserves, excluding donor-endowed funds, can cover annual program costs for 6 months.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Stephen Lewis Foundation for review. Changes and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on May 24th, 2022 by Arjun Kapur.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.5%11.0%9.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 14.3%12.5%16.7%
Total overhead spending 20.8%23.5%26.6%
Program cost coverage (%) 50.4%33.7%25.4%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 9,90810,0818,526
International donations 483701673
Government funding 5631870
Investment income 203951
Total revenues 10,97411,0099,251
Program costs - International 6,4816,4176,554
Program costs - Canada 1,3591,4741,810
Administrative costs 7121,209906
Fundraising costs 1,4181,2631,426
Total spending 9,97010,36310,696
Cash flow from operations 1,005646(1,446)
Capital spending 1428457
Funding reserves 4,1622,8602,329

Note: Ci used the charity's T3010a filing with the CRA to break apart international donations from Canadian donations. The T3010a filing was also used to separate international program costs from Canadian program costs. Amortization was removed from program, administrative and fundraising costs on a pro-rata basis.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 33

Avg. compensation: $83,179

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 F2020

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Comments & Contact

Comments added by the Charity:

The following comment is from a previous profile. Additional comments may be forthcoming. 

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.

Charity Contact

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Charitable Registration Number: 80340 7956 RR0001