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) 71 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. It has a B+ results reporting grade, which is above average. For every dollar donated to the charity, 71 cents go to the cause, which is inside Ci’s reasonable range. 

Founded in 2003, Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) is a charity that works with local organizations to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS in the 15 countries most affected by the HIV pandemic. SLF partners with organizations led by community members across sub-Saharan Africa. The charity states that Africa is home to 67% of all people living with HIV worldwide. Despite this, Africa has only 3% of the global health workforce. In 13 of the 15 countries SLF operates in, there are fewer than three doctors for every 10,000 people. Stephen Lewis Foundation has five main programs: Grandmothers, Orphans/Vulnerable Children, Support for People Living with HIV and AIDS, Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, and LGBTIQ Partners in Pride.

Grandmothers: In F2022, SLF spent $2.6m on its Grandmothers program. This represents 42% of total program spend. Stephen Lewis Foundation’s partners provide healthcare, grief counselling, parenting assistance, leadership training, and income generation. These programs are led by grandmothers in the local area. In F2022, SLF partnered with 22 organizations across seven countries. The charity reports it rebuilt or improved 200 homes. In F2022, 15,599 grandmothers participated in income-generating activities. 40,000 grandmothers received caregiving training, such as parenting while living with HIV and AIDS. SLF reports 165 Grandmother groups are currently active.

Orphans/Vulnerable Children: In F2022, SLF spent $1.8m on its Orphans/Vulnerable Children program. This represents 29% of total program spend. Stephen Lewis Foundation’s partners deliver HIV treatment, care, prevention, and education to youth across sub-Saharan Africa. In F2022, SLF partnered with 57 local organizations. The charity reached 38,000 youth through its peer support groups.

Support for People Living with HIV and AIDS: IN F2022, SLF spent $812k on its Support for People Living with HIV and AIDS program. This represents 13% of total program spend. Stephen Lewis Foundation’s partners provide support to those living with positive HIV. This includes provision of treatment and counselling. With exemplar living conditions, stigma and discrimination of AIDS also decrease. In F2022, over 160,000 people received HIV counselling and testing services. Near 20,000 people tested positive, of that 64% were female.

Ending Violence Against Women and Girls: In F2022, SLF spent $561k on its Ending Violence Against Women and Girls program. This represents 9% of total program spend. Stephen Lewis Foundation states that females are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence and HIV. Gender inequalities limit freedom, autonomy, and access to social and economic opportunity. Stephen Lewis Foundation’s partners help females enact their right to take control of their reproductive health, prevent HIV transmission, and live free from violence. In F2022, Stephen Lewis Foundation partnered with 32 organizations. SLF reports that 1,100 women and children escaped violence and accessed shelter.

LGBTIQ Partners in Pride: In F2022, SLF spent $471k on its LGBTIQ Partners in Pride program. This represents 7% of total program spend. Discrimination against LGBTIQ communities create challenging barriers to health and social services. Stephen Lewis Foundation’s partners provide healthcare, counselling, and legal and economic support for LGBTIQ communities. In F2022, SLF partnered with 15 LGBTIQ organizations. Partner organizations provided support for over 40,000 people.

Stephen Lewis Foundation reported an additional $1.8m in program support and initiatives that was not included in international program costs. This represents 22% of total program expenses. 

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Results and Impact

76% of all clients helped through the Support for People Living with HIV and AIDS program adhere to antiretroviral therapy. Stephen Lewis Foundation reports this is a result of its support.

In F2022, SLF’s partners provided women with legal support. This resulted in prison sentences or protection orders issued against 60 offenders.

The Grandmothers program received a Geneva Forum Health Award in 2018.This award is granted to a program which has proven disruptive innovation and has potential to become global best practice.

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 $9.0m in Canadian donations and $271k in international donations in F2022. The charity also received $119k in government funding, representing 1% of total revenue.

Fundraising costs are 21% of donations and administrative costs are 8% of total revenues excluding investment income. This results in total overhead spending of 29%. For every dollar donated, 71 cents are available to go to the cause. This is within Ci’s reasonable range of overhead spend.

Stephen Lewis Foundation has $2.9m in reserve funds. Of this, $543k is externally endowed. Excluding external endowments, SLF’s reserve funds can cover 29%, or 3.5 months of its annual program costs. This indicates SLF has a high need for funding.

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 30th, 2022 by Liam Chapleau.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 8.0%6.5%11.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 20.6%14.3%12.5%
Total overhead spending 28.5%20.8%23.5%
Program cost coverage (%) 28.7%50.4%33.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 9,0089,90810,081
International donations 271483701
Government funding 119563187
Investment income 142039
Total revenues 9,41210,97411,009
Program costs - International 6,3016,4816,417
Program costs - Canada 1,8061,3591,474
Administrative costs 7487121,209
Fundraising costs 1,8551,4181,263
Total spending 10,7099,97010,363
Cash flow from operations (1,297)1,005646
Capital spending 91428
Funding reserves 2,8604,1622,860

Note: SLF’s audited financial statements did not separate Canadian and international donations. As such, Ci used the T3010 to account for international donations, and subtracted the amount from Canadian donations.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 33

Avg. compensation: $91,709

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 F2022

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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