Our Support

£80 million

Grants awarded


Projects supported

our grant strategy

We now have the tools to contain and reduce the spread of the HIV virus.

And yet, almost 1.7 million people died of AIDS and related causes last year worldwide. In certain groups – such as Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM), Sex Workers and People Who Inject Drugs – the scale of the epidemic is actually growing, instead of decreasing.

The reasons for this trend are not that we do not have the tools and services to address the problem, but due to a lack of access to such tools and services.


We believe this lack of access is driven by stigma and discrimination. 

Vulnerable groups are those with the greatest need for help and support, and yet are the same groups who are most marginalised and isolated by their own governments, communities and society as a whole.

We believe that the only way to create an AIDS free future is to ensure that no one gets left behind in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We have therefore designed a new strategic response to fit the current epidemic, which will have a much greater focus on key populations at higher risk.

our commitments

The Foundation is committed to:

• No more new HIV infections
• No more AIDS deaths
• No more discrimination

This agenda informs our understanding of what we are achieving.  Monitoring our impact against these goals is central to our grant making strategy.

We also believe in partnership in our funding. As such we want to support the development of approaches and tools that will be used to implement successful programmes.

We want to agree on reporting and funding arrangements that are most efficient for both parties and we seek to champion partners’ work to others.

In line with the UNAIDS’s agenda, our grant making strategy is built around two key focus areas: vulnerable populations and large scale and grass roots initiatives.


Eligibility Criteria

1. You are an organisation

1. You are an organisation

You are applying on behalf of an organisation that is a registered not-for-profit or charitable organisation. We are not able to provide grants to individuals.

2. In a listed country

2. In a listed country

The project you are applying for located in one of the countries listed below. (Note: only those underlined are eligible for Pioneer Grants)


Botswana, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe


China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam


Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United Kingdom



Americas and the Caribbean:  





3. You match our priorities

3. You match our priorities

Your project matches our current funding priorities.

(see below)


This comprises two specific funds:




A Pioneer Grant will be to support a specific initiative focusing on an individual key population at higher risk – such as men who have sex with men (MSM), sex workers and injecting drug users – within an individual country.

Pioneer Grants can be multi-year, and do not have a prescribed award amount. They must fulfil the following criteria:

  • They must have a focus on service delivery
  • They must be catalytic in nature
  • They must be scalable in design
  • They must be innovative
  • They must operate within one of our programme countries
  • They must be able to track changes such as access to condoms, HIV testing and treatment of programme beneficiaries

Countries where the Pioneer Grant is applicable:

Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Myanmar (Burma), Nigeria, Russian Federation, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Zambia and Zimbabwe.






A Flagship Programme targets a specific vulnerable group through a number of related initiatives within an individual country.

Such programmes will look to genuinely ‘close a gap’ for a specific vulnerable group by engaging in a number of activities ranging from service delivery to advocacy.

Due to the complex nature of these programmes they are not open for application.

The Foundation will proactively identify partners working in its programme countries which are best placed to reach large numbers, have relevant expertise and can work in coalitions.

Flagship Programme applications are by invitation only.

Applying for a Pioneer Grant

We will be accepting Pioneer Grant Concept Notes again in early 2015. Please check back on the site or follow us on Twitter for news of the next funding round.



We want to help drive progress towards a future where no one is newly infected with HIV or dies of AIDS.  It is this momentum that has seen millions of people access life saving treatment in recent years, and new HIV infections drop dramatically in many countries.

To complement our priority focus on key populations at higher risk (see above), the Foundation will continue to play a role in regional and global initiatives that impact very large numbers of people living with or at risk of HIV.

It is also important to remember that the Foundation began 20 years ago with small, one-off grants to grassroots initiatives that could deliver tangible, immediate benefit to people living with HIV.

We believe this still has a critical place in the AIDS response and will continue to support these initiatives, which also give a personal voice to people most affected by the epidemic.

In line with this, we fund the following two programme types:



These are grants which drive momentum towards an AIDS free future because they have the potential to have an impact on large numbers of people.

Support Grants will be targeted at groups within the general population who we have long been invested in, namely vulnerable girls, women and children. They must fulfil the following criteria:

  • They must be aligned with the UNAIDS elimination agenda (Getting to Zero) and/or the UNAIDS Global Plan
  • They must allow for an unique EJAF contribution
  • They must already be working at scale

Support Grant applications are by invitation only.



In memory of Robert Key MBE (1947-2009), who co-founded with Sir Elton the UK arm of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Robert was the first Executive Director of the Foundation. He had a personal mission to provide support to individuals who had no access to treatment or were shunned and shamed because of their links to HIV.

Robert’s compassion guided the Foundation’s work as it grew across the world and made sure that people who are living with HIV are at the centre of what we do.

After his untimely death, a Fund was established in his memory  with the following features:

  • It is open to organisations that can demonstrate an immediate, tangible benefit for individuals living with HIV
  • Applications will be considered for awards of up to £10,000 per year on a rolling basis and may be for single or multi-year programmes
  • They must operate in one of the Foundation’s programme countries.

The Robert Key Memorial Fund is applicable in all 25 countries in which we currently fund and is open all year around.

Applying to the Robert Key Memorial Fund

If you are sure that your project meets all of the required criteria for the Robert Key Memorial Fund, then we invite you to complete and submit our online Concept Note Form.

Speculative applications by email cannot be accepted and all such applications will not be reviewed.