Meeting Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King
Back in 2004, I had the privilege of meeting Elton John and Billie Jean King at the annual fundraiser of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) called Smash Hits. EJAF is a non-profit organization that aims to put an end to the AIDS epidemic by providing information and resources to prevent the infection and ensuring that people living with HIV have access to quality medical care and treatment. The foundation raises funds for evidence-based programs and policies, and advocates for the honest and compassionate representation of people's lives.
Elton John established the Foundation over 25 years ago in 1992, in the United States, and in 1993, in the United Kingdom, to address the global AIDS crisis and extend philanthropic support to those living with or dying of AIDS. With the help of generous supporters, the two foundations have raised over $350 million in the past 24 years.
Elton John AIDS Foundation
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) continues its mission of fighting for the dignity and well-being of every person by combating stigma, preventing HIV infections, ensuring universal HIV treatment, and pressuring governments to end AIDS. Although significant progress has been made in HIV prevention and treatment, universal access to healthcare remains a concern.
The U.S. foundation focuses on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean. It has been recognized as the largest funder of LGBTQ health programs in the country and the largest HIV funder of programs for transgender people by Funders for LGBTQ Issues and Funders Concerned About AIDS, respectively.
EJAF has been consistently recognized as a four-star charity for eleven years in a row by Charity Navigator, the highest rating possible. This signifies that the Foundation executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way and adheres to good governance and other best practices that promote ethical and transparent business dealings.
EJAF is financially stable and has a flexible grant-making philosophy, which allows it to respond quickly to medical breakthroughs, adjust its grantmaking priorities, and advocate for policies that protect and strengthen the health and rights of people affected by HIV/AIDS.