Major Gifts, Major Impact

Our revenue for the fiscal year totaled $1,102,938,000. Major gifts from individuals and foundations totaled $74.1 million.

Special designated funds allow us to fund entrepreneurs who invest in community-driven solutions to improve health and well-being by increasing access to healthy food, affordable housing and economic empowerment. They also address other environmental and societal factors that can take a heavy toll on health. These factors, known as the social determinants of health, are the conditions where people are born and live.

In the past fiscal year, the AHA received critical Social Impact Fund support from the following four foundations.

The Helen and Will Webster Foundation launched a Social Impact Fund in Los Angeles with a $1 million donation. These investments sustainably address the immediate needs of the pandemic and the underlying systemic challenges that have contributed to a disproportionate impact in under-resourced communities.

A $500,000 gift by the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation is supporting efforts to improve economic and social inequities in Utah by investing in community-based organizations led by women and people of color.

The KLA Social Equity Fund, in collaboration with the AHA, is connecting financial resources with nonprofit organizations committed to breaking down systemic inequities. This $1.5 million fund is supporting communities in and around San Francisco/Silicon Valley and Detroit, where KLA has its U.S. headquarters.

A generous donation by the FirstEnergy Foundation is being distributed through a series of multiple funding opportunities across FirstEnergy’s service area over four years. Reading, Pennsylvania, is the first community where funding will be provided for local businesses and nonprofits that are working to sustainably address health disparities.

Bernard J. Tyson
Bernard J. Tyson

The Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund was launched in honor of Bernard J. Tyson, the late chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente and a longtime member of the AHA Board of Directors and founding member of the AHA CEO Roundtable. The fund is reducing the social and economic barriers to health equity by investing in local social entrepreneurs and small businesses and organizations in under-resourced communities.

Generous donors who funded this important work this past year include the Walmart Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and Jeff Bezos.

Food insecurity was addressed in Chicago and Atlanta thanks to a $5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, as part of the Center for Racial Equity. Community-led organizations that received funds are led by people of color and/or women, and work in under-invested and food-insecure communities.

A $1 million donation by Kaiser Permanente honored Bernard J. Tyson and supports efforts in San Francisco and Oakland.

And Jeff Bezos provided generous support to the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, launching the fund in Seattle. 

Gary and Sue Ellis

Longtime volunteers Gary and Sue Ellis donated $1.2 million to support the AHA Social Impact Fund, which will support community-led solutions addressing health disparities in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Gary is the former chief financial officer of Medtronic, a medical devices company. As a volunteer with the AHA, he chaired the Greater Midwest Affiliate Board, served as national treasurer, national board chair and Cor Vitae Society co-chair for Minnesota. He also served on numerous task forces and committees.

“We are proud to fund the Twin Cities Social Impact Fund and look to fulfill the biggest need with the quickest impact to the community,” said Gary, whose father had open-heart surgery to repair a heart valve decades ago. “He survived the surgery but had some complications as a result and passed away when I was 14. Heart disease has also had an impact on other family members such as my father-in-law and mother-in-law as well as my granddaughter.”

Gary and Sue’s support will empower people in the Twin Cities to enjoy more time and memories with their loved ones.

Andréa W. and Kenneth C. Frazier

The AHA’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund also supports community-led health solutions, addressing problems including women’s health, mental health and access to health care. The fund received a $1 million donation from the Andréa W. and Kenneth C. Frazier Family Foundation supporting community health in Philadelphia.

Such support empowers organizations and social entrepreneurs to make a lasting impact in their communities, addressing high blood pressure, diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

“Health inequity is one of society’s most daunting challenges, and we are pleased to support the Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund as it delivers on its mission to foster health equity and economic empowerment,” Andréa and Ken Frazier said in a joint statement. “We are especially pleased that the organizations selected will complement the work of the Frazier Coalition in Philadelphia, which is aimed at connecting at-risk people with the health information and care they need to help prevent stroke, a leading cause of death in our city.”

More lifesaving gifts

Chicago donors and longtime volunteers and champions Valerie and Lee Shapiro paid tribute to moms everywhere on Mother’s Day by matching digital donations up to $1 million throughout May. Lee is treasurer of the AHA’s board of directors and has served on numerous task forces and committees.

Valerie Shapiro says her mother’s life was extended thanks to advances in care made possible by scientific discoveries funded and led by the AHA. At 71, Valerie’s mom had emergency triple bypass surgery. She eventually received an artificial heart valve and a pacemaker. As a result, Valerie gained years with her mom and is “forever grateful” for the gift of more time together with her best friend.

“We lost her five days before her 92nd birthday, but thanks to lifesaving research funded by the American Heart Association, our family made special memories for another 20 years,” Valerie said. “Lee and I both lost our mothers to cardiovascular disease, which is why we can’t think of a better time to honor moms everywhere than during the month in which we celebrate Mother’s Day.”

Voices for Healthy Kids received $14 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to improve or create equitable policies that will make the places kids, live, learn and play healthier. The initiative supports local, tribal and state policy change efforts that will dramatically improve the health of children who are Black, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaskan Native, or families who have low income. The support comes through grant opportunities, technical assistance and capacity building.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also donated $1.5 million to strengthen state and local campaigns to defend, oppose and repeal harmful preemption policies. Preemption occurs when states block communities from passing or strengthening laws.

In 2020, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the AHA created a Preemption Policy Fund to address these concerns. Additional funders include the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

E-cigarettes are threatening to reverse decades of progress in reducing youth tobacco and nicotine use. The Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation gave a $3.5 million gift to support the AHA's advocacy efforts to protect today's youth and future generations from tobacco and nicotine addiction.

The Rockefeller Foundation committed $2.3 million to the AHA, alongside the Alliance for Bioversity International-CIAT, to establish the Secretariat for the Periodic Table of Food Initiative. The revolutionary global science and technology platform is connecting the scientific realms of health, food and agriculture.

Greater Houston Community Foundation
The AHA is investing $1 million to expand efforts to build a healthier food system and address food insecurity in Houston’s most at-risk communities, thanks to anonymous support from a Houston family. The comprehensive, collaborative program will improve nutrition security for thousands over the next five years.

A $1 million gift by the Anita James Rosen Foundation is supporting the AHA’s mission. John and Jeanette Staluppi are supporting the Go Red for Women campaign in Palm Beach through a $500,000 donation.

And longtime supporters Corrine and Thomas R. Greco, president and CEO of Advance Auto Parts, made a $500,000 gift through a donor-advised fund in support of the Triangle Heart Walk and community CPR initiatives.