Hacks for SSP Fundraising

Foundation Grants

Foundations are private funds established by either community groups or, more commonly, private individuals, families, corporations and/or community groups. Foundations often start with a large sum of money called an “endowment”. The endowment acts as the seed capital for investments and grants mostly come from the interest on those investments.

Because of their controversial nature, harm reduction programs have historically had a hard time receiving foundation funds. Only a small number of foundations, most notably the Comer Family Foundation and Open Society Foundation, were initially interested in funding syringe access and harm reduction. In the beginning of the HIV epidemic, it was even difficult to get funding for any HIV related services. To join the fight against HIV by providing funding, several celebrities or groups formed their own foundations. Those that also provided funds for harm reduction included Broadway Cares, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and the Liz Taylor fund. In the mid-2000s these foundations came together under the umbrella of AIDS United to form the Syringe Access Fund, which has been a major national supporter of SSPs.

Community, regional, and population-specific foundations have been an additional source of funding for harm reduction organizations.

More Resources

Don’t reinvent the wheel
During our development Harm Reduction Hacks have collected together a large number of resources from around the web you can find these in our resource folder in Google Docs. We are also always looking for more so help us by suggesting any resources we may have missed.
Suggest a Resource

External Resources

Collected from around the web
There are a number of external resources that contributed to the development of Harm Reduction Hacks. Here are a selection relating to this section:


The hacks on this site are shared with you under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence. This allows you (with attribution) to adapt content for your own use, although we do ask you to then also allow others to have equal access to anything you develop. More details of this licence can be found on the Creative Commons website.


We do not claim that this is an exhaustive set of strategies, shortcuts, or tips for running an SSP. What we do suggest is that Harm Reduction Hacks offers down-to-earth, practical information for being a better leader, starting and running an SSP, and providing syringe access services. We feel we can say this with confidence because the Hacks are based on interviews with, and the experiences of, literally generations of people who have been doing harm reduction work.

Please note that nothing in this guide should be construed as legal advice. Please consult an attorney local to your area to ensure your program is in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations that apply to your situation. 

Harm Reduction Hacks site design and implimentation by Nigel Brunsdon

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