The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

We began as a grassroots effort, when a small group of families who’d lost loved ones to suicide banded together with scientists in an effort to learn more. As we have grown and expanded to become the nation’s largest suicide prevention organization, with chapters in every state, what we do is still rooted in communities, and the individuals who comprise them.


Through the funding of Innovation Grants, AFSP supports pioneering work that will increase our understanding of suicide with an array of promising new areas of research.

See all of our Innovation Grants

3-Year Strategic Plan

Envisioning the future

Together, we know we can save lives. Our new Three Year AFSP Strategic Plan has been created to ensure the effectiveness and reach in our efforts through 2022, helping us to measure the impact of all we do, through our programs, chapters, volunteers and partners.

With your help, over the next three years we will:

  • accelerate progress in suicide research to save more lives by driving discovery and innovation
  • engage stakeholders and the public in awareness, advocacy, and bold actions to save lives
  • reach more people at risk for suicide and survivors of suicide loss with effective programs
  • optimize our capacity to better advance our mission

Everything we do is designed to create a world in which we save as many people as possible, and ensure we all have the support we need. We are proud to enact this exciting and ambitious plan.


Held last May at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room, the 31st Annual Lifesavers Gala was a truly inspiring night. Hosted by musician Alex Boyé, the event honored those making an impact through their dedication and passion to the cause.

This year’s Gala, chaired by Husseini Manji, M.D. Global Therapeutic Head, Neuroscience, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, raised over $600,000 for the fight against suicide.

Honorees included decorated CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, Senior National Correspondent and NBC Nightly News Anchor Kate Snow, San Francisco 49ers football star Solomon Thomas and the Thomas family, and researchers Gregory Simon, M.D., MPH, and John Mann, M.D.


Lifesavers Gala award recipient

Research Award

Gregory Simon, M.D., MPH, investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, psychiatrist in Kaiser Permanente’s Behavioral Health Service, research professor at the University of Washington

Dr. Simon’s research is focused on improving access and quality of mental health care, with a particular concentration towards mood disorders. He currently leads the Mental Health Research Network.

Lifesavers Gala award recipient

Research Lifetime Achievement Award

John Mann, M.D., Paul Janssen Professor of Translational Neuroscience in psychiatry and radiology at Columbia University, and Director of Molecular Imaging and Neuropathology Division (M.I.N.D.) at New York State Psychiatric Institute

Dr. Mann’s research utilizes brain imaging, neurochemistry and molecular genetics to further learn about depression, suicide and their causes.

Lifesavers Gala award recipient

Survivor of Loss Award

In 2018, the Thomas Family—San Francisco 49ers football star Solomon Thomas and his parents, Chris and Martha — lost beloved sister and daughter, Ella, to suicide. They’ve since used their own platform and that of the NFL to spread the message that suicide is preventable and that help is always available, including an interview with ESPN which aired during “Monday Night Football.” The Thomas family has participated in both the 2018 Overnight Walk in Dallas, and the 2019 Overnight Walk in San Francisco.

Lifesavers Gala award host

Public Awareness Award

Kate Snow, Senior National Correspondent and Anchor, NBC Nightly News, Sunday

Kate Snow is a weekday anchor for MSNBC Live and an Emmy-winning National Correspondent for NBC News, as well as the anchor of NBC Nightly News, Sunday editions. Snow’s dedication to coverage of mental health and suicide has been apparent throughout her journalistic career. After the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last June, Snow spoke intimately about the impact her father-in-law’s death by suicide had on her family, and discussed the importance of safe reporting on this sensitive topic.

Lifesavers Gala award recipient

Public Awareness Award

Anderson Cooper, Journalist and Anchor, CNN

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360°,” a regular correspondent for CBS’s “60 Minutes,” and the recipient of 17 Emmy Awards. Cooper lost his brother Carter to suicide in 1988. He has continuously elevated the conversation around suicide and prevention, particularly following the deaths of his friend, Anthony Bourdain, and Kate Spade. In June of last year, Cooper hosted a town hall-style report on CNN, Finding Hope: Battling America’s Suicide Crisis, which featured AFSP’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Christine Moutier, and won an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding News Discussion & Analysis. AFSP worked behind the scenes to provide guidance, and helped fill the audience with some of our local volunteers.

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Honoring Our Chapters

In January, volunteers and staff from across the country gathered in Dallas for the 14th Annual Chapter Leadership Conference. Focusing on the theme “Community Connections to Save Lives,” the event was an inspiring look ahead, as well as an opportunity to applaud the amazing work of our chapters nationwide.

The AFSP South Carolina Chapter (above) was awarded Overall Chapter of the Year at the annual Chapter Awards Banquet. The chapter held seven Out of the Darkness Community Walks, and six Campus Walks, overseeing a significant increase in both participation and fundraising efforts for both events. They helped to present 60 education and prevention programs, including more than 20 Talk Saves Lives, More Than Sad, and It’s Real presentations across the state. They have also been a driving force in the relaunch of the State Suicide Prevention Coalition and became the first AFSP chapter to form a partnership with a state agency, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, through the South Carolina Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative.


This past year has been one of remarkable growth, which has made it possible to increase the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s investment across all areas of its work. AFSP also continues to manage its funds wisely, which has earned AFSP Charity Navigator’s highest rating of 4-stars.

Read full letter

Statement of Financial Position
(Year Ended June 30, 2019) Slide

  • Assets
  • Current Assets
    • Cash $13,434,304
    • Investments 18,286,268
    • Unconditional promises to give and other receivables 868,661
    • Prepaid walk materials 3,844,383
    • Other prepaid expenses 1,536,660
  • Total Current assets 37,970,276
  • Equipment at cost
    • Furniture, fixtures and computer equipment 3,229,975
    • Less accumulated depreciation 563,292
  • Equipment, at cost less depreciation 2,666,052
  • Other assets
    • Restricted investments 1,550,848
    • Investments -board-designated 2,403,466
    • Educational films, net 85,583
    • Security deposits 34,768
  • Total other assets4,074,665
  • Total Assets $44,710,993
  • Liabilities and Net Assets
  • Current liabilities
    • Grants payable $4,050,304
    • Accounts payable and accrued expenses 2,360,377
    • Deferred event revenue 2,072,920
  • Total current liabilities 8,483,601
  • Noncurrent liabilities and deferred credits
    • Grants payable 2,137,521
    • Deferred rent credit 2,257,268
  • Total liabilities 12,878,390
  • Net assets without donor restrictions:
    • General operating 27,095,614
    • Board-designated 2,403,466
    •   2,403,466
    • Net assets with donor restrictions 2,333,523
  • Total net assets 31,832,603
  • Total liabilities and net assets $44,710,993

Statement of Activities
(Year Ended June 30, 2018) Slide

  Without Donor
With Donor
Revenues, Gains and Other Support
Revenues $33,107,225 - $33,107,225
Direct expenses (6,632,083) - (6,632,083)

Net functions income 26,475,142 - 26,475,142
Donations 13,118,890 8,537 13,127,427
Other revenues, net 516,033 27,445 543,478
Investment income 790,671 75,233 865,904
Net assets released from restrictions 179,993 (179,993) -

Total revenues, gains and other support 41,080,729 (68,778) 41,011,951
Program services 25,083,665 - 25,083,665
Management and general 1,537,575 - 1,537,575
Fundraising 3,864,393 - 3,864,393

Total Expenses 30,485,633 - 30,485,633
Change in net assets 10,595,096 (68,778) 10,526,318
Net assets
Beginning 18,903,984 2,402,301 21,306,285
Ending $29,499,080 $2,333,523 $31,832,603

(Year Ended June 30, 2018) Slide

Program Services Supporting Services
Research Prevention
& Education
Loss &
& General
FundRaising Total

Grants $5,204,072 - - - $5,204,072 - - $5,204,072
Salaries and Wages 567,341 3,191,948 1,908,995 1,007,754 6,676,038 841,479 1,800,755 9,318,272
Employee Health & Retirement Benefits 111,926 629,711 376,609 198,811 1,317,057 166,008 355,255 1,838,320
Research, Educational and Survivor Conferences and Programs 132,706 2,173,516 777,511 325,585 3,409,318 - 153,988 3,563,306
Out of the Darkness Programs - 921,540 1,105,847 - 2,027,387 - 811,955 2,839,342
Office 38,601 863,296 313,854 175,015 1,390,766 25,194 126,398 1,542,358
Occupancy 41,205 231,824 138,646 73,191 484,866 61,115 130,785 676,766
Telecommunications and Internet 4,716 50,091 36,080 17,447 108,334 3,407 17,086 128,827
Equipment Rental and Maintenance 19,079 152,483 96,636 84,090 352,288 25,066 66,716 444,070
Travel 61,480 620,544 339,409 421,100 1,442,533 112,769 90,132 1,645,434
Consultants 182,925 1,644,121 611,925 232,035 2,671,006 115,352 311,323 3,097,681
Professional fees - - - - - 136,561 - 136,561
Depreciation - - - - - 50,624 - 50,624
Subtotal 6,364,051 10,479,074 5,705,512 2,535,028 25,083,665 1,537,575 3,864,393 30,485,633
Direct Expenses of Functions - - - - - - 6,632,083 6,632,083
Cost of Goods Sold - Public Store
 (netted in other revenues)
- - - - - - 79,848 79,848
Total $6,364,051 $10,479,074 $5,705,512 $2,535,028 $25,083,66 $1,537,575 $10,576,324 $37,197,564

Cash Flows
(Year Ended June 30, 2018) Slide

  • Cash Flows from Operating Activities
    • Change in net assets $10,526,318
  • Adjustments to reconcile change in net assets to net cash provided by operating activities
    • Depreciation 50,624
    • Amortization of educational film costs 26,000
    • Realized gains on investments (2,225,188)
    • Unrealized (gains) losses on investments 1,852,669
    • Deferred rent (35,640)
    • Changes in assets and liabilities
      • Unconditional promises to give and other receivables 1,285,028
      • Prepaid walk materials and other expenses (2,813,182)
      • Grants payable 493,608
      • Accounts payable and accrued expenses 37,023
      • Deferred event revenue 141,187
      • Net cash provided by operating activities 9,338,447
  • Cash Flows From Investing Activities
    • Purchase of property and equipment (620,253)
    • Acquisition of investments (24,672,436)
    • Proceeds from sale of investments 24,063,965
    • Return of security deposits 45,833
    • Educational films -
    • Net cash (used in) investing activities (1,182,891)
    • Net (increase) in cash 8,155,556
  • Cash

  • Beginning 5,278,748
  • Ending $13,434,304
  • Non-cash investment transaction

  • Purchase of property and equipment paid by landlord $1,875,574

Program Services and Administrative Costs

We invest our resources wisely to put more of every dollar toward research, education, advocacy, and support for those affected by suicide. This past year we kept administrative and fundraising costs to 17.7%, well below the industry standard of 25%.


Program Services
Administrative Costs
Graph showing AFSP spends 17.7 percent of funding on admin and remaining funds on programming