AstraZeneca: Grantmaking for global youth health

Last updated: 27th January 2022

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme, is just one way in which CAF helps them work towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 of reducing early death from non-communicable diseases.

The objectives

In 2010, AstraZeneca partnered with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Plan International to launch the Young Health Programme (YHP) to improve the health and life chances of young people age 10-24 in some of the most vulnerable and under-resourced communities around the world. The YHP is a core part of AstraZeneca’s sustainability ambition to use their capabilities to make the most meaningful impact where society needs it – health.


The YHP aims to address the growing global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, diabetes, cancers or respiratory diseases through prevention. It promotes education and awareness of the primary NCD risk factors so that young people can make informed choices and protect their health in the future.


At the project’s inception, AstraZeneca approached CAF for support in verifying grantee organisations, processing payments and distributing grants. Since delivering these initial objectives, we’ve become a trusted strategic partner on a number of large-scale grant programmes.


Within the YHP programme, AstraZeneca has also launched smaller grantmaking programmes such as Step Up!. Outside of the programme we’ve supported them on ILC2:: Initiatives in Lung Cancer Care and the Patient Organisations Recovery Fund, all contributing towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 of reducing early death from non-communicable diseases.


Our support

Our comprehensive due diligence ensures that every grantee charity is legitimate. This is particularly important for overseas charities operating in countries with no charity regulator or where laws on financial crime and money laundering are weak. CAF’s verification process, based on regulatory expertise in the sector internationally, makes it possible for AstraZeneca to give confidently to non-regulated charities in a smooth and efficient way. This is especially important to them as they work within a regulated pharmaceutical sector.


AstraZeneca uses a CAF Company Account – a ‘one-stop shop’ for their charitable funds. This enables them to make tax-effective donations, as well as secure their budget in one transparent account until they are ready to make grants.


CAF holds and ring-fences funds for the YHP, carries out and tracks payments to grantee charities, as well as processes grants through the project’s smaller grant making programmes. The team provides strategic advice and supportive account management to AstraZeneca, with regular updates on the performance of the programmes and learnings to improve the impact they have.


“Our collaboration with CAF has ensured that our donations are safeguarded, reaching the intended beneficiaries and their communities. Having an account management team means we are kept up-to-date with the status of our donations in the verification process and are alerted to global policy changes which may impact the donation process.”

Helen Seibel, Global Director, Community Investment & Philanthropy, AstraZeneca


The impact

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme has reached more than twelve million young people in dozens of countries. It has been recognised for both its award-winning approach and for bringing a greater focus on the issue of disease prevention and youth health into global, national and local discourse.


30 countries: have safely received donations, including in some high-risk areas


12m+ young people have been reached with information about NCD risk behaviours


20,000+ health workers have been trained in adolescent health


118,777 young people have been trained in the delivery of interventions


7,854 AstraZeneca volunteers have supported YHP activities


4 areas of work: advocacy, health promotion, youth leadership and research


Project takeaways

Working at scale

AstraZeneca’s Young Health Programme is a large-scale operation covering dozens of countries and on-the-ground organisations. CAF has the ability to process large payments and work with dozens of organisations across multiple geographies to realise the project’s goals.


Removing risk

CAF’s role as convener directs the responsibility, workload and reputational risk away from AstraZeneca. Our experience, regulatory knowledge and global connections in the sector, particularly in high-risk areas, ensure our rigorous due diligence and verification process safeguard funding to ensure it gets into the right hands.


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