Our goal is to be the most well-managed and cost-efficient charity in the world.
Smile Train meets all 20 of the stringent and comprehensive standards set forth by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. We work diligently to increase donor confidence and strengthen the public trust in philanthropy. This seal means that Smile Train has addressed accountability and issues like donor privacy and charity effectiveness that go well beyond what government regulators require.
We rely on support from individuals like you as we receive no money from the U.S. Government.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns about any of this financial information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Free Cleft Surgeries
While our cost per surgery varies across the 85+ different countries we have worked in, our contribution per surgery is as low as $250. This amount reflects the contribution per surgery that we provide our partner hospitals. They also cover a significant portion of each surgery as part of our cost-sharing agreement.
Free Medical Equipment & Infrastructure Support
For many of our partners, access to safe operating rooms is their biggest barrier. Many struggle with old and/or poorly working equipment such as anesthesia machines and a lack of equipment and supplies. Smile Train provides financial support that has been used for everything from building new operating rooms to crucial safety equipment like pulse oximeters down to cleft surgical instruments and supplies like scalpels and sutures. All of these investments make not only significant number of incremental surgeries possible, but also make these surgeries safer and of higher quality.
Free Ancillary Treatment
Every child with cleft needs more than just surgery. They also need dental care, orthodontics and speech therapy. Where these services are available, we do everything we can to make them available to our patients. We pay for speech therapy sessions, dental and orthodontic work and much more.
Financial Aid For Poor Patients
Some of our patients are so malnourished they are not healthy enough to be operated on and are provided food for one to two weeks before surgery. Some of our patients are so poor they have no money to get home after surgery. Sometimes they have no shoes and no money for food. We have special programs that give small stipends for these poorest of the poor.
Free Training & Education
Smile Train provides more free training and education to cleft surgeons and related medical professionals than any other organization in the world. Over the past 15 years, we have provided more than 66,000 free scholarships, surgical training resources, workshops and symposiums for doctors and medical professionals from 140+ countries.
Public Awareness Campaigns in Developing Countries and the United States
Every year, thousands of people in developing countries kill or abandon their newborn babies because they don’t know a cleft is a simple birth defect and not a curse from God. Hundreds of thousands of these children with cleft are never brought to hospitals for treatment because their parents don’t know clefts can be fixed. Thousands of people in developed countries come to Smile Train for information on how to find a good cleft team and how to take care of their newborn babies with cleft.
Through websites, newspapers, radio, TV, public service announcements, documentaries, public relations, etc., we do more to raise public awareness about clefts both in developing countries and in the United States than any other organization in the world.
More than 2 million Americans watched our Oscar®-winning documentary, Smile Pinki, on HBO and it was broadcast to 900 million people in India. Over the past 3 years, our public awareness efforts reached more than one billion people.
Management & General
This number is extremely low for a number of reasons:
1. We have a very small staff of just 81 people worldwide including 47 people in the United States and 34 people around the world. Almost all of our regional managers in developing countries work out of their homes.
2. We use all kinds of technology to reduce our overhead and administrative costs such as digital patient charts that come in from our partner hospitals. We receive 10,000 of these charts every month and by doing it digitally, we save millions of dollars in shipping, handling and storage.
3. We manage Smile Train like a business.