Grant Programs

Smile Train funds thousands of partners and programs throughout the world that help people with clefts receive the treatment they could otherwise never access.

A cleft surgeon holds former patient in his arms

Grant Types

Becoming a Partner

All of our partners are united by a common goal: helping children who have no place else to turn. If this is your goal, we'd like to partner with you. Contact us at for more information.

Comprehensive Treatment Grants

Smile Train’s vision is to ensure every child born with a cleft can lead a full and productive life. Essential services such as nutrition, speech therapy, dental and orthodontic treatments are often required throughout the lifetime of a child.

Education and Training Grants

A key to Smile Train’s empowerment of local medical professionals is a commitment to education and training. Our funding ensures that doctors in even the poorest countries have access to first-rate educational opportunities, helping to improve proficiency, safety and quality of the care provided.

Equipment and Supplies Grants

Safety and quality are paramount to Smile Train. Equipment Grants provide funding for everything from cleft sets to pulse oximeters to vans which help transport patients or help medical professional expand their reach. They allow recipients to improve quality and also increase the number of children being helped.

Patient Logistics Grants

This program targets the poorest of the poor who would never make it to the hospital for treatment without additional financial support to help them with expenses such as food and shelter during their stay, money to cover the costs of traveling to the hospital, or money to help offset a parent’s lost wages during a hospital stay.

Outreach Grants

While local empowerment is at Smile Train’s core, there are high need areas where no qualified treatment teams exist. In places like these, we provide support to ensure medical professionals can reach these patients and build the capacity of local providers.

Awareness Grants

These grants support campaigns to educate people about cleft and the treatment options, reducing the stigma and ensuring patients in need can reach our partner hospitals.

Treatment Partnerships

Smile Train provides financial support for the treatment of clefts, empowering local health systems and medical providers in developing countries to treat cleft patients in their own communities who would not otherwise be able to afford this life-changing surgery.

Our Funding Principles

We Do:

  • Focus exclusively on programs related to cleft lips and palates.
  • Focus on the low- and middle-income countries with the highest incidence of clefts. .
  • Support programs that provide free treatment for patients in need.
  • Support cleft team members and hospitals that need financial assistance.
  • Leverage our support by cost-sharing with our partners.
  • Foster self-sufficiency in our partners.
  • Closely monitor and manage all of our programs and partners.
  • Require all of our partners to adhere to the highest standards of safety and quality.

We Don't:

  • Pay for treatment for children whose families can afford it.
  • Replace funding, or pay for surgeries that other organizations will pay for (government, insurance, charities, etc.).
  • Support organizations that do not provide safe and high quality treatment.