Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Smile Train, Inc.

Rating: 2.7 stars   83 reviews 40,793

Nonprofit Issues:

Children & Youth, Health, International

Address:

41 Madison Ave 28th Floor New York NY 10010 USA

Mission:

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities. We use the “teach a man to fish” model focusing on training local doctors to perform cleft repairs in their communities. Those doctors then go on to train other doctors creating a long-term, sustainable system. Patients see their smile for the first time, parents cry tears of joy, lives and communities are changed forever. As a result of our efficiency and with the support of our donors and partners around the world, Smile Train has transformed the lives of more than one million children by giving them the power of a smile -- that's roughly 350 surgeries a day and 128,000+ every year. Join us and change the world one smile at a time.

Results:

Since its beginning in 1999 Smile Train has provided more than 1,000,000 free surgeries for children who would otherwise never have received it.

Target demographics:

children suffering from cleft lips and palates

Direct beneficiaries per year:

127,000+

Geographic areas served:

85+ of the world’s poorest countries

Write a Review
Donate
Invite Reviews Share This Nonprofit

More Info

1-800-932-9541
www.smiletrain.org

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Reviews for Smile Train, Inc.

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

7 people found this review helpful

Smile Train is a wonderful organization. I really love the mission and seeing how a simple surgery opens the door for these kids, giving them the chance to rise to their full potential. The staff I have interacted with are all incredibly caring and dedicated, and the charity accomplishes an amazing amount with relatively few people. By all accounts the new leadership has the organization more focused and efficient than ever. Absolutely one of the best charities out there.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

SmileTrain is a great organization with a great team. I have been associated with them for the last 10 months and have nothing but positive experiences. I have also visited 2 of their offices. They run a lean operation and are serious about making a difference. You are welcome to reach out to me if you have any questions or doubts.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

We have been supporters of Smile Train for a couple of years. We recently had a holiday in Myanmar and in our travels visited a school in Oe Pho (a village on the Irrawaddy between Myanaung and Danubyn). The children were very excited to see us and but we noticed a young lad of about 11/12 years of age who had an unrepaired cleft and was very shy. Our fellow travellers commented and we were able to say that Smile Train has now started work in Myanmar. We hope that our recent donation will go towards children in Myanmar having surgery and their lives, like their faces, transformed.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The work of the Smile Train has an incredible impact in the life of children around the world, it goes far beyond than fixing the anatomical and functional medical problems associated to having a cleft palate. It magically touches their life by making them feel like others, not ashamed anymore of their sometimes badly desfigured faces. In many places of the world children with cleft palate and other deformities are discriminated and separated from society. The free surgeries provided by the Smile Train open for them the door to a life full of opportunities. It is a blessing for the children, their families and their entire community.

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been supporting Smile Train for some time as the work they do for children and some adults with cleft pallets is amazing. This facial issue is actually relatively easy to correct - but, sadly, there are so many affected around the world who suffer from insults and are ostracized or hidden in their societies simply because they look different. It is a joy to see the smile on the face of someone who has suffered such emotional hardship and has been helped to have a smile by the Smile Train team. Thank you to everyone involved with Smile Train for the excellent and beneficial work you do.

 
Flag review
Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Our first kid was born with a cleft. The necessary surgery was done immediately and paid by our Czech health system. We decided with my wife to help the less lucky kids who cannot get such a treatment for free or afford it themselves.
Smile Train is good in communication - we always get nice updates and clear statistics - and easy to donate. We have been supporting them for 5 years.
Jiri Vanek, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, Europe

 
Flag review
profile
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

This charity is under new management and is doing great work. I wrote the book on cause marketing, The Business of Cause Marketing and have studied charities for more than 15 years. It is shocking that they do not have a better rating on this site!

 
Flag review
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

49 people found this review helpful

I volunteer for an NGO that provides free cleft lip and palate surgery in developing countries. Smile Train promises to reimburse us for the surgeries we perform. (Smile Train performs NO surgeries). They have delayed and denied funding to us on numerous occasions after we have provided volumes of data including pictures of our surgeries. They use our pictures, but deny us funding. Smile Train is in business for the express purpose of providing huge salaries to a few well connected people. DO NOT GIVE TO THIS ORGANIZATION. You are being cheated out of your money by greedy people.

 
Flag review
Rating: 2 stars  

45 people found this review helpful

I have given to Smile Train for many years. Once you give to this charity you are antedated with mail asking for more money. The AIP gives them a B- rating which is not good. The reason for this rating is because a small % is actually used to help the children.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Spend less on VIP salaries/overhead and more to help the children with this defect.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
Flag review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

What a privilege to support this AMAZING organization! It's amazing when you recognize the incredible impact this organization makes on the children and families they serve. The fact that they can have this sort of impact for an average of $250 per surgery is stunning!

Congratulations on your great success Smile Train! You make a meaningful impact on a daily basis to the lives of millions.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None, that I'm aware of.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
Flag review
Review from Guidestar