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Starkey Hearing Foundation

Rating: 3.25 stars   4 reviews 995

Nonprofit Issues:

Health, Cancer

Address:

6700 Washington Ave S Eden Prairie MN 55344 USA

Mission:

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Reviews for Starkey Hearing Foundation

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

1 person found this review helpful

The Starkey Hearing Foundation consistently goes above and beyond to help people in disadvantaged countries receive the gift of hearing when they otherwise would never have had the chance to hear. They perform miracles regularly and you can see it in the faces of those who receive these gifts. The mission not only helps people with their hearing, but often goes out of their way to support impoverished communities with other projects such as digging wells, building schools, and finding medical care in places where these resources were not available before.

To help spread the word about the good they are doing, they have started filming documentaries of their mission trips which you can view parts of on their website at https://starkeyhearingfoundation.org/

Starkey Hearing Foundation also operates the Hear Now program in the United States. Any individual who meets the income qualifications and is seriously in need of hearing help can get the help they need right here in this country. Bill Austin says that finances should not be an obstacle to hearing, and he backs this up by giving away the gift of hearing to so many people all around the world. More than 1.6 million hearing aids have already been given away, and more mission trips are scheduled all the time.

This is truly a worthy foundation that is out there empowering people to live better lives through the gift of hearing. It is disappointing to see other commenters who have not worked with this foundation report rumors disparaging this foundation as if they are valid reasons not to work with them. I am a hearing professional who has helped people through Hear Now, who has helped people donate old hearing aids to be recycled through the foundation and who aspires to go on a mission trip with them some day. In my experience, none of the negative things the first two commenters had to say about SHF is true in any way. They have been nothing but ethical and helpful every time that I deal with them, and they never give tax advice or turn donations in to profits.

I've worked with Bill Austin personally, and his passion is the mission work. Bill uses Starkey as a vehicle to be able to accomplish 2 things. 1- Research and produce the absolute highest quality hearing aids that do the best job in the market to help people hear right here in the United States. 2- Funnel the profits into his mission trips to bring the gift of hearing all over the world. The man is an inspiration, and the world would be better off if there were more people like him, and more charities like the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

For more information on this wonderful charity, please check out the Charity Navigator website here: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=12176#.VXCClFJu2lI

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?

2015

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Amazing Organization that continuously donates over 100,000 Hearing Aids per year Worldwide!

Do the work, build the dream, let the results speak for themselves!

SO THE WORLD MAY HEAR

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

1 person found this review helpful

They use donations to fund their for-profit business, Starkey Hearing Technologies. This should be considered a marketing arm of Starkey and NOT a charity. If he were being charitable, Bill Austin would purchase the best hearing aids available for these folks - not just hearing aids from his own company. I've heard rumors they charge the Foundation higher-than-market prices.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 2 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

A major source of revenue for this organization is in the form of "donations" from people who receive hearing aids from them. The people receiving the hearing aids are told that they may deduct the amount of the donation from their taxes without consideration of the value of the hearing aids. This is tax fraud because the situation is a perfect example of a quid pro quo donation, in which the fair market value of what was received in exchange for the donation needs to be subtracted from the amount of the donation. They are well aware of what they are doing and the consequences of these actions and continue to operate in this manner. Also, take a look at how much money this organization is "donating" to other unrelated foundations. For example, the Elton John Aids Foundation has received approximately $1 million from them over the years that he has "volunteered" to play at their fundraisers. Also, under another conflict of interest situation, the majority of the expenses are for the purchase of hearing aids from the company that started the foundation, and not simply at the compan's cost, but a higher value, resulting in increased profit for the company.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Numerous accounts and stories from people that were given the forms to submit to the IRS, resulting in tax fraud. Also, review of Foundation's tax returns from several years.

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

Have them audited by the IRS and be forced to repay the millions of dollars that have been withheld from the state and federal governments as a result of their actions/deceit.

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