Operation Smile, Inc.

Rating: 3.05 stars   20 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Health, International

Location: 6435 Tidewater Dr Norfolk VA 23509 USA

Mission: Throughout the world, Operation Smile volunteers repair childhood facial deformities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families. Together, we create smiles, change lives, heal humanity.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

21 people found this review helpful

Keep an eye over your bank account because this guys had taken extra mony from mine with out permission.

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

Not have people working in comission.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

WORST charity ever, what a bunch of crooks and they now keep calling me EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I will never, ever donate here again and when I looked them up online, what a surprise to find this:

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/10/donor-beware-your-money-might-not-go-where-you-think

DON'T use your emotions to donate to a cause, you will always lose and the people who need it most never get what they need.

Terrible experience!

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

Dissolve the organization

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

20 people found this review helpful

As of six months ago, their annual reports on their website shows 73.2% of funds went to programs, 20.6% to fundraising, 6.2% for administration. Not sure where the negative press is coming from . . . also, any reason management doesn't change the practice of calling those who donate? If this has changed, there needs to be a statement to this effect on this site so as not to dissuade those interested in contributing.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

27 people found this review helpful

If you don't mind be barraged by phone calls by solicitors after you donate wanting to bleed every cent from you, give. If you value your privacy and abhor robot calls, don't give. Very bad ratio of money donated and what actually goes to the kids. If you do give don't give them your real phone number. Great idea for a charity, but poorly run.

Was your donation impactful?

No

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

87 people found this review helpful

I saw a TV story about Operation Smile and was moved to make a handsome donation. I then went to check them out but they are not rated. I looked at their IRS Form 990 for 2011 and was shocked by the numbers. In 2011 they collected $48mill. Of this they spent $3mill (6.25%) on grants. The rest went to Salaries - $7.7mill (16%); Office expenses - $6.4mill (13.3%); Travel - $4mill (8.3%); Fund Raising - $3.2mill (6.6%); "Other" (presumably also fund-raising related) - $2.3mill (4.8%). Judge for yourself. I would not donate an additional penny until their mission-related spending is above 80% of revenues not 6%! Besides, like other reviewers my telephone doesn't stop ringing to the point that this line has become useless.

Was your donation impactful?

No

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

74 people found this review helpful

Wife and I donated last year's tax refund to Operations Smile based on the worked they appeared to be doing and had planned to do so every year in the future but immediately regretted our decision to do so. Whatever the merits of their work in the field we immediately found ourselves in the midst of an avalanche of robo calls from every imaginable charity which are not covered by the Do Not Call list regulations and has left us with no recourse but to terminate our land-line service at the end of this month to put an end to the 10 to 15 calls a day, yes a day, that we've been receiving since our donation. This in addition to the small mountain of wasteful daily mailings we receive from these charities including Operation Smile the totality of which certainly qualifies as a small environmental catastrophe. They clearly sold our information as part of a donors list without any regard as to the impact and the material cost alone of the mailings from Operation Smiles would seem leave us hard pressed to imagine much if any actual care being delivered with even our sizable donation.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

41 people found this review helpful

Once you donate to Operation Smile you can expect to be bombarded with robocalling pleas for more donations. Their calling is extremely aggressive, starting at 7 am and continuing until 9 pm with as many as five calls in one day, seven days a week for months and months. They will not stop.
Donors soon regret their decision as no amount of pleading will get them to stop harassing you with constant phone calls.

Was your donation impactful?

No

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?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I am a recent supporter to Operation Smile and truly inspired by the work they perform in the poorest countries in the world. Just seeing the photos of the children they help, it is clear how my donation is able to give a child a new life. Keep up the great work!

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?

2012

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Rating: 1 stars  

32 people found this review helpful

for every dollar spent on a child, even with all the volunteers, fifty cents goes to executives and fund raising. There are probably better run operations for you hard earned dollars.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 3 stars  

38 people found this review helpful

This is not, strictly speaking, a review of Operation Smile, but a call for current reviews from others who know more than I. I was not aware until recently of the rift between Smile Train and Operation Smile. When I heard that the two are merging, it seemed like a good idea, reconciling differences and focusing on the task at hand, until I read the article in the New York Times about it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/business/24smile.html?pagewanted=all

It appears that the CEO of the Smile Train is looking for money and power, and now is looking to annex Operation Smile.

I am a very small donor. I work as a volunteer, pro bono, for another group, and have little cash money to contribute. I want to be sure the money I can spare goes where I think it does, and the politics of this merger raises questions.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

Unsure

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

I have had personal experience with the way social acceptability affects a person's chances to lead a decent, effective, happy life. I believe every child born deserves a chance to do so.

What would you tell others about this organization?

It makes me sad to have to say it, but in the face of this merger, we need to look closely at both organizations to determine whether their agenda serves needy youngsters and their families, or greedy executives and their followers.

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Review from Guidestar