Smile Train, Inc.

Rating: 2.53 stars   77 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Health, International

Location: 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
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EIN 13-3661416
1-800-932-9541
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Smile Train is a charity near and dear to our hearts. They do tremendous work around the world saving lives by providing free surgeries to children and adults suffering from clefts. I was just in NYC and was able to visit the office and meet the people behind the scenes. I was impressed with everyone I met and feel like these people are dedicated to such a great cause. My family and I are very excited about continuing to fundraise for the Smile Train and hope to become even more involved in the future. I highly recommend this charity!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I raised over $6,000.00 for the Smile Train, and well over 30 plus donors to this awesome organziation. I did this fundraising effort in conjunction with my Ironman that I completed in Los Cabos Mexico on March 30, 2014. The money I raised will directly impact 24 children who will receive free surgery to fix thier cleft palet. That is 24 lives that are positively changed!!

This is an oranization that I am very passionate about, and how such a small amount of money can go such a long way. I am so happy that I was able to tie The Smile Train in directly with a huge event in my life. I am so excited about raising thousands of dollars more fro the Smile Train.

Please keep your donations comin to The Smile Train

Kelli M. Trudel

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Rating: 1 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I have been a contributor in to Smile Train in the past but now before I write a check to any non-profit I go to http://www.tampabay.com/charitychecker/ and look up the organization. Great Nonprofits is just one of the organizations that they report the reviews from. I share other people's feelings about the top one percent getting fatter and fatter while most of us are struggling to get by. I feel especially strong about the heads of non-profits getting obscenely high compensation. If they believe in the cause they should be content with a good but reasonable salary. Think how many children could be helped with the money they pocket.

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Rating: 2 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I've been giving at least enough for one and often 2 surgeries each year to Smile Train. I'm very disappointed that the CEO receives too generous a package. I care about the children and think the idea is incredible and worthwhile, but slick ad's and dozens of written requests upset me almost weekly in the mail. I also give to Operation Smile, which I am checking out today, before I write any more checks. If the charity checks out to my satisfaction, I won't stop donating, but it will go with a letter stating my preference for funds to truly go toward surgeries and that the executives earn a reasonable salary for their efforts, but not so much that they live in the 1% bracket. If you do charity work, we should consider our jobs part of our charitable actions.

I do believe that spending on marketing is important and so long as the amount spent brings in large contributions exceeding other methods, practical.

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

I would more carefully limit my mailings to keep from over saturation and making donors feel angry instead of pleased at their own efforts. I would make certain that when I sold the information of a donor that I did so with care. When I get dozens of requests weekly, I tend to toss everything. A few get my attention when they are not constant mailings and in areas of concern to me.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have a problem with them calling me all hours of the day and night. I have a caller ID, so I just don't answer the phone. They are very annoying. After reading the reviews, I won't donate to them anymore. I think it is so sad that they aren't using all of the money for the children.

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

All CEO's should not make more than our President. Talk about a hard job, a thankless job and a demeaning job, our U. S. President has it. Do a little research on the top 1% of our nation (which includes many of the leading CEO's, sports people, rock stars, ect. ) and you will find their investments increased by 17% where as the rest of us decreased in overall net worth in 2013. Anyone should be able to live on $400,000.00 a year don't you think? I have given faithfully to Smile Train for many years but with this new website and more information, my money goes to an organization that uses my gift for the people not the Staff.....

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

decrease salaries and become more responsible with other peoples money. Use my donation for the surgeries you advertise....

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?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

i contribute to approximately 30 different non-profit organizations on a regular basis, but before i sign up i investigated the efficiency of the organization and most of all the CEO or head administrator's compensation. In many cases as with Smile Train, the CEO makes more than the president of the United States. They would have to prove to me that they have more responsibilities than the president before i waste any of my hard earned money on them. Another indication of a wasteful organization is the amount of junk mail they send out. I receive 5 to 6 letters per month. Do not waste your contribution here.

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

lower the overhead by relocating and hiring people that care these kids more then their pockets

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

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Rating: 1 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

I am very disappointed in this organization. I understand that children have this and it can be pretty bad as my son was born with cleft lip and palate but I called to do the donation to give back to what I have paid so much in medical for and not just medical but it is all around for them with dental and all. I called and they told me that they don't make any contributions within the United States to the families that really need the help here. As when my son had his. We are still paying some of the medical bills for it and will until after he turns 18. He has had right now two surgeries and is turning around for a possible third reconstruction. It amazes me that we have so many children that need this in the states to know that they are not and will not even try to help with the surgeries here. I had these specific questions before I even would consider donating and was very disappointed. There is so much more that can be done here to help fellow Americans as well. I am disappointed that they are taking money from the all of us to send overseas to help children there when children as my son could have used the help for it as well. Very disappointed with this charity.

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

Bring it also to the United States and help all those in need not just the children overseas. Expand the helping

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Were solicited by mail to donate to this charity. We checked out what the board members make and this is what we found. The salary of Ms. Ma Director in 2010 was over $244,000.00 and her predecessor was over $1,500,000.00 in 2010 when he retired.

Way to much money in our estimation - do not think children are getting enough of the pie!

This is a great chance for these young children but.....directors do not need this amount of compensation. I have been a volunteer to organizations for over 50 years - never took a dime!

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

Lower the directors and boards salary.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I asked my name to be removed from the SmileTrain mailing list when it came to my attention that the SmileTrain pays its director an excessive salary, that it provides itself with lavish New York offices, and that a disproportionate amount of its income goes for marketing rather than for the good purpose it purports to serve. I want nothing further to do with an organization that exploits disfigured children for its own gain.

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?

2011

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