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71 Reviews
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December 27, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

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December 27, 2013
7 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.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

December 19, 2013
9 people found this review helpful

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December 19, 2013
9 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.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

December 11, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

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December 11, 2013
7 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!

Ways to make it better...

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

Lower the directors and boards salary.

More feedback...

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

December 3, 2013
9 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
December 3, 2013
9 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.

More feedback...

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

October 28, 2013
39 people found this review helpful

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October 28, 2013
39 people found this review helpful

Many years ago this was a good organization founded by a plastic surgeon who saw a need for his skill set and gave years of his life to give impoverished disfigured children a fighting chance at a normal life. THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE FOR MANY YEARS. I don't believe anyone would fund what this "charity" has become. If you have any doubts about where their priorities are, take a look at their very fancy NYC offices, their payroll, the very limited information regarding the way they operate today, as well as the complaints about the inadaquate medical practices they have been accused of.

I took the time to write an email asking to be removed from all of their lists as I have been receiving up to three separate solicitations in any given week and if for no other reason feel the waste of paper and postage is a sin. No response from anyone in the organization, but now they are soliciting on every web page I visit that accepts advertising. This to me, borders on criminal and certainly is not how I want to see money I give to any charity used.

Ways to make it better...

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

Turn the whole thing over to Doctors without Boarders and let them determine medical needs and procedures

More feedback...

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

October 21, 2013
20 people found this review helpful

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October 21, 2013
20 people found this review helpful

Since making a modest contribution over a year ago, I have been bombarded by Smile Train for more donations! The calls and letters began over 8 months ago, and despite my numerous requests that they stop contacting me, the phone calls now occur every other day or daily. Because this organization is a charity, it can get away with this, despite my insistence that they stop! If this was not a charity, I could take legal action, yet Smile Train grossly abuses its charitable status to incessantly badger its donors for ever-more money. There have been times when some of my family members were in need of financial assistance, yet if, after providing my own mother with sufficient funds, she continued to call me on a daily basis for more money, I would refuse even her! When one considers what must be the cost of Smile Train's enormous advertising budget and its monstrous fleet of telemarketers, and studies their revenue vs expense ratio, the total amount going to the children in need is minimal. There are doubtless many ways in which Smile Train can operate more efficiently and in a manner that does not disenfranchise its donors. So many donors are turned off by ST's perpetually extended grubby hands that they decide never to give again, out of irritation, and/or fear of extending the maddening calls and letters. Thus, ST loses countless numbers of potential repeat donors and must continually find more, and attempt to get more money from the donors it can rope in. This is a terrible, unprofessional, and abusive management strategy that screams "entitlement". Smile Train should instead treat its donors with respect and reason, demonstrating their gratitude for donors and their donations, maximizing the odds that donors will generously and appreciatively donate again and again.

Ways to make it better...

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

Smile Train should stop harassing its donors for near-constant donations. It should also respect donors' requests to stop contacting them by phone/mail except on a reasonable basis (monthly at most). ST should never contact past donors on anything approaching a daily basis, which is how often it has been contacting me for the past several months! This practice eliminates past donors by angering them, especially when requests that ST stop the incessant calls are ignored.

More feedback...

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

October 20, 2013
12 people found this review helpful

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October 20, 2013
12 people found this review helpful

Gave $$ to this "charity" from solicitation that said "give money now and we'll never contact you again". What a LIE! We gave them $$ and within a few weeks had 3 more letters asking for more. We were finally able to contact them...not an easy task...and asked to be removed...still got a letter every month for a long time...now I see they are advertising on-line...this organization does not respect their donors.

Ways to make it better...

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

Fire Ms. MA, this may be a legit organization but they come across as a scam and I'm sorry but playing sad music and flashing dis-figured kids across my screen doesn't make me want to give to your organization. $400k salary...that would do over 1000 surgeries...

More feedback...

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

September 13, 2013
32 people found this review helpful

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September 13, 2013
32 people found this review helpful

Check out your charities very carefully! Dig a little deeper into Smile Train and you will find that Brian Mullaney, the President and Co-Founder of Smile Train, is doing very, very, very well with his huge compensation package. I was almost ready to contribute until I saw how many cleft-palate children, even a small part of his outrageous compensation package would pay for. As an orthodontist, I'll contribute elsewhere. Thank you!

Ways to make it better...

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

Fire the greedy Brian Mullaney, the President and Co-Founder of Smile Train. Find someone who really cares for Smile Train's mission.

More feedback...

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 7, 2013
12 people found this review helpful

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June 7, 2013
12 people found this review helpful

I will continue to donate to Smile Train and other successful society-focused organizations, because they MAKE A DIFFERENCE. For those of us who somehow think it's acceptable that CEOs of banks and oil companies get paid a lot, but balk at the CEOs of non-profits being paid a salary comparable to their talents, skills, and moreover the fact that they're being paid to use their skills to HELP others (as opposed to, well, making money for other rich people and stop there, in some cases, oh I don't know, crippling the US and world economy and then getting away with it), you should take some time and really think about whether your logic makes sense. Better yet, think about whether your logic is the right way to think about positive social change in this world. We reward our Ivy League graduates with tons of money to go work in Wall Street or Google or Microsoft. But when they want to use their Stanford degrees to help people, all of a sudden we don't want to pay them for it? Think again. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html

Ways to make it better...

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

Tell its detractors to watch this TED video: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html

More feedback...

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

May 29, 2013
5 people found this review helpful

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May 29, 2013
5 people found this review helpful

We lost our beloved niece one year ago, she brought so many smiles to us you cannot imagine. Life cut so short by illness. We wanted to remember her so when we searched for a charity, we found SmileTrain to be the best. We always send our donations to a triple match to maximize our dollars and thank Smile Train and it's benefactors who allow us to do that. Now when we receive a photo of a child we have given a better life to and that gorgeous smile we think of our Liana and the smiles she brought into our lives. You can't put a price on that, priceless and we will have priceless memories of these children for our lifetime. Keep up the good work Smile Train. Our only wish is that these surgeries would never to have happen because of basic lack of proper food and vitamins. We take our good health for granted. Sincerely, The John and Lucy Del Ponte Family and the Liana Fitzgerald Family

Ways to make it better...

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

Educate about the importance of proper food and vitamins to the clients and let them know to pass that on, and urge the govermnents to do more.

More feedback...

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?

2013

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