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77 Reviews
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October 28, 2013
44 people found this review helpful

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October 28, 2013
44 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
36 people found this review helpful

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September 13, 2013
36 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
13 people found this review helpful

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June 7, 2013
13 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

May 24, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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May 24, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I first dontated to Smile Train about 6 months ago. Despite the posts of others, I do not believe that I have received more than 1-2 additional solicitations from Smile Train, and to the best of my knowledge, I have received ZERO additional requests from other charities in the same period. I am just putting that out there ....

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

April 23, 2013
28 people found this review helpful

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April 23, 2013
28 people found this review helpful

I had been solicited through the mail by Smile Train. I am a trusting sort and believed all their claims, plus was taken in by their pictures (which are calculated to elicit an emotional response, meaning: a FINANCIAL donation) from you. Since then a number of things have occurred. 1) I suddenly found myself bombarded by a LARGE number of charity solicitors 2) I started receiving frequent mailings - we are talking maybe as many as 4 askings a week for money- REALLY. Yes, I DID try to tell them when I had amassed 3 asks by putting them all into one envelope. I mailed them and then another one came the next day. 3) I found myself on quite a number of mailing lists with varieties of organizations ever growing. 4) When I asked to get taken off the mailing list, in about a weeks time, I was suddenly receiving mail from new "requesters"(if you will, as if my statement that I no longer wanted them[Hell have no fury like a scorned charity?!? : 0], caused them to trade or sell off my information to other charities.

Other people have had the same issue (slow/non-responsive to remove from mailing list) I found per an web search and article on CharityWatch.org

If I had know that Help Me See would lead to Smile Train, would lead to Burn Rescue and SO MANY other mailing lists I never would of given to them

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

March 24, 2013
10 people found this review helpful

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March 24, 2013
10 people found this review helpful

Everyone needs to relax about the salary situation. Ms. Ma makes ~$400K and is the top paid official. Donations increased by over 500% on her watch - I don't know the contribution distribution among each donor level, but even assuming a minimum donation of $50 per person she would have generated an additional $71M which would equate to over 200,000 more surgeries than if someone else had been doing her job and donations stayed static.

So when I see people so outraged that this woman gets paid what she gets paid it's ridiculous. If you want talent you need to pay for it - people that can pull something like that off should get paid well for it - and it doesn't mean they don't care just because they're paid well.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 9, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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February 9, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

I have given to Smile Train in the past. Don't know if I should continue ... so much confusion about how much of our donations goes to the operations. While I appreciate that staff needs to be fairly compensated I would like to know if the greater portion of the contribution goes to the operations and the kids.

More feedback...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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