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stan Frymann

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Smile Train, Inc.
January 3, 2012

There has been a "shake up" at Smile Train, and their highly paid director is gone. (I don't know what his replacement makes.) In the past, Smile Train has claimed that ALL administrative expenses were paid by wealthy board members, and that NONE of the donated funds went to administrative expense. I assumed that was true. I asked them for a project to fund with my Mom's life savings which I inherited. They came up with a project in India which built an addition to a hospital they use, added a radiology department (including purchasing x-ray machine) outfitted a blood bank and hematology department, and outfitted a pathology department. This was done for $85,000. I thought that was a huge amount to do for that cost. I bet you couldn't buy the x-ray machine here alone for that. Some of the equipment purchased is now the only such equipment in a state of India with 35 million people. I have found their field personnel to be outstanding, and good stewards of funds.

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?

2011

MY ROLE:
Donor

Central Asia Institute
April 19, 2011

After reading the book I called CAI and offered to fully fund the construction of a school, however it had to be a specific school and I had to see a specific budget as well as see pictures of the site and village served before construction as well as during construction and upon completion. I was told, "We do not do that." I was invited to give money for a construction fund, but was told it wasn't possible to fund a specific school. I was astonished. I found that the board chair was a professor, so I got his e-mail that way and made my offer directly to him. He didn't even reply. I thought this was very strange that they would so easily refuse $30-$40K, but this fits very well with the charges that have come up.

The Great!

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

They refused the offer. Their board chair didn't even honor my offer with a reply to my e-mail.

Ways to make it better...

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

Fully document each school constructed with locations, photographs, receipts, budgets, etc. so that if there was any question how many schools had been built or where they were, those questions could be immediately answered. I think this organization should accept restricted gifts. I think this organization should immediately and enthusiastically respond to any offer of $30-40K.

MY ROLE:
Donor & I offered $30-40K to fund construction of a specific school.

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