The GiveWell Blog

Smile Train removes charts from website; still claims $250 per surgery

Two days ago, I critiqued the message sent by charts on Smile Train’s “Financial Information” page, particularly the idea that a surgery was being provided for every $250 in donations. My recollection is that the page had been up in this form since at least the summer of 2006 (when I first started investigating surgery… Read More

Smile Train

These charts from Smile Train imply an appealing story: (a) Smile Train performs surgeries for $250 apiece. (b) Smile Train’s main use of donations is to fund $250 surgeries. (c) A donation to Smile Train funds more surgeries than would the same donation to another cleft palate organization. (d) If Smile Train had much more… Read More

Cleft lip/palate charities: What does one surgery really accomplish?

It’s clear why donating to charities that fix cleft palates and other deformities – such as SmileTrain or Interplast – is popular among donors: the donation’s impact seems extremely tangible. A donor can see “before” and “after” pictures of children, and feel that the donation helps a child with serious problems become a “normal” child…. Read More