We're honored that our work to heal childhood facial deformities like cleft lip and cleft palate has received such outstanding recognition. We're proud to stand with the world's top charitable organizations on behalf of children.
Operation Smile received special recognition from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 2007, after the completion of World Journey of Smiles. "The World Journey of Smiles became a landmark series of life-changing operations in 25 countries that highlighted the breadth and reach of Operation Smile," stated Nils Kastberg, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF.
The award recognized us for "strong and tireless commitment to bring smiles to the faces of children around the world."
Direct Marketing Association's Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) awarded Operation Smile with its 2008 Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award, which annually recognizes an outstanding achievement by a nonprofit organization using direct-response marketing to advance its mission.
It recognizes us for meeting the high ethical standards of the nonprofit community and complying with generally accepted standards for management and public disclosure."
The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of Independent Charities of America and Local Independent Charities of America that have, upon rigorous independent review, been able to certify, document and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Fewer than 2,000 charities have been awarded this Seal.
Operation Smile was the first recipient of the $1 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, established in 1996. The annual award, now $1.5 million, honors a charitable or non-governmental organization that has made extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering anywhere in the world. The international prize is the world's largest humanitarian award and ranks as one of the largest monetary prizes in any category — equal to the Nobel Prize.
Operation Smile is a member of Independent Charities of America (ICA). A charity may only gain membership in ICA if it is incorporated in the United States, is an IRS-certified 501(c)(3) organization, provides programs and services to populations in at least 15 states or one or more foreign countries, and operates with high efficiency and less than 25% overhead, as verified by an annual independent financial audit conducted by a certified public accountant.
Independent Charities of America (ICA) is an IRS-recognized nonprofit association of America's best charities. Its purpose is to represent charities that meet the highest standards of public accountability and program effectiveness and to facilitate gifts to those charities from contributors in fund drives conducted at work and on the Internet. ICA is inclusive in its membership policies and welcomes charities of all types, providing they meet ICA's eligibility standards.
ICA was founded in 1988 by a group of volunteers led by James J. Casimir, then the National Director of Appeals for the Internal Revenue Service and now an executive with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP.
Operation Smile is a member of Children's Medical Charities of America (CMCA). As a CMCA member, Operation Smile has to continuously demonstrate in its work the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness and cost efficiency.
Children's Medical Charities of America is a coalition comprised of many of America's finest charitable organizations dedicated to saving the lives of children here at home and around the world. CMCA's member charities provide free surgery, free medical care, respite care, support and education for caregivers, fund medical research and state-of-the-art training for physicians.
Operation Smile is a member of the Points of Light Foundation. The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to engaging more people more effectively in volunteer service to address serious social problems. Through the strength of local affiliate Volunteer Centers, local and national partners, and its members, the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network strengthens the capacity of volunteer programs and connects millions of volunteers to service opportunities every year.
Operation Smile is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) associated with the United Nation's Department of Public Information (DPI). As such, Operation Smile acts as a liaison to the United Nations. Criteria for association with the DPI of the United Nations are that the NGO must support and respect the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and have a clear mission statement.
The NGO must be recognized nationally or internationally, and should operate solely on a not-for-profit basis and have tax-exempt status. The NGO must have the commitments and means to conduct effective information programs to its constituents and a broader audience about United Nations activities and should have an established record of continuity of work and show promise of sustained activity in the future.
All NGOs that are associated with the United Nations must have a satisfactory record of collaboration with the United Nations, have audited financial statements, and have statutes/bylaws providing for a transparent process of making decisions, elections of officers and members of the Board of Directors.
A cleft-lip or cleft palate can prevent eating or drinking.