Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Smile Train

It's been a while since I've posted, so this will hopefully serve to get me back into the swing of things and posting a bit more regularly.

I've been noticing recently loads and loads of ads for the Smile Train, a charity that fixes cleft palates in third world countries. I'll be honest - with the mere volume of these ads, in all kinds of papers and online, my first impression was skepticism. How much do these ads cost, and how much do they bring in? And - I've never seen this many ads for a charity anywhere - is there something suspicious here, in that there's such a huge number of ads?

Well, I did just a tiny bit of research, leading me to a few Freakonomics blog posts about the Smile Train. They were overwhemlingly positive, and talked about the founder establishing a new paradigm for charities, run as efficiently as businesses. I've had some experiences in the past with charities run very poorly, so I'm all for better management.

If ever some big scandal comes up for the Smile Train - like a percentage of the money is being siphoned off to secret Swiss bank accounts, etc. - I will have a huge "I knew it!" moment. But for now, it seems like they're doing good in a new and different way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


No need to worry about our ads, we by them at 10 cents on the dollar! We are very cost-conscious and have no swiss bank accounts!
All the best,
Brian Mullaney
smile train

3:45 AM  

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