National Society to Prevent Blindness HQ

Bringing Americans to Eye Care

aka Prevent Blindness, Prevent Blindness America   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.preventblindness.org

Mission

We prevent blindness and preserve sight across all age spectrums and multiple eye conditions. We focus on improving the nation's vision and eye health by educating the American public on the importance of taking care of their eyes and vision, by promoting advances in public health systems of care that support eye health needs, and by advocating for public policy that emphasizes early detection and access to appropriate eye care.

Ruling year info

1990

President & CEO

Mr. Jeff P Todd

Main address

225 W Wacker Dr Suite 400

Chicago, IL 60606 USA

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EIN

36-3667121

NTEE code info

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

Health (General and Financing) (E80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We educate the public about eye health and safety and provide positive strategies to maintain healthy vision for themselves and those around them. We advocate for public policy that supports equitable opportunities for healthy vision for all Americans. We promote early detection as a key to the prevention of vision loss. We support research that encourages improvements in public health systems and develops new treatment regimens. It is our vision that all children are afforded the benefits of sight as they grow and learn, all adults are educated about proper eye health care and have access to that same care, and no one needlessly loses his or her sight due to unsafe practices.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Public Education/Awareness

Public awareness is a core activity of Prevent Blindness. We increase awareness and educate the public on the importance of taking care of their eyes through brochures, fact sheets, public service announcements, newsletters, media campaigns, special events, monthly observance calendar, our website and social media. Each year millions of people read, hear or see our messages about early detection of eye disease and prevention of accidents that can cause permanent loss of sight. Social media and news outlet placements impressions totaled over 1 billion last year.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

With our various health education initiatives, Prevent Blindness educates specific populations about vision and eye health and safety. These programs can by delivered to eye care professionals, nurses, teachers, social workers, and others in the field of blindness prevention through a variety of venues and rely on both existing and customized Prevent Blindness resources for their content. Current programs include the diabetic eye disease educator program, the glaucoma educator program, and the healthy eyes adult education program. We served nearly 8 thousand professionals nationwide last year.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

Prevent Blindness advocates for public policies that improve health systems nationwide and resources that ensure everyone has affordable, accessible, and quality eye care options. Current efforts include advocating for increased surveillance of vision problems, public health and prevention programming, investments in research, access to eye health care, safety in and access to effective treatments, a strengthened eye health professional workforce, and fair out-of-pocket costs. We provide patient support through education and awareness campaigns, free/low-cost eye care assistance through industry partnerships, and advocacy and support programs that empower individuals living with vision challenges and their caregivers. In addition, our affiliate system screened over 1.1 million children and adults nationwide for early detection of eye trouble.

Population(s) Served
Adults

To support important advancements in the understanding of vision and eye health, Prevent Blindness mobilizes grassroots support for protecting and increasing funding for vision and eye health research through the National Eye Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The Prevent Blindness Joanne Angle Investigator Award provides funding for research investigating public health related to eye health and safety. This research grant promotes the core mission of Prevent Blindness - preventing blindness and preserving sight. Through our focus initiative, we support the collection and publication of prevalence and economic data to help health care providers, state government and national policy makers make better decisions about eye and vision health.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Provide best practices and technical assistance on creating and implementing comprehensive children’s vision screening and eye health programs (for children from birth through 18 years old).

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with vision impairments

Related Program

Community Service/Patient Support

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Prevent Blindness and its National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) provided assistance to 4,895 professionals and impacted 2,927,000 children across the nation.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Prevent Blindness' ultimate priority is to prevent vision loss across the lifespan, with a focus on ages and populations who are most vulnerable to vision impairment or blindness. To address this, we have established six overarching goals

Goal 1:Educate - We promote awareness about Prevent Blindness, our resources, and our work. We provide information that leads to an increased appreciation of the value of good vision.

Goal 2:Advocate - Prevent Blindness has always advocated preventing blindness and preserving sight for individuals and populations as a whole. We honor this history and seek to grow our efforts through this strategic plan by promoting policies,practices, and population health changes that result in improved access to vision services.

Goal 3:Empower - Prevent Blindness is an ideal convener among key stakeholder organizations while also supporting the individual in achieving their best sight for a lifetime.

Goal 4:Promote Coordination of Vision and Eye Health Efforts through Affiliates and Other Critical Partners - In all actions that we take as an organization, Prevent Blindness must be the catalyst-amplifying our impact as we work with others who are also dedicated to and impacted by our mission.

Goal 5:Fundraising, Fiscal Management, and Resource Optimization - As an organization, we seek to recognize and strategically utilize existing organizational resources-including both human capital as well as technology, and communication strategies-in our work.

Goal 6:Approach that is Grounded in Integrity, Experience, Science, and Accountability - Prevent Blindness has developed a reputation of integrity and embraces a science-driven and evidence-based approach to all programs, advice, and products we produce.

Statement of Need: The burden of eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetes-related eye disease, and uncorrected refractive error among vulnerable and high-risk populations is disproportionate in prevalence, economic impact, and ability to address the growth of the disease. The emergence of these health disparities is due to the interaction of a series of factors, including those that are cultural, personal, societal, and environmental. Presently, there are more than 36 million adult Americans currently affected by vision problems that, if not detected and treated early, could lead to vision loss; and more than 12.1 million school-age children, or one in four, have some form of vision problem requiring treatment.
The annual economic burden of vision disorders in the US is calculated at $167 billion, and is projected to rise to $717 billion if aggressive interventions are not put in place now. Achieving a reduction in these numbers and their related health inequities is what drives Prevent Blindness's approach to improved vision through population health interventions.
We work to improve the nation's vision health as well as its overall health status.

Much of our work is focused on enhancing existing systems of care and educating the public on vision and eye health.

Our near-term activities include:

1. Public Health Vision Summit
In July of 2021, we will host its 10th annual “Focus on Eye Health" National Summit to bring focused attention to the growing body of public health research related to vision and eye health.

2. National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health
Through our National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health, we will be continuing our efforts to serve as a coordinator for national collaboration around systemic approaches to children's eye health.

3. Center for Vision and Population Health
The Center serves as a national coordinating body for effective practices, state-level technical assistance, and programmatic interventions. It collaborates with community, state, and national stakeholders.

4. A.S.P.E.C.T. Patient Engagement Program
The ASPECT program promotes patient and caregiver (ally) engagement, awareness, leadership, and advocacy for the vision and visually-impaired community.

5. Low Vision Resource Center
Prevent Blindness hosts an expansive online resource for people with low vision-Living Well with Low Vision (http://lowvision.preventblindness.org) developed from the point of view of patients and patient advocates.

6. Public Awareness
In 2021 we plan to undertake specific public awareness campaigns focused on AMD, Diabetic Eye Disease, Glaucoma, Sports Eye Safety Dry Eye, Children's Eye Health, and potentially other topics.

7. Vision Screening and Training
Prevent Blindness has the only national program that trains and certifies individuals around the country to conduct vision screenings to identify people with potential vision problems, and refer them to appropriate care. In 2020, our screening programs and those of our partners resulted in approximately 1.3 millions individuals screened with roughly 118,000 being referred for professional eye care; and we will continue our training programs to support this effort.

8. Professional Education/Training
Through our online Training Center, Prevent Blindness offers a 3-year, national certification program in vision screening skills, video-based trainings and presentations on diabetes-related eye disease and glaucoma, as well as a set of modular presentations on a wide variety of eye health topics.

9. Public Policy Advocacy
Since our founding, our work has been deeply rooted in the culture of public policy advocacy. In 2021 Prevent Blindness updates our Policy Roadmap which provides guidance on numerous topics related to access to care, equity, social determinants of health, quality of life, and treatment availability to support eye health. We advocate for continued support of key federal programs that have a history of bringing attention to and addressing vision problems and vision research. We serve as a key community partner in the membership of the Congressional Vision Caucus.

Prevent Blindness is the leading national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight across all life stages. We focus on improving the nation's vision health by educating the public on the importance of taking care of their eyes and their vision, by promoting advances in public health systems that support eye health needs, and by advocating for public policy that emphasizes early detection and access to appropriate eye care.

Our recent history has seen the organization evolve into one focused on implementing nationwide systems change to impact vision and eye health. Such efforts include advocating for the establishment and funding of a vision health initiative at the CDC; leading the development of the Congressional Vision Caucus; publishing data on the prevalence of vision problems and the associated costs; establishing a National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health; supporting a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on vision and population health; convening a national public health summit on vision and eye health; and establishing the Center for Vision and Population Health.

Our internal resources include a strong national staff of approximately 23, with a broad range of experiences including public health, government relations, communications, resource development, public relations, board development, strategic planning, field relations, finance, and administration; an active Board of Directors with 27 members representing academia, industry, foundations, public health, and government relations, thousands of volunteers across the country; and an annual operating budget of $10 million.

Our websites– www.preventblindness.org and https://lowvision.preventblindness.org/ –and social media outlets currently see more than one million unique visitors annually and serves as our go-to source of information on eye health and safety.

Externally, we engage a wide range of partners and stakeholders. To augment the work of our national office, we have a strong network of affiliates and field offices. These offices collaborate in many of our initiatives and also address issues unique to the populations of their own states and regions, through which they often foster new innovations that can be shared across the Prevent Blindness system. Additionally, we partner with federal agencies (including CDC, HRSA, and NEI); vision partner organizations (including AMD Alliance International, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Academy of Optometry, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research, and Lighthouse International); public health organizations (including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors); and industry partners.

Our recent accomplishments include:
1. Successfully undertook a rebranding effort, including website overhaul and new campaign(Take a Screen Time Out)
2. Corporate-supported awareness campaigns - AMD, Women's Eye Health, Children's Eye Health, Sports Eye Safety, Glaucoma, Thyroid Eye Disease/Grave's Disease, Rare Eye Disease, Inherited Retinal Diseases
3. Collaborations/Partnerships - Established the Children's Vision Equity Coalition, partnered with the Society for Women in Health Research, partnered with a coalition of AMD organizations on an AMD Central Website resource, partnered with the National Optometric Association for Children's Eye Health and Safety month and ACHIEVE (a social media campaign for children's vision). Co-hosted webinars on children's vision with the National Head Start Association.
4. The Glaucoma Community - An app- and web-based resource and gathering place for people with glaucoma and their caretakers.
5. Voucher Programs & Financial Assistance -Have been somewhat challenged by the pandemic, as our partners had to halt their programs temporarily during COVID, but added multiple new resources to our financial assistance resource list and emphasized the need to gather additional partners.
6. Targeting Caregivers - Integrated caregivers/allies into the new ASPECT Program, providing targeted discussions and leadership opportunities. Included support for parents/caregivers in the new Small Steps for Big Vision resource. Developed a support manual for caregivers; available on the Living Well with Low Vision website.
7. Performance Measures, Surveillance & Accountability - Performance Measures recommended by Prevent Blindness have been included in the new Healthy People 2030 initiative.
8.Public policy Coalitions of Which We are a Part - ITEM, Global Coalition on Aging, Children's Budget Coalition, Coalition to establish a White house office on children and youth, ASP, National Head Start Coalition...
9. Updated our Policy Roadmap
10. Covid-19 Resource
11. Equity in Eye Health
12. Clinical Trial Awareness
In an effort to reach our ultimate intended impact – preventing vision loss across the lifespan, with a focus on ages and populations at highest risk - in recent years, Prevent Blindness has realigned our focus to have a broader impact on existing public health systems by equipping them to address vision and eye health, a topic that is often overlooked, particularly in light of its high prevalence and cost. We are doing this while continuing to develop educational programs, increase public awareness, and advocate for improved policies to address vision and eye health concerns. The accomplishments listed above are just a few examples of this.

While we feel we have accomplished a great deal, much work remains to be done. We are particularly focused on the area of our work that will inform and enhance public health systems across all 50 states, and that will increase the distribution of our eye health messages.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

National Society to Prevent Blindness
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

National Society to Prevent Blindness

Board of directors
as of 3/31/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kathleen Murphy

University of Texas Medical Branch

Term: 2019 - 2021

James Anderson

Paul Howes

Patricia Davis

James Shyer

Tracy Williams

Neil Levine

Kathleen Murphy

Nancy Tuffin

Sandra Block

Steve Corman

Mark Ginsberg

Dave LeCause

Andy Davis

John Ferris

Ted Gillette

Stephanie Marioneaux

Cadmus Rich

Jim Brocato

Linda Chous

Paul Delatore

Morgan Diaz

Paul Huff

Jeff McClennan

Jim McGrann

Rajeev Ramchandran

Mitchell Brinks

Michelle Skinner

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/19/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.