PLATINUM2024

SEVA FOUNDATION

Transforming Lives by Restoring Sight

aka Seva   |   Berkeley, CA   |  http://www.seva.org

Mission

Seva is a global nonprofit eye care organization that works with local communities around the world to develop self-sustaining programs that preserve and restore sight.

Notes from the nonprofit

Sight Breaks the Cycle of Poverty Blindness and poor vision can keep people trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. By restoring sight and preventing blindness, people are able to better take care of their health, contribute to their communities, and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Restoring sight leads to education and opportunity. Globally, 19 million children are visually impaired or suffer from blindness. Restoring sight creates a profound and immediate impact. Most eye care treatments change lives right away. A pair of glasses brings the world into focus. A 15-minute cataract surgery restores sight and independence. Medication for eye infections prevents decades of blindness and suffering. High-quality eye care creates an immediate and lasting impact. Empowering Women and Girls More than half of people living with blindness and visual impairment are women and girls. Seva focuses on community-based approaches that tackle social and economic barriers.

Ruling year info

1979

Executive Director

Ms Kate Moynihan

Main address

1786 Fifth St

Berkeley, CA 94710 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

38-2231279

NTEE code info

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

Public Health Program (E70)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

An estimated 253 million people live with vision impairment: 36 million are blind and 217 million live with vision impairment. Thankfully, 75% of all vision impairment can be prevented or cured. In fact, half of the world's blindness is caused by cataracts, a condition that can be reversed with a 15-minute operation.Blindness and poor vision can keep people trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. By restoring sight and preventing blindness, people are able to better take care of their health, contribute to their communities, and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. The World Bank ranked cataract surgery as one of the most cost-effective health interventions that can be offered in low and middle income countries.Over half of the world's blind are women and girls. Seva focuses on community-based approaches that tackle the social and economic barriers preventing women and girls from getting the care they need. As a result, women and girls can receive care.

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?

Sight Program

Of the 39 million blind people worldwide, 90% of them live in the poorest areas of developing countries. But the most important statistic to understand is that 80% of the world's blind people could see again if they had access to adequate eye care services. To address the problem, Seva's Sight Programs focus on three primary initiatives: Direct Eye Care Services, Sustainable Eye Care Programs, and our internationally recognized Center for Innovation in Eye Care.
Read more about our sight program here: http://www.seva.org/site/PageServer?pagename=programs/prevent_blindness

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Economically disadvantaged people

Seva's American Indian Sight Initiative focuses on the most common and treatable eye health issues found in American Indian communities. We work with our partners to increase access to eye screenings, eyeglasses, and eye care.

Population(s) Served
People with vision impairments
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Awards

Vision Excellence Award 2020

International Association of Blindness

Affiliations & memberships

Independent Charities of America 2018

Nicholas Kristof-Grand Prize Winner-Holiday Impact Prize 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of teachers, community health workers, doctors, nurses and hospital administrators trained

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Sight Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Sevas goal is to build programs run by local people who have both the clinical knowledge to provide high quality eye care and the skills to train others. We fund several strategic training programs.

Number of people receiving eye care and exams.

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Sight Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This number was up from 893,746 the previous year. Each year Seva reaches into remote areas to provide universal access to eye care.

Surgeries Performed by Seva and our partners including cataract, trachoma trichiasis and others.

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Sight Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Low cost, high-quality surgeries cure blindness. Over 50% of blindness is caused by cataracts which can be cured by a 15-minute surgery costing as little as $50.

Glasses Distributed by Seva and our partners.

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Sight Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Previous statistics unavailable at this time

Average number of dollars received per donor

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of new donors

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of donors

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

2021 was an anomaly year for us because of the Nicholas Kristof Prize.

Number of donors retained

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

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

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.

Seva was founded in 1978 with the goal of eradicating preventable blindness around the world. Restoring sight is one of the most effective ways to relieve suffering and reduce poverty. The World Bank ranked cataract surgery as among the most cost-effective medical interventions that can be offered in the developing world.

An estimated 36 million people are blind worldwide and an additional 217 million people live with visual impairment. Blindness due to cataract, which causes about half the world's blindness, can be reversed with a simple 15-minute operation. Seva has worked tirelessly to make this treatment affordable and accessible to people around the world.

Seva is a global nonprofit that transforms lives and strengthens communities by restoring sight and preventing blindness. The organization trains local eye care providers and develops self-sustaining eye programs around the world to provide critical eye care to underserved communities, especially women, children, and indigenous peoples.

Blindness has practical, financial, and emotional effects on both the person who has lost her sight and on caretakers. Blindness is also a solvable problem: seventy-five percent of global blindness is treatable or preventable.

Without access to eye care, someone with deteriorated vision can become trapped in a cycle of poverty and dependent on others for even simple tasks like grooming, eating, and walking. Immobility and the inability to work or attend school limits opportunities both economically and personally. Often caregivers must also forgo paid work to meet the needs of a visually-impaired family member, further limiting opportunities for the entire family.

By addressing and preventing blindness and low-vision around the world, Seva's work makes it possible for individuals and communities to reach their potential. In partnership with local programs, Seva provides cost-effective eye care that is financially and substantively sustainable due the organization's focus on capacity building.

Using a capacity-building model to support the growth of self-sustaining eye care centers in more than 20 countries, Seva has restored sight and provided medicine, glasses, and other services to address and prevent low vision in millions of people.

Over half of those suffering from visual impairment are women or girls. By improving data collection with partners and offering education, screenings, transportation, and affordable care, Seva is increasing gender equity in access to eye care. Seva also invests heavily in pediatric eye care programs.

Rooted in respect for and belief in the capacity of local partners,Seva works with in-country partners and regional agencies to improve healthcare infrastructure and increase the volume and quality of eye care services in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Americas – including on American Indian lands in the United States.

Seva provides trainings, outreach, equipment, and supplies to make it possible for economically marginalized communities to have access to essential eye care (exams, surgery, glasses & medicine), regardless of ability to pay.

Based in partnership,Seva leads the Global Sight Initiative (GSI), a global network of eye hospitals. High-performing eye hospitals, many located in developing countries, mentor underperforming mentee hospitals. This relationship helps mentees reach more people, improve quality of service, and become financially self-sustaining. Globally, there are 10 mentor institutions working with 90+ mentees.

Mentors provide training, coaching, and system development to mentees, so they are able to increase community awareness of eye care, expand the number of locally-trained staff, and improve service quality. Developing their financial health and governance is key to mentees becoming fully self-sustaining.

Seva focuses its efforts on communities that are vulnerable to specific sight-related challenges.

AIDS Eye Initiative
Weakened immune systems in patients living with HIV/AIDS leave them susceptible to serious infections, including cytomegalovirus retinitis (CMV retinitis), which attacks the retina and can lead to sudden blindness. Though no longer common for patients in the USA, this is not true in developing countries and where the disease still carries significant social stigma.

Seva volunteers travel to places with high rates of HIV/AIDS infection to train local clinicians to diagnose, manage, and treat this condition to help patients retain their sight.

American Indian Sight Initiative
Due to a critical level of rural poverty on most American Indian reservations, high quality eye care isn't always available. American Indian children have high rates of astigmatism, so access to basic eye care (exams and glasses) is important.

Seva works with Native partners to overcome these barriers through focusing on outreach; providing glasses, equipment, and screenings to children and the elderly; and supporting the training of mid-level eye care professionals.

Seva pioneered a proven model that builds capacity in developing countries rooted in the belief that local people are capable of building and maintaining systems to improve eye health in their home countries. This approach is not only respectful of the capabilities of peoples throughout the world, regardless of culture or location – it is necessary, given the scope and scale of global blindness that we are likely to see in the decades to come.

Seva combines personal connection and public action to achieve considerable results in areas with limited economic opportunities. From the outset, the organization has been rooted in a celebration of diversity and the firm belief that every community has the interest in – and the ability to – meet the needs of its own people with the right training and guidance. We work directly with people in and from those communities who are willing and able to develop skills, achieve the highest standard of technical and intellectual expertise, and provide cost-effective sight services to fellow community members.

Seva trains local doctors and community outreach personnel and provides updates on eye care technology and techniques. The organization also helps eye care programs become financially sustainable by sharing best practices, such as instituting sliding-scale patient fees based on ability to pay. Seva's main approach is to strengthen local partner programs so they can continue to provide eye care services in a self-sustaining manner.

Powerful Partnerships
As a mature non-profit foundation, Seva is also adept at leveraging partnerships to expand its reach. For example, 500,000 people are seeing again through the partnership between Seva and TOMS One-for-One Sight Giving Program. Since 2011, a portion of the sales of TOMS Eyewear have supported medical treatments, eyeglasses, and sight-restoring surgeries. Similarly, eyeglass company MODO has donated tens of thousands of eyeglass frames to help Seva provide glasses to more people in developing countries.

Seva supported the development of low-cost, high quality intra-ocular lenses that make it possible to reverse blindness due to cataract with a 15-minute surgery that costs only $50 per eye. These surgeries have extremely low complication rates.

As noted above, Seva's collective programs have restored sight to more than 4 million people in the developing world since 1978. Thanks to Seva and its partners, in 2017 alone:

• 1.5 million children and adults received eye care screening and exams.
• 71,503 people received sight-restoring cataract surgeries.
• 105,815 people received eyeglasses to correct refractive error.
• 118,498 people received sight-saving medicines to prevent blindness.
• 2,558 women were trained to become Community Health Volunteers in their communities.
• 216 clinicians were trained in cataract surgery, retina conditions, corneal transplants and more.

Today 10 mentor institutions are working with over 90 eye hospitals in more than 15 countries to build sustainable, community-oriented eye programs. By 2020, Seva will have 200 hospitals committed to restoring sight. The widespread success of Seva's capacity-building model positions the organization well to reach its next ambitious goal of providing an additional one million sight-restoring surgeries every year by the year 2020.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

SEVA FOUNDATION
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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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lock

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.

SEVA FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 02/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

DR. Mariano Yee Melgar

No Affiliation


Board co-chair

Claudio Privitera

Wavy Gravy

no affiliation

Mariano Yee

no affiliation

Lisa Laird

no affiliation

Marty Spencer

no affiliation

Claudio Privetera

no affiliation

Dhivya Ravilla Ramasamy

no affiliation

Jacob Wojnas

VAUGHAN ACTON

no affiliation

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 2/20/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/09/2021

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 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 use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.