SIGHTSAVERS INC

Boston, MA   |  www.sightsaversusa.org

Mission

Our vision is of a world where no one is blind from avoidable causes, and where people with disabilities participate equally in society. We work with local partners in over 30 countries in Africa and Asia. Sightsavers Inc. was newly incorporated in Missouri in November 2015 as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit (EIN: 47-4657747), to which we have transferred all of our fundraising operations. These activities formerly operated under Sightsavers International, Inc., a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit incorporated in Delaware in 2000 (EIN: 31-1740776). Sightsavers International Inc. will continue to operate for the exclusive purpose of distributing the drug Mectizan® to treat the neglected tropical disease river blindness, through an in-kind drug donation from Merck & Co., Inc.

Ruling year info

2015

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Caroline Harper CBE

Main address

1 Boston Pl, Suite 2600

Boston, MA 02108 USA

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Formerly known as

Sightsavers International, Inc.

EIN

47-4657747

NTEE code info

Eye Diseases, Blindness and Vision Impairments (G41)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

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

At least one billion people worldwide have sight loss that could be prevented or treated; of these 89% live in low and middle income countries. Blindness and poverty are inextricably linked. Eye surgery enables people to work and feed their families. Over 300 million children struggle with their education and everyday activities because they lack glasses; leaving them locked into a lifetime of disadvantage. By restoring sight, Sightsavers enables parents to provide for their family, and children to learn and have an independent future. Blinding and debilitating neglected tropical diseases affect more than a billion of the world’s most vulnerable people. They are most prevalent in rural regions, poor urban areas and conflict zones. Sightsavers works to prevent, treat and eliminate five of these diseases. There are 800 million people with disabilities in low and middle income countries, and many of them are routinely denied basic human rights. Sightsavers fights for their rights.

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 restoring surgeries and glasses to people with little access to services


Vision is far more than a health issue. Vision impacts education, productivity, employability, road safety, equality and quality of life.

Over one billion people who are blind or visually impaired, could be treated or their sight loss could have been prevented. The majority live in low- and middle-income countries. Over 300 million children and teenagers globally will struggle with their education and everyday activities if they cannot access prescribed glasses.

Blindness and poverty are closely linked - a vicious cycle with blindness being both the cause and result of poverty. Over $224 billion is lost in productivity globally due to one type of visual impairment alone.
Yet, simple, cost-effective and affordable solutions already exist, such as glasses or sight restoring surgery. Research by the World Bank shows cataract surgery is one of the most cost-effective health interventions. Randomized control trials show the provision of glasses to those with poor vision, improves school test scores and leads to a significant increase in potential earnings.
Sightsavers develops innovative evidence-based programs for those most in need; especially ensuring women, people with disabilities and those in hard to reach locations are able to access treatment. We train and equip health professionals, community volunteers and teachers to identify sight loss, and ophthalmic staff, surgeons, nurses, hospitals and health facilities to prescribe glasses or treat blinding conditions. Our programs correct the vision of struggling school children and restore sight to those who are blind from cataract.

Our country led model ensures local and government buy in and our systems strengthening approach leads to very high levels of sustainability. We are proud to have exited areas of Africa and Asia; leaving a legacy of quality services run by local hospitals and funded by government.

Funding Sightsavers will contribute to more productive societies, increased potential family incomes and improved life chances for some of the world’s poorest communities.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people
People with disabilities

Where we work

Accreditations

GiveWell Top Charity 2022

ImpactMatters; impact report 100 out of 100 2019

Independent Research Organization, Research Councils 2017

Disability Confident Employer 2022

Awards

Hemmingway award 2019

Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Interruption of River Blindness transmission 2019

Ministry of Health, Nigeria

Innovative Practice prize in Zero Project Award 2021

Zero Project

Eye Health Heroes Awards 2020

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

Women’s Empowerment Award 2021

World Blind Union

Global South e-Health Observatory Award 2020

Pierre Fabre Foundation

Women's Empowerment Award 2021

World Blind Union

Affiliations & memberships

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness 2022

Uniting to Combat NTDs 2022

Metrics for Management 2022

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data 2022

Devex 2022

International Disability and Development Consortium 2022

World Blind Union 2022

Global Health Workforce Alliance 2022

International Trachoma Coalition 2022

World Health Organization Tropical Data 2021

Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network 2022

Global Campaign for Education 2022

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 eye operations performed (excluding neglected tropical disease operations)

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, People with vision impairments

Related Program

Sight restoring surgeries and glasses to people with little access to services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

When it was necessary in 2020 (as per World Health Organization and ministries of health guidelines) we paused our programs. Most programs delivered an increased number of surgeries in 2021.

Number of people receiving an eye health examination

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, People with vision impairments

Related Program

Sight restoring surgeries and glasses to people with little access to services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

When it was necessary in 2020 (as per World Health Organization and ministries of health guidelines) we paused our programs. Most programs delivered an increased number of eye examinations in 2021.

Number of treatments given for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, People with disabilities, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

When it was necessary in 2020 (as per World Health Organization and ministries of health guidelines) we paused our programs. Most programs treated more people for NTDs in 2021.

Number of people receiving prescription glasses following eye examinations

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, People with vision impairments

Related Program

Sight restoring surgeries and glasses to people with little access to services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

When it was necessary in 2020 (as per World Health Organization and ministries of health guidelines) we paused our programs. Most programs distributed more glasses in 2021.

Number of village-level volunteers trained

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

Economically disadvantaged people, Nomadic people, People with disabilities, People with diseases and illnesses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

When it was necessary in 2020 (as per World Health Organization and ministries of health guidelines) we paused our programs. Most programs are now training volunteers again.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve marginalized communities in low and middle income countries, with a specific focus on reaching those living in remote areas and those with disabilities.

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

    SMS text surveys, Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • 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,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Feedback from the people we serve has resulted in multiple changes to the design of multiple programs. Some examples are; • some women-only outreach activities were organized in more remote and culturally conservative areas • transport was provided for women who needed to travel to the district hospital for surgery • use female patients as ambassadors to encourage women to seek services where there is a low uptake of services by women • changing the timing of outreach eye health camps to match the availability of women and men and their working hours • introducing gender and disability inclusion training for health workers following beneficiary feedback on the barriers they face accessing treatment

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    By seeking the views of multiple stakeholders (beneficiaries, government, partner organizations) we increase their ‘buy in’ to our work and as a result increase our impact. By collecting feedback from beneficiaries and acting on it, we have increased the active support of community members and leaders, and their participation in our programs. This has resulted in some community leaders becoming ambassadors for our work within their community and this increases the uptake of offers of treatment. The process of collecting feedback, using participatory methods, puts more power in the hands of the people we serve. This in turn encourages a sense of ownership which increases sustainability.

  • 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?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

SIGHTSAVERS INC
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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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  • 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.

SIGHTSAVERS INC

Board of directors
as of 06/13/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Adrian Poffley

World Bank

Anne-Marie Walsh

Geordie Woods

Simon Bush

Mark Ramsden

William Kendall

Mike Straney

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 1/26/2022

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
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/11/2022

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 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.