Fistula Foundation

Give a woman a new life.

aka The Fistula Foundation   |   San Jose, CA   |  http://www.fistulafoundation.org

Mission

Fistula Foundation is dedicated to treating women suffering from obstetric fistula, a devastating childbirth injury that leaves a woman incontinent. Surgery is the only cure. Fistula Foundation provides more life-transforming fistula repair surgeries than any other organization in the world. We believe that no woman should endure a life of misery and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world. We are committed to accountability and transparency, and receive the highest ratings from every industry watchdog group.

Ruling year info

2001

Chief Executive Officer

Kate L. Grant

Main address

1700 The Alameda Suite 300

San Jose, CA 95126 USA

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EIN

77-0547201

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (E12)

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

Obstetric fistula is a childbirth injury that devastates the lives of poor women in the developing world. It is caused by prolonged obstructed labor and leaves a woman incontinent, unable to control her urine, feces, or both. Corrective surgery is the only treatment available. Obstetric fistula is a largely hidden issue, even though at least one million women are suffering from the condition today. Young women in poor, rural areas with limited access to health services are the most vulnerable. Their smell drives away friends and family, they are socially stigmatized, and too often, their husbands abandon them. Many of these women think they are the only person with this condition and do not know that it has a name and is treatable. Despite urgent need and the proven ability of surgery to cure most women, a pervasive gap remains in both global awareness and funding. Fistula Foundation is committed to filling this gap.

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?

Providing Fistula Treatment

Fistula Foundation does one thing, and we do it well: treat obstetric fistula through high quality, restorative surgery. After a decade of growth, we are now the global leader in fistula treatment, providing more surgeries than any other organization, including the US government and the United Nations.
We work with carefully selected doctors across Africa and Asia, and to date, we have partnered with more than 150 hospitals and clinics in 31 countries. These highly-skilled partners on the ground are vital to our success. They know their patients and local communities best, and bring a culturally sensitive approach to fistula treatment.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

In 2014, we launched a pathbreaking, countrywide treatment program in Kenya, and saw excellent results. In 2017, we brought the model to Zambia. Both programs are thriving, and we’re looking ahead to expand into more countries in the future.
Our countrywide model focuses on four main areas: innovative community outreach, a collaborative network of fistula hospitals, certified surgeon training, and holistic rehabilitation. Together, these address the several prevalent barriers to treatment and healing.
Most fistula survivors live in rural areas and hide themselves in shame. If they do make it to a hospital, too few facilities offer fistula care, which means that many women must travel long distances for help. What’s more, fistula repair surgeries are difficult, and there is a global shortage of specialized surgeons and nurses. And, survivors often continue to experience emotional trauma, even after they are physically healed. Our comprehensive model responds to every element in a woman’s journey to healing, and we believe it has the capacity to end fistula in a generation.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Where we work

Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2020

Awards

A-Rated 2019

Charity Watch

Four Star Charity 2020

Charity Navigator

Top-Rated List 2020

Great Nonprofits

Recommended Charity 2020

The Life You Can Save

Affiliations & memberships

Combined Federal Campaign 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Fistula Surgeries

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

Women and girls

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The only cure for fistula is surgery. We now fund more fistula surgeries than any other organization, including the U.S. government and the United Nations, all because of generous people like you.

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.

Fistula Foundation is committed to providing life-transforming fistula repair surgeries to the world’s most vulnerable women. According to a peer-reviewed analysis from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, there are over one million women suffering with obstetric fistula around the world. This number is always top of mind for us at Fistula Foundation—while we provide thousands of surgeries each year, we know that there are many more women still waiting for treatment. This is what motivates us. We believe that no woman should be forced to live in misery simply for trying to bring a child into the world—and we will continue to work until obstetric fistula is eradicated globally.

We have always been thoughtful about our strategy and have maintained a keen focus on delivering the greatest possible impact with our resources. Our top priority is funding fistula surgery because we know that surgery is the only cure for obstetric fistula, and there are very few alternative sources of funding for surgery. Patients are usually extremely poor and lack the political capital to force governments to help—and so for the foreseeable future, funds to treat patients will have to come from donors.
We specifically avoid mission creep and only support activities that directly enable the treatment of women or remove a critical bottleneck to treating more women. This means we limit our funding to hospitalization, surgery costs, surgical equipment and patient outreach. We have not funded other programs presented to us that don’t align directly with our focus on fistula treatment, for example, lobbying, academic research, midwifery training and contraceptive provision.
In addition, we operate Fistula Foundation with a lean model, keeping headcount low and being extremely cost-sensitive in all decision-making.

Where many aid organizations spend a majority of their funds on their U.S.-based operations, we turn that model around: over 80% of our revenue goes to work on the ground where we help build the capacity of strong African and Asian medical partners. We do our homework upfront about potential partners and only invite funding requests from solid, reliable programs. We closely monitor results to ensure quality of care, working directly with doctors and hospitals in developing countries, rather than through intermediaries, wherever possible. This helps build medical capacity where it is needed most—Africa and Asia—while helping us keep our operating costs down.
We operate by best practice standards, and secure validation from all key industry watchdogs including Charity Navigator, Guidestar, GreatNonprofits, The Life You Can Save, The Better Business Bureau, and Charity Watch. While our staff and board strive to adhere to the highest fiduciary standards, we want to prove it to you, too. We believe these multiple ratings also strengthen our fundraising efforts by giving donors big and small confidence that their hard-earned donations will be used to help women.

Fistula Foundation is the global leader in the battle against obstetric fistula—we fund more surgeries than any other organization. In 2020, we celebrated 50,000 women transformed by fistula surgery. To date, we have supported partners across 150 sites in 33 countries throughout Africa and Asia.
Each of these milestones was made possible by our phenomenal community of tens of thousands of donors from over 80 countries who share our mission to end the suffering caused by obstetric fistula.
We are also proud of our countrywide treatment networks in Kenya and Zambia, which continue to grow. The type and scale of this project is a global first— no other organization in the world has delivered a comparable nationwide infrastructure for fistula care.
We are looking ahead to bringing this game-changing model to other countries as funding allows.

Financials

Fistula 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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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Fistula Foundation

Board of directors
as of 07/11/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kelly Brennan

Citadel Securities

Term: 2019 -

Teri Whitcraft

ABC News, Special Units

Denis Robson

Johnson & Johnson (retired)

Mal Warwick

Mal Warwick | Donordigital

Robert Tessler

Toberoff, Tessler & Schochett (retired)

Kelly Brennan

Goldman Sachs

Lew Ling Yang

Apple

William (Bill) Mann

The Motley Fool

Charlotte Polle

OB/GYN & Fistula Surgeon

Gillian Slinger

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/28/2021

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
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data