Health—General & Rehabilitative

Fistula Foundation

Give a woman new life.

aka The Fistula Foundation

San Jose, CA


Fistula Foundation is dedicated to treating women suffering from obstetric fistula, a terrible childbirth injury that leaves a woman incontinent. Surgery is the only cure. We believe that no woman should be forced to live a life of shame and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world. We do one thing and do it well: treating obstetric fistula. Our organization provides more life-transforming fistula repair surgeries than any other organization. Fistula Foundation is committed to accountability and transparency, and receives the highest ratings from every industry watchdog group.

Ruling Year


Chief Executive Officer

Kate L. Grant

Main Address

1922 The Alameda Suite 302

San Jose, CA 95126 USA


women, fistula, obstetric fistula, maternal health, childbirth, reproductive health, maternal health, maternal morbidity, traumatic, women health, reproductive health, fistula hospital, rape victims, incontinence, rape, Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somaliland, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Congo charities, Afghanistan charities, Panzi Hospital, one thousand sisters, cutting for stone, half the sky





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016.
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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The Problem: Obstetric Fistula Obstetric fistula is a terrible 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

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Providing Fistula Treatment

Countrywide Treatment Networks

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Fistula Surgeries

Population(s) served


Context notes

The only way to cure fistula is surgery. In 2016, we funded more fistula surgeries than any other organization, including the U.S. government, all because of generous people like you.

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Our Goal: To End Her Suffering 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. While we provide thousands of surgeries every year, we know for every woman treated, at least 50 go without care. This is what motivates us. We will continue our work until obstetric fistula is eradicated globally.

Our Strategy: Life-Changing Fistula Surgeries Fistula Foundation does one thing and we do it well: treat obstetric fistula. We provide free, restorative fistula surgery to as many women as possible. To achieve this, we work closely with in-country partners across Africa and Asia who understand their local communities and how best to serve the women they treat. In addition to providing surgeries, we support efforts to train surgeons and nurses, equip treatment facilities, and improve grassroots outreach. Fistula Foundation is also innovating through our networks of care in Kenya and Zambia. This groundbreaking model focuses on removing barriers to treatment and encouraging care providers countrywide to work together to treat more women, faster. By institutionalizing fistula care within a country’s health system, we believe this model is the future of fistula treatment—and the way to end fistula, once and for all.

Our Organization: A Global Leader Fistula Foundation provides more life-transforming fistula repair surgeries than any other organization in the world. To date, we have partnered with more than 150 hospitals and clinics in 31 countries across Africa and Asia. Where many aid organizations spend a majority of their funds on U.S.-based operations, we turn that model around: 80 percent of our income goes to work on the ground in Africa and Asia. We also have consistently received the highest ratings from every industry watchdog group, including GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and GreatNonprofits. We are also recommended by ethicist Peter Singer’s The Life You Can Save organization. Based on our core belief of financial transparency and accountability, we post all of our audits and tax returns on our website.

The Outcome: A Life Transformed One million women suffer from the devastating effects of obstetric fistula, and that backlog grows every year. Fistula is a symptom of deep, intractable problems: poverty and gender discrimination. Patients are usually extremely poor, having developed a fistula simply because they lacked access to basic obstetric care when trying to deliver a child. By providing free surgery to women with obstetric fistula, their lives will be fundamentally changed for the better. Left untreated, an obstetric fistula can ruin a woman’s life: too often she is abandoned by her husband and ostracized by her community because others cannot stand her smell. However, when she has access to fistula repair, she can resume living a healthy and productive life. We know that to truly end fistula, the future must be integrated—hospitals, surgeons, and outreach workers must all work together. That’s why we are so excited about our countrywide treatment model in Kenya and Zambia. We believe this model has the potential to end fistula in a generation—in Kenya, Zambia, and beyond.

Our Progress: Over 30,000 Women and Counting Fistula Foundation is a global leader in the battle against obstetric fistula. In 2017, we celebrated 31,718 women transformed by fistula surgery, and to date, we have worked with partners across 150 sites in 31 countries throughout Africa and Asia. Each of these milestones were made possible by our phenomenal community of 55,000 supporters spread across 60 countries who share our mission to end the suffering caused by obstetric fistula. We are also proud to have launched pathbreaking, countrywide treatment networks in two nations, and are continuing 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

External Reviews

Awards & Accreditations

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Charity Navigator

Affiliations & Memberships

Combined Federal Campaign



Fistula Foundation

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.


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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable