Operation Smile: Unrepentant, Egregious Spammers

By | November 4, 2008

Operation Smile started spamming me in 2004 after I donated to them on-line and gave them my email address so they could send me a receipt.

They have sent me spam on November 5, 2004; December 22, 2004; January 11, 2005; December 7, 2005; December 20, 2005; March 8, 2006; May 11, 2006; May 28, 2007; and November 4, 2008.

I have complained to them about the spam on November 7, 2004; January 9, 2005; December 8, 2005; May 28, 2007, and November 4, 2008.  The one and only response I received was on January 11, 2005, when they apologized and claimed (falsely) that the spam would stop.

The American Institute Philanthropy gives Operation Smile a grade of rating of “D” (on an ABCDF scale).  In contrast, Smile Train, another charity which does similar work, gets a “B-” grade.

Because of their poor grade and their penchant for spamming, I strongly discourage people from providing any support, financial or otherwise, to Operation Smile.

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2 thoughts on “Operation Smile: Unrepentant, Egregious Spammers

  1. Denise

    Hi Jonathan,

    I googled Operation Smile and came across your blog. Do you happen to have the link for Operation Smile’s charity rating by the American Institute of Philanthropy? I’ve checked out their website and no rating was given.

    I’ve recently raised some money for the Operation Smile chapter in my country. Some of my friends raised concerns about OS and advised me to donate to another organization. I would like to verify the facts before I make my decision.

    Thank you very much

    1. jik Post author

      He Denise,

      The AIP, which by the way recently changed its name to “CharityWatch”, only make their ratings directly available to donors. They explain why at http://charitywatch.org/faq.html#free . They explain at http://charitywatch.org/ratingguide.html how you can get a sample ratings guide for $3.00. If you decide after reviewing the sample (and I think you will) that it’s worth supporting the organization and continuing to receive periodic ratings guide, you can do so with a donation of at least $40 per year. I highly recommend it.

      I don’t save old copies of the ratings guide, but I seem to recall that in addition to the low grade that CharityWatch gives to Operation Smile, they’ve also run articles in the past that were critical of the its operations.

      I checked the most recent edition of the ratings guide, and Operation Smile still has a D grade. Smile Train has moved up from a B- to a B.


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