Transforming Faces Is "Smile Train's" Business

Smile Train’s Brian Mullaney has a super successful business model for his charityHarvard Magazine reports that in just a decade, Brian Mullaney’s “Smile Train”, the largest charity devoted to fixing cleft lip and palate injuries around the world, has sponsored more than 500,000 surgeries throughout 76 countries, with a primary focus in China and India. In the last fiscal year alone, Smile Train raised more than $100 million and sponsored about 110,000 operations—with only 42 employees. Says Mullaney, “We basically found a better mousetrap, then scaled the hell out of it.”

“Smile Train” is a feel-good endeavor but of equal interest is the fact that Mullaney runs the place like a business. People are paid market-rate salaries and a bonus if they’re really good. If performance is buspar, they’re fired.

Donors are treated like shareholders and global hospitals like “franchisees”. Read on at Harvard Magazine.