The International Eye Foundation Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
Most people wonder how we're funded, if they can volunteer to help, and if we offer services that can treat blindness in the United States. Answers to these questions and more can be found here. If you haven't found the answers you're looking for, we'd be delighted to hear from you! [ IEF Resources ]
How much does IEF spend on its programs?
The IEF prides itself on the effective use of our financial resources. In the most recent fiscal year (FY 2005), IEF spent 88% of our total budget on global programs to help people see. This includes cash expenditures on programs, as well as donated medicines and medical supplies which were distributed for use.
From what sources does the IEF receive its income?
The IEF receives its funding from diverse sources, including:
- Public support through an active mail program
- Annual Fund drive
- Workplace campaigns, such as United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign, administered through International Service Agencies
- Corporate and foundation grants
- Program grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
- IEF's Annual Eye Ball®, a charity gala held each year in Washington, D.C.
- Annual Wine Tasting event
- Membership income from the Society of Eye Surgeons (SES)
- Optometric providers through our Pickle Jar program
Does IEF use volunteers for its programs?
IEF often uses local volunteers from the communities where our programs are conducted. Community health workers, village leaders, community members, and school teachers receive training in primary eye care and disease prevention to support and supplement the work of our staff. Local activities for volunteers include:
- Basic vision screening
- Dispensing Mectizan® tablets for onchocerciasis
- Dispensing vitamin A capsules for children
- Basic nutrition education
- HIV/AIDS prevention education
Due to the nature of IEF's programs, we do not use short-term volunteers. We employ local ophthalmologists, nurses, physicians, and public health specialists within the countries where we work. IEF's Society of Eye Surgeons and partners help when there is a specific need for a sub-specialist ophthalmologist, epidemiologist, or public health expert.
For volunteer opportunities, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Volunteer Registry online.
Can the IEF help pay for my father to get a cataract operation?
IEF programs do not provide financial assistance to individuals. Our programs focus on strengthening and increasing available eye care services in the countries where we are working.
Where can I get information on a clinical study?
The National Eye Institute (NEI), a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, based in Bethesda, Maryland, maintains an extensive list of useful resources. These include:
- Organizations which may offer financial assistance · Information on specific eye diseases such as cataract, macular degeneration, glaucoma, etc.
- Disease specific organizations
- Selected national eye health-related organizations, with contact information and brief descriptions of resources and programs
- Information about new and on-going clinical trials related to blinding eye diseases
The IEF's blindness prevention and sight saving programs are funded by governmental, foundation, and corporate contributors, as well as individuals like you who generously donate online. Our website showcases our successes and our breadth of services to the developing world. Feel free to contact us with specific questions or requests. [ IEF's Partners ]