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About UNOS

Saving lives together
UNOS Community

Who we are

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the mission-driven non-profit serving as the nation’s transplant system under contract with the federal government. We lead the network of transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to honoring the gifts of life entrusted to us and to making lifesaving transplants possible for patients in need. Working together, we leverage data and advances in science and technology to continuously strengthen the system, increase the number of organs recovered and the number of transplants performed, and ensure patients across the nation have equitable access to transplant.

UNOS employee discussing research in front of whiteboard

Our mission is to unite and strengthen the donation and transplant community to save lives.

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UNOS is involved in many aspects of the organ transplant and donation process:

  • Managing the national transplant waiting list, matching donors to recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Maintaining the database that contains all organ transplant data for every transplant event that occurs in the U.S.
  • Bringing together the transplant community to develop policies that make the best use of the limited supply of organs and give all patients a fair chance at receiving the organ they need, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion, lifestyle or financial/social status.
  • Monitoring every organ match to ensure organ allocation policies are followed.
  • Providing assistance to patients, family members and friends.
  • Educating transplant professionals about their important role in the donation and transplant processes.
  • Educating the public about the importance of organ donation.

What we do

UNOS manages the national transplant waiting list, matching donors to recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We accomplish this through policy, education and technology:

Organ donation and transplantation policy


UNOS follows a collaborative policy development process. We bring together the transplant community to develop policies that make the best use of the limited supply of organs.

How we develop policy

UNOS manages and operates the OPTN database


Every lifesaving organ transplant is managed through UNOS’ computer system, which matches donors with potential transplant recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Transplant technology

UNOS offers educational webinars, brochures and videos for professionals and patients


UNOS provides educational resources that help patients, family members, friends, potential donors and medical professionals understand organ donation and transplantation.

View education resources

How we began

UNOS originated in 1977 as an initiative of the South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation (SEOPF). SEOPF was the first organization to develop a computerized system to use medical information to match organ donors with transplant candidates.

SEOPF began the Kidney Center in 1982, with staff working around the clock to regionally place available organs. This operation evolved into the UNOS Organ Center.

UNOS was formally incorporated as an independent, non-profit organization in 1984 to meet the growing demand for transplants nationwide.

History of UNOS

How we began

Integrity & transparency

UNOS is committed to ongoing transparency and accountability in support of our mission, and is verified by several charity evaluators, including Guidestar, the premier source of information on U.S. nonprofit organizations.

Your giving matters.

Edward, transplant recipient

As the non-profit steward of the national transplant system, UNOS is honored by your generosity to support lifesaving innovation. See 2022 Impact Report.

Coming soon: 2023 Impact Report

With your help

UNOS begins with you. Your generosity and support are critical, and there are several ways to get involved and support UNOS’ life-saving mission.

UNOS Solutions

We offer a wide range of capabilities to support your organization’s technology, research and conference planning needs. View our UNOS Solutions and service offerings.

Contact UNOS business services


UNOS’ behavioral scientists, biostatisticians, data scientists, and developers partner with donation and transplantation experts to work toward solutions that will make the transplant system more efficient and increase transplants.

Learn about recent projects

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