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FAQ about giving to UNOS

Five things to know about where your dollars go

As stewards of the national transplant system, we are honored to manage the resources and gifts entrusted to us, especially the gift of life. This work comes from the heart, and it cannot happen without your generosity. Only together can we improve the transplant system through technology innovations and research.

UNOS gets paid to operate the nation’s transplant network (OPTN). Why do you need extra funds?

UNOS has a contract with the federal government to operate the OPTN. The government contributes about 10% of the annual operating cost to run the nation’s transplant network. The remainder of OPTN funding comes from the OPTN registration fee, a one-time fee associated with listing candidates on the transplant waiting list.

UNOS also performs critical work outside of the contract. UNOS conducts research and develops innovation projects with the organ donation and transplant community. UNOS also provides important educational resources for patients and families, and maintains the National Donor Memorial. None of this critical work is paid for by the OPTN contract and requires additional support.

How are charitable contributions used?
All funds raised for UNOS support technological innovations and research, patient education and engagement, and maintenance of the National Donor Memorial.

Solutions created with charitable contributions help save more lives by reducing patient wait time, enhancing recipient quality of life, and increasing the number of transplants for the thousands of children and adults with end-stage organ failure on the waiting list.

Visit the Impact Report for more information.

What efforts are not supported by fundraised dollars?

UNOS does not use charitable contributions for lobbying activities or to operate the nation’s transplant network.

What recent projects have been supported by charitable donations?

Developing an Organ Tracking Service (OTS) to monitor organs in transit from packaging to final delivery. That’s especially important since many organs fly unaccompanied on commercial airlines. More than 7,000 organ shipments across the U.S. have been tracked using our service, ensuring a safe delivery, and reducing organ non-use.

Saving more lives through living organ donation. About 10,400 people are currently waiting for a liver transplant. To expand the number of living liver donations, UNOS has launched a UNOS Liver Paired Donation (LPD) pilot program. It is the first nation-wide initiative to facilitate liver paired donation matches.

Creating Heart Simulation Modeling. UNOS has developed simulation models for multiple organ communities. These models can estimate the impact of possible changes to the transplant ecosystem. For the heart transplant community, this includes the ability to study the potential outcomes of allocation and treatment changes.

Is UNOS accredited?

UNOS is committed to trust and accountability, which are two of the five values that guide all of our work, including fundraising. We have a platinum-level designation by GuideStar, the premier source of information on U.S. non-profit organizations.

We also adhere to the charitable Donor Bill of Rights. It was created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and The Giving Institute to assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support.

We are dedicated to being good stewards of your financial gift. View our Uniform Disclosure Statementand read our privacy policy.

Integrity & transparency

UNOS is committed to trust and accountability. We are proud of our platinum-level designation by GuideStar, the premier source of information on U.S. non-profit organizations. Learn more about our annual financial reporting.

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

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