Frequently Asked Questions
The following information is provided to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions. If you need additional assistance, please submit your question to Donor Services on our Contact Us page. This information is kept as current as possible and is updated regularly.
Select an FAQ topic below:
General Information FAQ’s
Q: What is a quick overview of Project HOPE?
A: Project HOPE was established in 1958 and founded by Dr. William B. Walsh, M.D. The organization’s international headquarters is in Millwood, VA and the current president and CEO is Thomas Kenyon, M.D., M.P.H. The foundation name is: Project HOPE – The People to People Health Foundation. HOPE stands for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere.
Q: What is Project HOPE’s Vision and Mission?
A: HOPE’s Vision: A world where everyone has the health care needed to reach life’s full potential.
HOPE’s Mission: We enable health workers to have the greatest positive impact on the health of the people they serve.
Q: What are Project HOPE’s main program priorities?
A: Project HOPE has five program priorities, including:
- Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health
- Infectious Diseases
- Non-Communicable Diseases
- Disaster and Health Crises
- Health Policy
Q: What is Health Affairs?
A: Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy thought and research, is published by Project HOPE. The peer-reviewed journal appears monthly in print, online, and via iPad with additional online Web First articles appearing online ahead of print.
Published since 1981, The Washington Post has called Health Affairs the bible of health policy.
Health Affairs is available via subscription and all articles published by the journal are available online at healthaffairs.org.
Q: Are Project HOPE’s programs carried out on land or on hospital ships?
A: Project HOPE began its work on the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship in 1958 and completed 11 voyages, providing health care to vulnerable communities worldwide. The SS HOPE was retired in 1974.
Project HOPE works with the U.S. military on humanitarian missions in the developing world.
Q: Does Project HOPE partner with other organizations to fulfill its mission?
A: Project HOPE’s focus is on sustainable – rather than short-term health improvements – and it is committed to working in partnership with local government agencies, other international nonprofits, and with the business sector to develop long-term solutions to complex health challenges. Learn more about our partnerships.
Q: When did Project HOPE begin its disaster relief work and how many disasters has it responded to?
A: Project HOPE has played a crucial role in improving lives in regions hit by natural disasters over much of the last decade, beginning in 2004 when it partnered with the U.S. Navy following the Indonesian tsunami.
Since then, Project HOPE has responded to disasters in Nepal, Haiti, Japan, China, the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. It was also involved in disaster response after Hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, and Maria in the United States.
While Project HOPE does respond in the short-term to hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes and refugee crises, it also stays behind in disaster zones during the rehabilitation and recovery phases, to offer long-term support to often damaged health care systems and communities.
Q: Why are volunteers crucial to Project HOPE?
A: Volunteerism has been at the heart of Project HOPE’s work since its beginning as a floating hospital ship, the SS HOPE, in 1958. Today, Project HOPE’s volunteer professionals participate in a variety of programmatic activities, to include internal Global Health programs; local, partner facilities around the world; land and ship-based Department of Defense missions; and even in our own Headquarters departments.
Q: What is the short history of Project HOPE?
A: The following represents a brief historical overview of Project HOPE:
- Serving as a medical officer aboard a destroyer during World War II, Dr. William B. Walsh, M.D., was moved by the poor health conditions he saw in the South Pacific – particularly by the affliction and death of young children who could have been easily saved with the application of simple medical knowledge.
- He envisioned a floating medical center that would bring health education and improved care to communities around the world.
- In 1958, Dr. Walsh persuaded U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to donate a U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USS Consolation.
- With $150, a dream and the support of corporations and individual donors, the ship was transformed into the SS HOPE, and the organization known as Project HOPE was born.
- Over the next two years, the SS HOPE was refitted and equipped for its new role as a peace-time hospital ship. The call was put out for American doctors, nurses and technologists to share their skills and knowledge with the people of developing nations – teaching while healing. For every American on board, there would be a counterpart to be trained.
- On September 22, 1960, the SS HOPE set sail from San Francisco bound for Indonesia. The SS HOPE completed 11 voyages traveling to Indonesia, Vietnam, Peru, Ecuador, Guinea, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Tunisia, Jamaica and Brazil.
- The SS HOPE was retired in 1974. The spirit of its voyages lives on through the testimony of the HOPE Alumni who served aboard the SS HOPE.
Project HOPE has delivered lifesaving treatment and care in over 100 countries around the world.
Q: What is Project HOPE today?
A: Project HOPE is a global non-profit organization specializing in:
- Delivering donated medicines and medical supplies
- Educating health professionals and community health workers
- Strengthening health systems
- Improving the health of women and children
- Fighting diseases such as Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and diabetes
- Responding to disasters
- Providing humanitarian assistance
We are dedicated to providing lasting solutions to complex health challenges with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Project HOPE provides medical training and health education, as well as conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries.
Over the past six decades, Project HOPE has demonstrated its ability to develop and permanently institute long-term solutions to pressing health problems, the true essence of helping people help themselves.
Project HOPE remains committed to addressing the world’s new health threats by playing a leadership role in forging new alliances among those on the frontlines of health and together seeking new solutions.
Find out more under “What We Do”
Q: Is Project HOPE a 501(c) 3 organization?
A: Project HOPE – The People to People Health Foundation is recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c) (3) of the US Internal Revenue Code. 100% of your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Our Federal Tax ID number or Employer Identification Number (EIN) is 53-0242962.
Q: Can you describe Project HOPE’s approach to financial accountability and transparency?
A: Over the years, Project HOPE has gained a reputation for financial integrity and efficiency. We take stewardship seriously and we work to maximize the value of every contribution we receive. More than 90 percent of our expended resources – among the highest of all philanthropic organizations – support our life saving health projects around the world. Less than 10 percent of expended resources go toward management and fundraising costs.
In Fiscal Year 2016, our last audited financial statement, 90% of our expended resources were spent on our programs and 10% were spent on management and fundraising costs. These ratios change year to year and you can always find the latest information on our Financial Accountability Page
Q: How does Project HOPE’s Gift-in-Kind platform function?
A: Gifts-in-kind (GIK) are donated materials, such as medicines and medical supplies, which are distributed to Project HOPE’s global health, humanitarian and disaster relief programs throughout the world. Gifts-in-kind may also be donated services such as volunteer hours that advance the mission of Project HOPE.
Q: Are Gifts-in-Kind considered as revenue?
A: Project HOPE does recognize the value of the donated gifts-in-kind and donated volunteer service as revenue.
Q: How does Project HOPE value pharmaceutical Gifts-in-Kind?
A: Project HOPE has almost 60 years of experience receiving and valuing pharmaceutical gifts-in-kind. We take seriously our responsibility to value gifts-in-kind accurately and appropriately.
For U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved pharmaceutical gifts-in-kind received at Project HOPE’s U.S. distribution center, we assign a value based on the recorded estimated Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) as indicated in the Red Book that is published by Thomson Reuters.
The Red Book is an industry-recognized drug pricing reference guide for pharmaceutical in the U.S. Other NGOs and organizations similar to Project HOPE also value their donated gifts-in-kind using the Red Book.
For pharmaceuticals received at Project HOPE’s United Kingdom distribution center, the estimated value of those products is determined through the UK-based pricing guide, Chemist and Druggist.
Donated volunteer service value is calculated based on industry standards.
Q: How is Project HOPE rated by charity evaluators BBB and Charity Navigator?
A; Project HOPE is honored to be recognized by major independent charity evaluators with the highest ratings.
Project HOPE meets all 20 of the comprehensive charity accountability standards of the Better Business Bureau’s WiseGiving Alliance.
Project HOPE received a four-star rating for Accountability and Transparency.
Please know that you can find links to all of these third-party reviews on our Financial Accountability page.
Q: Does Project HOPE fund other organizations?
A: Project HOPE is not a granting foundation. We are a non-governmental organization that delivers services to beneficiaries directly.
Q: Can my charity apply for funding from Project HOPE?
A: Project HOPE does not fund other charities. We are not a granting foundation. We are a non-governmental organization that delivers direct services to beneficiaries.
Q. Is Project HOPE affiliated with any religious organizations?
A: Project HOPE is an international humanitarian charity that provides services to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. We are not a religious organization but do enjoy the support of generous donors who give based on their faith.
Employment and Human Resources FAQ’s
Q: How can I join the Project HOPE team?
A: We’re looking for experienced professionals who not only align with our operating principles of Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence, but also want to make a difference, develop and inspire others, drive innovative ideas and deliver impact.
- We provide an environment where each employee can come to work, contribute to a meaningful mission, and enjoy rewarding and challenging careers.
- Our global team of over 900 engaged employees work in more than 30 countries making a positive impact on the global health challenges facing people around the world.
- Working in collaboration with local governments and other nongovernmental organizations, our employees help build sustainable health programs in the areas of Infectious Diseases, Noncommunicable Diseases, Women’s and Children’s Health, Health System Strengthening and Humanitarian Assistance.
- Do you have the expertise, insight and commitment to contribute to our team? If so, we offer you the opportunity to collaborate with worthy colleagues and beneficiaries around the globe in shaping interventions that make a genuine difference.
Search and apply for jobs with Project HOPE >
Q: What is Project HOPE’s history with volunteers?
A: Project HOPE was founded on the willingness of doctors, nurses and other medical volunteers to travel the globe on a floating hospital ship – the SS HOPE – to provide medical care, health education and humanitarian assistance to people in need.
Today, medical volunteers for HOPE integrate into our Global Health land-based missions to expand our program services and extend capacity to our local staff; and we also place non-medical professionals into our Headquarters departments and the Health Affairs journal.
Our volunteers have been a part of major disaster relief efforts beginning with our work in Southeast Asia after the 2004 Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf States in 2005, and the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015. Project HOPE also responded with a robust volunteer support package to Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, to Japan following the tsunami/earthquake in 2011, and to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Our volunteers also participate in annual health education and humanitarian assistance missions in Latin America, West Africa and the Oceania region.
The generosity and support of our volunteers is truly inspiring, enabling us to respond not only to immediate natural disasters, but to change people’s lives for the long-term with health education and lifesaving vaccinations.
Q: How do I apply to become a volunteer?
A: All current opportunities Project HOPE offers are listed on our Volunteer website. Please visit Volunteer Information for further information.
When you come to the site, scroll through the recruitment listings to see if you qualify for any current opportunities. If so, click on the recruitment announcement and on the left-hand side you will see an “Apply Now” button. Click on that and you will be instructed to create a profile and application. Once your application is received by our recruiting officer, an email will be sent to you confirming that we have received it. We will then contact you once your application has been approved.
You can also click on the “Join Our Volunteer Database” button to complete a general application form. This will follow the same process as above.
Q: What can I expect when applying to volunteer?
A: When identifying which programs you would like to recruit for, please be aware that all programs have unique funding, housing, and cost plan opportunities. Each program will have these details on the recruiting announcements. Please do be aware that some programs will ask our volunteers to self-fund themselves, while others are able to fully and/or partially fund our volunteers.
Any questions regarding these matters will be answered once your application is approved.
The applicant will receive an email when their application is received. They will only be contacted by a recruiter if they are qualified for the position they applied for. Much like an employment opportunity. The qualifications are clearly outlined in the volunteer description.
If the candidate does not see an opening that they are qualified for, apply into the General Volunteer database. They will be contacted if there is a need for their support.
Note: Volunteer opportunities are not always available at headquarters in Millwood, VA or at our Bethesda, MD campus.
Donor Services FAQ’s
Q: What is Project HOPE Donor First Commitment?
A: Project HOPE’s delivery of essential medicines and supplies, health expertise and medical training to respond to disasters, prevent disease, promote wellness and save lives would not be possible without our donors who generously contribute their time and resources to our mission. We thank you for your compassion and support.
In return, we make our Project HOPE Donor First Commitment to you.
We are committed to serving you, our donors, volunteers and advocates with the same exceptional care that Project HOPE delivers to vulnerable girls and boys, women and men in desperate poverty zones around the globe.
Q: I have additional questions, is there someone I can speak to?
A: Project HOPE is committed to responding to your questions. A dedicated Donor Services team is available to assist you with your donation or customer service request. Simply call: +1 (844) 349-0188, Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 9:00pm ET.
Q: How can I manage my communication preferences?
A: Project HOPE strives for accurate, respectful and relevant communication with our donors. We do not sell or rent our list of donors and volunteers. From time to time, we may exchange a portion of our list with other worthwhile organizations.
We are committed to properly managing the care of your information and communication preferences. This assurance is the foundation of our Donor First Commitment to you.
If you would like to control the contacts you receive from us, we are happy to customize your communication preferences. Please contact our Donor Services team by completing this online form.
Q: How can I update my donor information?
A: If you would like to correct or update your personal information, modify your mailing preferences, or if you do not wish to participate in our list exchange activities, Please contact our Donor Services team by completing this online form.
Q: Does Project HOPE follow the Direct Marketing Association’s Commitment to Consumer Choice?
A: Yes. As a non-profit member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), Project HOPE follows the DMA Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice and Commitment to Consumer Choice. You can have confidence knowing that we have taken the important steps necessary to safeguard your privacy and mailing preferences.
The Direct Marketing Association can also assist you with their program called DMA Choice. Their program will allow you to define the mail you would like to receive from all charitable organizations and cut back on types of mail that you’re not interested in. You must register online at: Unsubscribe at DMA
Q. It seems that the mailings I receive from Project HOPE may be costly. Why not use that money for programs and send me emails only?
A. Thank you for expressing your concerns about the cost of the mailings you have received. In order to help as many vulnerable people as possible, organizations like ours try to reach out to those who may be interested in supporting our work saving lives around the world. In fact, the cost can be as little as a first-class postage stamp. We have found that corresponding with our donors through the mail is an effective way to reach a wide variety of people, educate them about our programs and increase donations so that Project HOPE can continue to help those in need.
Q. I make a one-time gift each year. I would prefer to reduce my calls and mailings. How can I do this?
A. We will gladly meet your request and update your communication preferences. Our mailing schedule can be customized to meet your individual needs and you can let us know exactly how you wish to be contacted. Please contact our Donor Services team by completing this online form.
It is possible that you will receive additional mailings from us because all of our mailings are prepared weeks in advance. This is the most economical means for us, so please recycle any mailings you receive.
Q. I would prefer not to receive so many paper mailings — can I sign up for email correspondence instead?
A. We are happy to help you with your request and can assist you with updating your communication preferences. You can let us know exactly how you wish to be contacted. Please contact our Donor Services team by completing this online form.
It is possible that you will receive additional mailings from us because all of our mailings are prepared weeks in advance. This is the most economical means for us, so please recycle any mailings you receive.
Q. I would like to upgrade or change my regular monthly HOPE Lifter donation. How do I make that change?
A. Thank you for your generosity and desire to help more vulnerable people suffering around the world. Please contact our Donor Services team by completing this online form.
Q. Can I restrict my donation to certain regions or countries?
A: We appreciate your interest in supporting specific programs and areas. To do the most good, we ask that you contribute undesignated impact funding. While it is possible to have your gift directed toward a certain region or country where we are currently working, we may not have a current need in that area. By not restricting your contribution for a specific project, you will enable us to allocate our resources more efficiently and help vulnerable men, women and children in areas where the need is greatest.
Q. What percentage of my donation goes to programs?
A: In Fiscal Year 2016, our last audited financial statement, 90% of our expended resources were spent on our programs and 10% were spent on management and fundraising costs. These ratios change year to year and you can always find the latest information on our Financial Accountability Page
Q. Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
A: If your contribution was a one-time donation you will receive an official printed acknowledgment/tax receipt via postal mail approximately 10 business days from the date of your gift. For an online donation, you will receive an email confirmation and a .pdf attachment of your official acknowledgment/tax receipt that you can print at home.
All first-time donors to Project HOPE will receive a Welcome Package with more information about the impact of your gift.
If you are a member of our HOPE Lifters regular giving program, giving monthly via direct withdrawals from your credit card or bank account, you will automatically receive a tax receipt for your cumulative annual contributions at the end of each calendar year (customarily during February).
If you have not received your acknowledgement letter/tax receipt within the time frames listed above, please contact Donor Services by completing this online form or calling 1-844-349-0188, Monday to Friday, 8;30am to 9:00pm ET. Please provide your full name and mailing address as it appears in our records so that we are able to locate your account. Once we find your donor record and the record of your gift(s) we will mail your tax receipt straightaway.
If you make a contribution of stock, we will receive your gift without your contact information. To ensure that we can properly acknowledge your donation, please contact our Planned Giving department at 800-544-4673, Ext. 472 to discuss the details of your stock gift.
If you make a contribution through CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) all receipting is provided through your campaign manager. If you choosem we will receive your contact information at the end of the campaign. To ensure that we can properly thank you for your generosity, at the time of your pledge please select the option to share your name and address details with Project HOPE.
Q: What is the Project HOPE Promise?
A: The HOPE Promise is our promise to you that your support multiplies in impact to help more people.
Every dollar you give to Project HOPE will be multiplied, doing more good to save lives because we use your gift to unlock matching funds, corporate donations, global partnerships, government and private grants, volunteer labor and other resources.
With creative approaches like these, your gift is multiplied to help poor, sick and hurting people across the globe.
So you have more impact and make a greater difference in the world. Learn more at: Project HOPE Promise
To call toll-free and make a donation, please contact:
Donor Services, 1-844-349-0188, Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 9:00pm ET
Mail in a donation to Project HOPE
Please send your donation to our gift processing center by printing and mailing this form to:
PO Box 5029
Hagerstown, MD 21741-5029
Q. Does Project HOPE offer planned giving?
A: Project HOPE has a wide range of planned gift options for you to choose from including bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable trusts, and retirement assets. Making a planned gift to Project HOPE helps ensure our ability to respond to the needs we will face in the future.
Project HOPE has benefited enormously over the years by the planned gifts made by individuals who are committed to Project HOPE and its important work around the world. Planned gifts allow them to leave a legacy of support – in fact, that is why we have our Legacy of HOPE Society. Whether it is a charitable gift annuity, a gift of your retirement assets, or including Project HOPE as a beneficiary in your estate plans, those gifts help HOPE plan for the future. To learn more about the various planned giving options available, please contact our Planned Giving Office at 800-544-4673, Ext. 472.
You may also visit our Planned Giving Page for further information.
Q: Does Project HOPE accept gifts of stock or securities?
A: Yes. Gifts of stock or securities can help Project HOPE continue its critical mission. Please follow the instructions on this form. Click here to download form.
Q. Does Project HOPE have a matching gift program?
A: If you or one of your family members works for an organization with a matching gift program, you can double or even triple your gift.
Search our Online Matching Gifts Database to see if your company will match your gift to Project HOPE.
Because each company has a different set of instructions for matching an employee gift, please see your company’s Human Resources Department for details.
Project HOPE is happy to confirm your gift or to satisfy any other requirements your company may have. Please direct all correspondence regarding your matching gift to our gift processing center at:
Gift Processing Center
PO Box 5029
Hagerstown, MD 21741-5029