General FAQs about The Foundation

How can The Foundation restore sight for $25? 

While the cost of cataract surgery varies depending on the specific operating environments in the countries where we work, in some countries it is possible to restore sight for as little as $25.

Our $25 cost includes the three key things needed to restore sight – the surgeon’s time, the consumable equipment and the intraocular lens (IOL) which replaces the cataract.

The most important element in modern cataract surgery is the IOL – Fred Hollows used to refer to them as "the most expensive pieces of plastic in the world". Reducing the cost of the IOL was the fundamental factor in making cataract surgery affordable.

Today, IOL prices vary significantly – including in low and middle-income countries.

In October 2021 The Foundation evaluated our program costs for small incision cataract surgery in countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia to ensure the $25 cost remained accurate.

Our assessment showed IOLs start from $4 in Pakistan, about $6 in Cambodia, and about $14 in Bangladesh.

The other key costs are the surgeon’s time (which is less than $1.50 per patient in those three countries) and consumable equipment (as little as $5.46).

So with the cost of the IOL, the surgeon and the consumables it is possible that The Foundation can restore sight for as little as $25 in some countries.

We acknowledge that not all surgeries in all countries are as little as $25. The cost of surgery depends on factors including the country of treatment, the age and circumstances of the patient, how and where the treatment is delivered, the type of procedure, the IOL used, the hospital type (government or private), the facilities of the hospital, inpatient or day procedure delivery mechanisms, and the economic status of people in the country or region.


Can I visit one of The Foundation’s overseas programs?

Unfortunately, our country offices are not equipped to accommodate visitors. The work we do in country offices is around program design, coordination, health monitoring and evaluation. No medical procedures are carried out in The Foundation’s offices or by our staff.
However, our partner in Nepal, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, accepts visitors to their hospital. If you’d like to visit Tilganga to see the work carried out in partnership between our organisations, please get in touch with Mr Bhagirath Baniya, Administrator and Public Relations Manager.


How many staff members does The Foundation employ?

As of March 2022, The Foundation employs 151 staff in Australia and 292 worldwide.


Why do you work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well as overseas?

The work we do is inspired by the late Professor Fred Hollows. He believed everyone in the world had the right to quality and affordable eye health. When 4 out of 5 people in developing countries are blind when they don’t need to be and 94% of vision loss is preventable or treatable in adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, we think it’s an injustice not to do anything. Our specialities are in developmental work, so that’s where we concentrate our efforts. 


What are The Foundation’s ABN and ACN numbers?

ABN: 46 070 556 642 
ACN: 070 556 642



Where does my donation go?

Your donation could be used to restore someone’s sight, but it may also go towards a range of other program activities like training surgeons or eye health workers. These health professionals will then go on to help thousands of people in their community. All of the work we do aims to build capacity in developing countries to create sustainable public eye health systems.


How is my donation used?

Your donation will be used to support our sight-saving work, which includes eye operations and treatments, training surgeons and eye health workers, and other sustainable eye health.

For every $1 donated, 76% goes directly towards eye health programs, 6% is necessary for admin costs, and 18% goes towards fundraising efforts which allows us to help even more people.


Can I see who my donation will restore sight to?

Unfortunately, we can’t follow your donation to one single recipient, but we can assure you, your donation will go to helping people in need through our program and support work. 


I want my donation to go specifically for work in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

You can do this directly via bank transfer. Contact our Supporter Services team on 1800 352 352 or [email protected] for the details.


Is GST payable on donations?

No, donations do not attract GST.


Is The Foundation endorsed as a deductible gift recipient?

Yes we are. A full list of deductible gift recipient endorsed entities is available here


How do I obtain a receipt for my donation?

Please email or call 1800 352 352 to speak to our supporter services team.


How can I cancel my regular donations?

Please email or call 1800 352 352 to speak to our Sydney-based supporter services. Please view Regular Giving Service Agreement here.


Will I be charged extra to use an American Express or Diners card for my donation?

No, you won’t.


Can I donate via PayPal?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club. We also accept one-off donations by Paypal and monthly donations by direct debit.


Can I make a donation if I live overseas?

New Zealand

The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is a separate organisation to The Fred Hollows Foundation Australia. Their programs run in the Pacific Region and Papua New Guinea. Donations in New Zealand can be made via their website. These donations will receive a tax-deductible receipt for NZ.
For more information email The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ via email or call 0800 227 229 (within New Zealand).



Donors in the US can make a tax-deductible donation to The Fred Hollows Foundation (USA), which is a registered 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organisation, EIN: 82-2851329.

There are a few ways you can donate if you live in the US.
  1. Visit our US donation page
  2. Call 1-646-868-8986,
  3. Deposit directly into our bank account
  4. Post a check to our US office

Please contact us to find the details for bank deposits.

Posting a check
Please make the check payable to The Fred Hollows Foundation and post to:

The Fred Hollows Foundation
4 E 27th Street
PO Box 20318 
New York, NY 10003
United States


United Kingdom

The Fred Hollows Foundation is a registered charity in the UK. Please visit our website for more information.

We can accept cheque, grants, institutional funding, or large one off donations, please contact us for more information.
If you wish to make a donation by debit or credit card, we do not presently have the ability to process those payments on this website. However, you can donate to us online through a third party such as the Charities Aid Foundation or Charities Trust. Alternatively, register with JustGiving, eBay for Charity, PayPal Giving Fund or Give as you Live to donate to us when you shop online.


How can I make a donation for a birthday, anniversary or funeral?

Thanks for wanting to donate to The Foundation to acknowledge a significant occasion. The best way to do this is to set up an online donation page where you can collect donations here.
If you’d like to leave a bequest, you can find more information here. If you have any questions about leaving a gift in your Will, please contact our Planned Giving Specialist.


Does The Foundation have bonbonnieres we can give to our wedding guests?

No, unfortunately at this time we don’t. As an alternative, we could give you ‘Gift of Sight’ cards to put on the tables or a bookmark for each guest. Please get in touch with the Fundraising team for more information via email.
Alternatively, you could set up an online donation page for your guests to donate to here.


Can I donate to a specific country or program?

This can only be done for donations of more than $20,000. If this is something you’re looking to do, please contact our Supporter Services team or call 1800 352 352. 


Can I donate old glasses and frames?

Thanks for thinking of us, but unfortunately we can’t accept donations of glasses. However, the Lions Organisation would be very appreciative of your donation. They collect glasses for their Recycle For Sight program which regrades and distributes 250,000 to 500,000 pairs each year to those in need in developing countries.

If you’d like to donate, please send your glasses (without cases) to the address below:
LIONS Recycle for Sight Australia Inc
PO Box 3021
Clontarf MDC, QLD 4019
You can also donate your glasses at any Specsavers store where they will be forwarded to Lions Recycle for Sight. A list of Specsavers locations across Australia can be found here


Your privacy and communications

How do I update my personal details?

You can update your details on our Donor Update Form. Or, you can get in touch and someone on our Sydney based Supporter Services team will be able to help you.


I no longer want to be sent marketing materials.

No problem. Please email us or call 1800 352 352 to speak to our Supporter Services team to update your information. If you’d like to unsubscribe from our emails, please follow the link in the bottom of the email.


Does The Foundation share my details with other charities?

No. We never, under any circumstances, share, sell or pass on our donors’ details.


Is my online donation secure?

Yes, The Fred Hollows Foundation is fully committed to maintaining the security of the financial and personal information you entrust to us when making a donation.

Our IT systems are fully compliant with the security requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) which was founded by the major credit card brands (such as VISA, Mastercard and American Express).

In addition, when you donate online to The Foundation your card information is processed, encrypted and stored by a specialised and highly secure payment service organisation.


Why is it mandatory to provide my phone number when donating online?

This is in case there’s a problem with processing your donation and we need to contact you. These fields are also required for data security to ensure that a credit card can’t be entered without any personal details.

You’re welcome to request The Foundation not contact you by phone. You can do this in the comments field when donating online. Alternatively, you can phone 1800 352 352 or email.


Other FAQs

I’m a school student. How can I find more information about The Foundation?

There’s quite a lot of detail on our website, but if there’s something you can’t find, please contact our Communications Coordinator and Humanity Award coordinator, Cameron Starkey-Gill with some information on what you need, and why.


I’m a health professional. How can I work or volunteer for The Foundation?

Thanks for your interest in being a part of The Foundation. We prioritise the recruitment of local staff in the countries where we work to build local capacity and to promote the long-term sustainability of our eye health programs.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the capacity to offer work placements or train and host professional volunteers within our programs at this time. We do offer a six month fellowship placement each year – these opportunities are usually advertised on our website.
To find out the latest volunteering opportunities with The Foundation, please read more here.


How can I fundraise for The Foundation?

Read about the ways you can get involved here. If you need to get in touch, contact our Community Fundraising team on 1800 627 892 or via email


I have cataract/eye problems. Can The Foundation help?

Unfortunately, we can’t provide individual medical advice. We’re an international development organisation, so we work with local partners in Australia and in developing countries to strengthen the local eye health systems. This means that we don’t employ our own medical staff and we don’t have our own medical facilities in Australia or overseas.
Please get in touch with your GP and they’ll be able to help you.