9 Best Charities to Help Premature Babies (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities to Help Premature Babies (Complete 2022 List)

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Carla Shaik

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Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely and this number is rising. Approximately 1 million of these babies die from complications, and many of the survivors often face a lifetime of disability. Charities around the globe are now working to protect these vulnerable children. So we had to ask: What are the best charities to help premature babies?

The best charities to help premature babies are the Genesis Research Trust and Brave Beginnings. Charities such as Project Sweet Peas and Miracle Babies do amazing work providing vital care packages to struggling families with premature babies. 

Whether you want to invest in research to reduce the number of preterm births, or ensure poor families have access to the support they need to care for their preterm newborns, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities to help premature babies are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities to Help Premature Babies Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements. They operate all over the world, from North America to Europe, providing essential support to families with premature babies.

Many of the charities on this list focus their efforts on providing low-income families with vital supplies whilst in the NICU, such as nappies and clothing. Others focus their attention on raising awareness of the issues faced by preterm babies and advocating for maternal health care equality. Yet they all share the same goal – to ensure all preterm babies receive the care they require to live long and fulfilling lives.

These Are the 9 Best Charities to Help Premature Babies

Below are our favorite charities to help premature babies:

  • Genesis Research Trust
  • Brave Beginnings
  • Tommy’s
  • March of Dimes
  • Project Sweet Peas
  • Latter-day Saint Charities
  • Miracle Babies
  • Lily’s Hope Foundation
  • Parent to Parent USA

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Genesis Research Trust: Researching Treatments for Premature Births

The Genesis Research Trust was founded in 1978 by IVF pioneer Professor Robert Winston to understand the reasons behind miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth. Today, the charity is a world-renowned institute researching these conditions to prevent baby loss.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, the Genesis Research Trust spent 71% of their expenditure on charitable activities and 29% on raising funds. 

“To fund original research to investigate the causes of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth and find better ways to diagnose and treat them.”

Genesis Research Trust

What they do: The Genesis Research Trust utilizes their team of scientists to fund and oversee research projects into the causes of preterm birth and baby loss, in the hope of finding a cure. Through their women’s health research projects, the charity is working to determine the genetic markers associated with preterm birth, as well as identify the bacterium responsible for premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) before birth.  

What they’ve achieved: To date, the Genesis Research Trust has invested $108,447,600 into pregnancy, preterm birth, and stillbirth research projects. Their breakthroughs have included the identification of nine circulating miRNA biomarkers that are linked to preterm births. These markers can be detected in the mothers’ blood from 12 weeks into her pregnancy. So, researchers can now formulate individualized treatment plans for women at risk of giving birth prematurely.  

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Genesis Research Trust through their website. You can also support the charity by setting up a fundraising event or by sponsoring a PhD student. 

Brave Beginnings: Helping Preemies Thrive

Brave Beginnings was set up by the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation to ensure that vital neonatal equipment is available in all hospitals. Today, the charity provides funds to hospitals across America to make sure that all premature babies receive the care they require. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. According to their financial report, the charity spent 41% of its income on providing equipment to hospitals, and 33% on fundraising and program services. 

“Funding essential neonatal equipment.”

Brave Beginnings

What they do: Brave Beginnings provides grants to hospitals so they can purchase essential neonatal equipment such as critical airway carts, incubators, infant resuscitators, and omnibeds. This equipment is vital to the survival of premature babies across America.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Brave Beginnings has granted $9.5 million to 200 hospitals across America and receives applications from over 100 new hospitals every year. Thanks to the work of the charity, hospitals are now able to save infants born at just 23 weeks

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Brave Beginnings through their website. You can also sign up for the charity’s newsletter to receive updates on their vital work.

Tommy’s: Together, For Every Baby

Tommy’s was founded in 1992 by two obstetricians; Dr. Ian Fergusson and Dr. Anthony Kenney because they were frustrated at the lack of guidance surrounding premature births. Today, the charity supports families by researching the causes and prevention of stillbirth, premature birth, and miscarriage.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Tommy’s spent 68.8% of their income on charitable activities and 23.3% on fundraising. 

“Dedicated to finding causes and treatments to save babies’ lives as well as providing trusted pregnancy and baby loss information and support.”

Tommy’s

What they do: Tommy’s conducts in-depth research into pregnancy complications, stillbirth, miscarriage, and premature birth through their four research centers. The findings are then shared with like-minded organizations across the globe, including the World Health Organization. In addition, the charity runs a comprehensive online Pregnancy Hub for new mothers, covering everything from conception to newborn care. 

What they’ve achieved: Researchers at Tommy’s have now identified a potential stitch method to prevent premature births. When tested, the new treatment resulted in 35 out of 37 babies surviving. Previously used methods only saved 50% of newborns. In 2021, the charity invested $3,258,744 in over 60 clinical research studies. In the same year, 23 million people visited their online Pregnancy Hub for advice. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Tommy’s through their website. You can also assist the charity by supporting one of their campaigns or by joining one of their fundraising events.

March of Dimes: Fighting For the Health of All Moms and Babies

March of Dimes was founded in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to quickly respond to polio epidemics. In 1958 the charity shifted its focus to birth defects, including premature births. Today, March of Dimes is dedicated to supporting pregnant women and their families across the globe through research and campaigning.

Their impact and transparency ratings: March of Dimes holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. According to their financial report, the charity spent 74% of their income on programs and research, and 14% on fundraising.

“Leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies.”

March of Dimes

What they do: March of Dimes supports research-led programs and provides comprehensive support to pregnant moms and their families. With a particular focus on babies with birth defects. Through their Prematurity Campaign, the charity is addressing health care inequality, as well as researching the reasons behind the continued global rise of premature births. The March of Dimes website also contains a wealth of information for new moms on topics such as premature births and postpartum care

What they’ve achieved: Through their Prematurity campaign, March of Dimes provided educational programs, activities, and interventions to nearly 1 million women and 90,000 healthcare providers in 2014. In 2020, the charity trained 11,700 nurses and healthcare providers through their Impact Bias Training courses and reached 50,000 families through their NICU Initiatives. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to March of Dimes through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or by joining their March for Babies campaign. 

Project Sweet Peas: Supporting Families with Premature or Sick Infants

Project Sweet Peas was founded in 2009 by three women; Corin Nava, Kate Crawford, and Stephanie Olivarez after their own children were diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernias. Today, the charity is dedicated to providing direct support to families with babies in the NICU and to parents that have suffered infant loss. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Project Sweet Peas holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also has a 90% encompass rating for finance & accountability from Charity Navigator

“To empower and support families of fragile infants, and to inspire hope through remembrance for those affected by pregnancy and infant loss.”

Project Sweet Peas

What they do: Project Sweet Peas provides care packages, educational resources, financial aid, and peer-to-peer support to families with premature babies in the NICU. They also support families who have suffered the loss of an infant through their annual candlelight vigil and memorial keepsakes. In 2014, the charity set up NICU Awareness Month (September) which is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the challenges faced by families and staff in NICU units.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Project Sweet Peas has run over 250 NICU events and provided financial aid to 44,000 NICU parents. In addition, the charity has given out 23,876 NICU care packages, 37,410 seasonal/holiday packages, and 5,364 memory boxes. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Project Sweet Peas through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their wishlist or by shopping at their online store

Latter-day Saint Charities: Relieving the Suffering of Mothers and Their Babies

Latter-day Saint Charities was founded in 1985 by members of the Church of Latter-day Saints in response to the devastating famine in Ethiopia. Today, the charity is a global humanitarian organization focused on supporting midwives to ensure all newborns are given the care they need, including preterm babies.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Latter-day Saint Charities spent 90% of their expenditure on charitable activities and 10% on admin. 

“Relieve suffering, foster self-reliance, and provide opportunities for service.”

Latter-day Saint Charities

What they do: Latter-day Saint Charities works around the globe to relieve suffering for families in poverty-stricken countries. Through their Maternal and Newborn Care initiative, the charity provides life-saving equipment to birth attendants so they can resuscitate newborn babies, especially those born preterm. They also provide comprehensive training to doctors, nurses, and midwives in essential baby care, resuscitation skills, and maternal care. 

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Latter-day Saint Charities has provided $2.3 billion worth of life-saving assistance to families in 197 countries. In 2019, the charity provided maternal care and training to 83,555 individuals across 9 countries to increase the survival rate of preterm newborns. The charity now works with over 2000 partners to serve millions of people around the world.  

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Latter-day Saint Charities through their website. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer for the charity.

Miracle Babies: Serving Families with Hospitalized Newborns

Miracle Babies was founded in 2009 by certified obstetrician Dr. Sean Daneshmand, after he witnessed the struggles that low-income families face with high-risk pregnancies. Today, the charity provides direct support to families so they can stay with their critically ill newborns in the NICU. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Miracle Babies holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has yet to be scored by Charity Navigator. 

“To unite families with their newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) by providing transportation and supportive services.”

Miracle Babies

What they do: Miracle Babies runs a Transportation Assistance Program for families in the San Diego area, to allow them to visit their infants in the NICU. They also support families of premature or severely ill newborns by providing vital care packages to NICU units and by providing diapers through their Diaper distribution program. Through their Miracle Hours program, the charity provides lunch and crafts for families in the NICU. They also provide support through their Miracle Babies mobile app.

What they’ve achieved: Since their founding, Miracle Babies has continued to support families with vulnerable newborns across San Diego, Orange County, and beyond. In 2021, the charity directly supported 8,000 families with infants in NICU units. In the same year, the charity distributed 1,000,000 diapers and delivered 2,500 care packages. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Miracle Babies through their website. You can also support the charity by shopping on AmazonSmile or by hosting a fundraising event

Lily’s Hope Foundation: Supporting Families with Premature Babies

Lily’s Hope Foundation was founded in 2013 by Jennifer and Justin Driscoll in memory of their daughter Lilian Hope, who was born 7 weeks premature. Today, the charity is dedicated to providing families with the supplies they need after an unexpected preterm birth. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Lily’s Hope Foundation holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has yet to be rated by Charity Navigator.

“To support babies, children, and their families with unexpected and urgent needs due to premature birth.”

Lily’s Hope Foundation

What they do: Lily’s Hope Foundation helps families with premature babies by providing them with care packages of essential items that they may have not had time to purchase themselves. Their packages range from vital hospital items to transition home packages with diapers, baby wipes, clothing, and other supplies. They also provide sibling packages to comfort and entertain older children during the transition.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Lily’s Hope Foundation has provided 3650 families with care packages in 49 states across America. The charity now works with 17 hospitals and corporate partners. The parents of Lillian Hope have also now released two books about their experiences with a premature baby, and several educational activity books for children.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Lily’s Hope Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering. Alternatively, you can purchase merchandise from their online shop.

Parent to Parent USA: No Parent Should Ever Feel Alone. Ever

Parent to Parent USA was founded in 1971 by Fran Porter and Shirley Dean to establish a program where parents of disabled children can share information and emotional support. Today, the charity is dedicated to empowering and supporting parents of children with disabilities, including those born prematurely.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: Parent to Parent USA holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity has yet to be scored by Charity Navigator. 

“To support a national network of programs to ensure access to quality emotional support for families of individuals with disabilities and/or special health care needs.”

Parent to Parent USA

What they do: Parent to Parent USA provides emotional and peer-to-peer support to families of individuals with special health care requirements (including premature newborns) through their network of partners. In collaboration with the Graham’s Foundation, the charity also provides care packages and other forms of support to parents with premature newborns.

What they’ve achieved: To date, Parent to Parent USA has matched 17,000 parents through their peer-to-peer support programs. In addition, the charity has trained over 8000 volunteers in how to support parents of children with special care needs. The charity has now grown to include 37 partner organizations nationwide. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Parent to Parent USA through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or by becoming a sponsor of their work. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities to help premature babies. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to help premature babies – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Carla Shaik

Carla is passionate about animal welfare and our natural environment and is on a mission to give you the knowledge you need to help protect our planet and all of its inhabitants. She holds a bachelor's of science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, is a teaching support officer at the College of West Anglia, and also works as a cat sitter in her local community. Aside from writing, she has a love of music, teaching her daughter how to play piano, and enjoys getting creative with craft activities.

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