~2016 DECEMBER Rosalina Vargas

"COTA helped us see the love that surrounded us during a very dark time. COTA continues to give us so much hope.” Read More

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Liver Transplant Recipient / Candidate

COTA Advantages

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association is pleased to speak to you about your fundraising options. The best time to explore fundraising is immediately after the initial diagnosis or evaluation at the transplant center. In fact, you may receive information about COTA from transplant professionals at your transplant center. Most families are overwhelmed with all of the details. However, addressing the financial part of the transplant early will be to your benefit. You will be better able to get through the transplant process if you do not have to worry about finances.

Even though it is to your advantage to start exploring fundraising options early in the transplant process, many families wait until they are well into the journey before realizing they are going to experience (or are experiencing) financial issues. This is another good time to call COTA. Remember, COTA can work with families before being listed … after listing but before the transplant … and after the transplant.

When a family calls COTA, our professional staff will ask for preliminary information about the family and the transplant patient. Then, COTA shares a packet of information with the family, and a COTA staff member is available to answer any questions.

When a family chooses to sign a patient agreement, COTA asks the family to identify a Community Coordinator to serve as the lead volunteer. Once the Community Coordinator is named, COTA begins the fundraising process with that individual person. A financial goal is set for every COTA community campaign based on the family’s situation. In addition, a donation page is provided to every COTA patient for online contributions, and a campaign website is offered for communications and fundraising after the volunteer team is identified and trained.

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association has been in existence since 1986. Since that time, COTA has constantly and consistently updated and upgraded services to ensure that our transplant families’ needs are being met.

COTA’s key services include:

No Cost Services

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association does not charge for its services nor take a percentage of funds raised. 100% of funds raised in honor of patients are used for transplant-related expenses.

Not-for-Profit Status

Because the Children’s Organ Transplant Association is a 501(c)3 charity, gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. And, because COTA serves as the administrator of the funds, these funds are not considered income for the family and do not jeopardize any assistance program the family has or may qualify for.

Integrated Communications and Support

During regular business hours, a Children’s Organ Transplant Association staff member will immediately respond to your needs and requests. Calls from families needing urgent or emergency after-hours and weekend assistance are returned within an hour after leaving a message with the COTA message service. All requests receive a response within two business days, with faster response available upon request. In addition, COTA offers extensive telephone and online support for families and campaign volunteers.

Fundraising Campaign Development

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association staff works closely with the Community Coordinator to schedule a training for the volunteer team. Additionally, COTA staff members and experienced COTA volunteers are available to assist campaign volunteers before, during and after a fundraising campaign. Fundraising resources and campaign materials are provided at no charge. Extensive and comprehensive online resources are available to the entire volunteer team.

Campaign Website

Each campaign is provided with a website at no cost to use for fundraising and communications purposes. A COTA staff member is available to assist with the establishment and ongoing maintenance of the site. In addition, new tools are added to the site frequently as new technology becomes available.

Ongoing Campaign Support

Ongoing assistance is available to all community campaign volunteers. The COTA’s professional staff members will assist campaign volunteers in planning and implementing fundraising activities and events. Tools and templates are available at COTA.org in a special section devoted to volunteers. These materials are updated regularly.

Negotiating Services

Children’s Organ Transplant Association staff members can work directly with transplant centers, hotels, airlines, etc. to ensure the lowest cost services are extended to the patient and their family.

COTA offers:

  • Free services … no fee charged or percentage taken from funds raised.
  • Challenge Grant program with up to $5,000 available to each community campaign.
  • Comprehensive orientation and training program including professional staff visit to the family’s location when a volunteer group is recruited and fundraising activities are planned.
  • No cost, customizable website for fundraising and communications purposes.
  • Ongoing fundraising advice before, during and after the fundraising campaign.
  • Reimbursement and expense payments processed weekly.
  • Administrator of the funds — funds are not taxable income and will not jeopardize any assistance program.
  • Funds available for patient’s lifetime for almost any transplant-related expense.

Other COTA services include:

  • Credit card and online donations accepted — no merchant fees charged.
  • Web-based communications and fundraising resources available.
  • Experienced volunteers available for support and advice.
  • Liaison between transplant center and patient.
  • 501(c)3 status. Tax deductions are available to contributors.
  • Acknowledgement of contributions.
  • Detailed information about contributions and disbursements.
  • Fiscal accountability to families and contributors.
  • Referrals to other support resources.
  • Patient account statement and balance information available upon request.
  • List of contributors available for download.
  • Monitoring of all financial contributions by a staff certified public accountant

A Story of Hope

“In our family's case, the prospect of a transplant was a worst case scenario. Isabella ingested something that caused her kidneys to quit working, and when we heard that a transplant was our next step … we had already lost hope in so many ways. Once we were introduced to COTA, we learned of their many successful transplant stories and this helped to renew our hope that Isabella was going to make it. It also gave us hope to know that the COTA fund will be with her throughout her lifetime.”
~ Les and Cindy Crutcher, Parents of Isabella