Children's Organ Transplant Association

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How to Refer a Patient to COTA

When a transplant family calls the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), the family member is asked for preliminary information about the family and the patient.  COTA sends a packet of information to the family.  After the information packet is mailed, a COTA staff member will call the family to answer any questions.

When a family chooses to sign a COTA Patient Agreement (provided by mail or online), COTA asks the family to identify a Community Coordinator to lead the local fundraising efforts.  Once the Community Coordinator is named, COTA begins the volunteer training process with that 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 community campaign for online donations, and a campaign website is offered for communications and fundraising purposes.

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 families’ needs are being met. 

Key services for transplant families include:

No Cost Services

The Children’s Organ Transplant Association does not charge for its services or 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 national 501(c)3 charity; gifts to COTA are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.  And, because the funds are given to COTA, we serve as the trustee of the funds and these funds are not considered income for the family, nor do they 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 a transplant family’s needs and requests.  Calls from families with a medical emergency after-hours or on the weekend are returned after leaving a message with the COTA message service.  All requests receive a response within two business days.  In addition, COTA offers extensive online support for families and community 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 group.  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 manuals are provided at no charge.  Extensive and comprehensive online resources are available to the entire community campaign team.

Campaign/Family Website

Each COTA community campaign is provided with a no-cost website to use for fundraising and communications purposes.  A Children’s Organ Transplant Association staff member is available to assist with the establishment and ongoing maintenance of the site. 

Ongoing Campaign and Family Support

Ongoing assistance is available to all community campaign volunteers and to COTA patients and their families.  The Children’s Organ Transplant Association’s professional staff members will assist campaign volunteers in planning and implementing campaign activities and events.  Tools and templates are available on the COTA website in a special section devoted to volunteers. 

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.


  • Free services … no fee charged or percentage taken from funds raised.
  • Challenge Grant program with up to $10,000 available to each community campaign.
  • Reimbursement and expense payments processed weekly.
  • 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 community fundraising campaign.
  • Trustee 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.
  • Experienced volunteers available for support and advice.
  • Liaison between transplant center and patient.
  • Participation in the United Way and Combined Federal Campaigns.
  • 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 online and upon request.
  • Contributors list available online.
  • Monitoring of all financial contributions by a staff certified public accountant.