Frequently Asked Questions

General Information:

What is Vitamin Angels?

The Vitamin Angel Alliance, Inc. (Vitamin Angels) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. Vitamin Angels' Tax ID Number is 77-0485881.

Our mission is to help at-risk populations in need – specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five – gain access to lifesaving and life changing vitamins and minerals.

In 2017, Vitamin Angels connected over 61,000,000 children and mothers in 74 countries, including the US, with the vital nutrients they need as a foundation for good health.

What does Vitamin Angels do?  

Vitamin Angels focuses on the reduction of preventable morbidity, (including blindness), and mortality associated with micronutrient deficiencies among children under five years of age through the distribution of the following products (manufactured to internationally accepted technical and finished product specifications) and services free of charge.

  • Vitamin A supplementation – The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends supplementation for all children 6-59 months living in areas designated as experiencing moderate to severe vitamin A deficiency.
  • Deworming – Preventatively administering albendazole or mebendazole bi-annually to children 12-59 months of age living in areas where soil-transmitted infections are endemic is a recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a public health intervention.
  • Prenatal multivitamins – Evidence from publications in the Cochrane Report and The Lancet indicates that the provision of multiple micronutrient supplements to women starting early in pregnancy provides clear benefits. For anemic women in particular, prenatal multivitamins   can decrease risks instances of low birth weight, small-for-gestational-age, and premature births which are associated with increased newborn mortality. 
  • Additionally, we work with our field partners to promote optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices.

Vitamin Angels also provides technical assistance, with emphasis on the training needed to ensure that micronutrient supplies are deployed by our field partners appropriately and consistent with best practices adapted to local conditions.

Is Vitamin Angels religiously-based?

Vitamin Angels is a non-sectarian international aid organization. We partner with qualified organizations that agree not to deny availability, access or use of a commodity donated by Vitamin Angels to any prospective beneficiary on the basis of ethnicity, race, religion or ability to pay.

Funding and Financials:

How is Vitamin Angels funded? 

Vitamin Angels receives support from individuals, foundations, and businesses that entrust us with the resources to fulfill our mission.

What is Vitamin Angels' rating on Charity Navigator?

Vitamin Angels has received the highest rating available, 4-stars, from Charity Navigator for the last seven years consecutively, putting it in the top 4% of the 9,000 charities evaluated. In addition, Charity Navigator named Vitamin Angels as one of the Top 10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions in 2010 and 2012.

How efficient is Vitamin Angels?

93% of expenses go to Program Services. For detailed information, including our audited financial statements and Form-990, visit our Financials page.

How do you calculate your cost to reach a child with vitamin A?

25 cents is Vitamin Angels’ approximate cost to provide the recommended annual doses of vitamin A per beneficiary child to our field partners. 25 cents reflects the approximate cost for the purchases of micronutrient products manufactured to Vitamin Angels’ technical specifications, plus warehousing, shipping & handling associated with getting product to a port of entry, technical assistance, and staff costs. All local costs of distribution (including local program design, local staffing, local shipping, warehousing and handling) are absorbed by our field partners.

How do you calculate your cost to reach a pregnant woman with prenatal multivitamins?

$5 is Vitamin Angels’ approximate cost to provide 180 doses of a daily prenatal multivitamin (1 bottle) to our field partners. $5 reflects the approximate cost for the purchase, as needed, of micronutrient products manufactured to Vitamin Angels’ technical specifications, plus warehousing, shipping & handling associated with getting product to a port of entry, technical assistance, and staff costs. All local costs of distribution (including local program design, local staffing, local shipping, warehousing and handling) are absorbed by our field partners.

Corporate Partnerships:

Who are your corporate partners?

You can see a list of our active corporate contributors here.

What is the nature of Vitamin Angels' partnerships with for-profit companies?

Vitamin Angels is grateful for contributions from its corporate partners which help to further its mission. Vitamin Angels is a charitable organization and as such it does not participate in for-profit activities or endorse any of the products or services that may be promoted or sold by our corporate partners or other donors. Further, decisions pertaining to Vitamin Angels programming efforts, including but not limited to, interventions offered, locations served, and program size will be based solely upon scientific evidence and its ability to effectively deliver programming. Vitamin Angels will not accept funding that explicitly or implicitly seeks to influence programming decisions. 

What types of products does Vitamin Angels accept for donation?

We primarily accept:

  • 100,000 IU vitamin A
  • 200,000 IU vitamin A
  • essential multi-micronutrients (multivitamins) for pregnant women
  • albendazole and mebendazole

Please visit our Corporate Partners page for more information.

Can I use the Vitamin Angels name and/or mark?

Vitamin Angels and the Vitamin Angels logo are registered trademarks of Vitamin Angel Alliance, Inc. If you would like to use the name or mark, please contact Kim Saam, ksaam@vitaminangels.org.

May I use your photos and videos on my or my company's website?

Use of any photography shown on the Vitamin Angels' website or materials by a 3rd party must be expressly granted and done so in accordance with our photo crediting guidelines, photo usage guidelines and our Principles & Guidelines for Ethical Reporting on Children. Use of any our images must be approved. To request photos from Vitamin Angels, please contact our Associate Director of Brand Marketing, Kim Saam (ksaam@vitaminangels.org).

About our Program Services:

What is the recommended annual dose of each nutrient you distribute?

Following from internationally recognized guidelines, Vitamin Angels calculates that each:

  • Child 6-11 months of age receives one dose of 100,000 IU vitamin A annually
  • Child 12-59 months of age receives two doses of 200,000 IU vitamin A annually
  • Child 12-59 months of age receives two doses of albendazole annually.
  • Pregnant woman receives 180 daily doses per year (i.e., approximately one-a-day).

It should be noted that Vitamin Angels’ annual calculation does NOT double count beneficiaries. For example, a child who receives the recommended dosage of vitamin A co-administered with albendazole is counted as one beneficiary, not two. Additionally, it is Vitamin Angels’ goal is to reach the same underserved populations year after year to maximize the long-term benefit of supplementation, particularly for children during their key developmental years. Finally, in reporting total beneficiaries reached each fiscal year, Vitamin Angels works to further verify the total numbers of beneficiaries actually reached by reconciling total product delivered to our field partners with information received from them during periodic check-ins throughout the fiscal year combined with information contained in each field partner's annual report including a detailed accounting of the amount of each product received, the amount of product distributed, product losses that might have been incurred, and product remaining in inventory at the close of the fiscal year.

Why 180 days?

Vitamin Angels’ current methodology for counting beneficiaries follows the age-appropriate dosing schedules for each product.  While the average length of gestation is 280 days, or 40 weeks, the global dosing recommendations for multiple-micronutrient supplements to pregnant women (prenatal multivitamins), indicates women should receive a daily dose of prenatal multivitamins for approximately 180 days per pregnancy, starting as early as possible in pregnancy.

Are vitamins a sustainable solution?

Essential nutrients, including vitamin A and prenatal multivitamins, are part of a foundational strategy to address nutritional gaps and help break the cycle of poverty by improving health, educational achievement and economic productivity.

In addition, Vitamin Angels is actively developing projects that use innovative distribution systems, such as market-based systems, that allow local businesses and non-profit organizations to facilitate self-sustaining processes for the procurement and distribution of essential nutrients to deficient populations.

Joining the Vitamin Angels Family:

I am interested in working for Vitamin Angels. What job opportunities are available?

Vitamin Angels hires deeply committed, talented, and experienced individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of children and mothers worldwide. Please visit our employment page for current openings.

Does Vitamin Angels have internship opportunities?

Yes. Vitamin Angels has a limited number of domestic internship opportunities at our headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA. Please visit our employment page for current openings.

Does Vitamin Angels have any volunteer opportunities?

Thanks for your interest in supporting Vitamin Angels' work. Unfortunately, at this time Vitamin Angels does not have any traditional opportunities to volunteer in the field. This is due to the nature of our distribution system. Rather than establishing new programs and offices among populations that are unfamiliar with us, Vitamin Angels partners with local, permanent organizations in the field to distribute vitamins to those that need them.

Our limited staffing resources do not allow us to serve as a liaison between our field partners and volunteers. Also, please note that there are inherent dangers and risks in the various regions we support, and safety considerations are paramount.

If you are looking for alternative ways to support our work, take a look at our Get Involved page. Perhaps the greatest way you can contribute to our mission is by lending your voice. Many individuals still do not know about the problem of malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. More awareness for our work helps open the door to serve more children and mothers in need.

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