National Foundation for Transplants
5350 Poplar Avenue
Suite 850
Memphis TN 38119-3665
Contact Information
Address 5350 Poplar Avenue
Suite 850
Memphis, TN 38119 3665
Telephone 901 680-5655
Mission Statement

National Foundation for Transplants exists to save lives and remove barriers which delay or prevent transplantation.  Our vision is to ensure lifesaving organ and tissue transplants, related treatment and supporting care can be available to all who need a second chance at life.  NFT seeks to serve patients in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  

Web and Social Media
A mother listens to her son's heartbeat in the chest of NFT patient Aubrie at her 1st birthday party.
Other ways to Donate, Support, or Volunteer
NFT's  was created to help patients with emergency assistance, whether it's for medication co-pays, travel to a transplant center or other transplant-related care. Donating to NFT's general fund can truly offer lifesaving support to a transplant patient in need.
NFT also has two signature fundraising events year year, including the Lights for Life Neon 5K in the spring and the Raise Hope Golf Classic in the fall. Both events provide a great way for community members to get involved and be active, whether by walking or running in the race or spending the day on the golf course. Sponsorships are a major part of these fundraisers, as they allow NFT to give back even more to transplant patients in need. Both events welcome volunteers before and during the event.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Michelle Gilchrist
Board Chair Mr. Bill Catlette
Board Chair Company Affiliation Contented Cow Partners, LLC
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1983
Former Names
Organ Transplant Fund, Inc.1988
Liver-Organ Transplant Fund, Inc.1983
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $3,705,000.00
Projected Expenses $3,673,653.00

National Foundation for Transplants exists to save lives and remove barriers which delay or prevent transplantation.  Our vision is to ensure lifesaving organ and tissue transplants, related treatment and supporting care can be available to all who need a second chance at life.  NFT seeks to serve patients in all 50 states and U.S. territories.  


NFT was established in 1983, in Memphis, TN. Originally named the Liver Organ Transplant Fund, the organization was founded by three caring and compassionate women after they read about a young girl who needed a liver transplant but could not afford the procedure. These women - Mary Clouse, Liz Hull and Elise Waldheim - worked hard to raise funds for the transplant and related expenses, and their tireless dedication contributed to the patient's successful transplant.

Other transplant candidates soon began contacting the organization for assistance, and it became evident that transplant candidates across the country would benefit from such an organization. The organization name was changed to Organ Transplant Fund to reflect the many different types of transplants represented.  NFT now serves all 50 states and U.S. territories.

In 1998, the board of directors voted to change the name to the National Foundation for Transplants to better convey the organization´s national reach and to clearly include patients needing tissue, bone marrow or other transplants. In 2015, NFT began offering fundraising services to living donors, who otherwise may not be able to donate a lifesaving organ because of financial barriers.

What began as a local endeavor has evolved into an organization benefiting thousands of organ and tissue transplant candidates and recipients. NFT's fundraising campaigns have generated nearly $80 million to assist patients during their transplant journey, and NFT assists more than 2,100 patients annually.


Since 1983, the National Foundation for Transplants (NFT) has helped fundraising campaigns generate nearly $82 million to help transplant patients in need. We serve approximately 4,200 people across the country each year. The NFT has provided emergency assistance to thousands of transplant patients who otherwise could not afford the high cost of transplantation. Through prescription assistance, travel aid, medical expense reimbursements, mortgage and utility assistance and more, we have been a LIGHT to those seeking a better chance at LIFE. NFT is dedicated to helping patients navigate the complex transplant system by removing financial barriers which prohibit access to life-sustaining and oftentimes lifesaving treatment.

Each year, thousands of transplant patients call NFT because they're overwhelmed about the out-of-pocket costs associated with transplantation.  At NFT, we understand what patients are facing.  Oftentimes, the transplant itself may be covered; however, the high costs of daily post-transplant medications and unforeseen complications become very overwhelming for patients.  Many patients must also travel far distances to their transplant centers, which can result in significant travel and lodging expenses.  Some insurance policies won't cover bone marrow donor searches, which can be very expensive.
Transplant patients require a lifetime of follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which can cost as much as $5,000 per month.  Most patients require many prescriptions every day.  Even with insurance, the co-pays for multiple medications add up quickly.  Even with good insurance, many patients find the financial burdens to be devastating.
Our clients turn to NFT seeking financial help with hospital bills and deposits; doctors' appointments; pharmacy needs; caregiver expenses; insurance premiums, temporary mortgage assistance; travel, food and lodging expenses; co-pays and more.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
NFT serves organ and tissue transplant patients and living donors of all ages in all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Bill Catlette
Company Affiliation Contented Cow Partners, LLC
Term Mar 2014 to Mar 2020
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Mr. Matthew Schneider
Company Affiliation HonorHealth
Term Jan 2012 to Jan 2018
Board of Directors
Board Members
W. Kerby Bowling Evans/Petree PC
Gina Castellaw ACCESS Data Network Solutions, Inc.
Bill Catlette Contented Cow Partners, LLC
Sherry Ennis EnniMed, LLC
Michelle Gilchrist National Foundation for Transplants, Inc.
Thomas Harrison Trustmark National Bank
Shannon Mitchell-Arthur
Matthew Schneider HonorHealth
Stephen Sittnick, O.D.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 5
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 83
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Executive Director
Executive Director Mrs. Michelle Gilchrist

Michelle Gilchrist came on board as NFT's president in April of 2016.

Prior to her role at NFT, she was in development and fundraising for United Way in both Memphis and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. She also spent time as the director of major gifts for the University of Tennessee Foundation. She holds Bachelor's degrees in Organizational Leadership and Psychology from the University of Memphis, and she is currently pursuing a Master's in Business Administration. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has her Non-Profit Leadership certification.

She is also a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. She is a two-time recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and she has been honored with the Memphis Area Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award.

Full Time Staff 12
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 25
Contractors 0
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2016
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2017

The transplant journey is a long one, and it doesn’t end when the patient receives his or her transplant. Transplant recipients require a lifetime of costly follow-up care and vital medications. At NFT, we are dedicated to helping these individuals so they can afford a second chance at life. To accomplish its mission, NFT provides the following services:

  • Organizes and mobilizes local community fundraising campaigns with volunteer training support, fundraising expertise, ideas and resources throughout the duration of the campaign.
  • Provides advocacy and support to patients facing barriers and obstacles that keep the hope of transplantation out of reach.
  • Provides media outreach on behalf of patients to engage public support, as well as tips for social media engagement.
  • Provides financial assistance and payment services to hospital, doctor, pharmacy and other providers for transplant-related expenses.
  • Offers grants, as funding is available, to help with bone marrow donor searches and other critical needs.


Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Budget $2,640,000.00
Short Term Success
NFT helped patients with nearly $2.9 million in assistance, including more than $2 million in direct patient care. More than 2,000 patients annually turn to NFT for help and solutions with out-of-pocket medical expenses.

328 community campaigns and more than 1,220 volunteers were mobilized nationwide to bring hope to patients in need.

NFT distributed 100 press releases to 7,602 media contacts across the country, resulting in 71 different news stories featuring NFT patients.

Long Term Success

Since 1983, NFT has generated nearly $75 million to assist patients with the cost of transplant services: medical expenses, lodging, travel, prescription drugs.  We work with transplant centers across the country to help all Americans receive the best care possible including low to moderate income families.  

Examples of Program Success
Hope for Maira
Maira was faced with the fight of her life. As a baby, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a devastating disease that took its toll on her lung. In 2014, one of her lungs collapsed, and her family moved to Texas so she could receive the treatment and care she needed. Little Maira had spent most of her life in the hospital, and then doctors told her parents a lung transplant was critical to her survival.
It was an incredibly difficult time for Maira’s parents, as they wanted nothing more than to save their daughter’s life. They dreamed of seeing their little girl healthy, happy and playing like other children her age, but they needed financial help. Unfortunately, Maira's hope for a new life came at a very high price. The average lung transplant costs approximately $785,000. And that was only the beginning. As a transplant patient, Maira's family had to begin fundraising before they could be admitted into the hospital. Through social media campaigns and news stations, they were able to raise $100,000 to deposit with the hospital, but they still faced significant expenses related to the surgery.
For the rest of her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection medications, which are as critical to her survival as the transplant itself. Maira's parents turned to NFT for help. Through NFT's Raise Hope Fundraising Program, NFT help to mobilize a campaign to raise funds in honor of Maira. Our trained consultants worked with parents and volunteers to develop a personalized fundraising goal and tailored methods to raise funds.
Through NFT's Raise Hope program, Maira received her transplant early 2017 and is recovering. The NFT community fundraising campaign in honor of Maira continues to raise funds to cover uninsured expenses for her transplant and related care.
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $3,705,000.00
Projected Expenses $3,673,653.00
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$2,566,163$2,894,108$3,032,923
Administration Expense$173,880$181,870$220,867
Fundraising Expense$117,439$171,530$190,197
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.940.820.86
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%89%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%7%7%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$3,513,791$3,754,557$4,480,708
Current Assets--$321,895$300,603
Long-Term Liabilities--$0$0
Current Liabilities$78,189$47,458$54,442
Total Net Assets$3,591,980$3,707,099$4,426,266
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities0.006.785.52
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit
NFT TN Registration to Solicit FundsView
Address 5350 Poplar Avenue
Suite 850
Memphis, TN 38119 3665
Primary Phone 901 680-5655
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Michelle Gilchrist
Board Chair Mr. Bill Catlette
Board Chair Company Affiliation Contented Cow Partners, LLC


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