History & Organization

A History of Effective Campaign Management

HistoryNational Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary! Dr. and Mrs. Jack Kolff created the organization in 1983 after Dr. Kolff established the heart transplant program at Temple University Hospital. At that time, heart transplantation was still considered experimental in nature and insurance coverage was not always available for the procedure. Many patients were being denied transplants due to lack of financial means. Dr. and Mrs. Kolff had a vision a vision that all people should be able to receive life-saving organ transplants without regard to their financial situations. Patricia Kolff served as executive director of NTAF from 1985-2003.

In Mrs. Kolff’s words, “We realized that there was no foundation, corporation or government program able to grant NTAF the necessary funding for such an undertaking, so we resorted to the unique American belief in ‘helping thy neighbor.’ We combined the spirit of community involvement and desire to help others with appropriate grass roots fundraising guidance and assurance of fiscal accountability in the collection, management and disbursement of such funds.”

Lynne Coughlin Samson, Esq. became the new Executive Director in 2003 and comes with extensive experience. She also has a C-6 quadriplegic stepdaughter.

In 2000, NTAF instituted its Spinal Cord Injury Program to provide the same services to those affected by traumatic spinal cord injury. This new program has already raised over $1.5 million in dedicated spinal cord injury funds. There is no other organization in the United States that provides these services.

NTAF provides the tools, expertise and continued support throughout a fundraising campaign, but it is the creativity, energy, perseverance, support, love and desire to save a family member, friend or neighbor that determines the success of any campaign. This combined energy has helped NTAF raise over $30 million in contributions to help those in need during its 20-year existence.

About Our Organization

National Transplant Assistance Fund is a national non-profit 501(c)3 headquartered in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.– a suburb of Philadelphia. NTAF’s headquarters is located in a modest two-story brick commercial building.

Our volunteer Board of Directors and Advisory Board are composed of individuals who have varied backgrounds in industry, commerce, medicine, law and charitable giving.

NTAF works with a limited budget. There are thirteen staff members at headquarters who are assisted in their mission by hundreds of volunteers nationwide. We have regional associates who serve as resource representatives for transplant patients and families. There are at least two associates for each of the 11 regions of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in the United States.

All funds raised are deposited into eleven Regional Restricted Funds corresponding to the UNOS regions, in honor of the particular patients for whom the funds were raised. Requests for funds must be supported by an adequate showing of financial need and written expense statements. The NTAF Board of Directors reviews fund requests and all disbursements; it retains exclusive authority concerning the distribution of funds.