Frequently Asked Questions

We’re always happy to answer any questions you might have. If you can’t find your question answered under the programs below, contact us.


    » Ronald McDonald House

    • How can I stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

      Contact the social service department at the hospital where your child will receive treatment. They will place your name on the waiting list for the day that you intend to arrive. Because each child's treatment is unique, a family’s stay at the House is unpredictable. Therefore, local Ronald McDonald House Charities Chapters are unable to confirm room reservations for your stay prior to your arrival.

      In general, Ronald McDonald House programs offer rooms for families of pediatric patients under 21 years old. Due to the demand for rooms, some Houses accommodate families of patients up to 18 only. The maximum length of stay at a Ronald McDonald House is based on room demand and is determined on a local basis.

    • Who owns and operates Ronald McDonald Houses?

      Each House is owned and operated by a local Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Chapter. The Chapter is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for program development, standards and operations.

    • How are Ronald McDonald Houses funded?

      Generous supporters like you help fund Ronald McDonald Houses. The majority of our programming funds come from individuals, organizations and businesses.

    • Doesn't McDonald's fund Ronald McDonald Houses?

      Local McDonald's restaurant owner/operators generously fund portions of the annual operating costs of the Houses. However, the majority of the annual operating income comes from individual and other corporate donors.

    • How much does it cost to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

      The actual cost to operate a room varies between $50 and $100 a night. Families either stay at no cost or are asked to make a donation up to $25 per day, depending on the house. However, the donation is waived for those who cannot afford it. The difference is made up through donations. Thanks to your contributions, it is a global RMHC policy that a family never be turned away because of their ability to pay.

    • Who is eligible to stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

      Children, from birth to 18 (or 21, depending on the House), who are being treated at nearby hospitals and medical facilities, and their families are eligible. Please contact the Ronald McDonald House in your community to find out if there are other policies or requirements.

    • How long do families usually stay at a Ronald McDonald House?

      Stays can be as short as one night or as long as several months, and sometimes extend to a year or more, depending on the child's illness and treatment.

    • How can I support a Ronald McDonald House?

      You can support a House or RMHC in a number of ways, and we could not operate Ronald McDonald Houses without donations from individuals and groups. Learn more about donating and volunteering.


    » Ronald McDonald Care Mobile

    • What is the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program?

      Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles go directly into areas where children are medically underserved. The program offers high-quality medical, dental and health education through relationships with local healthcare organizations and clinical service providers. The 40-foot vehicles are built specifically to deliver the pediatric healthcare services of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs.

    • What services does a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile provide?

      Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles provide a number of services including:

      • Primary care, well-child visits and developmental screening
      • Immunizations
      • Diagnostic, preventive and restorative dental care
      • Oral hygiene education
      • Asthma treatment and self-management education
      • Pulmonary function testing
      • Vision, hearing and lead screening
      • School and sports physicals
      • Prenatal care for pregnant teens
      • Childhood health promotion and injury prevention education
      • Nutrition counseling
      • Pediatric specialty care, such as oncology, cardiology and otolaryngology
      • Ophthalmology
      • Mental health assessment and referral
      • Blood collection
      • Social service resource referral
      • Health education
      • Care for special needs children
    • Who is the staff on Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles?

      Staffing varies based on the scope of services provided and might include a pediatrician, a pediatric nurse, a dental hygienist, a dentist and a program manager. Other staff members might include a social worker and other pediatric specialists. In most cases, these staff members are full- or part-time workers hired by local health-care organizations.

      Most Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles choose to supplement their staff with a rotating base of volunteers and medical, dental and nursing students. In an effort to provide continuity of care, however, there is always a core staff that serves the community on a regular basis. The rotating staff complements the core staff.

    • Where do Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles operate?

      Through relationships with clinical service providers, Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles currently operate in 44 cities in Argentina, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia and the United States. To find out if there is a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in your area, search or contact your local RMHC organization.

    • Do Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles only treat children?

      Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles provide health care and health education services to children from birth to 21 years old.

    • Does the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program replace regular visits to a doctor or dentist?

      Services provided on a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile are not meant to replace regular visits to a doctor or a dentist. Rather, they provide an entry point into a regular pattern of health care for vulnerable children, with the goal of connecting the child and his or her family to a medical or dental home.

      In some cases, we understand that a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will need to be the medical or dental “home” for the child because of a severe lack of health care providers in the community or the limited number of providers that will accept children with Medicaid. However, this type of situation has been more of the exception than the rule.

    • Who operates the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in each local area?

      Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles are operated through relationships with carefully selected clinical service providers.

    • What type of organization qualifies as the “healthcare organization” or “clinical service provider” for the local program?

      RMHC looks for healthcare partners who have 501(c)(3) status and a mission that complements that of RMHC. To date, the healthcare organizations or clinical service providers have been community hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, county hospitals, outpatient clinics and independent groups of physicians and dentists.

    • Do children or their families have to pay for health care services provided by Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

      All services offered on Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles are provided in a cost effective manner to children and their families. No child is denied care based on ability to pay. However, reimbursement from a third party, such as U.S. Medicaid, is sought if applicable, as is sliding-scale payment that complements the pay schedule already in place at the base of operations.

    • How do I get care from a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile?

      Search to find a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in your community, then contact the program manager for more information regarding appointment scheduling.


  • » Ronald McDonald Family Room

    • Who can use a Ronald McDonald Family Room?

      Any family with a child receiving treatment in a hospital is eligible to use Ronald McDonald Family Room facilities.

    • Is it possible to spend the night in a Ronald McDonald Family Room?

      Ask the registration desk at the hospital where your child will receive treatment about the specific services (including overnight stays) available at the Ronald McDonald Family Room in their hospital.

    • What services does a Ronald McDonald Family Room provide?

      Ronald McDonald Family Rooms provide various services depending on many factors — including the size of the space available within the hospital and the number of families served.

    • Services provided by Ronald McDonald Family Rooms might include:

      • A kitchen area that includes a stove or microwave
      • Shower facilities
      • Sleeping rooms for naps or overnight accommodations
      • Laundry facilities, including washers, dryers and laundry detergent
      • Internet access
      • Reference books
      • A seating area with a television
      • A quiet room
    • Who operates Ronald McDonald Family Rooms?

      Each Ronald McDonald Family Room is operated by its local RMHC Chapter and responsible to its own board of directors.

    • How can I support the Ronald McDonald Family Room in my community?

      Each Ronald McDonald Family Room offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Whether you want to prepare a home-cooked meal or treats for families, donate canned goods or laundry detergent, volunteer to staff the check-in desk, or make a cash donation, there are many ways you can help. Contact your local RMHC Chapter to find out how you can help a Ronald McDonald Family Room in your area.


    » RMHC U.S. Scholarships

    • Who is eligible?

      To apply for a RMHC U.S. Scholarship, a student must:

      • Be a high school senior
      • Be under 21 years old
      • Be eligible to attend a two- or four-year college or university with a full course of study
      • Be a legal U.S. resident
      • Reside in a participating local RMHC Chapter's geographic area
      • Submit a complete application and all required documentation by the deadline
    • How can I apply?

      Eligible students can apply online by clicking here. If you have questions about how to apply and/or about your application, please contact ISTS at (615) 777-3750 or toll-free number (855) 670-4748.

    • How are scholarship recipients selected?

      • Participating programs select their respective scholarship recipients. Local RMHC Chapters convene committees made up of RMHC and McDonald's representatives, educators and community leaders to select winners on the basis of the following criteria:
        • Community involvement and leadership potential as demonstrated by the student's personal statement and letters of recommendation
        • Academic achievement as demonstrated through the applicant's grade point average and standardized test scores
        • Financial need as demonstrated through the student's disclosure of family income and anticipated educational expenses
    • Are there any other scholarship requirements?

      • Scholarship funds will be disbursed directly to the school designated by the recipient once the local RMHC Chapter receives verification of enrollment. RMHC scholarship funds cannot be paid to individual recipients irrespective of circumstances that may develop after their selection.
      • Scholarship recipients must enroll and attend school during the academic year following their graduation. Local RMHC Chapters may consider and approve exceptions to this requirement at their discretion. However, the Chapters must distribute funding to students entering their freshman year.
      • A recipient's failure to comply with any of the above requirements in a timely manner may result in forfeiture of the scholarship.
    • How much are the scholarships for?

      Scholarship amounts vary and are at the discretion of participating RMHC Chapters and Board of Directors.


    » Grants

    • Can I include the cost for salaries in my grant request?

      No. General ongoing administrative costs cannot be included in your request.

    • I don't have my organization's most current tax return yet. Can I send in my last one?

      Yes, provided that the latest version arrives in our office no later than 60 days prior to the board meeting at which your grant will be reviewed.

    • My U.S.-based organization doesn't have its 501(c)(3) letter yet, but we have applied for it. Can we still be reviewed?

      Yes, but please send copies of your application for a 501(c)(3) when you send in your letter of inquiry.

    • My organization is located outside the United States, and we don't have a 501(c)(3) letter. Am I eligible for funding?

      No. Your organization must be a U.S. based 501(c)(3) organization to be eligible for RMHC grant funding.

    • My organization received a grant from you last year. Can I apply for a new grant?

      You cannot apply in the same year in which you have already received funding. You can apply for another grant in the future, but preference may be given to first-time applicants.

    • Because of large startup costs associated with fundraisers that my organization initiated last year, our finances might look skewed. Will this prevent us from receiving a grant?

      We use recommendations from various “watchdog” organizations as we review financial information. If your organization had certain, one-time fundraising or other costs, we would expect to see those explained somewhere in the related information or tax return or on other financial documents.

    • Part of my organization's program serves adults. Would you still fund the costs?

      RMHC only focuses on programs – or portions of – that focus on children. If your program is considered for funding, the portion of the program that focuses on the needs of children must be broken out and only that portion would be addressed.