ChildFund International

Rating: 3.65 stars   195 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Human Services, International

Location: PO Box 26484 2821 Emerywood Parkway Richmond VA 23294 USA

Mission: ChildFund International exists to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. We promote societies whose individuals and institutions participate in valuing, protecting, and advancing the worth and rights of children. One of the world''s oldest and most respected international child development organizations, ChildFund International works in 31 countries and assists approximately 17.8 million children and family members worldwide, regardless of their race, creed or gender.
Results: ChildFund has established youth clubs so children and youth can tell us how they experience poverty. From this knowledge, we build programs that address targeted issues so that programs are impactful and can be sustained by the communities served. We have improved maternal/child health, educated families on achieving a balanced diet and even helped start community gardens. ChildFund not only addresses education, but we work to improve the quality of education so it becomes meaningful. In addition, we conduct studies to determine what education or skills training are viable to the communities where the children live. We are a child development organization with programs that have a deep understanding of localities needs and a long-term goal of enabling children to become contributing adults.
Target demographics: We assist children in 30 countries, including the United States.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Direct beneficiaries include children who are sponsored by individuals or groups in the 31 countries where ChildFund works.
Geographic areas served: 30 countries, including the United States,
Programs: ChildFund works toward the well-being of children by forming partnerships with local governments and non-governmental resources to strengthen our programs. Our initiatives are locally led activities where families and communities work together to overcome poverty and protect the rights of their children. ChildFund programs are comprehensive, addressing needs throughout three life stages -- healthy and secure infants and children, educated and confident children and skilled and involved youth. This distinctive approach focuses on working with children throughout their journey from birth to young adulthood. We offer youth an opportunity to participate in youth groups and join in the decision-making processes of our work. We also address children's transitional needs from one life stage to another, to enable them to get a healthy start in life, have the tools needed to enter primary school, and eventually develop a skill or gain an education to earn a living and contribute to their communities. ChildFund works in 31 countries -- often in environments where poverty, conflict and disaster threatens children's well-being. Our programs confront critical needs of safe motherhood, the quality of education and trained teachers, HIV and AIDS prevention and care, nutritional and health needs. Nutrition includes a multi-pronged approach that leads to the establishment of home gardens and lessons in the importance of varying diets. We combat malaria through education, health care and the provision of mosquito nets. In emergencies, ChildFund provides emergency feeding and supplies as well as conducting long-term recovery programs in areas where we operate programs. In addition, youth learn skills that are vital to their communities -- skills that were identified after conducting studies to determine what needs are viable to each community.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

A huge thanks to ChildFund International for sending my little angel from heaven to me. My experience has been nothing short of incredible since becoming a sponsor for a fantastic little Purepecha girl named Jessica in Ocumicho, Michoacan Mexico. Please take a moment to read my new blog of the experience!

http://www.purepechagirl.blogspot.com/

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

9 people found this review helpful

I started sponsoring Jessica in Ocumicho, Michoacan Mexico 6 months ago. Initially, I was only going to sponsor her every month. However, after just 2 heartwarming letters and pictures from Jessica, I decided to utilize ChildFund's amazing business model and infrastructure in order to "take things to a different level". Some sponsors only do the $28/month and leave it at that. That's fine, because now another child has been sponsored. However, there are so many things a sponsor can do beyond just the monthly sponsorship to have an even bigger impact on their child, their community and the world. Here's are some other things I have started or completed in only the first 6 months of sponsoring Jessica. Regular letters and pictures - hard to explain the feeling, but AWESOME! Scheduled $50 birthday and Christmas monetary gifts. It is amazing to see the impact and joy such a small gift brings to these wonderful children. You are also really moved how the children allocate the money - food, educational tools and always themselves last. This takes the experience to an incredible level most people have never experienced. Send special monetary gifts if possible in addition to the scheduled monetary gifts. Same effect. Amazing! ChildFund processes these monetary gifts for a flat $3.50 handling fee. Such an amazing, cost effective and easy to use sponsor tool to utilize! The money goes monthly to the national offices, converted to local currency and hand delivered to your child. So, where can a sponsor go from there? I have chosen to do 2 other things to help make an impact. I established a university fund for Jessica. $600/year totaling $5,400 when she is ready to attend. It's invested in America Movil stock that is owned by Carlos Slim in Mexico (richest man in the world). Jessica is very excited trying to decide what type of bachelor's degree she wants to achieve. Very, very exciting! Lastly, I decided to "kick it up one last notch". I have created "The Ocumicho Project" plan with the help of the wonderful ladies at ChildFund. The project's goal is finding sponsors for the remaining 45 children in Ocumicho still without sponsors. My coworkers and friends can literally call the ChildFund 800 number, reference "The Ocumicho Project", get set up as a new sponsor and have one of Jessica's classmates immediately moved into their new sponsor account! All I can say is amazing! The journey is just getting started! What other company (profit or non profit) would offer these existing sponsor tools and new opportunities for their sponsors??? Incredible company! Incredible group of people! Get on board or the train is leaving the station without you! :)

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 1 stars  

My boyfriend has been sending money, allegedly to a child. From day one I told him to be careful with these charity organizations. I myself donate a good amount of money to different organizations to people in need, orphans, animals in the United States. I have personally been involved with orphans in the U.S. and their living conditions. We are in so much shortage that now foster parents should step in until the state governments can find some place for the orphans.
What bothers me the most is that Anne Lynam Goddard receives over quarter of a million as salary, living a luxury life in London, (most probably sending her kids to expensive private schools in London, I suppose); this is outrageous.
I think that donors should do a diligent research about where their money goes and how much is actually spent on "charity" rather than financing a luxury life for the CEO, almost tax free.
After I told my bf about the CEO and her salary, he was so upset that he wanted to call her (I didn't let that happen), however, he is convinced that all he donates, in fact, doesn't go to the "kid" he is sponsoring. I only hope that at least some of that goes to the kid, once the CEO's salary is set aside.

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Rating: 0 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Hello!
I Danchenko Oksana G., I'm 36 years old, I live in Ukraine, I am disabled since childhood, I have cerebral palsy.
My parents died, the only person who was always there with me, supported and helped me in a difficult moment - this is my brother Alexander. Two years ago, we learned that his brother was seriously ill, he was diagnosed with hepatitis C, which cause cirrhosis. Because of that, the diagnosis is made late, the disease is very progressed. Brother very necessary examination, the expensive treatment and liver transplantation, please help save my brother!
Please let us know if you can help us!
Thank you in advance.
Regards, Oksana

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While our wish is to help any child in need, we are unable to provide support in areas where we have no programs, such as Ukraine. However, you might be able to find help in your region through the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations – here is a link to their list of organizations in Eastern Europe: http://www.wango.org/resources.aspx?section=ngodir&sub=region&regionID=151&col=ABC875. We appreciate your contacting us about this matter and wish you success with your endeavors.

Rating: 5 stars  

A year ago, while on vacation in Branson, MO, we enjoyed the Texas Tenors Show. During the intermission they requested that we consider sponsoring a child from a selection of ChildFund International needy children in the lobby. I selected a 6 year old Zambian girl. i am enjoying helping her and her family. Though she doesn't speak English, her grandmother and also a family friend write and keep me informed about Agness. For the price of a movie and snacks, you can provide a needy child some where in the world with a better life and education. I highly recommend ChildFund. It is a worthy organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I support a 6.5 year old girl in Brazil and have been doing this for about 2 years. The more letters I have been exchanging with her and her family the more I have come to know their situation and the individual personalities. This has been very meaningful to me in they have truly appreciated my support and have shared their gratitude in multiple pictures/drawings of my child's life.

I know the monthly sponsorship is doing great things in the community and directly for my sponsor child and her family from the letters and pictures they have sent me from the project. Knowing that this is being managed so well has given me confidence to send extra money for birthday and Christmas etcetera. The response from my sponsor and her family has been extremely heart warming and gratifying for me so much that I have just recently returned from an in person visit with them.

I was only able to spend two days with them and the expense seemed high when I was planning the trip but in looking back it was worth every dime. The U.S. National Child Fund personnel did a great job setting the agenda up with the local Child Fund Brazil personnel. I was concerned about going to a foreign country and not knowing anyone or the language.

The local Child Fund Brazil personnel set up all the meetings, interpreter as well as transportation even picking restaurants and beach area to enjoy our time together. The local Project that Child Fund has their, set up a surprise performance from the children including, Ballet, Guitar and a choir of children that put on a moving performance. The performance and gratitude from the children brought me to tears, (I was sure at 50 years old I would be able to fight that off). The hospitality and gratitude from my sponsor child/family and all of the children and Child Fund Brazil personnel was so genuine and meaningful. I can't express how meaningful the whole experience with Child Fund has been for me other than to say I'm so grateful.

I await my next letter that will have the pictures from the last few moments I had with my sponsor child to go with my 300+ other pictures. I have selected my new desk picture for my office and home which includes my family and I on our first day together. I have seen the impact Child Fund is making on the community in my sponsor's area first hand and can't encourage you enough to enrich your life the way I have through this program.





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Rating: 5 stars  

I have bee a sponser since the 70's. Connecting with a child from another culture and different part of the world is tremendously rewarding. Getting to know them through letters and feeling their gratitude and happiness through their letters is the best. This organization is totally dedicated to helping children worldwide.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I love this charity, as it helps provide for the needs of the children that go beyond just feeding them. They receive an education, and donors get to see their progress over the years. It gives children the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and possibly someday the world. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to know my child in some small way.

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Rating: 4 stars  

My mother had been sponsoring three children through ChildFund when she died suddenly. I contacted ChildFund and explained the situation and asked if it would be possible to transfer their sponsorship to me. The staff were very helpful and made this transition feel seamless. I love receiving letters from my sponsored children and their families and yearly progress reports from ChildFund. It makes me feel like I know them even though they live in Africa and we have never met in person. One of my sponsored children is now in college and that makes me very happy because she probably would not have had the opportunity if not for ChildFund.

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was approached at my door earlier today with a sales pitch by someone claiming to be from Child Fund. I said I would look into the organization but not give until doing so. I looked up information about the organization and found that they likely do not go door to door. When I saw the solicitor later in the day I told him what I'd learned and he pretty much shrugged. Later still, he returned to my house while I was gone and gave his sales pitch to my wife. I am considering reporting this to the police.

I notice that a number of reviewers claim to "know for certain" their child-abroad is getting the money they send, but I cannot imagine how on earth they could be verifying this. A letter from the child? Who knows who really writes those letters! The organization might well be doing some good--who knows, really?--but apparently the CEO takes a ludicrously large salary and the organization has been investigated for fraud (see for example: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/15/the-1994-christian-childrens-fund-scandal/ ).

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. ChildFund helps children around the world living in poverty. We seek monthly supporters via face-to-face fundraising in several states throughout the U.S. Our canvassers are well-trained professionals who have been taught to honor any “no solicitation” requests. Our sponsorship program enables sponsors and individual children to form relationships that benefit both the child and the sponsor. Funds raised through sponsorship support local organizations that implement ChildFund’s programs in the child’s community. These programs provide children with access to education, nutrition, health care and other benefits. Sponsors are also welcome to make additional donations that go directly to their child and are encouraged communicate through letters. ChildFund enjoys strong ratings from several external watchdog organizations — including Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau and others.

Rating: 1 stars  

We sponsored one child for the past fourteen years or so.

We know our sponsored child turned 18, she is six months younger than our daughter. There was no communication from Childfund Intl. about what happens when a child reaches U.S. adult age. They did, however, continue to deduct from our account.

Six months later, still paying, someone called to ask for a special contribution. I mentioned our situation, and they seemed a little flustered, then offered that the money was probably being used for other children or community needs. According to letters written on her behalf (she hasn't written more than a letter or two), she was still in school.

Now eight months later, we've received a letter from her mother that she is married and no longer in school. I appreciate her candor, but still no official notification from ChildFund.

I read here that ChildFund doesn't offer an online method for revoking your automatic account withdrawal, so I did that through my bank.

All of this may very well be the agency's poor management, but it makes it all seem more than a little sketchy, and you would think they would want to avoid all appearances of impropriety. A real shame for that community to lose the ongoing support from us and others who are disappointed in the manner in which ChildFund operates.

If you pay your CEO astronomical amounts for a non-prof, you should expect a clean running machine.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

transparency

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Hi, JoAnne, We are disappointed to hear about the dissatisfaction you and your family have experienced with the closing of your sponsorship. Most children remain in our care until age 18 or until they have completed secondary schooling. Some young people remain enrolled as they continue with vocational or college courses. If a sponsor is able to stay with the youth through those additional years, it’s welcome but not required. There is no obligation of time for sponsorship, and sponsors may advise us at any time that they do not wish to continue. For more information on preparing for when sponsorship ends, you might be interested in the article on page 10 of a recent issue of ChildWorld: https://www.childfund.org/uploadedFiles/public_site/media/publications/CW-Summer2013.pdf We would like to research the matter of why you did not receive information from ChildFund that your sponsored child was leaving the program, and we ask that you please contact us directly at 1-800-776-6767 or send an email to questions@ChildFund.org. We hope to hear from you soon! Meanwhile, please accept our deep appreciation for everything that you have done over the past 14 years.