Invisible Children Inc.

Rating: 2.73 stars   120 reviews

Issues: Human Services

Location: 1600 National Avenue San Diego CA 92113 USA

Mission: Invisible Children exists to bring a permanent end to LRA atrocities. The mission is supported by our program areas - Media, Mobilization, Protection and Recovery.
Results: 81.48% of our revenue went to our programs in FY 2012
Geographic areas served: Worldwide
Programs: ETHOS We believe in the equal and inherent value of all human life. We believe that a worldview bound by borders is outdated and that stopping injustice anywhere is the responsibility of humanity everywhere. CONTEXT Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army have been abducting, killing, and displacing civilians in East and central Africa since 1987. We first encountered these atrocities in northern Uganda in 2003 when we met a boy named Jacob who feared for his life and a woman named Jolly who had a vision for a better future. Together, we promised Jacob that we would do whatever we could to stop Joseph Kony and the LRA. Invisible Children was founded in 2004 to fulfill that promise. MODEL Invisible Children focuses exclusively on the LRA conflict through an integrated four-part model that addresses the problem in its entirety: immediate needs and long-term effects. MEDIA We create films to document LRA atrocities, introduce new audiences to the conflict, and inspire global action. MOBILIZATION We mobilize massive groups of people to support and advance international efforts to end LRA atrocities. PROTECTION We work with regional partners to build and expand systems that warn remote communities of LRA attacks and encourage members of the LRA to peacefully surrender. RECOVERY We work to rehabilitate children directly affected by the LRA and invest in education and economic recovery programs in the post-conflict region to promote lasting peace.

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm been a recurring donor to Invisible Children for 4 years and I am so pleased with how they are spending my money and how they keep me updated on how my money is impacting lives in central Africa.

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I interned with Invisible Children for five months. As an organization, their integrity and passion are unmatched. The individuals that make up the team are some of the most inspiring and quirky people I've ever met. There are very few organizations I trust as much as Invisible Children, and their impact in conflict-affected regions is incredible.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer, employee and board member for various non-profits over the past 32 years. Invisible Children has captured my heart and the hearts of my husband and four adult children! Each opportunity to volunteer has been a gift to us! Over the past 10 years I have seen IC grow and change the lives of many Ugandans! I appreciate how they respect the time of each volunteer and are very organized. We always accomplish much during hours spent volunteering. This is a great organization!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My 11 year old son was inspired by the KONY 2012 video and saved his allowance for months, which we sent to Invisible Children. He was heartbroken and discouraged to find out several months later that the money does not go to help the children, but rather to an organization that acts as lobbyists. The video and propaganda by Invisible Children led my son to believe he would be helping children - NOT that the money would be used as salaries for people in the US who raise awareness. I feel they were misleading. We were thrilled that my son felt philanthropic and did extra work around the house to earn money to donate, only to have that thrill turn to sadness. My now 12 year old son is now jaded when suspicious regarding charities. Not a lesson I wanted him to learn.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I first found out about the organization in 2010. I was initially impressed by the programs they have in on the ground in Central and East Africa. I also liked how they had options to help that didn't involve just giving money; they also included activism and awareness as a students in particular could be a part of ending the conflict. I earn my degree in International Relations and focused on international non-profits through much of my time in college. I even did a research paper on Invisible Children in 2011. Therefore,I was greatly sadden by critics in 2012 who had accept and spread false information.

A lot of people don't understand is the purpose of Invisible Children. They clearly state that their purpose is to bring an end to the rebel group, the LRA. While helping those in Uganda and helping the children is obviously part of that, it is not the primary purpose. The main focus is bringing an end to a conflict that has gone on for 26 years and has affected 5 countries and is being fought for personal gain on part of the rebels.

Invisible Children started in 2004 and has made many videos in that time, since as they clearly state is the main way they have found effective in raising awareness for this conflict. You can find a sampling of some of their videos here http://vimeo.com/invisible/albums/page:1/sort:date. I personally recommend that you watch "The Rescue", which was made a few years ago.



Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

invisible children submitted their own paperwork, they have not, and will not let an independent auditor look at their books. very little money goes into doing any good. they spend way to much money on fony marketing, yeah, fony, llike their kony 2012 phony junk, they supposed spend a fortune 'creating' videos, they have one video that they have been using for years, with very minor changes, which in no way justify the costs they claim! they raise lots of money, spend far to much traveling, parties, booze and drugs as some people now know is true. i hope more people wake up to the fact they are spending your money as their own private piggy bank. do not let their fancy accounting fool you, if they really are legit charity, they would let people actually look at their true costs and actual spending, AND they would allow independent auditors look as well!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

None

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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This is a bizarre and completely inaccurate review. I am very suspicious behind the motive for posting something so blatantly false. Invisible Children, as every registered non-profit in the US, is required by law to have their financials reviewed by a 3rd party auditing firm and posted online. Invisible Children has done so here: http://invisiblechildren.com/financials From what i can tell josephweglarz has never actually encountered this non-profit our their work and for some reason has a motive to undermine this organization, not sure why?

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 3 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My first experience with Invisible Children was when 'Kony 2012' first came out. I was in high school and I held a rally at my school for the cause. When all the controversy about Invisible Children came out, I did my own independent research and I found out some things about Invisible Children that I didn't really like. I found out that a portion of their funds doesn't actually go to the children in Uganda. This surprised me because everything I had read before was painting them out to be a very financially sound company. Instead of this turning me off to Invisible Children completely, I did some thinking about what I wanted to believe. I figured out that Invisible Children is such a new organization and they are trying to accomplish something major for our time. I believe that they shouldn't have done some things and maybe should have done others, but they are a good organization with good intentions. Maybe people who think they are wrong should stop and look back at the good things that they have done: they have helped thousands of children return to normal society and be happy again, they have helped the Ugandan military significantly, and they have gotten people interested in an important cause. This, to me, is the true purpose of a charity.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

Throughout my experience researching Invisible Children, I felt many mixed feelings about whether I support them or if i am against them. Even though i discovered a few unpleasing facts about who they are supporting and what they choose to spend the bulk of their income on. I highly support their main cause however. I found out about Invisible Children when I watched the video "Kony 2012", which greatly encouraged me to take action and help in the fight against child-warfare and abduction. I believe that their campaign strategy is very effective in the sense that their target audience gets a view of who and what they will be fighting for by donating to their organization. They make their supporters feel like they are part of a family and make them feel powerful. So all in all, I definitely support Invisible Children and all that they stand for.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

In September 2012 I found out about IC, and their poor financial record that many people claim. The kind of person I am, I did my research on the financial data just so I has knowledge, and don’t just go with someones opinion. According to my research, all information on financial data can be found on IC website. I need to be transparent, even though IC has their financial statements on their website their are something are still questionable, like how much money not % is going to children in Uganda. I feel like its important to see number not percent. IC their main mission is to bring Kony to justice. Personally I would not support their mission just because I live world away, and I rather support some other organization that work with the Orphans. There are many different people and I think someone will support their mission, because they are fighting for a good.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 3 stars  

As a history and political science student looking to go to law school, I have this tendency to watch what's going on in the world. In March, I saw Invisible Children's viral video "Kony2012", spark many young students like me to take action against the crimes warlord Joseph Kony committed against the people of Uganda. Looking deeper into the situation over the last several months, I have come to the conclusion that although Invisible Children has a good heart, motivations, and character as a non-profit organization; they take a simplistic view of a very complex political situation in Uganda. Yes, Kony is a problem, but he is not the whole problem. If an actual government infrastructure isn't there to democratically and peacefully govern Ugandans, then there is every chance of history repeating itself. Another warlord--like Kony--can arise in a similar chaotic political situation if nothing is done to fix the current government.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unlikely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

I understand that as a political science major you are hip to what going on in the world, so thank you for your evaluation of the strategy to stop the LRA (something not only being pursued by Invisible Children). I think what should be noted is that Invisible Children works with regional leaders, academics, administrators, government officials, the ICC, the UN, the AU, the US government and others in their effort to stop the LRA. Here are a few programs IC funds in collaboration with the groups above: the construction of safe surrender sites, defection messaging, HF security networks, Child soldier rehabilitation, advocacy, policy, micro-finance initiatives, scholarships. What you are proposing is that your evaluation of the work IC does is better than all of these respected institutions? I think that is a little bold and mis-guided of you?