WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL

Rating: 3.56 stars   71 reviews

Issues: International, Religion, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: 800 W Chestnut Ave Monrovia CA 91016 USA

Mission: World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Programs: Every year, World Vision and its partners serve tens of millions of people in nearly 100 countries, including over one million people in the United States. World Vision's assistance extends to all people, regardless of religious beliefs, gender, race or ethnic background.

World Vision provides emergency relief efforts to bring assistance to victims of both war and natural disasters. Depending on the situation, aid may include food, clothing, and shelter to health care, potable water, and construction of sanitation facilities. Additional projects deal with reducing barriers to progress through improvements to agricultural and nutrition practices, micro enterprise loans, and initiation of literacy, vocational training, and other educational programs. In addition, World Vision is working in Africa, Asia and The Caribbean to help address the needs of widows and orphans in response to the AIDS pandemic through its Hope Initiative.

Adapting to the individual needs of the areas where it works, World Vision coordinates programs for its sponsored children that - along core services, such as medical and dental care, supplemental food and vitamins, and grants and scholarships for school fees and other educational expenses are designed over many years to help make families and communities self-sustaining. According to World Vision, the total number of children being sponsored by U.S. donors is over 700,000.

In the United States, World Vision teams with churches, community organizations, and other volunteer groups. Projects target issues in such areas as tutoring youth, mentoring youth-at-risk, affordable housing, job training and placement, and small business development. Food commodities, medicines, clothing, and other gift-in-kind items (received from governmental sources and private donors) are distributed both through World Vision run projects and ministries affiliated with other organizations. Outside partner ministries receiving gifts from World Vision share similar ideals as overall guiding principles. To educate Americans about the needs of the poor, World Vision produces magazines and other broadcast and print resources, and annually organizes the 30 Hour Famine program for youth to increase their understanding of life in developing countries.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

7 people found this review helpful

I have seen WV's work first hand in Uganda & Rwanda. The holistic economic development model they are implementing in their area development programs is incredible. The people they employ are 95% in country employees which I find to be superior to other organizations because they aren't sending westerners to these countries.

I have also sponsored many children over the years through their sponsorship programs. It's not perfect and none of them are, but when you look at scale and impact of your money, $1 becomes more like $5 because they can influence local governments and make large scale change because they go into communities for 15+years at a time. Working on poverty is difficult, and if the Clinton Global Initiative and The Gates Foundation and Tom's Shoes is working with WV, I think they must be doing a darn good job.

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?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been giving to World Vision for over ten years. I've always received thank you's from children in Africa for sending letters, pictures, and gifts that WV sends to me to send to sponsored child. I still give for different things throughout the year because I cannot afford to sponsor a child every month. I'm shocked to see people complain about how much the CEO makes. People from all over the world donate and 95% goes directly to the poor while the other 5% goes to the people who advertise and send supplies. Do you remember the computer that won over a million dollars on Jeopardy donated all of the winnings to WV? And that was just one donation! Also, I'm shocked to hear people are offended by WV showing TV ads of young girls in Human Trafficking crisis. People care more about dogs and cats than children and babies in America! Hello, slavery IS real and it should never be tolerated in any part of the world, especially in America, especially to children! Awareness is KEY! We need to stop this and if you're offended, how do you think the children feel being tortured every day? You want to sweep them under the rug so you don't have to be reminded of it? How would you like to live it? I thank God for WV and any other charity that helps the voiceless and the helpless. Bless you all who work for Jesus!

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

The talents required to manage a huge company like Google , Apple or Amazon...are the same talents required to manage a multi million dollars organization like WV .
CEOs make A LOT OF MONEY, they go to prestigious schools, possess multiple degrees, have work experiences with the biggest companies in the world...These individuals are " la creme de la creme" in the world of business. So why are many in here shocked by WV CEO'salary?
You think he should be paid LESS than Amazon's CEO because he works for a charity?
It takes a great deal of talent to be the head of something that big..Actually 300 or 400k a year, is NOTHING compared to the income generated by the donations or compared to another high profile CEO'salary.
WV is NOT perfect, and does not claim to be, but you must give them credit for their incredible work. Keep in mind , they must deal with countries that are financially dysfunctional, corrupted, where Christians are not welcome, with poor technology and means of communication; or geographically isolated.
God , will hold accountable , those who misuse the funds set for the advancement of His Kingdom in the world.... Just do your best to help these kids and their communities, God will judge us individually . Please do not give up on the needy. The message left by Jesus to His disciples is a message of compassion and generosity for the poor and the less fortunate. It is the ultimate message " OF LOVE"
I'm a struggling mom myself; sometimes, I don't even know if I will be able to pay my rent...But by the Grace of God, I sponsor 3 children. I do it with pride and a big smile on my face.
God has NEVER let me down financially, he is my rock!
Surrender ALL of yourself to God, and trust me , He will take care of you!

God bless each one of you and rewards you for your generous heart!

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

Take time to address financial concerns raised by donors

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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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I'm writing this because I feel called upon to address some issues. I'm a donor and have been for about two years for WorldVision.

My message is primarily towards Christians, as I have a Christian perspective.

I know many people feel that the CEO, or administrative costs, are paid excessively and this could potentially dissuade people from donating. Looking at the numbers, yes, the CEO does look like he gets paid a lot. However, as some previously mentioned, this guy was making millions prior to World Vision as head of corporate companies. He took a substantial pay cut. It is not easy running an organization as big as World Vision. Another thing to consider is that we're all assuming that he spends the money on himself. He may be giving his monies on his own - who knows? I guess what I'm trying to say is that each person will be accountable to God. This should not dissuade our own responsibilities to love others and give to the needy.

It is always a blessing to give. Yes, some of the monies will be misappropriated or not used towards everything we want, as we are humans and we are prone to selfishness. Human ambitions cloud sound judgment many times. However, we forget at times that it is God that gives us the money in the first place. He is the one that will see to it that the funds go towards the right places. At the same time, God tests us with money and those that handle money. From the organization's end, it's a test to see if the administrators / workers of WorldVision will allocate the monies to the children and their necessities. However, from the donor's end, it's a test to see if we trust God. We could always make excuses on not giving to the poor. "They're going to spend it on drugs..." to justify why we don't give to the homeless person on the street, or "Only 10% is really going towards the people in need." Should this really stop our responsibility to give? No one will perfectly give as they should, because no one is perfect. Do you think God will trust you with more money when you are hesitant to give towards his causes?

Our responsibility as donors should not be contingent upon others. I've always seen the missionaries and the other people that are on the front lines to be the ones doing the hard work. I'm fortunate enough to be able to support them monetarily instead.

I'm writing this because I used to be someone that made all sorts of excuses to not give. God rebuked me... harshly. I had to live in poverty for over twenty years to know what it means to be in financial need. I knew firsthand how it felt to not be able to give. I became embittered about being poor and disadvantaged, especially in a country in which many people were in positions to give. However, because of the few people that did give, God's love overcame this bitterness and it was revealed to me that love is sacrifice. God also showed me that at any moment, God could take everything away in order for us to realize that He is in control. No matter how many years you've been at your job, how much education, family, etc. you have, you could have everything taken from you. This is not because God wants to punish, but because we have the illusion that we are in control, when God is actually the one in control. How else to show this unless things don't go our way?

The gift of giving is not easy. It means that you have to trust others without really knowing what they do. I know that this is especially difficult when you have to sacrifice your wants (and sometimes your needs) to be able to give. Why should I give when I need help too? I have thought this many, many times. However, we give because God gave to us. I give, because I know how it is like to be in a position in which I cannot give.

WorldVision, or any other charity, are usually underfunded. The need is great, but those that give, are few.

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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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I'll guarentee you that most people complaining on here could never be satisfied. That truth is to be taken into consideration.
I have been a sponsor with World Vision for almost 3 years. I sponsor 4 African children. I have visited two of them; one in Swaziland and another in Zimbabwe. They were both different experiences, but each country is different and you have to expect some of that.
What World Vision is doing for these poor people is amazing. They are working with broken, starving, sick people and giving them the tools and means to survive, and these folks thrive. It may take 15 + years to bring them to a place of SELF-SUFFICIENCY but they do it. They don't just drill a well and go away. They teach them to maintain their wells and at the same time create jobs for their futures. That goes without saying in their clinics, schools and agricultural efforts.
I only hope that everyone of these negative posts were followed by a call to the headquarters and an attempt to clarify things, because this is NOT the World Vision I have come to know. The Rep I speak to is professional, and will resolve any problem that I ever have. It's a shame how cruel some people speak, and quite frankly that attitude alone disqualifies anything they have to say, in my opinion.
Thank-You World Vision for valuing the broken, destitute children of the world. It's working.

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?

2014

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I have experience evaluating 2 projects of WVI, one in Africa and one in Montenegro. They are a good org. and having been around HQ., I can say they are not top-heavy in administrative costs. They do not force Christianity on anyone, in my experience. The beneficiaries in the Montenegro project were Muslim, and they were not even aware that WV is a Christian org. They approach development in an anthropological sound way--again, in my experience.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

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Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I've been giving just at Christmas, and after the reviews I think that will stop. I'm shocked at the huge salary the CEO is getting. I refuse to ever donate to the Red Cross because of the ridiculously high salary their CEO is getting. So, sorry World Vision, I'm finished with you.

Barbara, Colorado

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

Change their operating system

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I read a negative comment on here about what the CEO makes. Do you ask these questions when you buy a cell phone plan? Or how about that takeout burger you bought? Amazing what we value here. CEO's of companies as large as WV organization make double to triple the money. The CEO's actually take a pay cut to work for WV. Yes it is a lot of money. In a perfect world everyone would work for free. But honestly the qualifications to run a charity that operates in numerous countries around the world while advocating for change...... You don't think you need someday who knows what they are doing?? If they make mistakes they put everyone volunteering/working and those people they are trying to help in extreme danger in some of these places. The grand scope of what they accomplish isn't simple!
And the CEO's of these charities have chosen to leave other higher paying positions to do this. Smaller charities don't accomplish the same degree.

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

Show the success stories more. Provide statistics of accomplishments.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This organization misleads their donors about how much money goes to the end recipient. They say they only spend 15% on overhead, but that is only for the fundraising office. Each additional office takes additional monies. In some cases there are 5 additional offices taking cuts before the poor receive any benefit. I would estimated that only 10-20% of the original donated monies actually get to the programs helping the poor.

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

They are so large and have so many levels that the monies get used up in the many levels of management, facilities, salaries, and benefits for staff that there is little left for the poor. They need to drastically slim down their overall overhead (they will respond and say they only spend 15% but they won't admit that is 15% for each level).

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Back in 1989, World Vision commissioned an internal study to see how much of each donor dollar was getting to the poor. The internal report showed less than 10% was received by the poor. How could this be?

World Vision is a large multi level organization. Each level takes a cut (1 - Fundraising office, 2 - International office, 3 - Regional office, 4 - Country office, 5 - Project office). After all of the salaries and administrative cuts at each level, there was not much of the dollar left for the poor.

This report caused terror in the organization and the findings were quickly suppressed. Senior staff realized there was a big problem and there was a multitude of meetings to try to cut expenses, but sadly it never happened.

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

This organization used to be a lot leaner, with less overhead. The staff at that time really cared about the poor and were very concerned about stewardship. It is my hope that World Vision returns to its roots.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

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

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

Tim, we have no record of such a report, and the statistics you cite are nothing like the economics of our current program. World Vision U.S. spends nearly 86 percent of donations on programs benefiting children and their families (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4768). As we're sure you're aware, providing cash directly to families has been proven ineffective. World Vision works with communities to ensure children and families have access to essential services such as water, education, healthcare and income potential. Included in program expenses are salaries for staff such as doctors and water experts who serve in their countries or regions to ensure programs are designed to improve the lives of children, project staff who regularly monitor sponsored children to see that they are benefiting, and accountants and auditors to monitor how our funds are spent. Rather than being "overhead," these staff fill an important role in running effective programs. Larry Probus, CFO of World Vision U.S., provides an explanation of how donor funds are used and leveraged to benefit the communities we serve: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open We hope you will view his presentation, which provides a current look at World Vision's finances.

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Something really stinks here. They run these sleazy TV commercials and then keep the money that is sent in for themselves. They should be GIVING 90% of the donations they get, not keeping it.

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

A complete audit and change of leadership.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for your concerns. We take seriously our responsibility to use donor funds effectively. As Charity Navigator notes, World Vision U.S. spends 85.6% of donations on programs and just 4.6% for administration, so we are able to get the majority of donor contributions to help children and their communities. (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4768. ) Additionally, World Vision's Chief Financial Officer Larry Probus explains our funding model at: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open. We hope you will view his presentation, which provides a current look at World Vision's finances. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact us info@worldvision.org. Again, thank you for raising these concerns.