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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EIN 54-0536100
804-756-2700
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been sponsoring children through Child Fund International for over 25 years now. I have such admiration for this wonderful organization and would encourage anyone who is considering sponsoring a child to go for it! Words can't express how rewarding sponsorship has been for me.

I started sponsoring one little girl in India in 1985, added a young boy in Bolivia in 1987, and now sponsor six children. Each one is different, but special in their own way. We exchange letters and it is so gratifying to hear about their successes, see how their confidence grows and know that CFI and my sponsorship has really made a difference in their lives.

Here are some examples of the wonderful things "my kids" are accomplishing:

Mae, in the Philippines, is now attending college, studying Electronics & Communication Engineering.

Deekshith, in India, is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Mariama, in The Gambia, is first in her class and plans on becoming a nurse.

I am so proud of them, and am really not sure that all this would have happened without the support from CFI.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I correspond with the children and receive annual progress reports on the child and the project.

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

I wouldn't change a thing.

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?

2011

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am extemely unhappy with CFI. I have been a sponsor for years (since it was Christian Children's Fund) and I am not sure what happened when they changed the name from Christian Children's Fund to CFI, but there is a marked difference in this organization for the worst. The last three cash gifts to one of my sponsored children have not been received as far as I am aware. The first time I called to ask if she received it since I had not received an acknowledgement, I was told "I can guarantee she received it". After the third concurrent occrance, I do not believe them. I used to suport all of their endeavors, but no more. I will not drop my current sponsored children since I have a commitment to them, but I will not sponsor another child through this organization. I am also disappointed that they dropped "Christian" from their name. I was led to believe that they were sharing God's word through their missions which I have since found out is not the case. If one of your goals is that your sponsored child learn about the Gospel, this is not the organization for you.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

N/A

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

N/A

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Review from CharityNavigator
Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

When money is tight, you watch every dollar you give away very carefully. We have cut back our giving to only a very few organizations and CFI is definitely one of them. Their work on behalf of children worldwide is outstanding and you can trust that every dollar you send is spent appropriately.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their support for children based on what I have read.

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

increase their publicity so more people will know about their good work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have reviewed much of the literature provided by Child Fund International and am impressed by the level of service that is provided to so many needy children and their families throughout the world. I feel it is also noteworthy that a high percentage of each contribution goes directly to the provision of these services, rather than being absorbed by administrative costs. Therefore, I have chosen Child Fund International to be the recipient of my donations on several occasions.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My review of its literature.

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

No recommendations at this time.

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Rating: 5 stars  

We have been sponsoring Joyce in Zambia for about 5 years now. Joyce's neighbor writes letters to us on her behalf and includes an list of the items purcased with her birthday and Christmas gifts. It's especially gratifying to see that we are buying goats and roofing materials that are benefiting Joyce's entire family in addition to items for Joyce herself.

I feel that CFI is a very good manager of our donations and we're planning to continue to support our child.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

getting pictures of our sponsored child on a yealy basis and seeing that she is maturing into a healthy and educated young lady.

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

No changes at this time.

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Rating: 3 stars  

Our company sponsored 2 little girls in Senegal for 15 yrs. Sadly, when we merged with a company based in India they decided to cancel the support. We sent birthday & Xmas presents & received updates, thank you notes from the girls, & many letters.
We have personally been supporting a girl in Uganda since she was 5 yrs old. She is now going to school to become a nurse & we are happily paying her tuition for the 3 yrs of study. Sarah writes to us often with deep appreciation for our support. She tells us about her family, now about her classes, & how happy she is on the way to becoming a nurse. We send money for her birthday & Christmas & we are VERY UNHAPPY ABOUT THE NEW CHARGE CONNECTED WITH THESE GIFTS.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

letters from 3 different children with their health updates, school updates, & what they bought with the money for their birthdays & Christmas

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

STOP THE EXTRA CHARGE WHEN SENDING GIFTS TO OUR SPONSORED CHILD

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Rating: 2 stars  

Wow, some of these complaints about ChildFund International really resonate with me. I've been a sponsor for 20 years, but now I really question where the money is going and how much good it's really doing for my sponsored child.
My first sponsored child kept changing his "educational concentration" from age 18 to 21, so the local program could say he needed more time.
My current sponsored child turned 18 last January; now the local program says he wants to be sponsored until he's 24 (24???!!!!?!?!) so he can finish junior high and high school. In what society is someone a child until age 24?
His report cards have always been mediocre. All his letters for 10 years had to be written by someone else because "he can't do it yet", and the 2-dimensional drawings he allegedly sends haven't changed at all in 10 years. What's going on here?
To top it off, I have to agree that the 20% surcharge to send a monetary gift sounds usurious.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

You know, I'm really not sure any more...

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

Have an investigative reporter look into ChildFund International to figure out what's really going on here.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Compassion for less fortunate childrfen who deserve a good start.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

My philosophy is "Give someone a fish and they eat for a day. Teach someone to fish and they eat for a lifetime." I hoped that ChildFund would be a hand-up, not a handout. Now I'm feeling used.

What would you tell others about this organization?

Do your homework!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

I have been sponsoring children through this organization for a number of years and was not happy with the 20% fee they charged on monitary gifts. A call to the headquarters put the cost into perspective since there are many steps between the reception and distribution of funds for the stated purpose. They are not dealing with electronic transfers and ATM's on the corner.
I still was a littles miffed until I want to do a sponsorship with a similar large organization. They charge $35.00 per month as opposed to $28.
While ChildFund will accept modest monitary gifts this organization will not accept gifts for the sponsored child UNDER $75.00!!!!
I will not complain about ChildFund again!!!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I can understand how complicated the gift giving process has become.

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

Better explain why changes have to be made. They need a better PR team!!!

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 2 stars  

I have sponsored a number of children through this program over the past 30 years and am sponsoring 2 at the current time. I was once very pleased to be part of what I considered a wonderful organization. However, since they have changed from Christian Children's Fund to ChildFund I have become frustrated with their new focus which seems to be about tacking on exhorbitant adminstrative costs at every turn.
For example, I just received stickers and note pads with each of my sponsored childrens' names on them. Included in the packages were solicitations to send this "free" gift for the cost of postage ($9.00). Now they have gone to the trouble of custom printing who knows how many of these cute little note pads to mail to us (for the supposed cost of devery to our kids). For the cost of all of that, they could have just sent the note pad to the child directly. Really? Stop pestering us for these goofy (and transparent) fundraisers and spend your time and money making a real differernce in these special childrens' lives by supplying them and their families with things they need!
The 20% off the top of any gift for administrative expenses also bothers me considerably. I will no longer deal with this organization after the two kids I am sponsoring now exit the program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

,

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

,

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Rating: 5 stars  

My family has found the opportunity to save a life through Child Fund to be a great joy and learning opportunity for both the adults and our children.
We have sponsored a young boy from Ethiopia since he was 4. Alias is now 13 years old. There were times over the years when we could barely pay our bills. However, we never missed giving so this child could live. In the process, the children who are more blessed in my life have learned the joy and blessings of giving. Alias has brought more joy to us than we could ever give to him. We have been fearful that we would no longer be able to support the child we love as he gets older. I am relieved to find out that we can continue to support Alias. I would not stop supporting my biological child at any age and I am pleased to know that we can continue to support Alias as he grows into a young man. There is very little chance that Alias can find employment in the region of the world he lives in and I can not turn my back on him. Child Fund is the only organization that I am aware of that offers such a unique opportunity to the donor. I stress: You can save a life for under $40.00 a month. It is a no brainer.
I speak from experience. I work with homeless children in the U.S. I know the cost of covering expenses. I was disapointed to see that some folks were riled because the cost of send a gift rose from $2.50 to 20% of the gift. It costs that amount for me to supply a gift to one of the the children I serve locally. Ok, you have to go out and buy the gift (which in a 3rd world country is not always easy) transport the gift to the child and then the child sends a thank you letter ( the letter part is expensive also)
Please ask your self why you are giving this donation? Do you want to save a child's life? Do you really need to eat out? What is more important? I don't mean to sound preachy. I am just so happy that we are blessed to save a life. That is awesome to me. Thank you Child Fund for valuing all children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our family is rich even when our pockets have been almost empty. Our daughter grew up knowing Alias and the experience has allowed her to grow into a compassionate human being. Even as a small child, she knew that she was fortunate and that one who gives is blessed.

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

Grow. Ask the donors to "Speak up even when your voice quakes." Kuhn

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