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: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been with ChildFund for about a decade. They are not the most efficient, but I am sticking with them because I know that about $80 per hundred that I donate gets through directly to my sponsored kids, and they make it possible for me to give extra money to the kid's parents, which is important to me. I know for a fact that the extra money I send to the parents gets there. That is why I stay with ChildFund, even though they are at the low end of acceptable efficiency for this type of charity (80%). In the long run, I believe ChildFund will succeed in breaking the poverty cycle for some of these families because of the community approach that they take. So I accept the 20% overhead, believing that in the long run my kids will probably make it in their societies. At least I hope so.

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

Reduce the overhead and not get over extended.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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

Unsure

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  

Have been sponsoring a boy with special needs in Dominica for over 7 years and it is a pleasure to know he is growing into a young man. CFI has made it possible for him to go to school, provide food and clothing for him through my donations.

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

I began sponsoring a little girl in India with this organization in 2012. This involved sending money monthly and writing letters. For months, I had only received 1 letter from my sponsored child. So I emailed the organization thinking that something may have happened to her. It took them a while to get back to me but when they did, they emailed me a letter from her, progress report, pictures of her and her family. They let me know she was doing well.

Again, I wrote to her and my monthly payments were still being auto sent to the organization. Once again, after months of not hearing from my sponsored child, I decided that I needed to cancel my account. I like helping out, but, I am not a believer in giving money away under false pretenses. I had planned on increasing my monthly donation as well as giving to my sponsored child around the holidays, but it was like sending money to an invisible person. So I decided that this was not the organization for me.

I went into my account on their website to stop reoccurring monthly payments from being taken out of my account. There was no option to stop these transactions. I emailed the organization, and until this day have not heard from them. Yet, they still took money from my account. I had to call my bank to tell them to put a stop payment on the organization. When I first wanted to cancel my account, I figured ChildFund was a well meaning organization that may be unorganized but after not being able to stop my monthly payments, I am now questioning their legitimacy.

Was your donation impactful?

No

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?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 

We are sorry to hear that you stopped receiving letters from your sponsored child and that your inquiry was not taken care of at that time. Sometimes the sponsor-child correspondence doesn’t work out like we’d hope, and your satisfaction with the experience is important to us. Would you please contact our office at 1-800-776-6767 so that we can resolve this? You may also send an email to questions@ChildFund.org.

Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

i have been a sponsor for 24 years . i currently have 5 children most in africa. i receive letters 4 times a year. progress reports . its a sound and professional organization. i will be a sponsor until i can't no more

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

make it easier to write to the children.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

Likely

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: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Okay first and fore most CCF is one of the most trusted organizations out thereIn FY13 ChildFund increased its efforts to serve children, thanks to the generosity of supporters. ChildFund's public support and revenue for FY13 was $252 million, up from $245 million in FY12. Supporters can give with confidence knowing that 82 percent of every dollar goes to helping children.
For the past five years, ChildFund International has maintained a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and earned high ratings from Charities Review Council and the American Institute of Philanthropy.

And as far as the CEO making 200,000 a year first keep in mind he raised 252 million, secondly you people complaining would not be qualified to launch a campaign that can raise that much money,
and lastly if he raised 252 million that 82% of every dollar went to, and less people died of starvation and disease....who cares if he made 200,000-- for all you know he donates a bunch of his well deserved money , so get over the complaints people and trust that God is and always has done his work here.


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

0

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?

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 3 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My Mother sponsored a child, but passed away in 2010, my Dad continued the donations, he also passed away this past August. I want to continue the donations, but I skeptical about a few things. I received a letter thanking me for the $20 and indicating "I received your message..." My parents, obviously did not send a message. Somehow, I suspect that this is a form letter being sent to me by a worker or volunteer, not the child ( who is now 20 years of age, but that is ok, I would continue sponsorship of him if it helps him with his continuing education and helps his family/community ). I know my mother cared very much for this child and felt there was a personal connection, was this naivete on her part?

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 

We are sorry to hear about the loss of your parents. Please accept our condolences. Some countries may use templates or project newsletters, etc., but correspondence from the child and family should be individualized. We would be happy to look into this further for 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!

Rating: 1 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

In investigating child fund international I found that Anne Lynam Goddard President annual salary is over $325000.00

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

First, I need to 'fess that I don't donate to CFI, although my ex-wife and I did and I'm sure she continued after the split. This evening I was moved by very effective TV advertising to consider donating on an ongoing basis. I first wanted to see what the internet had to say about the organization. I found an organization by name of Charity Navigator whose primary function is to rate charities based on a broad base of metrics. They use collected data to compile lists, such as:
10 Most Followed Charities
10 Celebrity-Related Charities
10 Super-Sized Charities
10 Charities Expanding in a Hurry
10 Most Frequently Viewed Charities
Top 10 Charities That Earn the Highest % of Donations at Year-End
10 Consistently Low Rated Charities
10 Charities Overpaying their For-Profit Fundraisers
10 Highly-Rated Charities with Low Paid CEOs
10 Charities with the Most Consecutive 4-Star Ratings
10 Top-Notch Charities
10 Charities Routinely in the Red
10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions
10 of the Best Charities Everyone's Heard Of
10 Charities in Deep Financial Trouble
10 Charities Worth Watching
10 Highly Paid CEOs at Low-Rated Charities
10 Inefficient Fundraisers

I compared Child Fund Int'l to 3 other similarly oriented charities, i.e., raising money for children on an international basis. My findings were enlightening... and dissuasive. Following I have listed the charity, the CEO's salary and the rating of the charity:
Christian Relief Fund CEO $59.721 overall score 67.48
Children of the Nations CEO $60.000 overall score 64.82
Children's HopeChest CEO $65,049 overall score 62.88
ChildFund International CEO $268,242 overall score 54.28

One might wonder why the CEO of CFI makes 4 times as much as the CEO's of significantly more effective and efficient organizations. This organization routinely responds to negative comments about high executive salaries by saying that it's usual and customary for executives of like charities to earn such salaries. That really doesn't jibe with the above comparison, however. The President, Ms. Anne Goddard, and her Exec. VP, Isam Ghanim, combined are paid over $585,000 a year... enough to sponsor 20,895 children at $28 per month. If they took 50% cuts, to around $12,000 A MONTH(!), the organization could care for another 10,400 children. Do you think you could scrape by on $2,500 a WEEK? Yeah... me too. Needles to say--although I WILL say it--I'll use Charity Navigator to find another charity to effect my sponsorship. Maybe you should too?

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

Not pay the exec's sooooo much.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

Was this review helpful? 

The salary of our CEO is comparable to that of CEOs of other international nonprofits. One thing to note is that these CEOs are running multi-million-dollar international operations that endeavor to change the world. That means the CEOs have to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position. Because this question is asked on occasion, I’d like to share a report with you that was produced by Charity Navigator about the compensation of CEOs in the charity world: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=studies.ceo#.U06_Zldrino

Rating: 4 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Years ago a teacher at my school asked me to translate letters from his sponsored child through Christian Children's Fund. Since they were real letters, I decided to trust the charity and about eight years ago I sponsored a little girl in Oaxaca from whom I receive a letter each and every time I send her anything. It is obvious she is a real person and I am sent photos of her with the items she buys from the money gifts I send. She also draws pictures for me and seems hungry to hear from me. I write her in Spanish because some of the translations leave out whole sentences and I want her to be able to read what I write to her just as I write it. I was very happy with our arrangement, BUT when this organization became Childfund instead of Christian Children's Fund, it suddenly because more interested in slick promotions than in the children. I agree with another reviewer that while I greatly appreciate the personal updates from my child, the expensive paper and the constant dunning for more and more money is a real turnoff. On top of this, I got an offer to send a birthday card to my child for NINE dollars through the company instead of a normal card I can buy or make myself for much less. This was a definite ripoff. I won't stop sponsoring this child because I love her, but I won't sign on again because of the new marketing practices that make me suspicious about where the money is actually going these days.

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

Stop the slick marketing and dunning and concentrate on the children the way Christian Children's Fund used to do.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unsure

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

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

After sponsoring Eliana in Honduras for the past 4 years, my family is as usual very short on money, I began to wonder if this was worth the $30/month missing from my family pocket. I came to this website to see what people have to say before I continued my sponsorship. I found a range of comments here from 'I hate childfund' to 'This has been the best experience of my life.' What I already know... People in general tend to go out of the way to make complaints before praise, with ANY business. What I took from it... Giving is giving. I spend more than $30/month on my iced coffee and if there is even a 25% chance that my $30 will provide a better life for a child and a family that needs it, well, I'm all in. I consider this my responsability as someone who is already blessed with health, a roof over my head and a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle that may not be a big deal in the USA but is HUGE and sometimes unheard of to our families around the world. To the people who are angry that they live in the U.S. and are lacking with no one to turn to for help. Please don't let a broken system make you hostile to generosity when it is given elsewhere. A good deed is a good deed. The United States provides more opportunity for more people than most places in the world. If your drowning even with this advantage I say God has a purpose and sometimes, most times, people need to be pushed through mud to discover thier path. I wish I could help EVERYONE, but financially I cannot right now. So I will continue my sponsorship of Eliana, not because I expect the village to throw me a party or heart felt letters every month... but because I think its good for your sole to do something, anything to benefit mankind. One drop wripples out forever :)

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

Not send catalogues and addl money requests to people already giving. Once in a while is ok I guess, but I usually dont have much more to give so it seems like a waste. Maybe ask people if they would like to be updated about other giving options on a regular basis.

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?