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! :)
I am privileged to express my view points about CFI. I find the website of child fund international useful and informative. Though I have never got an opportunity to work with CFI directly, still I know CFI as one of the pioneer organisation working for children and young people. The good thing I like about Child Fund International’s work for the marginalised children with an integrated approach. Community participation is one of the core areas which really strengthen towards sustainable change in the society. Child Fund International is a pioneer organisation sincerely committed for espousing rights of children.
I wish all the very best
I have sponsored children through Christian Children's Fund - now ChildFund - for over 30 years. I was very sad when they shed their Christian identity. I tried to dialog with two of their staff members over the change when it happened and was extremely dissatisfied with the way they skirted my questions.
I still have three children sponsored with ChildFund, and I will continue to support them, but I will not replace them when they graduate from the program.
I sent $20 to a child for his birthday recently and he only received $16. That much of a bite out the gift is unacceptable to me, knowing how much value the money has overseas.
I have already begun to sponsor a child with World Vision, and my strategy is to transfer all my support to that organization over time.
Review from CharityNavigator
I have sponsored a child for a number of years -- since before my own children were born. And it's been a fantastic experience. I've learned so much about her country, her way of life, her family environment, and most of it leaves me speechless. To know that I can help such a beautiful child, even in such a small way, is so humbling. I've received letters from her, and from her family members, as well as drawings. And when I look at the pictures she's drawn, and I know they are for me -- that's an incredible feeling. This little person on the other side of the globe took time out of her day to draw me a picture. It's very special. Over the years I've also received photographs of my sponsored child. And I've seen her grow taller, but still, so thin. And I see her clothes, and cannot help but to compare them with the brightly colored, well-fitting clothes my own children wear. Though comparisons like this are of course saddening... the experience of sponsoring a child has brought something so unique and wonderful to my life. I think every year there is something else I could put that money towards. And when I know that I'm not going to spend it, but rather share it, I feel at peace. I would recommend ChildFund to anyone wishing to add a new dimension to their lives. Every letter I've ever written has been answered, and every donation I've sent has brought me a heart-felt thank-you. Whenever I've had to contact the national office I've had a quick response and positive experience. I don't feel like my donation is going "out there" somewhere. I feel like I am actually connected to this little person, and when I get the letters detailing what she spent her birthday money on, again, I am humbled. It's easy to get caught up in the "there are so many organizations out there, I don't know which is best." From my point of view, ChildFund is one of the absolute best. I took a chance on ChildFund, and I am so glad to have this in my life.
My elderly father has been sponsoring children through this organization (first as Christian Children's Fund and now as ChildFund) for several decades. However, now that I am handing my father's finances I have been taking a closer look at the organization's solicitation material and am really bothered by some of it.
For example, we just received a preprinted birthday card that we could sign and return to ChildFund, who would then turn around and deliver it to the child for $9.00. Nine Dollars?!?!? I could send a card for 44 cents because this child is in the US. I understand that some of the money must go to subsidize delivery of cards to children in foreign countries, but $9???? That just is exhorbitant!
We also received a pack of animal stickers that we were assured any child would LOVE. Well, our "child" is 15-year-old boy. I sincerely doubt that he would be thrilled to receive animal stickers. Again, we were asked to send $9 so that ChildFund could deliver these stickers to him. Give me a break! Why doesn't ChildFund look at the demographics of who their gifts are intended for?
The 20% off the top of any gift for administrative expenses also bothers me considerably. All in all, I am not inclined to deal with this organization again after our "child" ages out of the program.
Review from CharityNavigator
I have had the opportunity to meet a number of ChildFund leaders from the headquarters staff and various countries and have been impressed with their skills, professionalism, integrity, commitment to the mission, and focus on having a sustainable impact through their work. I have had the privilege to work with leaders of many respected corporations and non-profit organizations and would compare the caliber of their counterparts at ChildFund very favorably.
I've read the back log of criticism that ChildFund has received for it's 20% admiminstrative fee. Good grief, people, how many of you could run a business with only 20% overhead? If you've got an 80% profit margin, I want to invest in your company! People who work for nonprofits have mortgages, children, health expenses just like you. Do you "volunteer" at your job or do you expect a paycheck?
Working in developing nations that have little or no infrastructure takes a lot of feet on the ground. Money won't magically rain onto the heads of struggling people. It takes one person at a time making the right phone call, connecting with the right person. I have no personal opinion about ChildFund International other than I have friends who are sponsors and who asked me about all the kerfuffle on these pages about overhead. Get real. It takes money to give money unless you are willing to fly over to Kenya every month yourself and personally deliver your good will.
Review from CharityNavigator
We searched for an organization that helped children and their families (regardless of their personal religious beliefs) based on their needs of daily survival, education and human rights. We found ChildFund International to meet & exceed all our expectations. For several years we sponsored one child, and now two. What a difference we can make to those in less fortunate circumstances by sponsorship. Annual updates and photo's are sent by ChldFund, as well as several letters, hand drawings and pictures sent by the families sponsored. Becoming a part of the ChildFund family, as well as your sponsored child, you will feel the heartfelt gratitude of many. ChildFund is exceptional in all they do...Do you know in disaster emergencies, they are there too? Relocating families, setting up relief communities...they are there for the children and their families 24/7...This is an organization that I highly recommend and hope you find in your heart to donate or sponsor a child. It truly changes your life....and others.