ChildFund International

Rating: 3.65 stars   196 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

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 3 stars  

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

NA

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

support advocacy initiatives for children

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Rating: 3 stars  

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.

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

Received letters from children.

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

I would make sure the children receive the full value of the gifts sponsors send.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

The updates I receive about my sponsored child, and the continuing effors of ChildFund in her home country.

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

I don't know. It's been a great experience.

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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: 2 stars  

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.

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

Received several letters from the child thanking us for our donations.

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

Get rid of the ridiculous fees!

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

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 personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My global private sector work with developing countries where ChildFund operates.

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

Continue to strengthen the ongoing interface between the various regions to enhance organizational learning.

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Rating: 3 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

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

n/a

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

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

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.

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

sponsoring two children in the Philippines. What we take for granted, they only dream about. Our families now have clean drinking water, education, medical access...the list goes on.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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