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88 Reviews
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June 21, 2013

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1 previous review
March 31, 2013

I recently sent a Special Gift to Children International for my boy in Honduras. I was very happy with the pictures sent back to me of him with lots of food, clothing and a quality toy. Children Int... more

June 21, 2013

I have found this agency just great! (I have found it to be more communicative in general than any other agencies I dealt with in the past.) Accounts have always been accurate - no problems in the financial area of things. They do send out (from time to time), brochures or cards with a request for additional donations for things like the Scholarship Fund, Parasite Fund, etc., BUT these requests for additional donations ARE OPTIONAL. I called the 1-800 # and asked that I not receive these extra requests for donations as I can only do the basic monthly amount (and I like to contribute to the "4 gifts a year" program - which is completely OPTIONAL as all of these funds are combined to provide practical holiday gifts for ALL sponsored children). CI was just great and they discontinued sending me the extra requests for $$ immediately. Now I just receive yearly photo, yearly report on child, CI annual report, yearly report on my child's area and, of course, a thank you letter and pictures if I happen to very occasionally send an extra amount of $$ for a Special Needs Gift. Really enjoy sponsorship with this agency - and I believe they are the best! in terms of making a change in these children's lives. I plan to sponsor more children in the future as I go along in life.

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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

March 31, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I recently sent a Special Gift to Children International for my boy in Honduras. I was very happy with the pictures sent back to me of him with lots of food, clothing and a quality toy. Children International you always do it right! (If anyone is wondering about sending a Special Gift, the CI Reference Guide mentions the Special Gift option. It also mentions the optional Holiday Gifts program (and that all funds are combined for this program). It also says you may send a package to your child under "Packages." See the section titled "Gifts".)

More feedback...

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

June 20, 2013
5 people found this review helpful

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June 20, 2013
5 people found this review helpful

I have been sponsoring two children in Ecuador since April 2011. When i signed up as a sponsor, I indicated that I would be contributing twice the monthly sponsorship fee per child, plus I signed up to contribute extra funds for each child's birthday, Christmas, Easter, and "Special Days" when the children are given extra gifts "just because". I set up the "automatic withdrawal" so that the funds would come out of my bank account each month to cover the monthly sponsorship fees plus administrative fees and withdrawals for birthdays, holidays, etc.

Shortly after I began sponsorship, I received notice from Children International (CI) that, because of an increase in administrative costs, I would be charged more per month for sponsorship. I agreed to pay the extra rather than having to deduct the administrative fees from the monthly sponsorship fees.

Since I signed up for the automatic withdrawal, the correct amount has always been automatically paid to CI from my checking account.

Recently I retired, which means that I will henceforth be on a fixed income. However, I decided to continue sponsoring the two children, Milena and Angel, for as long as I possibly can. I also received notice from CI that they needed additional contributions from me to pay for protection of my sponsored children and their families from parasites. They recommended $50.00 per child, but did not indicate if that was an annual fee, a quarterly fee, or a monthly fee. Seeking more information, I visited CI's Web site and signed in on my account. What I found was perplexing, to say the least.

Under my account, CI was showing that I was only paying the basic monthly sponsorship fee for each child, yet under "Contribution History" it was showing that I had been contributing from 2 to 3 times the amount that i had actually been contributing. In other words, for every $100 that I contributed, my contribution history was showing that I contributed anywhere from $200 to $300. I was also credited for having paid only the basic sponsorship fee for each child, but $168 per month for "All Children". That raised questions in my mind, so I logged into my account at my bank to check the withdrawal history.

My bank account showed that the correct monthly amount plus special contributions had been paid to CI, not the huge amounts that CI was showing that I had contributed. That brought to mind the fact that I had been paying twice the monthly sponsorship fees for each child and raised the question, "What is being done with the extra sponsorship fees that I'm paying each month for each child if they are not receiving it, and why am I being sent a solicitation for more money to cover the cost of 'parasite protection and education?'"

With that in mind, I contacted CI through their "Contact Us" form page and asked them where the extra money that I'm paying each month is going and why I am being credited with having made contributions that I have not, in fact, made. I am currently awaiting a response from CI.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would reduce the salary of the CEO or whatever his title is and would review the salaries, bonuses, etc., of other CI employees. If all were receiving bloated salaries, then I would reduce their pay to reasonable rates and put the difference back into the program so that it actually helped the children and their families. I would also see to it that if $50 was contributed for a child's birthday, that amount would be spent on the gift that the child received.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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

Unsure

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 11, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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May 11, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I rarely post on these sites as they tend to be too overwhelming for me with mixed opinions. I recently googled children international as I was looking for the site and this site came up. I have been sponsoring for several years, even after my wife passed away in 2009. The experience has been good and seeing the letters and photos makes it all real for me. I feel like I am making a real difference in this child's life.

The organization has been great and all of the volunteer workers make it a good experience. I highly recommend them.

More feedback...

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?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 7, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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May 7, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I do not have any children and sponsorship has given me a sense of hope that one person can make a difference. Children International has made this all possible and I'm quite satisfied with the quality of service. I am a health care worker and my profession is about giving back and helping others. I get the same feeling with sponsorship. Thank you.

More feedback...

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?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 3, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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May 3, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

Children International opened my eyes to sponsorship and how I'm making a difference in our child's life. My partner and I have been sponsoring since 2008, and we enjoy getting letters from our child and seeing her progress. I would like to get more involved and hope to see her some day. Highly recommend it.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

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?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 29, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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April 29, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

Both my husband and I are sponsoring a girl from Ecuador and the experience has been wonderful. We get letters from her and we can see the progress she has made over the past few years. Children's International has been great and I hope to visit her in the future.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 20, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
April 20, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

I will continue to sponsor my two children until they age out; however, I will not automatically accept "replacement" children (as I have in the past) when that occurs. My reluctance is primarily a reaction to the excessive salary drawn by the CEO. There are similar child sponsorship programs with higher ratings than CI. I will likely consider one of them.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

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?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 7, 2013
10 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
April 7, 2013
10 people found this review helpful

I have been sponsoring a child in Columbia since 2001. I am appalled at the salaries made by the personnel of Children International. I intend to see my child through to age 18, but I plan to write a letter to this organization as to why I won't sponsor another child. A half million dollar salary for the CEO? Do you know how many children could be served by cutting that salary in half? How many Americans make $250,000/yr let alone a half million? I find this unconscionable.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 23, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

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Review from CharityNavigator
March 23, 2013
7 people found this review helpful

It was Christmas, and we received a solicitation from Children International for a Christmas gift for our sponsored child. We donated $50 in addition to our monthly support payment. Later we were notified that our sponsored child received pajamas. $50 for pajamas. We were not happy. When we wrote Children International, we were informed that they pool the extra Christmas donations so every child they sponsor can get at least something, even if their sponsor did not donate extra money for this purpose. We sort of understood but were annoyed we were not informed upfront. Now it's our sponsored child's 15th birthday...very special in Latin America. Basically, we were told the same thing. They did add that, if we donated $100, we could specify what we wanted her to get and receive a picture of her with her birthday gift. We feel this is just another fundraising tactic, that birthdays should be handled differently than Christmas and that $50 should be quite sufficient to get her something special for her 15th birthday. We are dismayed at these turn of events and are unsure of our future with Children International.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

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?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

December 1, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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December 1, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

I sponsor two children through this organization, both of whom I've visited. The money you donate goes to programs that the kids and their families utilize and directly benefit from. I have been impressed all the way around.

More feedback...

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?

2012

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