Compassion International, Inc.

Rating: 4.22 stars   64 reviews

Issues:

Location: 12290 Voyager Pkwy. Colorado Springs CO 80921 USA

Mission: Compassion International is the world's largest Christian child development organization that works through local churches to permanently release children from poverty.  Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1.4 million children—pre-natal through higher education—in 26 of the world's poorest countries.  Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works through local churches to holistically address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children—enabling them to thrive, not just survive.  Compassion has been awarded 13 consecutive, four-star ratings by Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator, as well as the Gallup Great Workplace Award for the past three straight years.
Results: http://www.compassion.com/does-child-sponsorship-work.htm
Target demographics: children living in extreme poverty.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,461,116 children
Geographic areas served: 26 countries
Programs: Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program creates a one-to-one relationship between a child living in extreme poverty and a sponsor, who, through a $38 monthly commitment, provides that child with physical, social, spiritual and economic care and training, making a difference in that child’s life, thereby changing her world and empowering her to improve her environment for future generations. Compassion's Child Survival Program responds to the needs of mothers on behalf of their babies by ensuring a healthy environment and a strong start in life for the poorest and most vulnerable so that they may escape the cycle of poverty. Using proven child survival strategies, caregivers are equipped to nurture and disciple their children, who otherwise might not survive to age 5.
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EIN 36-2423707
(800) 336-7676
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Our family has sponsored a child for several years. Through the years we've received handwritten letters (with a translation) and pictures periodically. It's been a blessing to watch this little boy grow up into a young man of 15 now. He was 7 when we began.

The child is wonderful and this organization seems to really care about him. I can even arrange to meet him, if I were financially able to travel there.

I feel certain that our child is being cared for and his quality of life is being improved by our sponsorship.

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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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is not an organization where folk care enough about the sponsored humans to follow up on individual concerns.

I have sponsored children with Compassion International since 1990. But now I would say do not use them.
I cancelled because this organization does not care to follow-up on child concerns. My sponsored child's letter was 20 lines long, the translation was 5 lines. This happened twice, i phoned Compassion, whose first response was "it is the language they use" ( the language changed all of a sudden from previous letters?). Next they asked me to send them copies of the letters which I did.
Then I had a letter where the child told me he had a bad leg - although photos in the last ten years gave no indication. My email to Compassion via their website got no response.

Get this: when I called them, it was as if I had not sent the copies of the letters to them "not received", nor obviously did they care to follow-up with me the fact they did not have the letters so they could investigate..
.
As for my "email" that is a separate department who should have responded.
Compassion was "sorry I was cancelling and would find another sponsor for my child" in response to me saying how can I trust and organization that does not respond or follow-up on concerns?
I should have stopped when the first child I sponsored reach age 18y and Compassion told me that was it, they cannot do any more for her.

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

Providing sponsorship to children for over 20 years

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

Make each individual working there accountable as to why sponsor concerns are not being followed-up and answered.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

i sponsor two children through Compassion and can attest that their work is long-term, Christ-centered, and far-reaching. I have met my child who lives in Bolivia. While there we met several members of a family who learned about Jesus through the child's interaction with the local church center and the sponsor's letters. Compassion works through local churches who know and understand the families and their needs. The children get food, education, health care, and Christian teaching through a meaningful one-on-one sponsorship. As most Compassion children do, my child had all of her letters and cards that I had sent over the years. I also get frequent updates and letters from her. While in Bolivia, the country office took us to their headquarters and opened up all the finanancial files for us to examine. They maintain attendance records, costs, and all receipts for individual gifts. They are transparent in everything they do and are an incredible organization!

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

Definitely! I have seen how excited the children get when the sponsors come to visit. The ones who did not have sponsors visit were thrilled to have other sponsors play with them and spend time with them. The children are given a complete curriculum that inlcudes receiving Bibles at particular ages, health education, food, fellowship, health care and a health-awareness education.

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

none.

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

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

I wanted to make a difference for one child in allareas, inlcudig knowing and loving God, and be able to have contact and establish a relationship with the person I am assisting.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I had sponsored a child with a group of people while in college and felt led to sponsor one on my own.

What would you tell others about this organization?

As with any organization, do your homework. You will see that Comapssion is financially responsible and resourceful! They provide so much to the chidlren for so little. You also get to personally know the one child you are sponsoring and be a part of their development.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I was first introduced to Compassion while watching a video of the band MercyMe talking about the children they themselves have sponsored and great of a program Compassion was. I was curious about the program and decided to do more research about them. I was pleased with their mission and the way they divide the funds. I decided to sponsor three children and I could not be happier with the program. It's easy to make payments and write letters to your kids online. I highly recommend Compassion!

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

Sponsoring children.

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

Be able to give more money per month to an individual kid.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 4 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have wanted to get involved in some missionary work for several years and when a cousin came to visit she told me her grand daughter was working overseas with Compassion. I asked her to help me get connected. My second cousin sent me all the necessary papers to fill out and soon I had a darling little 5 year old girl assigned to me. That was 3 years ago. Abigail sends me pictures she has colored and I write her letters and send her small enclosures with the letters for her to color , etc. An interpreter transcribes our letters for each of us so it does take a couple of month. God bless Compassion. J.L.A. Ohio

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

I have told many other people about Compassion

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

Try to make the turn around time quicker with correspondence.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We've sponsored kids for over 15 years. I highly recommend Compassion. Their long term commitment and partnership with local churches at the projects are wonderful. Their other programs such as Child Survival are great too. The one on one contact with the kids to share and learn about their culture and daily lives is great. Sharing prayer concerns and praises is a wonderful thing. Watching them grow and mature is very special as well. This ministry and my Compassion kids have been a great blessing to me.

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

Sponsoring kids. Child survival program support.

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

I don't know of any changes I'd make.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Our family has sponsored several students through Compassion for more than a year now. I live in the same town as Compassion's headquarters, and have toured their offices and met many Compassion employees. I mentor a Compassion program graduate in Uganda who is a social worker.

We have been consistently impressed with Compassion's commitment to integrity and financial stewardship. Friends ask me if the money really goes to help the children, and I can say, "Yes I know that it does." The organization lives up to its mission and vision, and children and families are released from poverty.

We receive several letters a year from our sponsored kids. We can see their progress in school and personal growth, as well as better health. Sponsors can visit their children and projects and see for themselves what Compassion does.

When we give a financial gift to a child (which is a donation in addition to the monthly sponsorship fee), we receive a letter and photo that details how the money was spent on behalf of the child and the family. For example, we gave a family gift to our youngest girl in rural Kenya, and later received a photo of Hannah and her family with the large water cistern and a heifer that was purchased with the gift. The funds from family gifts are used to help improve the income-producing capabilities of the family.

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

My favorite Compassion program is the Leadership Development Program, or LDP. This sponsorship program allows bright, motivated young leaders from Compassion's projects to attend university. I have been SO impressed with the quality of leadership and service in the LDP students I have met. These students are the future leaders of their communities, and they will truly change their world. They are grateful for the opportunity to learn, and they become powerful advocates for children in poverty.

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

create more opportunities for students who graduate from high school through Compassion projects to attend university and college. Compassion has a university scholarship program in place (Leadership Development Program or LDP), but many more sponsors are needed in order to expand this program. So my greatest hope is that individuals and corporations will see the tremendous value of the LDP program and be inspired to support it.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I heard about Compassion International in May of 2009 and did extensive online research about the organization for a couple of weeks before I approached my husband about sponsoring a child. As someone who can be skeptical about charities, I expected to find some "dirt" that would send up red flags. I didn't. We started sponsoring our first CI child in June of 2009.

In the last two years, I have learned so much more about the organization and we have brought eight more Compassion children into our family. I have also had the opportunity to meet 2 young men who were sponsored through Compassion as boys. When the young man from Kenya was asked how he envisioned his life had he not been in Compassion, without missing a beat he told us, "I would be dead."

He mentioned that there were other aid organizations working in the slum where he lived, but Compassion stood out as the one that really worked.

In my experience, I believe that Compassion works.

Compassion is committed to integrity ~ financial or otherwise. When I started researching, I found that it was EASY to find out all sorts of financial information about Compassion while I really had to dig to fine the bottom line numbers for many of the other organizations. Compassion uses their money well and the programs are well thought out and executed.

I adore the communication we have with our Compassion children. The letters we send and receive are a joy and they help us to form a connection with these children around the world. I have heard nay-sayers suggest that the whole thing is a fraud and the children aren't real. To that I say, Compassion would have to put a TON of work into faking something like this. In the letters we receive, our children thank us for the photos and stickers we've sent. When we send a Family Gift (100% of which goes to buy supplies for the family) we sometimes receive photos of the family with the gift.

Yes, the children are real and with our help, Compassion International is make a REAL impact in their lives. I would be foolish not to mention how these children have also made a REAL impact in our lives as well.

I am so thankful that we came to know about this fantastic organization!

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

communication from the Compassion children and also from the testimony of young men who have been through the program as children.

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

branch out to other countries.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

My parents have sponsored several children through Compassion since I was a small child. As soon as I left home and got a job, I began sponsoring as well and fell even more in love with this fantastic organization. Our money truly does go to an amazing cause -- one child! We have developed lasting relationships with our sponsored children and plan on acquiring more as our finances allow. We cannot say enough good about Compassion!

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

the letters from our children. They testify as to Compassion's efficacy.

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

Work on sponsor retention.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

We’ve been sponsoring children through Compassion International for approximately eight years, and they have far exceeded our expectations. For decades, this organization has been working to fulfill the spiritual, physical, economic, social…needs of children in many countries throughout the world. By utilizing the local church in these countries, they serve over one million children, along with their family members. By using a holistic approach to stopping poverty, they become more than an aid organization that focuses mainly on the physical needs of a person. Compassion works with children throughout their life, providing them with structure and opportunity that is necessary to break the hopeless cycle of poverty, allowing them to have the tools necessary to succeed throughout their lifetime.

My wife and I are blessed to be child sponsors, and to be a part of so many families. Depending on the child and the country they live in, we are called father/mother, aunt/uncle, godfather/godmother, or friend, and we love it. Knowing that our relatively small contribution in their lives (i.e. prayer, letter writing, money, etc.) can have such a tremendous impact is unbelievable. A week doesn’t go by when we don’t hear from one of our children. They write to tell us about their successes, their struggles, their sickness, their fears, their hopes, dreams, desires, goals...the weather. Being a part of so many lives is simply awesome.

Throughout the past eight years, we have visited Compassion International’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. many times to see their operations and ask questions (everyone is welcome during the week when they give tours), and we’ve call them many times with additional questions. We also have friends who are former employees and current child sponsors with Compassion, and they love it. We’ve traveled to Haiti to meet one of our children, which Compassion graciously assisted us with, and after doing all this research, we have concluded that they are doing a great job at fulfilling their mission and working to expand so they can continue to serve more and more children. They are the blue ribbon winner in my book, and I look forward to being a part of this organization for the rest of my life. Please visit www.compassion.com , and learn how you can start the amazing journey my wife and I started so many years ago. Thank you.

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

We've personally seen and experienced the growth of children throughout the years in all areas of their lives. We've also experienced Compassion's transparency, as they work to fulfill their mission. They don't hide when it comes to accountability, they embrace it - just ask.

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

Help it grow in the fastest, yet most responsible, way possible. We also think it would be great if one day we could utilize technology to meet and visit with all of our children. However, we also know that there aren't enough hours in a day, or translators available to make this possible. Additionally, we understand they have a duty to protect the rights and privacy of both parties involved with child sponsorship.

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