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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, International, International Relief, Religion

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.

Community Stories

49 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

35

Donor

Rating: 5

I was a Compassion International sponsored child and was released from poverty in Jesus name thanks to their work. I love the ministry and what they stand for, bringing Jesus to the least of them. I love that they are Christ-Centered and most of their programs are aimed at equipping the kids with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I grew up in Kenya, in a family where our source of income was about $10 a month. Poverty was bad but the hopelessness that came from the poverty was even worse. All I needed as a kid growing up in poverty was food, clothes, water, a home with a warm bed and most importantly love and hope. I got none of these things. 1994, Compassion came into my life took a big turn. Food, clean water, shoes, clothes, a warm bed with a mosquito net, and lots of love is what I got from Compassion. they started to speak words of hope and truth into my life. the love I got from my sponsor was like non other, the warmth I got from the Compassion staff was even better. I did not know Jesus before I joined Compassion but everything Compassion did for me made me want know this Jesus they served. I did, come to know Jesus through an alter call by one of the Compassion staff and that was the difference in my life. The best gift I got from Compassion, was Jesus, my life has never been the same again. In summary, 19 years later here I am today released from poverty and hopelessness in Jesus name. Me and my wife now sponsor 4 beautiful kids (India, Thailand and 2 in Kenya) through Compassion. I am currently a CPA living in America and now in a position to change my family's life and that of a generation. I am blessed to have led people to the lord with my testimony, sponsor one child and bring the good news of Jesus to nations. I can't tell it all what Compassion has done for me and for so many kids around the world, but one thing is for sure : they do what they say they do. I am proof. P.S. - My Compassion sponsor was the best man in our wedding #powerfulrelationships.

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been sponsoring a child for several years .And I planned one day to visit him.recently I got a letter and call saying he had moved to another village and couldnt be contacted.i was asked if I wanted to sponsor another child and I said not right now.today I received a letter from my child different handwriting in English and French as if nothing had happened or changed.this was veryred flag.pdisturbing abc raised a red flag.i look forward to speaking with the office during regular business hours..

5

Donor

Rating: 2

Compassion is a money making machine. I think they do some good work and we have sponsored children sine 1987. Understand 81% goes to children and not all of the goes to your child. If that bothers you put your money elsewhere.

If the high executive compensation bothers you put your money else where.

If their use of big dollar consultants Deloit to name one and your dollars paying for their hotels, airfare and booze bothers you, put your money elsewhere.

If a Christmas party at the 5 star Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs bothers you, put you money elsewhere.

If a CEO who can shed a tear on demand while bragging about being a Harvard Graduate and still have his hand out for money, then put you money elsewhere.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Great charity that supports children and families in third world countries, providing education, support and the good news of the gospel. We sponsor a child and are encouraged by the relationship and impressed with Compassion's system for helping us communicate.

Review from JustGive

18

Donor

Rating: 5

I have sponsored a child in Kenya for about 7 years through compassion. I felt the need to review after reading some negative reviews. Here goes!
1) the 'form letter' correspondence. I too questioned the letters I received from Kioji the first few years, but now that he is more proficient in English (he is about 11 now) I receive letters written by him. Of course the letters sound guided before the child can write in English, because they are :)
2) the questions about slow corredpondce time and request for bday and Christmas gifts months in advance. The coordination to organize and buy millions of children gifts needs to be performed way in advance. I usually send 100 for kiojis bday and (months later) I always get a thank you note and photos of Kioji with what was purchased. His family is now breeding goats, has a metal roof, chairs, etc from our gifts over the years. Now that he writes on his own I hear even more about the 'gifts' and how happy his whole family is when he gets one.
3) HQ and salary- the president makes less than many other charity heads. 300,00 isn't outrageous. And they obviously need a nice HQ considering how large their group is- I think I read 500 mil a year. The organization, translation. Outreach, etc is monumental and I am comfortable with 84% of my monthly donation going to Kioji.
It has been wonderful to support this child through the years. Regardless of our finances in the future, we will always support this family. We are responsible for them now!

11

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been emailing them numerous time over the last two months advising them we have some financial difficulties and asked them not to take out the outrageous amount of $152 from our bank account. They have ignored me requests and continue taking money out of our bank account. I now have to go to the bank and fill out forms in order to stop them from taking any more money. It's a shame that we have to do that are they that desperate for money that they just ignore my requests. Donors beware this "charity" is extremely greedy and you need to be cautious when signing up with them to give.

Review from Guidestar

12

Donor

Rating: 2

Despite some initial hesitations based on some negative reviews about donors receiving form-type letters from sponsored children, I decided to go ahead with sponsoring a child because of the predominantly positive reviews about Compassion.

Unfortunately, I now understand the disappointment and frustration felt by various Compassion donors who were receiving form-type letters, as I received one in the name of my sponsored child. The adult-level language, almost exclusively focused on the Bible, and the handwriting were clearly too perfect to have been written by a child.

My complaints to Compassion changed nothing.

I believe that Compassion downplays its very stong religious orientation until the moment that you are actually engaged as a donor. I now understand that this is a very born-again Christian-type of organization.

Compassion may be helping kids and their families, but they should be honest upfront with donors that they are a hard-core religious outfit. Also very importantly, the group lacks a commitment to allowing kids to have their own true communications with their sponsors. Once my sponsored child reaches 18 years, I will stop my involvement with this group.

13 Warren L.

Donor

Rating: 2

This organization has a long track record and is truly making a difference in the lives of children. However, there are a couple of major problems: 1. They do not use any QA measures of their customer service representatives; some are excellent, others are not. 2. They don't have a way of quickly connecting with their in-country partners who are serving the children; thus, replies take weeks if not months. 3. They are not transparent about who these in-country partners are; for comparison, go to www.kiva.org and read their information about their partners.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor through Compassion since 2003. It has been amazing to see my sponsor child in India grow and learn under the wonderful mission of Compassion. We correspond through letters and I hope to be able to go visit him one day. This is a wonderful mission that has a direct impact on children's lives around the globe. I have recommended Compassion to many people and love how active they are in reaching areas that need so much.

4 Katie75

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor with Compassion International since January 2012. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know our sponsored children and seeing them grow. I love this organization and volunteer whenever I can with them.

Review from Guidestar