WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL

Rating: 3.57 stars   72 reviews

Issues: International, Religion, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: P.O. Box 9716 Federal Way WA 98063 USA

Mission: World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Programs: Every year, World Vision and its partners serve tens of millions of people in nearly 100 countries, including over one million people in the United States. World Vision's assistance extends to all people, regardless of religious beliefs, gender, race or ethnic background.

World Vision provides emergency relief efforts to bring assistance to victims of both war and natural disasters. Depending on the situation, aid may include food, clothing, and shelter to health care, potable water, and construction of sanitation facilities. Additional projects deal with reducing barriers to progress through improvements to agricultural and nutrition practices, micro enterprise loans, and initiation of literacy, vocational training, and other educational programs. In addition, World Vision is working in Africa, Asia and The Caribbean to help address the needs of widows and orphans in response to the AIDS pandemic through its Hope Initiative.

Adapting to the individual needs of the areas where it works, World Vision coordinates programs for its sponsored children that - along core services, such as medical and dental care, supplemental food and vitamins, and grants and scholarships for school fees and other educational expenses are designed over many years to help make families and communities self-sustaining. According to World Vision, the total number of children being sponsored by U.S. donors is over 700,000.

In the United States, World Vision teams with churches, community organizations, and other volunteer groups. Projects target issues in such areas as tutoring youth, mentoring youth-at-risk, affordable housing, job training and placement, and small business development. Food commodities, medicines, clothing, and other gift-in-kind items (received from governmental sources and private donors) are distributed both through World Vision run projects and ministries affiliated with other organizations. Outside partner ministries receiving gifts from World Vision share similar ideals as overall guiding principles. To educate Americans about the needs of the poor, World Vision produces magazines and other broadcast and print resources, and annually organizes the 30 Hour Famine program for youth to increase their understanding of life in developing countries.

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Community Reviews

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I have experience evaluating 2 projects of WVI, one in Africa and one in Montenegro. They are a good org. and having been around HQ., I can say they are not top-heavy in administrative costs. They do not force Christianity on anyone, in my experience. The beneficiaries in the Montenegro project were Muslim, and they were not even aware that WV is a Christian org. They approach development in an anthropological sound way--again, in my experience.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2005

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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This organization misleads their donors about how much money goes to the end recipient. They say they only spend 15% on overhead, but that is only for the fundraising office. Each additional office takes additional monies. In some cases there are 5 additional offices taking cuts before the poor receive any benefit. I would estimated that only 10-20% of the original donated monies actually get to the programs helping the poor.

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

They are so large and have so many levels that the monies get used up in the many levels of management, facilities, salaries, and benefits for staff that there is little left for the poor. They need to drastically slim down their overall overhead (they will respond and say they only spend 15% but they won't admit that is 15% for each level).

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

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

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Back in 1989, World Vision commissioned an internal study to see how much of each donor dollar was getting to the poor. The internal report showed less than 10% was received by the poor. How could this be?

World Vision is a large multi level organization. Each level takes a cut (1 - Fundraising office, 2 - International office, 3 - Regional office, 4 - Country office, 5 - Project office). After all of the salaries and administrative cuts at each level, there was not much of the dollar left for the poor.

This report caused terror in the organization and the findings were quickly suppressed. Senior staff realized there was a big problem and there was a multitude of meetings to try to cut expenses, but sadly it never happened.

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

This organization used to be a lot leaner, with less overhead. The staff at that time really cared about the poor and were very concerned about stewardship. It is my hope that World Vision returns to its roots.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

Tim, we have no record of such a report, and the statistics you cite are nothing like the economics of our current program. World Vision U.S. spends nearly 86 percent of donations on programs benefiting children and their families (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4768). As we're sure you're aware, providing cash directly to families has been proven ineffective. World Vision works with communities to ensure children and families have access to essential services such as water, education, healthcare and income potential. Included in program expenses are salaries for staff such as doctors and water experts who serve in their countries or regions to ensure programs are designed to improve the lives of children, project staff who regularly monitor sponsored children to see that they are benefiting, and accountants and auditors to monitor how our funds are spent. Rather than being "overhead," these staff fill an important role in running effective programs. Larry Probus, CFO of World Vision U.S., provides an explanation of how donor funds are used and leveraged to benefit the communities we serve: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open We hope you will view his presentation, which provides a current look at World Vision's finances.

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

After seeing how WV operates on a grassroots level, it makes one want to vomit. If you look at the upper level vision, it may be really. But after seeing how WV works on a grassroots level for 7 years in Africa, I have little reason to believe that much of your money is doing anything but padding the pockets of corrupt grassroots level workers of WV. And in terms of Christian witness, the on-the-ground WV workers smear the name of Christ in the mud by the way they live. PS - Do not think that when you visit your sponsor child, you are seeing the real WV. WV knows how to put on a show that has little to do with reality.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Okay

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you for raising these concerns. World Vision takes seriously its responsibility - both to donors and those we serve - to use funds appropriately. We have reporting and audit systems in place to detect and correct such problems. We would appreciate the opportunity to look into the specifics of what you saw. Please contact us info@worldvision.org or call us at 1-800-890-8915. Again, thank you for raising these concerns.

Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Worked for World Vision for many years and have seen first hand how much the cost is for the organization. High cost for staff and a system of reporting take well over 20% of the budget, and in some cases 75%. Corruption has taken place on a grand scale in a number of countries DRC, Chad, Zambia, Malawi. The marketing is more important than the actual impact of the wiork in the field. Yes there are many good honest Christian people working in World Vision. As an organization it is not so Christian. The International CEO makes over $400.000 and so does mr Stearns. How many children do you need to sponsor before such salaries are paid? The four stars are heavily overvalued.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from CharityNavigator