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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, International Relief, Microfinance, Religion

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.

Community Stories

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

17

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen WV's work first hand in Uganda & Rwanda. The holistic economic development model they are implementing in their area development programs is incredible. The people they employ are 95% in country employees which I find to be superior to other organizations because they aren't sending westerners to these countries. I have also sponsored many children over the years through their sponsorship programs. It's not perfect and none of them are, but when you look at scale and impact of your money, $1 becomes more like $5 because they can influence local governments and make large scale change because they go into communities for 15+years at a time. Working on poverty is difficult, and if the Clinton Global Initiative and The Gates Foundation and Tom's Shoes is working with WV, I think they must be doing a darn good job.

12 Bruce18

Donor

Rating: 1

As a son of a non-profit CEO I am also outraged by the salaries of STC and World Vision executives. As a leader in Christ, you are called to sacrifice, not enrich yourselves. My father would at times pay his staff before himself - indeed even sometimes borrow. They rested on their faith, meeting for prayer every morning, and God did not fail to provide the needs of the staff and my family, as well as the constituents of the organization around the world.

I am ashamed that I have supported these two organizations for a decade without ever researching the salaries you pay yourselves. Enjoy your reward now Mr. MacCormack and Mr. Stearns, and encourage your cohorts to fully embrace theirs as well. For it is built upon the suffering of those whose stories you exploit for gain. Consider yourselves paid in full.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 1

I sponsored a child for several years. I just now read the review of expense. Am I misunderstanding or is very little going to charity and the majority of money going to administrative expenses?
I've convinced many people to give to this charity so I hope I'm wrong.

Dima Garcia

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 03/19/2013

Dear Dima: Thank you for your concerns, and for your past support for children through World Vision. We take seriously our responsibility to use donor funds effectively. As Charity Navigator notes, 85.6% of funds are used for programs and just 4.6% for administration, so we are able to get the majority of donor contributions to work helping children and their communities. More details are available under the "Current Rating" tab of this page. Additionally, World Vision's Chief Financial Officer Larry Probus explains our funding model at: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact us info@worldvision.org or call us at 1-800-890-8915. Again, thank you for raising these concerns and for your care for children.

Review from CharityNavigator

6

Donor

Rating: 1

I believed that WV has poor oversight and no accountability. I sponsored 4 children for about a year and only 2 of them wrote to me. It’s strange that I received about 3 letters from a 7 year-old boy and I noticed the hand-writing are different on each letter but all signed by his name. Also when I called WV to ask why I have not received any letters from my other sponsored children, they said maybe because I did not write to them so they did not write back to me but I did write to them. Oddly, 3 days later I received 2 letters simultaneously from 2 of sponsored kids that I had not heard from before. The suspicious hand-writing, the timing of letters showed up quickly after my compliant had made me wondered if my sponsored money really goes to right place. When I learned that WV CEO get paid $380K per year I realized that my hard earning money sure goes to support the $380k per year benefit of a CEO. I stopped being a sponsor. If someone really has his mind in helping the needy children he would not accept $380K salary a year. I don’t expect him to work for free but 2/3 of this money could definitely help a lot of disadvantaged children. I questioned the CEO’s integrity for this huge salary.

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 03/15/2013

World Vision takes donor concerns very seriously. We consider their support a sacred trust and would like an opportunity to look into this matter further. The best way to assist you is to email us at info@worldvision.org or call us at 1-800-890-8915. World Vision strives to maintain its reputation for excellence in our work and is committed to using the resources we are given in the most faithful, effective, and responsible way possible.

3

Donor

Rating: 4

We sponsor 4 children and having read "A Hole in Our Gospel" over the Christmas holiday I felt compelled to add another... Maybe more down the road. We are at a stage in our life where we feel that we have been so blessed that it is time to give others opportunities that they may not otherwise have. We have been involved with WV for almost 10 years. I was introduced to the organization through a Women if Faith Conference.
I love the concept of having a personal relationship with a specific child. Most charities you just give but don't really establish a relationship with any recipients.
I also think it is very wise to take on communities as well where the children.
3-4 times a year we receive personal letters and periodic updated from WV as well about each child and that child's community.
Two if our Kids are Christian, one is Muslim and one is Buddhist. I have found myself judging less and praying more as I learn about the lives of these kids. Of course I hope that the two non Chistians may be called to Christ at some point in their life ... However, that is not why I am helping them... If that occurs then Praise God and the Holy Spirit.
I really didn't do alot of homework before we started supporting this wonderful organization. About a year ago I did some and felt positive about it financially. I just learned about the CEOs salary amount. I think a this person deserves the amount but he no doubt has done very well before he came on board in the private sector.... but wouldn't it be so awesome if one his own he chose to forego a good portion of the amount returning it to the organization... Maybe in his own way he has already done something comparable. I
I also believed that some of the expenses for fundraising could be trimmed. If I could see a reduction in both these areas, my rating would be the highest possible!

16 Melissa68

Donor

Rating: 1

Poor oversight and no accountability! I was sponsoring 3 children in Uganda through World Vision for about 1 1/2 yrs. I had the opportunity to visit them and found one child did not know he had a sponsor until 10 days before I arrived though I had received mail supposedly in his name and thank you notes for gifts I had sent. The other child had only a few letters I had sent but nothing else though I had received letters regarding other gifts in her name, and she was not in school because the family could not afford the fees though my sposorship money was supposed to pay for her school. The WV rep said my money supported community projects not the individual child which I felt bordered on fraud. I ended my sponsorship though I continue to support the children though private means. After I contacted WV to discuss this they said they were "investigating" and I have heard no concrete results from this "investigation". Beware large organizations-know where your money goes!

Comments ( 1 )

profile

World Vision U.S. 03/15/2013

World Vision takes donor concerns very seriously. We consider their support a sacred trust and would like an opportunity to look into this matter further. The best way to assist you is to email us at info@worldvision.org or call us at 1-800-890-8915. World Vision strives to maintain its reputation for excellence in our work and is committed to using the resources we are given in the most faithful, effective, and responsible way possible.

Review from CharityNavigator

Previous Stories
14

Donor

Rating: 1

I sponsored 3 children in Uganda. I had the chance to visit 2 in 2011. One child had none of the items I sent her and couldn't afford the school fees to attend the school my dollars given in her name was supporting. The second child didnt even know he had a sponsor until 10 days befor I came, though I had been paying for over 1 1/2 yrs. Also I brought a friend who was a native speaker and who told me the WV reps. were not telling me the truth about what the child and his famiy were saying. Also when I left the WV staff gave this family a letter saying I did not want to sponsor them because they "lied" about not having a sponsor. I contacted the office in Seattle and sent them all the letters I had received in the children's names, as well as the phony dismissal letter, etc. and WV said they would "look into it". A year later and they still have no response. WV is too big and there is no accountability. Zero stars!

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 3

I have been a long time donor to the charity and have a high regard for its work. I would however hope that less funds be spent on the glossy brochures that I receive (which do nothing to influence my giving other than create a negative perception as to overhead costs).

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Chuck Y.

Donor

Rating: 5

Easily our favorite charity! We sponsor a child and have had our kids pick items from their Christmas catalog to give.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

Our favorite charity, my wife and I have sponsored three children consecutively. For the first two kids we were notified when the kids and their community did not need our help any longer. They asked if we would like to sponsor another child. We did. It is awesome they get the children and their communities self sufficient. They also have many opportunities to give with matching donations as high as twelve times our donation.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 5

We sponsor 2 children with World Vision and love the work they're doing. We do not hear from these children directly very often, but we do receive updates from their communities. These children are in very remote parts of Africa--our little girl is from the Congo. Some similar Christian charities lack the capacity to create infrastructure in such inaccessible places. Proud to stand with World Vision in the Congo which has had 2 civil wars that have killed over 6 million people. Violence is still ongoing in parts of that country. Love that World Vision is working to create self-sustaining communities by partnering with those communities to prioritize needs and create local solutions-- a hand up--not a hand out. Finally my sponsorship dollars not only benefit our sponsored children--they benefit the ENTIRE community. We also sponsor with another Christian group from Colorado that requires children to come to their church based centers. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian group that helps everyone regardless of their religion. I think this is an especially powerful way to share God's love.

5

Donor

Rating: 3

World Vision is a good charity and they do a lot of good for disadvantaged children in struggling communities. As a child sponsor I would like to see fewer brochures and expensive printings sent to me and more money directed to the children and communities in need. I also would like to see a CEO salary more in line with the $150k per year charity average than the $380k they currently pay. I often wonder if I am paying $35 per month to the benefit of my sponsored child or to the $380k per year benefit of a CEO?

Review from CharityNavigator