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.
The work done by World Vision is very important but I would like less money be spent on publications sent to donors which ends up in the trash.
Review from CharityNavigator
We have been associated with World Vision for approximately 35 years. My wife and I helped with phone calls to raise donations in the mid-70's and she worked as an Administrative Assistant there for a year or two in the 70's also. We have been monthly donors to World Vision for 25-30 years. We have always found the people at World Vision to act with the highest integrity. They demonstrate concern for the people whom they serve and they also demonstrate concern in regards to accountability for the donations received. Every time we have asked any type of a question, they have responded immediately. They provide us impact statements for the projects we support. We periodically research charities and World Vision in particular, to make certain that we are being good stewards with our giving. We have never been disappointed in World Vision. They have been a wonderful witness for God's love.
Review from CharityNavigator
scam scam scam... notice on their website there is nowhere a reasonable person can find to cancel their account or their autogiving.. after giving for almost a year i attempted to cancel the account ,, you can not find a place on the website to cancel.. you go to the faq no answer you go to the search box enter cancel or cancellation, nothing comes up.. you call the 800 number the person their can not find out ont he web how to cancel either.then when they tell you over the phone they will cancel for you and you ask for an email confirmation all of a sudden their system cna not email you that information you need to wait for a letter to come in the mail... so now i sit and wait to see if this is cancelled or not..its surreal that they make it impossible to cancel trying to drag one more last payment out of you....what a shame, exceot what a great lesson that my 12 yr old now learned that just because someone has a good looking website does not make the reputable..now this week i will teach how to blog about this and how to forward this information to the appropriate authorities..
Review from CharityNavigator
World Vision continues to impress me. We sponsor children in Africa to help educate them, encourage and empower them in their lives. We donate to individuals who do marathons that are sponsored by World Vision as well since together, they raise funds to create provide water wells that will last forever to help those in Africa. This organization embodies Christ's calling to serve the poor, the oppressed and those in need of love and care.
The following are two reviews for two different sponsored children through World Vision and two different situations entirely: one for a short lived sonsorship in Ghana, and one that came to an abrupt end by World Vision in India this month.
1) I sponsored a girl in Ghana, but could not shake the feeling that I was being ripped off by the local "charity". I received a picture of a different girl, and when I called WV in the US to find out what was going on, was literally told that children change as they get older. Mind you, I had just started sponsoring the girl a few months earlier, so she must have turned into a different person within a few months. After insisting hat this was a different human being, they agreed to look into it. I never heard back about it. I also asked the WV employee on the phone how much oversight they had over Ghana employees, as I never heard back form the sponsored child after sending her mail. I was of course reassured that I had nothing to worry about. In the course of the following weeks, I sent another letter and parcel but never received an answer. Instead, I got a "progress report" (fill in the blank card) that was clearly filled out by an employee. He/she had the audacity to draw three lines in the back (drawing area for children) and write "vase" and "tree" next to them. The "drawings" were done with the same ballpoint pen, yet I had sent the girl color pencils and crayons. The girl being 10 years old, I expected her to at least draw her own drawing (what else is the point of it?!)and fill in the blanks on her report herself. (My name is ____ I am ___ years old... nothing fancy here!) When I called to inquire, the WV staff were ignorant to the fact that this 4th grader lived in a country with English as its official language and reminded me that they operated in countries where translators were needed!! They must have passed on my complaints, because I received 4 letters within 2 weeks, one thanking me for "all the gifts". The letters were typed and kept referring to the girl as "the child". I decided not to keep sponsoring some corrupt Ghanaian employee's villa any longer and wrote one last good bye letter. Sadly, I will never know if this girl ever even knew she had a sponsor, or if she ever benefited from any money I sent. ............................................................. 2) I have been sponsoring a girl in India for the past 5 1/2 yrs, during which time, I only received two "progress reports" that were not even filled out by her herself, but by the WV employee in the respective office, though at the time of the last one she was in 4th grade and had taken English since 1st grade. Yesterday, I bought back to school gifts I wanted to send to her. When I logged into my online account last night to look up the address, a different child was presented to me as my sponsored child, in a different part of India, whom I had presumably started sponsoring 3 weeks ago?! I called up the office today and they informed me that WV was no longer needed in my sponsored girl's region and that they are stopping operations there. I no longer could sponsor her, write to her, find out about her, would never be able to get in touch with her due to their child protection policies, and in short, should just get over it and sponsor that other child they already signed me up for or any other child I chose. I am completely heart-broken, because I had planned on visiting her, on the day I made this commitment (it was never a matter of "if" and always a matter of "when") , I had commited to myself to see her through college and make sure that, when she is old enough, she would know that she has someone who can help her if she ever were in need. In short, I was determined to make this specific girl's life better and give her a real chance in life. While the monthly gift goes to the community, I had hoped that through letters, books, writing utensils, writing paper, an atlas, etc., she would gain an appreciation for school, and through an education have a better life. Now, I won't ever know anything about her. I never ever thought sponsorship could come to such an abrupt and unnatural end. The WV employee on the phone commended me for taking such interest in a person I do not know, and reminded me that child sponsorship never really goes directly to the child anyway, but to the community... yet, THEY create this bond on purpose by sending out a photo and a name, so that, as a sponsor, you associate ONE person with your gift. How would I not feel saddened to know that all this was taken away form her and me without as much as a prior notice.
Also, I never knew if she ever received any of the books, letters, pens, pencils, toys, etc. that I sent her. I am now looking to find a different organization where communication is more open. I feel burned by World Vision and can't get over the fact that I will never know if "my little girl" ended up on the street, in a brothel, as a child bride, or in college. And I will NEVER stop wondering.
I have been sponsoring a girl in Mexico for two years. I gave 100 dollar special gift . I did get a picture of her with her gifts which was nice . The letter seemed fake though like it wasn't her talking. Also the letter had the wrong name on it. I called the field office and they said I was her only sponsor and not to worry. Besides thevthank you letters for money she never wrote.
Review from CharityNavigator
I sponsored seven children and did not find out the truth about sponsorship for many years. All of the thousands of dollars that I paid all those years to ensure that my sponsored children had food, clean water, education, and medical care were wasted. In addition, I gave multiple $500-$1,000 "gift notifications" to World Vision to buy things for specific children, for example to purchase oxen (twice), to build a home, and to build and stock a chicken farm. When inquiring about a specific child who I had sponsored for seven years, I was told that she was being fed three times per week at school. OK, so World Vision feels that three meals a week constitutes the child being fed? What about the rest of the time? No food help from World Vision. I also learned that yes, the child receives a medical exam once per year, but not treatment of any health problems. My child needed iron tablets, which cost pennies, but World Vision would not provide those to my child. It makes me sick to think of the thousands of dollars I gave to World Vision now that I know almost no good was done with any of it. Donors, beware!
Review from CharityNavigator
I only hope the money I give will do good for the child I am sponsoring and his family as well as his village. I did receive a letter from my sponsor child's parents thanking me for sponsoring their child, it was a nice letter. I hope World Vision will only become more efficient with funds and continues to try to help people as best as they can. I'm not a Christian but I think this is the best charity to help a sponsored child, and that is what really matters.
We have donated monthly to support a child for a couple years now and we think it is the best nonprofit organization out there. We love how they help people and how they get their donors involved in helping others. We also think how they break down their finances is reasonable and purposeful. If any employee is making a lot of money, we trust the organization to have good reason for it. It is easy for us to say that they make too much and the money should go to help others, however we trust them and believe that their hearts are in the right place and I'm sure they use their own money to be generous to others as opposed to lavish spending.