April 7, 2011
I have been a sponsor since 2008 & I chose it because it was the most renowned org. so I assumed legitimate as well & because it was the only org. I could find that offered sponsorship for children in Guatemala, where I preferred. I don't know about several photos being received by sponsor children, but I DO receive 1 a yr. I also receive a letter from her @ 3 times a year. I consulted Charity Navigator because some of my experiences with this org concerned me & motivated me to research further. First, in the beginning of my sponsorship, I was told my child was still unable to write when she was 8, mind you, & that her sister was writing her letters for her that I received, which went on for a couple years, then I started receiving letters that said my sponsor child was now writing them, but the handwriting had not changed 1 BIT & for a child just learning to write: that was something very unexpected. I contacted the org. & they said that it was definitely my child writing the letters & that perhaps she had similar handwriting to her sister because they were related, which sounded really far fetched to me. There was nothing else I could do then. Also, I had an issue a while back where I was sending a sizable amount for special contributions (holidays, etc.) & I was receiving letters that my child only received something so trivial as a backpack or a sweater, etc. while I'm thinking if I can buy tons more of those items in the US w/that amount of $, wouldn't they be able to purchase even more in Guatemala with that same amount? I consulted the org. about this & was told the $ from the contributions was divided amongst the sponsor children to esp. help out the children whose sponsors did not send a special contribution, which I sympathized with, but at the same time: if I'm sending $50 for example, I expect the entire amount to go to my child for gifts that are worth that amount, not to hear she ended up with a sweater worth $5 because other kids didn't have sponsors. I just think your $ is not viewed as much of a gift to your child when they receive something hardly worth anything, esp. when you sent so much more! I still have found no recourse regarding these issues so have just decided for the sake of the child & her family to finish my sponsorship until she's of age (because she shouldn't suffer because of the org.) & find another sponsor child org. And now after seeing the CEO's salary on here: I agree with others that that is DEFINITELY uncalled for. There isn't that much work in the world that a human being should get paid that much PERIOD unless he's moving MOUNTAINS. If anyone can give me advice based on experience with the aforementioned issues with this org., please do & thx.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
being a sponsor since 2008.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
not divide sponsors' contributions amongst all the children just to help the un-sponsored children while our sponsor child gets majorly short-changed on her gift, truthfully inform the sponsors about who's writing the child's letters, & significantly lower the CEO's salary & whoever else in the org. that is receiving several hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Donor & I sponsored a child.
Review from CharityNavigator