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ChildFund International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, International, International Relief

Mission: ChildFund International exists to help deprived, excluded and vulnerable children have the capacity to improve their lives and the opportunity to become young adults, parents and leaders who bring lasting and positive change in their communities. We promote societies whose individuals and institutions participate in valuing, protecting, and advancing the worth and rights of children. One of the world''s oldest and most respected international child development organizations, ChildFund International works in 31 countries and assists approximately 17.8 million children and family members worldwide, regardless of their race, creed or gender.

Results: ChildFund has established youth clubs so children and youth can tell us how they experience poverty. From this knowledge, we build programs that address targeted issues so that programs are impactful and can be sustained by the communities served. We have improved maternal/child health, educated families on achieving a balanced diet and even helped start community gardens. ChildFund not only addresses education, but we work to improve the quality of education so it becomes meaningful. In addition, we conduct studies to determine what education or skills training are viable to the communities where the children live. We are a child development organization with programs that have a deep understanding of localities needs and a long-term goal of enabling children to become contributing adults.

Target demographics: We assist children in 30 countries, including the United States.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Direct beneficiaries include children who are sponsored by individuals or groups in the 31 countries where ChildFund works.

Geographic areas served: 30 countries, including the United States,

Programs: ChildFund works toward the well-being of children by forming partnerships with local governments and non-governmental resources to strengthen our programs. Our initiatives are locally led activities where families and communities work together to overcome poverty and protect the rights of their children. ChildFund programs are comprehensive, addressing needs throughout three life stages -- healthy and secure infants and children, educated and confident children and skilled and involved youth. This distinctive approach focuses on working with children throughout their journey from birth to young adulthood. We offer youth an opportunity to participate in youth groups and join in the decision-making processes of our work. We also address children's transitional needs from one life stage to another, to enable them to get a healthy start in life, have the tools needed to enter primary school, and eventually develop a skill or gain an education to earn a living and contribute to their communities. ChildFund works in 31 countries -- often in environments where poverty, conflict and disaster threatens children's well-being. Our programs confront critical needs of safe motherhood, the quality of education and trained teachers, HIV and AIDS prevention and care, nutritional and health needs. Nutrition includes a multi-pronged approach that leads to the establishment of home gardens and lessons in the importance of varying diets. We combat malaria through education, health care and the provision of mosquito nets. In emergencies, ChildFund provides emergency feeding and supplies as well as conducting long-term recovery programs in areas where we operate programs. In addition, youth learn skills that are vital to their communities -- skills that were identified after conducting studies to determine what needs are viable to each community.

Community Stories

208 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

25 Dave Jenkins

Donor

Rating: 5

I started sponsoring Jessica in Ocumicho, Michoacan Mexico 6 months ago. Initially, I was only going to sponsor her every month. However, after just 2 heartwarming letters and pictures from Jessica, I decided to utilize ChildFund's amazing business model and infrastructure in order to "take things to a different level". Some sponsors only do the $28/month and leave it at that. That's fine, because now another child has been sponsored. However, there are so many things a sponsor can do beyond just the monthly sponsorship to have an even bigger impact on their child, their community and the world. Here's are some other things I have started or completed in only the first 6 months of sponsoring Jessica. Regular letters and pictures - hard to explain the feeling, but AWESOME! Scheduled $50 birthday and Christmas monetary gifts. It is amazing to see the impact and joy such a small gift brings to these wonderful children. You are also really moved how the children allocate the money - food, educational tools and always themselves last. This takes the experience to an incredible level most people have never experienced. Send special monetary gifts if possible in addition to the scheduled monetary gifts. Same effect. Amazing! ChildFund processes these monetary gifts for a flat $3.50 handling fee. Such an amazing, cost effective and easy to use sponsor tool to utilize! The money goes monthly to the national offices, converted to local currency and hand delivered to your child. So, where can a sponsor go from there? I have chosen to do 2 other things to help make an impact. I established a university fund for Jessica. $600/year totaling $5,400 when she is ready to attend. It's invested in America Movil stock that is owned by Carlos Slim in Mexico (richest man in the world). Jessica is very excited trying to decide what type of bachelor's degree she wants to achieve. Very, very exciting! Lastly, I decided to "kick it up one last notch". I have created "The Ocumicho Project" plan with the help of the wonderful ladies at ChildFund. The project's goal is finding sponsors for the remaining 45 children in Ocumicho still without sponsors. My coworkers and friends can literally call the ChildFund 800 number, reference "The Ocumicho Project", get set up as a new sponsor and have one of Jessica's classmates immediately moved into their new sponsor account! All I can say is amazing! The journey is just getting started! What other company (profit or non profit) would offer these existing sponsor tools and new opportunities for their sponsors??? Incredible company! Incredible group of people! Get on board or the train is leaving the station without you! :)

Donor

Rating: 1

Awful, entrapping company!
I was walking down the streets of a busy city as a newly 18 year old and I was captured by these scum bags. Two older men approached me and pressured me into signing up for the company, those damn kids in Argentina prob had more money than me, im a broke 18 year old just out of school!

I soon realised that my fast food wage could not keep up with the OVER THIRTY DOLLAR a month payments and i attempted to contact them to cancel my plan.
IMPOSSIBLE.
Endless emails to them, except for one, went completely unanswered!!! The one that was answered was just an empty promise that they WOULD cancel it.....f**king didnt.

I had to go all the way to the bank to cancel my card so they would stop charging me.

Disgusting to stop young, alone and unconfident girls on the street to try and sponge money from them, utterly DISGUSTING.
5 years on and im still mad about it. Scr*w you guys.

Edwin van M.

Donor

Rating: 1

My father sponsored two children for many years. When he passed away, we decided to continue the Childfund. We informed the children about his death. We received a "so-called thank you letter" back. No mention of the death of my father. They even mentioned the wrong addressee. It was clearly written by somebody in the US and not in Africa. The date was written MMDDYYYY and not DDMMYYYY.

For us, this looks like a scam.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a Child Fund donor for MANY years, back when it was still known as Christian Children's Fund, beginning around 1980. All three children that I have sponsored came from India (at my request), and all three are girls. In all three cases, my gift was always $10 above the specified "donation amount" for each month, largely to ensure that at least some of the money reached the children I was supporting directly--$5 per month to help her and her family each month, and $5 specifically designated by me to be kept in a savings account for the girl as a future "dowry" or college fund.
The first girl that I sponsored graduated from High School, went on to College and invited me to her wedding some years ago. I was notified when she "aged out" of the program in which she was enrolled. She continues to keep in touch with me annually, purely out of love and friendship, and I love the fact that one of her daughters is now named for me!!!
The second child that I sponsored recently "aged out" of the program, but this time I was not informed! It was only when form letters (not written by Pratima herself) from her school began to arrive that I suspected "something" was up. I called Child Fund, found out that the child is now 20 and has moved on to college, so I asked to be changed to a new child--which was done immediately. I hope that Pratima will continue to keep in touch even though her life is now far more her own! Perhaps the "dowry"/savings money that I supplied to her will come in handy some day!
My new child is only 3 (!) and lives somewhat further north than the two children I have sponsored before, who were both in the Bangalore area. I am slightly suspicious that the mailing address for this new child is still in Bangalore, while the child actually lives (in poverty) with her parents in Junnar, many miles to the North. But, I am willing to give it a shot! I have assembled a birthday package for the child and will mail it soon to arrive by her January 17 birthday. Once I see a photo of her in the adorable dress that I picked out for her, I will feel a whole lot more confident that my monthly gift is doing what it is supposed to!! I hope that letters will soon arrive once my monthly gift filters through!
BTW, I selected South India as the designated area for my child, since I grew up in India (in Madras--now called Chennai) as the daughter of a Foreign Service Officer.
I have great faith in Child Fund, and deeply appreciate the updates that they provide on "my" child and her progress!!
Peg Caldwell-Ott, Rockingham, Virginia

Donor

Rating: 1

I began giving monthly contributions at a time when this was still Christian Childrens Fund - the organization has changed names due to scandal regarding how little actually made it to the children. My husband and I had been trying to start a family and were just starting the adoption process and thought this would help me with dealing with the stress. I contributed to what I thought was a small boy at first. I contributed for years, rarely heard from anyone and when I did it was supposedly either the boy or his aunt but both were the same handwriting. Finally, since I hadn't heard from him in quite some time and had actually lost track of how long I had been contributing I asked for a current photo. I received the photo and was shocked to see a sullen young man! He looked to be in his 20's and was dressed in army fatigues! I immediately stopped contributions. Don't be fooled - contribute to an organization with a good record. See Charity Navigator or Charity Watchdog for reviews.

1

Donor

Rating: 1

Do not sign up with them. They will keep leeching even if you stop your payments!

I have donated for more than a year since I was told that was about a good timeframe and chose to cancel my subscription since around last year July 2017. Suddenly I check my checking account to see that it started charging it again since September again. They have charged me a total of 3 times! Why is my subscription being renewed?!?!?

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

If you are Catholic or are pro life, you should look to donate elsewhere. Promotion of contraceptives and abortificants is not in alignment with Catholic beliefs. I would give 0 stars if that were an option.
Former donor

7

Donor

Rating: 1

I was with Childfund for over 14 years and found them in the beginning a good Charity with clear and concise infrmation for about 7 years. Then in the last 7 years I have received sketchy communications and year after year pretty much the exactly worded letter from my sponsor-child in Ethiopia.
I would advise to do your research and find another Charity that will be upfront and not move there responsibilities to other smaller projects to maintain profits within their organization. I have spent alot of time just getting basic schooling information which it took them 5 months to obtain!!! Honestly and seriously I am truly hurting writing this but support someone else who cares deeply about children and their communities in depth. Not just children as numbers in a program.

MC
Australia

10

Donor

Rating: 1

My situation has recently changed and I decided to cancel my Childfund account. When I went to do so I discovered there was NO place on their website allowing me to cancel so I sent them an email asking them to stop pulling the donations from my account. I received an automated message stating that it could be two weeks before I hear back from the company (due to system upgrades). This months donation was taken from my bank account even though I wanted to cancel WITH an extra shipping fee that I had not agreed to. I actually went into my settings to unclick the shipping fee box, yet somehow it was checked again. Not a happy camper. Several of my friends donate using other non profits and have never had an issue trying to cancel their account.

3

Donor

Rating: 1

I made a one-time payment, but when I tried to access my account, it said my email did not exist. But, they sent a thank-you note and an email saying my account was ready to be viewed, so they obviously had my email. I went back to their site, and it still wouldn't accept my email. I had to send several emails just to access my account.

Once I finally got into my account, I saw that they had signed me up for a subscription, not a one-time payment. They also pre-selected a fee option that I never agreed to. I still have my original receipt, and there's no fee option selected, and it was a one-time fee. No mention of a subscription. I saw the subscription option, and I did not select it. No wonder they don't make it easy to get into your account -- they take your credit card and charge whatever they feel like to it.

Now, I've worked for many non-profits, and for no pay. We never treated people's property (their money, their cc) as if it belonged to us. Not at ChildFund, though. The people at ChildFund get paid, too. And I feel like if you're getting paid, and you're taking money, out of a charity that's meant to help kids btw, for yourself, you better be working very hard, and you have a bigger responsibility towards accountability. I will not pay for dishonesty. But that's what's going on. If I have to contact my cc company to get any further charges removed for fraud, I will. I don't have a lot of money, I just gave what I could, because I'm thankful for what I have. I don't appreciate the total lack of respect ChildFund has for the money I work hard for. What if I went into their accounts and took their money, the money they work for (that I pay for, btw)? They would not be happy. Respect needs to go both ways, or this charity will not survive. And that's really sad.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I had to cancel my donation to childfund. They still deducted from my account anyway. The person was not pleased that I had to cancel. I have donated for many years and am unable to do so for a while. Resent the additional guilt forced on me by the person I spoke with.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund I. 05/18/2016

Hello – We’re sorry to hear about this experience, and we would like to make every effort to resolve it. To do so, however, we need a way to connect with you. Would you please reach out to Sponsor Care directly at 1-800-776-6767 or email us at questions@childfund.org? Regardless of where we land, please know that we really are grateful for your care in having sponsored a child in the first place and understand that sometimes circumstances change such that you are no longer able to continue the sponsorship. Please be assured that we thank you for all of your support.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

Rating: 5 stars

Many of the one-star reviews seem to be based on misconceptions. I have been sponsoring children through ChildFund International, previously named Christian Children's Fund, for 44 years. I am convinced that it is a very good organization that does good work. Your sponsorship is not a matter of handing money over to the family. As Childfund explains in the article at https://www.childfund.org/uploadedFiles/public_site/media/publications/CW-Summer2013.pdf
"your monthly donation is combined with those of other sponsors in your child's area to benefit the entire community, so that children have what they need to thrive."
As I understand it, some of the money is spent directly on the child, paying for school fees, etc. but a good part is spent on things that benefit all the children in the community. This is far more effective than just handing out money. Money that you send as a gift to the child or the family does go directly to them and they report back on what they spent it on. Once a year, you receive a report telling what has been done at the project in the past year. These include initiatives in the area of education, health, and income self-sufficiency.
I understand the disappointment in not receiving enough letters, although I admit to being guilty of not writing often enough. Some children will be more interested in writing than others. In the early years I had a number of children who did not write much. Although I know this is probably not fair to the younger children I always request an older child rather than a baby when it is time to get another child so that the child will be more likely to be able to write to me. Also, so far I've had 4 girls in Uganda who liked writing letters and whose letters do not require translation because they write in English. Sometimes I'll even get a letter from a cousin or other relative with whom my sponsored girl has shared my letters. Because of this good experience, I've always selfishly asked for another girl in Uganda when one graduated out of the program. Perhaps this is coincidence or perhaps children in English-speaking countries in Africa are more interested in communicating with other English-speakers.
I also sponsor a girl in Vietnam who doesn't say much when she writes but I am glad to sponsor her because I went to Vietnam on a ChildFund tour and was able to see first-hand what ChildFund is doing there improving schools, building health clinics, improving sanitation, creating sustainable income generation activities, and getting the communities to take ownership of activities to improve the lives of the people.
As to the complaints about dealing with ChildFund about sponsorship or money issues I have always found the people at the 800 number very helpful. If you want to end or change the money deductions from your bank or credit card they will take care of it for you. For questions about the child, they may need to forward them to the country office. That will take longer for a response.

Previous Stories
8

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring children through ChildFund International, previously named Christian Children's Fund, for 39 years. Sponsoring a child through this organization was one of my priorities when I first started working and I have not been disappointed. Some children left the program for various reasons but I was able to sponsor a girl in Uganda from secondary school through Medical School. She is now involved in AIDS vaccine research. I also sponsored a boy in Brazil until age 18 and was glad to receive his letters telling of career plans which only would be possible because of the assistance he had received through this organization. In recent years ChildFund has moved more and more towards helping children in their communities. They have been focusing in helping the communities move forward with improvements to livelihood, sanitation, medical and water safety conditions. Though sponsorship is still a key part of this, they are adding many other initiatives. I am very impressed with the direction that they are taking and the work that they are doing.

13

Donor

Rating: 1

Be cautious... I have been sponsoring a child since last March and was surprised to receive correspondence thanking me for my 'generosity' for sponsoring another child - this was news to me! When I inquired further they provided a ridiculous explanation that the 7 year old girl I had been sponsoring all this time was no longer in the program since she had received training in beauty (?) and was employed in a beauty salon - this was a 7 year old child in a remote village in Ethiopia! Employed in a beauty salon?

I have been attempting to cancel my sponsorship but ironically there is no information or link for THAT on their website. Be very cautious - I am so disheartened and the many ratings on BBB and other non-profit reference sites makes me question their integrity as well.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 12/18/2015

Hello – We’re sorry to hear about this experience, and we would like to make every effort to resolve it. To do so, however, we need a way to connect with you; would you please reach out to Sponsor Care directly at 1-800-776-6767? Or you could email us at questions@childfund.org. Regardless of where we land, please know that we really are grateful for your care in having sponsored a child in the first place, and we’d appreciate the opportunity to make things right.

16

Donor

Rating: 1

I made a specific donation of buying 10 goats. I get a card in mail that say thanks for purchasing 3 goats. I inquire about it and they give me some nonsense answer. I follow up again a couple weeks later and nothing. After my third follow up they tell me my order was correct, but I get the feeling they just wanted me to go away.

Either these guys are a fraud or poorly managed, either way they have gotten my last dollar.

Review from Guidestar

12

Donor

Rating: 5

Childfund definetely does door to door fundraising campaign as it used to be not on the website and now it is as it states in FAQs . I have been a donor for 3 years and actually signed up through door to door and I had been really happy. My little girl from Guatemala is doing great and I'm planning on visiting her next year.

38

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

My boyfriend has been sending money, allegedly to a child. From day one I told him to be careful with these charity organizations. I myself donate a good amount of money to different organizations to people in need, orphans, animals in the United States. I have personally been involved with orphans in the U.S. and their living conditions. We are in so much shortage that now foster parents should step in until the state governments can find some place for the orphans.
What bothers me the most is that Anne Lynam Goddard receives over quarter of a million as salary, living a luxury life in London, (most probably sending her kids to expensive private schools in London, I suppose); this is outrageous.
I think that donors should do a diligent research about where their money goes and how much is actually spent on "charity" rather than financing a luxury life for the CEO, almost tax free.
After I told my bf about the CEO and her salary, he was so upset that he wanted to call her (I didn't let that happen), however, he is convinced that all he donates, in fact, doesn't go to the "kid" he is sponsoring. I only hope that at least some of that goes to the kid, once the CEO's salary is set aside.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 02/02/2015

Thanks for your comment. Please be advised that our CEO, Anne Goddard, does not live in London but in Richmond, Va., where our headquarters is located. The salary of our CEO is comparable to that of CEOs of other international nonprofits. One thing to note is that these CEOs are running multi-million-dollar international operations that endeavor to change the world. That means the CEOs have to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position. Because this question is asked on occasion, we’d like to share with you a Charity Navigator report about the compensation of CEOs in the charity world: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=studies.ceo#.VM-hXC7eI2A ChildFund places a high emphasis on stewardship and accountability. Last year, we devoted 83.5% of revenues to program services for children; 9.2% was used for fundraising so that we can reach more supporters and 7.3% went to management and general operations. You'll find these numbers and more information about what those funds accomplish at this link, where you can also read our annual report: https://www.childfund.org/Accountability/

14

Donor

Rating: 5

A year ago, while on vacation in Branson, MO, we enjoyed the Texas Tenors Show. During the intermission they requested that we consider sponsoring a child from a selection of ChildFund International needy children in the lobby. I selected a 6 year old Zambian girl. i am enjoying helping her and her family. Though she doesn't speak English, her grandmother and also a family friend write and keep me informed about Agness. For the price of a movie and snacks, you can provide a needy child some where in the world with a better life and education. I highly recommend ChildFund. It is a worthy organization.

13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I support a 6.5 year old girl in Brazil and have been doing this for about 2 years. The more letters I have been exchanging with her and her family the more I have come to know their situation and the individual personalities. This has been very meaningful to me in they have truly appreciated my support and have shared their gratitude in multiple pictures/drawings of my child's life.

I know the monthly sponsorship is doing great things in the community and directly for my sponsor child and her family from the letters and pictures they have sent me from the project. Knowing that this is being managed so well has given me confidence to send extra money for birthday and Christmas etcetera. The response from my sponsor and her family has been extremely heart warming and gratifying for me so much that I have just recently returned from an in person visit with them.

I was only able to spend two days with them and the expense seemed high when I was planning the trip but in looking back it was worth every dime. The U.S. National Child Fund personnel did a great job setting the agenda up with the local Child Fund Brazil personnel. I was concerned about going to a foreign country and not knowing anyone or the language.

The local Child Fund Brazil personnel set up all the meetings, interpreter as well as transportation even picking restaurants and beach area to enjoy our time together. The local Project that Child Fund has their, set up a surprise performance from the children including, Ballet, Guitar and a choir of children that put on a moving performance. The performance and gratitude from the children brought me to tears, (I was sure at 50 years old I would be able to fight that off). The hospitality and gratitude from my sponsor child/family and all of the children and Child Fund Brazil personnel was so genuine and meaningful. I can't express how meaningful the whole experience with Child Fund has been for me other than to say I'm so grateful.

I await my next letter that will have the pictures from the last few moments I had with my sponsor child to go with my 300+ other pictures. I have selected my new desk picture for my office and home which includes my family and I on our first day together. I have seen the impact Child Fund is making on the community in my sponsor's area first hand and can't encourage you enough to enrich your life the way I have through this program.





13 Terry62

Donor

Rating: 5

I have bee a sponser since the 70's. Connecting with a child from another culture and different part of the world is tremendously rewarding. Getting to know them through letters and feeling their gratitude and happiness through their letters is the best. This organization is totally dedicated to helping children worldwide.

5 Laura225

Donor

Rating: 4

I love this charity, as it helps provide for the needs of the children that go beyond just feeding them. They receive an education, and donors get to see their progress over the years. It gives children the opportunity to make a difference in their communities and possibly someday the world. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to know my child in some small way.

8 Kimberly100

Donor

Rating: 4

My mother had been sponsoring three children through ChildFund when she died suddenly. I contacted ChildFund and explained the situation and asked if it would be possible to transfer their sponsorship to me. The staff were very helpful and made this transition feel seamless. I love receiving letters from my sponsored children and their families and yearly progress reports from ChildFund. It makes me feel like I know them even though they live in Africa and we have never met in person. One of my sponsored children is now in college and that makes me very happy because she probably would not have had the opportunity if not for ChildFund.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I was approached at my door earlier today with a sales pitch by someone claiming to be from Child Fund. I said I would look into the organization but not give until doing so. I looked up information about the organization and found that they likely do not go door to door. When I saw the solicitor later in the day I told him what I'd learned and he pretty much shrugged. Later still, he returned to my house while I was gone and gave his sales pitch to my wife. I am considering reporting this to the police.

I notice that a number of reviewers claim to "know for certain" their child-abroad is getting the money they send, but I cannot imagine how on earth they could be verifying this. A letter from the child? Who knows who really writes those letters! The organization might well be doing some good--who knows, really?--but apparently the CEO takes a ludicrously large salary and the organization has been investigated for fraud (see for example: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/15/the-1994-christian-childrens-fund-scandal/ ).

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 11/10/2014

Thank you for taking the time to comment. ChildFund helps children around the world living in poverty. We seek monthly supporters via face-to-face fundraising in several states throughout the U.S. Our canvassers are well-trained professionals who have been taught to honor any “no solicitation” requests. Our sponsorship program enables sponsors and individual children to form relationships that benefit both the child and the sponsor. Funds raised through sponsorship support local organizations that implement ChildFund’s programs in the child’s community. These programs provide children with access to education, nutrition, health care and other benefits. Sponsors are also welcome to make additional donations that go directly to their child and are encouraged communicate through letters. ChildFund enjoys strong ratings from several external watchdog organizations — including Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau and others.

6 JoAnne32

Donor

Rating: 1

We sponsored one child for the past fourteen years or so.

We know our sponsored child turned 18, she is six months younger than our daughter. There was no communication from Childfund Intl. about what happens when a child reaches U.S. adult age. They did, however, continue to deduct from our account.

Six months later, still paying, someone called to ask for a special contribution. I mentioned our situation, and they seemed a little flustered, then offered that the money was probably being used for other children or community needs. According to letters written on her behalf (she hasn't written more than a letter or two), she was still in school.

Now eight months later, we've received a letter from her mother that she is married and no longer in school. I appreciate her candor, but still no official notification from ChildFund.

I read here that ChildFund doesn't offer an online method for revoking your automatic account withdrawal, so I did that through my bank.

All of this may very well be the agency's poor management, but it makes it all seem more than a little sketchy, and you would think they would want to avoid all appearances of impropriety. A real shame for that community to lose the ongoing support from us and others who are disappointed in the manner in which ChildFund operates.

If you pay your CEO astronomical amounts for a non-prof, you should expect a clean running machine.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 08/19/2014

Hi, JoAnne, We are disappointed to hear about the dissatisfaction you and your family have experienced with the closing of your sponsorship. Most children remain in our care until age 18 or until they have completed secondary schooling. Some young people remain enrolled as they continue with vocational or college courses. If a sponsor is able to stay with the youth through those additional years, it’s welcome but not required. There is no obligation of time for sponsorship, and sponsors may advise us at any time that they do not wish to continue. For more information on preparing for when sponsorship ends, you might be interested in the article on page 10 of a recent issue of ChildWorld: https://www.childfund.org/uploadedFiles/public_site/media/publications/CW-Summer2013.pdf We would like to research the matter of why you did not receive information from ChildFund that your sponsored child was leaving the program, and we ask that you please contact us directly at 1-800-776-6767 or send an email to questions@ChildFund.org. We hope to hear from you soon! Meanwhile, please accept our deep appreciation for everything that you have done over the past 14 years.

5 Bruce32

Donor

Rating: 4

I have been with ChildFund for about a decade. They are not the most efficient, but I am sticking with them because I know that about $80 per hundred that I donate gets through directly to my sponsored kids, and they make it possible for me to give extra money to the kid's parents, which is important to me. I know for a fact that the extra money I send to the parents gets there. That is why I stay with ChildFund, even though they are at the low end of acceptable efficiency for this type of charity (80%). In the long run, I believe ChildFund will succeed in breaking the poverty cycle for some of these families because of the community approach that they take. So I accept the 20% overhead, believing that in the long run my kids will probably make it in their societies. At least I hope so.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been sponsoring a boy with special needs in Dominica for over 7 years and it is a pleasure to know he is growing into a young man. CFI has made it possible for him to go to school, provide food and clothing for him through my donations.

18

Donor

Rating: 1

I began sponsoring a little girl in India with this organization in 2012. This involved sending money monthly and writing letters. For months, I had only received 1 letter from my sponsored child. So I emailed the organization thinking that something may have happened to her. It took them a while to get back to me but when they did, they emailed me a letter from her, progress report, pictures of her and her family. They let me know she was doing well.

Again, I wrote to her and my monthly payments were still being auto sent to the organization. Once again, after months of not hearing from my sponsored child, I decided that I needed to cancel my account. I like helping out, but, I am not a believer in giving money away under false pretenses. I had planned on increasing my monthly donation as well as giving to my sponsored child around the holidays, but it was like sending money to an invisible person. So I decided that this was not the organization for me.

I went into my account on their website to stop reoccurring monthly payments from being taken out of my account. There was no option to stop these transactions. I emailed the organization, and until this day have not heard from them. Yet, they still took money from my account. I had to call my bank to tell them to put a stop payment on the organization. When I first wanted to cancel my account, I figured ChildFund was a well meaning organization that may be unorganized but after not being able to stop my monthly payments, I am now questioning their legitimacy.

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ChildFund International 04/16/2014

We are sorry to hear that you stopped receiving letters from your sponsored child and that your inquiry was not taken care of at that time. Sometimes the sponsor-child correspondence doesn’t work out like we’d hope, and your satisfaction with the experience is important to us. Would you please contact our office at 1-800-776-6767 so that we can resolve this? You may also send an email to questions@ChildFund.org.

5

Donor

Rating: 4

i have been a sponsor for 24 years . i currently have 5 children most in africa. i receive letters 4 times a year. progress reports . its a sound and professional organization. i will be a sponsor until i can't no more

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Okay first and fore most CCF is one of the most trusted organizations out thereIn FY13 ChildFund increased its efforts to serve children, thanks to the generosity of supporters. ChildFund's public support and revenue for FY13 was $252 million, up from $245 million in FY12. Supporters can give with confidence knowing that 82 percent of every dollar goes to helping children.
For the past five years, ChildFund International has maintained a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and earned high ratings from Charities Review Council and the American Institute of Philanthropy.

And as far as the CEO making 200,000 a year first keep in mind he raised 252 million, secondly you people complaining would not be qualified to launch a campaign that can raise that much money,
and lastly if he raised 252 million that 82% of every dollar went to, and less people died of starvation and disease....who cares if he made 200,000-- for all you know he donates a bunch of his well deserved money , so get over the complaints people and trust that God is and always has done his work here.


2

Donor

Rating: 3

My Mother sponsored a child, but passed away in 2010, my Dad continued the donations, he also passed away this past August. I want to continue the donations, but I skeptical about a few things. I received a letter thanking me for the $20 and indicating "I received your message..." My parents, obviously did not send a message. Somehow, I suspect that this is a form letter being sent to me by a worker or volunteer, not the child ( who is now 20 years of age, but that is ok, I would continue sponsorship of him if it helps him with his continuing education and helps his family/community ). I know my mother cared very much for this child and felt there was a personal connection, was this naivete on her part?

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ChildFund International 04/16/2014

We are sorry to hear about the loss of your parents. Please accept our condolences. Some countries may use templates or project newsletters, etc., but correspondence from the child and family should be individualized. We would be happy to look into this further for you. Please contact us directly at 1-800-776-6767, or send an email to questions@ChildFund.org. We hope to hear from you soon!

21

Volunteer

Rating: 1

In investigating child fund international I found that Anne Lynam Goddard President annual salary is over $325000.00

29

Volunteer

Rating: 1

First, I need to 'fess that I don't donate to CFI, although my ex-wife and I did and I'm sure she continued after the split. This evening I was moved by very effective TV advertising to consider donating on an ongoing basis. I first wanted to see what the internet had to say about the organization. I found an organization by name of Charity Navigator whose primary function is to rate charities based on a broad base of metrics. They use collected data to compile lists, such as:
10 Most Followed Charities
10 Celebrity-Related Charities
10 Super-Sized Charities
10 Charities Expanding in a Hurry
10 Most Frequently Viewed Charities
Top 10 Charities That Earn the Highest % of Donations at Year-End
10 Consistently Low Rated Charities
10 Charities Overpaying their For-Profit Fundraisers
10 Highly-Rated Charities with Low Paid CEOs
10 Charities with the Most Consecutive 4-Star Ratings
10 Top-Notch Charities
10 Charities Routinely in the Red
10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions
10 of the Best Charities Everyone's Heard Of
10 Charities in Deep Financial Trouble
10 Charities Worth Watching
10 Highly Paid CEOs at Low-Rated Charities
10 Inefficient Fundraisers

I compared Child Fund Int'l to 3 other similarly oriented charities, i.e., raising money for children on an international basis. My findings were enlightening... and dissuasive. Following I have listed the charity, the CEO's salary and the rating of the charity:
Christian Relief Fund CEO $59.721 overall score 67.48
Children of the Nations CEO $60.000 overall score 64.82
Children's HopeChest CEO $65,049 overall score 62.88
ChildFund International CEO $268,242 overall score 54.28

One might wonder why the CEO of CFI makes 4 times as much as the CEO's of significantly more effective and efficient organizations. This organization routinely responds to negative comments about high executive salaries by saying that it's usual and customary for executives of like charities to earn such salaries. That really doesn't jibe with the above comparison, however. The President, Ms. Anne Goddard, and her Exec. VP, Isam Ghanim, combined are paid over $585,000 a year... enough to sponsor 20,895 children at $28 per month. If they took 50% cuts, to around $12,000 A MONTH(!), the organization could care for another 10,400 children. Do you think you could scrape by on $2,500 a WEEK? Yeah... me too. Needles to say--although I WILL say it--I'll use Charity Navigator to find another charity to effect my sponsorship. Maybe you should too?

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ChildFund International 04/16/2014

The salary of our CEO is comparable to that of CEOs of other international nonprofits. One thing to note is that these CEOs are running multi-million-dollar international operations that endeavor to change the world. That means the CEOs have to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position. Because this question is asked on occasion, I’d like to share a report with you that was produced by Charity Navigator about the compensation of CEOs in the charity world: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=studies.ceo#.U06_Zldrino

9

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Years ago a teacher at my school asked me to translate letters from his sponsored child through Christian Children's Fund. Since they were real letters, I decided to trust the charity and about eight years ago I sponsored a little girl in Oaxaca from whom I receive a letter each and every time I send her anything. It is obvious she is a real person and I am sent photos of her with the items she buys from the money gifts I send. She also draws pictures for me and seems hungry to hear from me. I write her in Spanish because some of the translations leave out whole sentences and I want her to be able to read what I write to her just as I write it. I was very happy with our arrangement, BUT when this organization became Childfund instead of Christian Children's Fund, it suddenly because more interested in slick promotions than in the children. I agree with another reviewer that while I greatly appreciate the personal updates from my child, the expensive paper and the constant dunning for more and more money is a real turnoff. On top of this, I got an offer to send a birthday card to my child for NINE dollars through the company instead of a normal card I can buy or make myself for much less. This was a definite ripoff. I won't stop sponsoring this child because I love her, but I won't sign on again because of the new marketing practices that make me suspicious about where the money is actually going these days.

15

Donor

Rating: 5

After sponsoring Eliana in Honduras for the past 4 years, my family is as usual very short on money, I began to wonder if this was worth the $30/month missing from my family pocket. I came to this website to see what people have to say before I continued my sponsorship. I found a range of comments here from 'I hate childfund' to 'This has been the best experience of my life.' What I already know... People in general tend to go out of the way to make complaints before praise, with ANY business. What I took from it... Giving is giving. I spend more than $30/month on my iced coffee and if there is even a 25% chance that my $30 will provide a better life for a child and a family that needs it, well, I'm all in. I consider this my responsability as someone who is already blessed with health, a roof over my head and a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle that may not be a big deal in the USA but is HUGE and sometimes unheard of to our families around the world. To the people who are angry that they live in the U.S. and are lacking with no one to turn to for help. Please don't let a broken system make you hostile to generosity when it is given elsewhere. A good deed is a good deed. The United States provides more opportunity for more people than most places in the world. If your drowning even with this advantage I say God has a purpose and sometimes, most times, people need to be pushed through mud to discover thier path. I wish I could help EVERYONE, but financially I cannot right now. So I will continue my sponsorship of Eliana, not because I expect the village to throw me a party or heart felt letters every month... but because I think its good for your sole to do something, anything to benefit mankind. One drop wripples out forever :)

12 Ailyn P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm Ailyn from the Philippines, I was one of the kids who had a great chance to be part of ChildFund Philippines. When I was in Grade 2, my life totally changed when my mom brought me to an office near the church. I wondered what it was for and I could remember a nun asked me what do I want to become in the future and I just confidently answered I wanted to become a teacher. At that time, I didn't know how important it was, but as days went by I realized how it made a difference to us. I was given free fabric for school, which I share to my other sisters so that they have can uniforms too, they gave me school supplies which I saw my mom had a hard time before because she can't buy enough notebooks for all of us, so we share the notebooks I got, had all the springs removed and we tied it by yarn, so we could have enough notebooks for all the subjects that we had. Reconciliation Center which is affiliated with ChildFund started to give my parents seminars too about Child's Rights, usually my parents disciplined me physically but when they attended the seminar, how they discipline me totally changed. They started to be opened and they started to ask my opinion on things. I've got a chance to attend seminars too which hone me to become a better a person and good leader to the other kids.

There were so many things I've received from ChildFund; tangible and intangible things, What I'm so grateful of was when the time they told me I got a sponsor from the US. I started writing letters for my Uncle Bob, and also I started imagining how they look like, for almost 16 years I've written letters and never got a respond. I didn't know if he has family, married or he has children, but every time I see foreigners in our city. I've always wanted to ask if they know someone Mr. Robert Dames, I have considered them as my second parents and everytime I go to church I always pray for him and for his family even if at that time I really have no idea who he was. In occasion, bday or Christmas, he would send me 25$-50$ and with that money, I give it to my parents and my parents would buy something for all of us to share and we would be so happy, he was like a Santa Claus in our family. I have never received gifts from my parents, which I really understand why. They just can't afford to buy extra things for us, we hardly have our needs given so we never expected them to do so but as children having someone who gives us a feeling that we are children who also craves for gifts. I also started dreaming of talking to him, so I strive to learn English so in the future if I get the chance to see him I could utter all the words of thanks I would want to say and I could express how grateful I am and my family to have him. He fulfilled the role of second father and he gave me amazing experiences, because of him I was able to finish school and I have fulfilled my dream to become a teacher. When I got my job, I decided to look for him so I started to find him on whitepages, but I had a hard time coz there were a lot of the same names, I wrote one of them a letter, and I can feel that it was him, Finally after a month, I got an email saying that I was right and finally received his picture for the first time and respond. I have also seen the picture of his family which teared me the most, because my curiosity was answered and the waiting time of knowing him even online came. I feel like I became a complete person knowing the person who cared for me for a long time. If it was not for him, I wouldn't become a person that I am today. I wouldn't be strong and hard working as I am so I'm really thankful that he touched our lives and I'm really thankful for Childfund for giving me the chance to be better person, finish school and have all the experiences I have with other children from Childfund which made more complete and accepted in the society.

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

ChildFund International will always be forever part of my life. I owe my education and holistic development. My life has been touched in so many ways. I used to be a child who dreamed of a lot of things but didn't really expect that my dreams would be realized and now I'm someone that my family who can depend on. Thanks to ChildFund for making it possible. I'm currently working as Virtual Assistant for three companies in the US. Seriously, my life has been different if I didn't have ChildFund.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 1

For 75 years asking others to support. The best you can do for the children and parents is to educate them about not having children they cannot feed. If they need to have sex to give them birth control and condoms. Give the already parents seeds to grow their own food. Explain to children before having sex and producing a child they cannot feed to take birth control and wear condoms. If after 75 years of repeating what does not work and expect others to provide for them is unbelievable. Educate, till you have given them control over their own lives.

9

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been sponsoring ChildFund (was Christian Children's Fund) since 1989 and was very happy with the organization until a few years ago when I started receiving marketing materials from the organization. Fundraising by sending all donors materials printed on expensive paper does not help the children, nor do overpriced gifts offered through ChildFund for children make any sense to me. Also, all this printed material really harms our environment! Last week, I received a call from the organization asking me to increase my sponsorship dollars, and when I said I wasn't able to at this time, the person hung up. I do have to say that throughout the 24 years as a sponsor, I have been very happy corresponding with all the children, however I am waiting for my present sponsored children (both 11 year olds) to reach 18 before I switch to another organization.

I do want to thank the older organization for giving me the opportunity to make a difference to some very wonderful children.

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ChildFund International 06/25/2013

Thank you for your 24 years of generous assistance to children in ChildFund’s care. You have our heartfelt gratitude for your support as a sponsor. We sincerely apologize for the recent unsatisfactory experience you described with the representative contacting you on our behalf. Please know that we take this complaint seriously and we are addressing it with the appropriate parties. It would be helpful to have additional information from you, and we would greatly appreciate your time to send an email to Questions@ChildFund.org with your full name and sponsor ID number so that we can follow up effectively. We also appreciate your feedback regarding the mailings you have been receiving. We are also reviewing our materials to determine steps we can take to reduce environmental impact. Please know that when you contact our Sponsor Care team, you can also request an adjustment in the number of mailings you receive. The needs of children worldwide are increasing daily, so we are continually challenged to make every effort to obtain support for the children in our care. ChildFund places a high emphasis on stewardship and accountability. Last year, we devoted 82% of revenues to program services for children; 11 percent was used for fundraising so that we can reach more supporters and 7% went to management and general operations. Thank you again for your time to share your perspectives. We appreciate the feedback and pledge to work harder to restore your trust.

18

Donor

Rating: 1

I wish I had read these reviews before I decided to sign up with Childfund International. However before the 7 to 10 day period of processing came to an end, I decided to cancel. I didn't get a good feeling after receiving a call from the volunteer that had signed me up. He called my number pretending to have mistakenly called my number. When I did call to cancel and was told that the enrollment was cancelled, I received a distorted call from an unrecognizeable number from one of the members. A few days later, I received a call from a number that looked like a foreign number. I looked into my account today and saw a pending transaction for the monthly fee of $28.00. My request for cancellation was never honored. Infact, policy or procedure for cancellation is not prominently exhibited and agent never sent an email with confirmation of cancellation. The whole business has been shady. Honestly, this was the first time I saw a charity send out agents to recruit donors and then have donors experience so much hardship to cancel or sever ties with it. Their methods have turned me off. I was skeptical to begin with of charitable orgs that have become known for pocketing money and not using it for the stated purposes.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am one of the few people who actually visited my sponsored family in Kenya. Irewasre was a teen by then but it was clear she was the girl I chose several years before. Her mother Susan hugged me and cried when we met. I learned that because of the draught that year the extra money I was allowed to gift that year was all the family had to live on.
Their village was in the Great Rift Valley only 40 miles from Uganda. The whole village welcomed me with dancing, song and food. I planted a tree to commemorate the visit. A planning session for the regional villages was going on at the same time. Half the monthly dues go to community projects like irrigations ditchesor outhouses so everyone in the region benefits.
Upon questioning my chaperones I. Found that there were children in the program who did not survive the political riots the year before. I suspect the loss of a child is one reason for the reviews from people who do not get the child they want. As long as my money is going to cfi I'm more than happy.

26 snkams155

Donor

Rating: 1

I began donating in 2010 when I lived in Maryland. I started out with three kids and gave faithfully every month. I contacted them, sent them stickers, letters and greetings. After having my child I had to scale back to sponsoring one child because I became the primary caretaker of our child. Over the last year I've become burdened by the constant letters about more donations. Every two weeks for the past couple of months I receive a letter telling me there's an emergency and they need me to donate to "save" my child. Next I receive emails telling me that my child needs a gift! And on top of that ChildFund then sends me some kind of printed gift to send to my child. They tell me it will cost $9 for "shipping and delivering", but I didn't believe that. I decide to go to the post office instead. I paid $2 to send the gift and got a letter from my child saying he received the letter and gift. Where does that other $7 go when someone chooses to send a gift through ChildFund? If something as simple as sending a letter is overpriced, what about the other donations people make?

I was preparing to send something else to my child today, then I get accosted with yet ANOTHER set of letters and emails telling me that I need to increase my donation, because my child already has so little. I don't need to look up what ChildFund is doing with their money. I already know they are spending WAY too much on fundraising. If you want to join ChildFund, get ready to constantly be hassled about not giving "enough" when you can give "more". I have an elderly family member that is struggling to pay the rent, I think it's time that I stop giving to Childfund, where they are unsatisfied with my $30/month, and give to someone that is grateful for whatever I can afford to give.

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ChildFund International 06/03/2013

We appreciate your feedback. We have honored your request to stop receiving mailings. We understand that, like you, many of our sponsors and donors often make personal sacrifices to help a child in need, and we sincerely appreciate those efforts. The $9 contribution for the card covers the postal mailing costs and also includes the expenses of delivering to the child in-country and acknowledgement back to the sponsor. ChildFund places a high emphasis on stewardship and accountability. Last year, we devoted 82% of revenues to program services for children; 11 percent was used for fundraising so that we can reach more supporters and 7% went to management and general operations. For more information, please visit our website http://www.childfund.org/accountability and contact our Sponsor Care team at 800-776-6767.

4 Cindy81

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started sponsoring Merlyn from Guatemala when she was a toddler. In fact, the letters I received in the early years were written by her Mother on Merly's behalf. As she grew, the sweet letters and drawings came directly from her. This life changing experience has been so rewarding for me. When I receive a letter, drawing or picture, I feel proud that I am helping in very small way to help her grow each and every day. Every year, I send her extra money for Christmas and Birthday's so that she can buy what she wants or needs. ChildFund takes a picture of her with the items that she has purchased with her "extra" money. I can't tell you how many times I have cried looking at these pictures. There she sits with a big smile and on her lap sits a small stack of undergarments or a pair of shoes and socks. The part of the picture that makes me cry is the large box of Corn Flakes that sits next to her! It breaks my heart to think that she chose cereal over a toy! My beautiful sponsor daughter is now in high school and will celebrate her 16th birthday next month!

16

Donor

Rating: 2

Hello. I have been sponsoring a little girl in Honduras for six years now. At first I was extremely happy with the program she was in. I got regular updates on her schooling, vaccinations, conditions in her village, and pictures of her at school. I also sent her gifts for birthday and Christmas and would receive pictures of her with the gifts I sent. Lately I have become very suspicious that this little girl even exists. I was told about a year ago that she changed programs but I should not worry- that I still would be her sponser, etc. My first red flag was after I sent some birthday gifts was a letter from my sponsored child indicating a picture with her gifts was enclosed. Well, there was no picture- perhaps an oversight? I don't believe so because I recently received a picture of some older lady (I have never seen before) holding the Christmas gifts I last sent saying my sponsored child loved them?! Something stinks here. I have called Childfund and explained I am not happy. Guess what? There's been no return phone call. I will be looking into other higher rated charities. I think I am being scammed and don't appreciate it being done in the name of supporting an innocent child. Shame on you ChildFund!! No wonder you removed Christian from your name- you didn't want to be struck by lightning.

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ChildFund International 04/26/2013

We are disappointed to hear about the dissatisfaction you are experiencing and that you have not received a return phone call addressing your concerns. Please be assured that we will work closely with our office in Honduras to investigate the situation and provide you with a full report. Children and families do move from time to time, thus the local program affiliate can change. We highly value your sponsorship and want to assure you that every day sponsors like you are making a huge difference in the lives of children. Please contact us via email at Questions@ChildFund.org and provide your sponsor identification number so that we can research this matter fully. We hope to hear from you soon!

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I agree that the focus should be on helping someone else, not geting something in return. I get mail from Ethiopia all the time, but if I didn't, it would not matter. Knowing someone, and their family, is getting a better chance is reward enough.

Review from CharityNavigator

10

Donor

Rating: 1

The problem I have with this charity is that I sought to sponsor a particular boy, Diep, in Vietnam. CFI took $28.00 from my credit card on Jan. 16, 2013. I thought everything was fine. A few weeks went by and I still hadn't received my information packet. Meanwhile, I get a letter from CFI asking me to sponsor another boy, Carlos, at a cost of $35.00 per month. After communicating with Richmond, I finally got the information packet for Diep but there was no more personal info than was online when I first decided on him. Very scanty info indeed. At some point, CFI decided to stop making the monthly withdrawals--not in Feb. nor Mar. And I never received a letter or report from Diep or a field worker. This experience plus the many negative reviews online caused me to decide to resign my sponsorship and ask for a refund of the $28.00. As of this writing, CFI has not replied to these messages

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ChildFund International 04/05/2013

We're sorry that we have not met your expectations. We are reaching out to you through our Sponsor Care team. Thank you for your patience.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have sponsored a boy in Honduras for 8 years. I read so many reviews, and people cry about this or cry about that. Well I guess you can find fault in anything. My sponsorship brings joy to me every day of my life. I thank God for Childfund. I share the little bit I have with children that have so much less than me or you. Stop listening to the crybabys. Look in your heart. Do you really want to help a small child or complain about Child fund? Its up to you.. The letters I recieve from my boy are priceless. Would you like to recieve some great letters?

19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

You know, I want you all to know, while it's great that you are donating to these nonprofits, you need to realize that they turn away many needy families in America. I am a disabled mom of 2 great girls. At this very moment I have 1/2 jar of mayonnaise, and some peanut butter in my cupboard. THAT"S IT! I know hat you are thinking..."go on welfare ( I tried and was denied), go to food banks (there is one in my area, and it gives 1 box of food every 4th saturday), contact a church (I have, I am on 3 waiting lists).I have contacted all the big charities and they all say the same thing, "We do not service your area". OK what AREA do they serve? I was working 2 jobs until I was in a terrible wreck, I now have osteomyelitis and will probably lose my leg. I was working when I wrecked, so I get workmans comp, $489 every 2 weeks. When I have $600 mortage, $100 insurance, $225 utilities....I am already over what I earn...Did you notice...my list does not even include groceries...because I do not have any money left for groceries. I know everyone has it hard sometimes, I have donated to "Feed The Children and Salv. Army for years....BUT when I need help...I have no one to help me. My kids and myself are literally STARVING IN AMERICA> If we just had enough to eat, it would be a special Christmas..it's heartbreaking when your kids want a big Christmas dinner for their "wish" list to Santa. Next time you want to donate..look around. That lady in the check-out line at the grocery store, frantically searching thru the lint and crumb covered bottom of her purse for loose change, in order to afford a half gallon of milk...is probably me...and MAY one day BE YOU! God Bless

9

Donor

Rating: 2

I am a former donor. I just want whoever reviews these organizations to know that I keep looking in to see if there has been an improvement. I stopped sponsoring my five children because I felt the field offices mismanged the money for one of them (kept collecting though child left area) and my inquiry led to what I beleive to have been dissembling both at the local and the central office level.

Review from CharityNavigator

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7

Donor

Rating: 1

I donated to ChildFund for many years, including a trust donation of $25,000. I was supporting five children. One of my supported children moved out of the area. I was not informed. The child's mother wrote to thank me for the Christmas gift and told me that her daughter had moved to another island. I received contradictory explanations as to how it happened that a child left the program and CF did not know or chose not to inform me. I was first told there was a computer glitch and then that it was decided at the local level to continue to give the donation to another member of the same family. I did not find the first explanation truthful and the second indicated to me that CF was not in control of its finances. I withdrew my support.

Review from CharityNavigator

7 BlueLotus303

Donor

Rating: 4

I started sponsoring a child at the beginning of the Spring and was initially concerned because it took many months to get my first letter - almost four. Because my child was located in the US on a reservation, I knew it was not taking very long for mail to arrive. Recently, however, I've started to receive a lot more letters and correspondence from him (I did have to complain once that I was not getting letters). As far as the huge assessment of 20% on monetary gifts, I just sent my sponsored child some Christmas money and paid only $3.50 so it seems they've changed their policies on that front. I have to say that now that I am getting regular letters, this is a wonderful feeling - to personally impact one person's life. I can see that internationally this would be much more challenging for a whole slew of reasons - but you can choose to send a gift within the US!

4

Donor

Rating: 5

It bothers me, for reasons I can't explain, to see little ones lacking basic necessities, especially for such small amounts of money. I will never be able to give as much as I would like, but we're lucky - we have a little money now - so I can share with people who really need it. I haven't always been in a position to be able to help in such a fashion, but things have evened out for me, financially speaking, and I've been thinking about sponsoring a child for some time now. There are a lot of different organizations out there, and I'd venture to say that many of them do the job as well as ChildFund, but I liked that there were other ways to help various communities, and ways to help individuals get started to have a better life in tangible ways, things they can do for themselves. And so I signed up to sponsor a little girl on ChildFund; her name is Jasmine, she'll be 10 in December, and she lives in Oklahoma. She and her older brother currently live in a small rural area with their parents, who are unemployed; she likes riding her bike and running track. She likes to read (especially the Barbie books) and her favorite subject at school is computer lab. It's such a small amount to sponsor a kid.

Because I agreed to sponsor a child, I've begun getting the occasional gift catalog from CF. It's both interesting and disheartening paging through it; one can do so much with nearly any amount of money, ranging from $25 for things like fruit trees or vegetable seeds or fruit seeds, to buying gardening tools, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, or camels, all the way up to $1,267 for a yoke of oxen and a plow. (Often, one can buy a share of the more expensive things; for example, for about 10% of the amount, in this case $127, one can buy a share of a yoke of oxen and a plow.)

One can send a bicycle for $100 (for girls who travel long distances to school in India or Sri Lanka), clean water (for $50, $100, or $200); a starter farm for $325 (each farm includes a pair of goats, a pair of chickens, seeds, and farm tools); restocking a health station or buying medicine for mothers and children in Liberia; a mattress for a family in Ethiopia or Uganda; a set of winter clothes for a kid in Vietnam; wash kits for preschoolers in Vietnam; a set of four tables and chairs for preschoolers in Sri Lanka; a mama kit, which contains supplies for a pregnant woman to use during and after delivery, and is combined with education for expectant mothers in Uganda - there are really a lot of options.

I think that each month I'm going to find something to donate, however small. This month I chose the following, but I found it hard to choose:

In India, 30 orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS live full-time at the Namma Makkala Dhama orphanage. Food is scarce, and when a child is malnourished furing the first two years of life, the child's physical and mental growth and development can be affected for the rest of the child's life. [$120 will feed 30 orphans in India for a week.] In India, the gift of fresh milk will help the physical, cognitive, and intellectual growth and development of an undernourished child. By adding supplemental nutrition now, the milk you provide will help prevent long-term problems for the children, increasing their ability to develop into healthy, independent adults. [$64 will provide milk for one month for 30 children in India.]

8 Heather63

Donor

Rating: 2

I simply quit receiving letters from my child. The few letters that I did receive at the beginning of my sponsorship did not seem to be fully translated. I informed the staff of my lack of correspondence with my child, but it just wasn't taken care of. I was concerned that my money wasn't going where it was supposed to.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 01/04/2013

We are sorry to hear that you stopped receiving letters from your sponsored child and that your inquiry was not taken care of at that time. Would you please contact our office at 1-800-776-6767 so that we can resolve this to your satisfaction? You may also send an email to questions@ChildFund.org.

3 Jamal B.

Donor

Rating: 3

I've been a Childfund sponsor for five years now (I started when the group was still the Christian Children's Fund). I'm actually quite surprised by some of the reviews I've seen on this website, because my experience overall with the organization has been very good. There are some things I don't like that the organization does, such as charging money to send monetary gifts to my children (I sponsor two girls in Asia). And sometimes, the offices overseas are slow to respond to my e-mails. Overall though, I'm pleased with the organization. I visited one of my sponsor children in 2010 and had a wonderful time with her. She and I have a strong bond; we write each other several times a year, and I plan to visit her again soon, and meet the other one for the first time. So overall, I would recommend sponsoring a child through Childfund. I've found it to be quite rewarding. Just know that sometimes communication isn't as efficient as you might like it to be, and that they do try to charge you for sending money to your child or little gifts that they mail you (I usually just buy gifts myself and send them to the children anyway).

Previous Stories
6

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I'm a Florida resident, and I sponsor two children through Childfund International, formerly the Christian Children's Fund. I consider my relationship with the organization to be one of the greatest things I've ever done. I started sponsoring my first little girl, Carmina, in 2007. When I started, Carmina was a few months shy of her 10th birthday. She's now 14 years old, and our relationship has grown deeply from our places across the world. I was privileged to meet her and her family in 2010, and it was fantastic! I love Mina very much and I'm so proud to be the sponsor in her life! I have recently began sponsoring another little girl named Syrenath in Cambodia, and I hope our bond will grow just as mine has with Mina.

4 Nancy74

Donor

Rating: 2

My Mom and I are both increasingly dissatisfied with this organization. My Mom's current "child" has completed high school and is apparently going on for additional education. She has been given a strong background, but we feel that a cutoff age of 18 is appropriate given the number of needy children in the world! And my Mom receives age-inappropriate cards and stickers to send to her "child"and for which ChildFund International assesses a sizable processing fee. The most rewarding part of this experience for me is sending additional money for a birthday or holiday and hearing how the money has been used. One child got some basics and then the family acquired a goat each year, providing milk and income for the family. My current little boy got a bicycle so he can ride with his friends. It is very difficult to extract yourself from this organization due to the automatic reassignment of another child that accompanies your notice that your child has moved away (or whatever). I want to switch organizations but don't want to abandon my child. I may do just that, as I imagine they'll find another sponsor for my little boy.

Comments ( 2 )

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ChildFund International 01/04/2013

We are disappointed to hear about the dissatisfaction you and your mother have experienced with sponsorship. Please know that most children remain in our care until age 18 or until they have completed secondary schooling. Some youth remain enrolled as they continue with vocational or college courses. If a sponsor is able to stay with the youth through those additional years, it’s welcome, but not required. There is no obligation of time for sponsorship, and sponsors may advise us at any time that they do not wish to receive information on another child once their current child leaves the program. We will honor that request. Children and youth enjoy receiving cards and stickers in the mail. Our birthday and holiday card campaigns are designed to help build relationships and we have found that many sponsors appreciate this extra service that makes is easier to communicate with their sponsored child. The contribution we ask for is not just for the price of the stickers and cards, but includes the expenses incurred for postage and delivery around the world. We appreciate your feedback regarding the age appropriateness. We have recently begun offering different cards that are more appropriate to child ages. We hope that you will continue sponsoring this child. You are truly making a difference in his life. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us directly at 1-800-776-6767. We will be glad to talk with you.

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ChildFund International 01/04/2013

We are disappointed to hear about the dissatisfaction you and your mother have experienced with sponsorship. Please know that most children remain in our care until age 18 or until they have completed secondary schooling. Some youth remain enrolled as they continue with vocational or college courses. If a sponsor is able to stay with the youth through those additional years, it’s welcome, but not required. There is no obligation of time for sponsorship, and sponsors may advise us at any time that they do not wish to receive information on another child once their current child leaves the program. We will honor that request. Children and youth enjoy receiving cards and stickers in the mail. Our birthday and holiday card campaigns are designed to help build relationships and we have found that many sponsors appreciate this extra service that makes is easier to communicate with their sponsored child. The contribution we ask for is not just for the price of the stickers and cards, but includes the expenses incurred for postage and delivery around the world. We appreciate your feedback regarding the age appropriateness. We have recently begun offering different cards that are more appropriate to child ages. We hope that you will continue sponsoring this child. You are truly making a difference in his life. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us directly at 1-800-776-6767. We will be glad to talk with you.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Donor

Rating: 1

Hi, I am quitting my sponsorship after 35 years. Last straw was that the child that I was sponsoring , a girl in India, was married and moved away right after she wrote me a letter - a very vague one with no personal information. Completely different than the letters I receive from my sponsored boys in Kenya through a Catholic organization. The girl suddenly got married and moved away right before her eighteenth birthday. The pictures I received for the last two years were not of an eighteen year old , but of a much younger child. Very interesting is that this is a second time it happened to me. I suspect that the girls get married much sooner and that the office collects the sponsorship money for as long as the child turns eighteen. I do not appreciate that the organization is not Christian. I am out of there and closing my automatic deductions.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 01/04/2013

We understand having to say goodbye and ending a relationship with a child is one of the hardest things we have to ask sponsors to do. Please understand that cultures in developing countries often are very different than in the United States. Young girls may get married sooner than they do here, and, as a result, they often leave ChildFund programs. We would be happy to look into the fact that you received different photos. Please contact us directly at 1-800-776-6767 or send an email to questions@ChildFund.org. Again, thank you for all the love and concern you have expressed over the years. Loyal, long-time sponsors are the backbone of this organization and we convey our heartfelt gratitude.

6 Tristin P.

Donor

Rating: 2

I think there is always some good that comes from organizations like this. That said, it's about how best to use one's money to help others. The child I sponsored was muslim, which is fine, but he (the person writing) would almost always methodically include a sentence in his letters about how he celebrated this or that holiday with his Christians friends (though Christians made up less tha five percent of the population). ChildFund also automatically extended the sponsorship past the age of 18. Finally, when my sponsored child did get a job, Child Fund automatically had me sponsor another child. I called immediately - as I have been waiting for years to end my relationship with ChildFund - to cancel my new sponsorship. I got a letter back stating that ChildFund was saddening that I was cancelling my sponsorship with the new child. But since they had already made a commitment to the new child, they'd find someone else. Had to say, that made me fell like I was shirking my responsibility. It's not about me, but the child, I know.

Comments ( 1 )

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ChildFund International 01/04/2013

Thank you for your comment. We certainly did not intend to suggest you were “shirking your responsibility.” Many sponsors are excited when their child graduates or finds a job but also are sad about the end of the relationship. We automatically offer another child to sponsor since the individuals have been so committed. However, some, like yourself, do not wish to sponsor an additional child, and we understand that. Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. More importantly, thank you for the years in which you sponsored your child. You truly made a difference.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We are very happy with this organization and their attention to to our requests for information and communication efforts.

Review from CharityNavigator

10

Donor

Rating: 1

It took four phone calls to get my bill straightened out. ( a month later) THey overcharged me on my monetary gift to my child. The field office where my child is sponsored is a joke. I called to see if my package got to my child . They said it was processed and sent out. And I should be getting a thank you letter any day now . Two weeks later I called the office and she said she would deliver it herself in a few days. Hmmm... If it was delivered two weeks ago how could you deliver it yourself in a few days .? I cancelled my sponsorship and will take my money to people who don't give me the run around.

5 Sandra25

Donor

Rating: 2

The child I help support lives in a house w/o a roof 24/7. this is a basic need, especially in the rainy season. Why is nothing done to help with such a great need? I understand there is a lot of bureaucracy and problems in 3rd world countries, but that is ridiculous. Many of the letters appear to be not fully translated as maybe transcriber is tired? Why are they only a 2 star when they have the capability to be 4 star? Finances and Transparency and accountability.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 3

I have been a donor for about two years. The program's concept to enroll donors for a specified child was very appealing to my drive to give something back. I have been relying on the Charity's duty to do what they advertise but have declined sending any Christmas/Birthday cards, coloring books, etc because I resent the idea of paying $9.00 a pop for this to be facilitated. I would rather send postcards and letters directly to the child to show my interest in her progress but want to avoid any additional fees. The dollar amount I have committed is a fixed amount which I don't plan to change anytime soon. (I donated to a large number of other charities already).
I plan to monitor developments regarding this charity’s future disclosures but will continue to support the child till she turns 18. It would be nice if the program would not sell our data. I get way too much solicitation.

9

Donor

Rating: 2

I have been a donor for over twenty years, typically sponsoring 2-3 children. I typically send in multiple months' worth of donations at one time. I had no issues until a few years ago. Suddenly, they lost the ability to properly record the donations. For example, I would send a payment intended to cover Jan-March and receive a receipt saying that I was only current through February. The first time I called to have the records corrected, the person on the phone blamed the mismatch on me, saying that I must have an error in my records (I am an accountant). She agreed to change (not correct) my records to reflect what I believed the balance should be. Within a few of months, another payment was lost or misrecorded. I received a similar response (it was my fault). Now, a few months later it has happened again, despite the fact that I have been listing in detail what each payment is for: e.g. Sponsorship Jan $, Sponsorship Feb $, birthday present $. These persistent errors along with the increase in fees and the change in name have me very concerned about the direction and management of the organization. I am not going to cancel my sponsorship at this time, but will not add new children until I have a reasonable explanation.

8

Donor

Rating: 1

I started sponsoring children through the Christian Children’s Fund in 1970. A relative of mine had been a sponsor almost from the beginning and was proud and happy with the impact his funds and his contact had on the children. He encouraged me to sponsor through them for many years. For quite a while, I was thrilled. The correspondence with the children made me know that my money was being used well. I had frequent and regular communication with them and it was great. After a few years, however, things started slipping. The letters from my sponsored kids were less and less frequent and pretty vague. At first I thought it had to do with the children themselves, but later I realized it had more to do with the organization. I did not hear from the last two I sponsored for two years. Other than the original picture, I never got updated photos. When they dropped Christian from the name combined with what appeared to be less efficiency, I gave up. Now, I am a diehard Compassion International sponsor and I am proud to be a part of “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”

6 Linda82

Volunteer

Rating: 1

Last November I contacted Child Fund to ask them about the 20% fee that was going to be imposed on my Christmas gift to my sponsored child. I was told that the fee was still in place and should be modified after the first of the year. After a fund raing event I worked on locally, it reminded me that I should follow up on the issue. When I contacted Child Fund I was once again told it was being reviewed and since they are only customer service people they had no information that involved fees. How convenient. Run, don't walk away from this organization. It is so upsetting that a CEO who makes hundeds of thousands a year on our sympathy towards the less fotunate and wants to better their live, feels she deserves a piece of every one of them. WITCH! I can only hope you die from a slow painful cancer!

Comments ( 2 )

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aabbitt 06/13/2012

I did want to reply to your concerns and we understand how you feel. ChildFund has been working diligently to find the best way to cover the costs of administering your special monetary gifts to children without compromising the quality of services provided by sponsorship funds and without putting an unnecessary burden on our sponsors. Many of our sponsors have indicated a preference for a flat rate donation, rather than the percentage we have been charging. Therefore, beginning this summer, ChildFund will return to charging a flat fee for processing cash gifts: $3.50. Going forward, 100% of the funds you send for your sponsored child will go directly to your sponsored child. The $3.50 will be added to the total amount of your gift

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ChildFund International 01/04/2013

Thank you for your comment. We heard from hundreds of sponsors who expressed their preference for a small donation to cover the cost of processing and delivering rather than 20% of the total gift. Based on those recommendations, ChildFund changed its policy in July 2012. Now, 100 percent of the gift amount goes to the sponsored child. We ask for a voluntary donation of $3.50 to cover handling and delivery costs.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Just a heads up to everyone that is commenting on this thread, as of the fiscal year of 2011, ChildFund International has raised it's efficiency from 81% to 83%, and while to some cynical minded people they may view this as not enough, it actually wound up being an extra $15 million going into the programs and services. Surely it would be better if the efficience could be even higher, but donors should feel quite lucky that ChildFund does not have letter writing factories nor do they continue a false sponsorship by not telling a family that the child they have sponsored has died. There are some quite popular organizations that do those things. Just calm down, and remember if they lose more donors, less money will go to the kids.

Review from CharityNavigator

8 Craig F.

Client Served

Rating: 2

I will be quitting ChildFund this week after 7 years and 3 sponsored children. Dropping "Christian" from its name was the first bad sign. I "visited" 2 of my sponsored children. It is false advertising to call it a visit, it should be called a "meeting". We got to meet with the kids in the ChildFund office only! Very awkward and unmoderated. The logistics of the "visits" were botched as well. I have been living with their outrageous 20% fee up till now. I send one of my sponsored children $100 each month. That costs me an extra $25 a month...crazy! I have found another way to get money to the family, so it bye-bye ChildFund. By the way I do sponsor 2 other children through WorldVision and have been very happy.

6

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been sponsoring a child for 8 years and I think it is disguisting that ChildFund takes 20% of gifts as handling fees. These children need the money more then they do. It really sours the gift giving process. If Anne Goddard can take home over $250,000 in 2010 they can find a way to lower their handling fees. Do what is right for the children -- do the Christian thing ChildFund.

Comments ( 1 )

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aabbitt 05/16/2012

I did want to reply to your concerns and we understand how you feel. ChildFund has been working diligently to find the best way to cover the costs of administering your special monetary gifts to children without compromising the quality of services provided by sponsorship funds and without putting an unnecessary burden on our sponsors. Many of our sponsors have indicated a preference for a flat rate donation, rather than the percentage we have been charging. Therefore, beginning sometime this summer, ChildFund will return to charging a flat fee for processing cash gifts: $3.50. Going forward, 100% of the funds you send for your sponsored child will go directly to your sponsored child. The $3.50 will be added to the total amount of your gift.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 2

I have been a sponsor for many years - currently sponsor 3 children. There is no doubt that ChildFund does good work - but to take 20% of the gift meant for the family is excessive. I am willing to give 5% - that is reasonable - but not 20%. Additionally - the children are sponsored for 18 years. Don't send any letters asking for more time. This is not "AdultFund" - it is "ChildFund". You have many unhappy contributors. If you overhead is so high, charge more on the monthly fees or reduce your costs. It is taking unfair advantage of the generosity of CF sponsors - almost blackmail.