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Compassion International, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, International, International Relief, Religion

Mission: Compassion International is the world's largest Christian child development organization that works through local churches to permanently release children from poverty.  Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1.4 million children—pre-natal through higher education—in 26 of the world's poorest countries.  Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works through local churches to holistically address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children—enabling them to thrive, not just survive.  Compassion has been awarded 13 consecutive, four-star ratings by Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator, as well as the Gallup Great Workplace Award for the past three straight years.

Results: http://www.compassion.com/does-child-sponsorship-work.htm

Target demographics: children living in extreme poverty.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,461,116 children

Geographic areas served: 26 countries

Programs: Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry that releases children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enables them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program creates a one-to-one relationship between a child living in extreme poverty and a sponsor, who, through a $38 monthly commitment, provides that child with physical, social, spiritual and economic care and training, making a difference in that child’s life, thereby changing her world and empowering her to improve her environment for future generations. Compassion's Child Survival Program responds to the needs of mothers on behalf of their babies by ensuring a healthy environment and a strong start in life for the poorest and most vulnerable so that they may escape the cycle of poverty. Using proven child survival strategies, caregivers are equipped to nurture and disciple their children, who otherwise might not survive to age 5.

Community Stories

76 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

48

Donor

Rating: 5

I was a Compassion International sponsored child and was released from poverty in Jesus name thanks to their work. I love the ministry and what they stand for, bringing Jesus to the least of them. I love that they are Christ-Centered and most of their programs are aimed at equipping the kids with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I grew up in Kenya, in a family where our source of income was about $10 a month. Poverty was bad but the hopelessness that came from the poverty was even worse. All I needed as a kid growing up in poverty was food, clothes, water, a home with a warm bed and most importantly love and hope. I got none of these things. 1994, Compassion came into my life took a big turn. Food, clean water, shoes, clothes, a warm bed with a mosquito net, and lots of love is what I got from Compassion. they started to speak words of hope and truth into my life. the love I got from my sponsor was like non other, the warmth I got from the Compassion staff was even better. I did not know Jesus before I joined Compassion but everything Compassion did for me made me want know this Jesus they served. I did, come to know Jesus through an alter call by one of the Compassion staff and that was the difference in my life. The best gift I got from Compassion, was Jesus, my life has never been the same again. In summary, 19 years later here I am today released from poverty and hopelessness in Jesus name. Me and my wife now sponsor 4 beautiful kids (India, Thailand and 2 in Kenya) through Compassion. I am currently a CPA living in America and now in a position to change my family's life and that of a generation. I am blessed to have led people to the lord with my testimony, sponsor one child and bring the good news of Jesus to nations. I can't tell it all what Compassion has done for me and for so many kids around the world, but one thing is for sure : they do what they say they do. I am proof. P.S. - My Compassion sponsor was the best man in our wedding #powerfulrelationships.

Kelly Knickerbocker De Los S.

Donor

Rating: 5

After working with/giving to other charities for many years, I'm so grateful and encouraged by the health of Compassion. They value quality over quantity and doing things right. They have been honest with me about their shortfalls and areas they are working to improve (such as IT challenges with letter-writing, etc.) and really are sincere in being a Christ-based, church-centered, child-focused organization always aiming to grow and get better. So thankful to support children struggling through them.

Donor

Rating: 2

I have always been a big fan of Compassion International! Things have changed—let me explain.
We became Compassion International sponsors in 1997, sponsoring a young boy named John from India. It was joy to write and receive letters, as our kids were about the same age. We sponsored him until Compassion had to pull out of India, and our sponsorship was transferred to Nuttapong in Thailand. In 2002 our sponsorship again was transferred, this time to a young girl, Nelly, from Bolivia. Nelly was a joy to sponsor, and when my wife left me in 2008, Compassion was very helpful in how I should inform her via letters. I was actually able to sponsor her from age 5 until she had to leave the program at 18 years old, in 2015.
Compassion gave me the choice to replace my sponsorship with another little girl named Jhuliana, again from Boliva. I have been enjoying sponsoring her, supporting her monetarily, and writing and receiving letters.
However, all things changed two weeks ago, when I received a letter from Rick Management of Compassion International (I don’t know what his position is there), informing me that my sponsorship of Jhuliana had been cancelled due to “updated child protection policies,” which includes (from their website: “We immediately terminate the child sponsorship of anyone found on a sex offender registry. We also terminate the sponsorships of anyone living at the same address as a registered sex offender.”
My story is this: about 10 years ago, I was approached by a person I used to work with, who explained his son had gotten into trouble, and needed a place to live. I immediately thought of the Bible,
Matthew 25: ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, "I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ I offered him a room at my house (please note that this same passage is the reason that I acted on to sponsor children from Compassion International!).
I personally don’t understand how the fact that I have a sexual offender living at my address, affects my relationship with Jhuliana in Bolivia.
I am curious what Compassion will be telling Jhuliana about why her sponsor is not in her life anymore. They would not answer that question, when I asked.

3

Donor

Rating: 1

I have sponsored my child for 5 years. She lives in Bangladesh. I rarely get letters from her and when I do, I think the translation is incorrect as the letter usually do not make sense. My child is 16 years old but in the 5 grade, no one tells me why this is. I was told when I joined that I would be getting a monthly report of how my child was faring, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I never hear anything and the letters from my child never say much. I always get emails saying that there is unrest in that country and they have to stop sending funds and letters. So that doesn't assure me, it only makes me wonder more how my child is faring. And if she is getting my assistance still. I give regularly and above and beyond to help my child and her family and I will continue doing so as long as I am financially blessed. I only pray that all my funds are going for what I intended it for. I wish I knew how my child was faring and growing. But once she is of age, I will most definitely stop dealing with Compassion. I also do not encourage anyone to get involved with Compassion.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I know that Compassion International is an organization that does some good work, but many of the people who work for them are corrupt. They steal from the children who are supposed to be benefitting from the sponsorships and force them to write things to the sponsors that aren’t true.

I feel sure that some of the representatives who work with this company are honest, compassionate people themselves, who are just trying to help children, but many of them are dishonest, thieves and bullies, causing more harm than good.

A few years ago, I contacted the company to report what I knew and to ask that they conduct an investigation to determine what was really happening on the “receiving end” of the sponsorships and, if necessary, to dismiss and even prosecute those who were found to be guilty. The people I spoke with at the offices of the organization seemed genuinely surprised and concerned about the things I told them. However, the results were less than helpful.

I don’t know whether or not they ever conducted an investigation and, if they did, I don’t know how far it went or what the intent might have been. However, I do know that some of the people who had been stealing from the children and forcing them to write false statements to their sponsors increased the severity of their misdeeds almost immediately after I made the complaint. They even threatened the child that I had reported about, as well as family members of the child, and in general, all of the families of the children who were being sponsored in that particular area agreed that things got much worse.

This all occurred about six years ago and today, things are still just as bad.

As I said, I don’t believe the organization is completely filled with criminals and hoodlums, but I know that it is pretty liberally littered with them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When a person writes to a child, the child will write back and answer any specific questions that were asked of him or her. This shows that someone must be working one-on-one with the child. Also, updated pictures of the child and sometimes the family members are sent.

13 MLSB

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Being on the inside and also a past sponsor, please do not support this ministry financially. There is a lot of deception and darkness in this place. Money is spent outrageously and sponsors are lied to (with employees even encouraged to not be fully transparent) just to name a couple of things. Please pray heavily for this ministry.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I have 2 children. One in Haiti, one in the Philippines. I visited my sponsored child in Haiti. It was a wonderful trip. We did stay in a 5 star hotel, which was wonderful. However we visited 3 school projects. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget.
I've been reading the comments and some negative ones are hard to believe, especially the one from the former employee. I have nothing but praise for this company. Compassion is not perfect, however they do care for their children. A lot of the junk mail is junk, but when I get a message from child , I am so delighted. My child in Haiti now has a Facebook account and I can talk to him that way. He asked me for a drum set and I sent the money to Compassion and they bought him one. In turn, he sent me a photo of himself playing the drums. I was so overcome with joy.
Many Compassion employees came with us to Haiti. I did not hear one negative word about the company the whole time I was there. It was an amazing trip I will never forget and I will continue to support my sponsored children through Compassion.

8

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been sponsoring a child for several years .And I planned one day to visit him.recently I got a letter and call saying he had moved to another village and couldnt be contacted.i was asked if I wanted to sponsor another child and I said not right now.today I received a letter from my child different handwriting in English and French as if nothing had happened or changed.this was veryred flag.pdisturbing abc raised a red flag.i look forward to speaking with the office during regular business hours..

13

Donor

Rating: 2

Compassion is a money making machine. I think they do some good work and we have sponsored children sine 1987. Understand 81% goes to children and not all of the goes to your child. If that bothers you put your money elsewhere.

If the high executive compensation bothers you put your money else where.

If their use of big dollar consultants Deloit to name one and your dollars paying for their hotels, airfare and booze bothers you, put your money elsewhere.

If a Christmas party at the 5 star Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs bothers you, put you money elsewhere.

If a CEO who can shed a tear on demand while bragging about being a Harvard Graduate and still have his hand out for money, then put you money elsewhere.

14

Former staff

Rating: 1

I have worked at the corporate office in Colorado Springs. It puts many for profit to shame. You can see it for your self on line using Google maps and the like. The CEO "Jimmy" what a fraud. But he can shed a tear at the drop of a hat. Your money funds consulting contracts worth millions. Staff and "special constituents fly all over the world on your money. Staff that stay in 4 and 5 star hotels and you buy their liquor. Again, look at the Social media pages of executives, managers and patrons. Hold on you your wallet it is a money taking machine that exploits children. Ask about the pictures they use. Do they have permission? Or at one event parading a youth choir from Kenya around like stage props. Do not take my word for it check it out on your own

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Great charity that supports children and families in third world countries, providing education, support and the good news of the gospel. We sponsor a child and are encouraged by the relationship and impressed with Compassion's system for helping us communicate.

Review from JustGive

23

Donor

Rating: 5

I have sponsored a child in Kenya for about 7 years through compassion. I felt the need to review after reading some negative reviews. Here goes!
1) the 'form letter' correspondence. I too questioned the letters I received from Kioji the first few years, but now that he is more proficient in English (he is about 11 now) I receive letters written by him. Of course the letters sound guided before the child can write in English, because they are :)
2) the questions about slow corredpondce time and request for bday and Christmas gifts months in advance. The coordination to organize and buy millions of children gifts needs to be performed way in advance. I usually send 100 for kiojis bday and (months later) I always get a thank you note and photos of Kioji with what was purchased. His family is now breeding goats, has a metal roof, chairs, etc from our gifts over the years. Now that he writes on his own I hear even more about the 'gifts' and how happy his whole family is when he gets one.
3) HQ and salary- the president makes less than many other charity heads. 300,00 isn't outrageous. And they obviously need a nice HQ considering how large their group is- I think I read 500 mil a year. The organization, translation. Outreach, etc is monumental and I am comfortable with 84% of my monthly donation going to Kioji.
It has been wonderful to support this child through the years. Regardless of our finances in the future, we will always support this family. We are responsible for them now!

23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have 5 children--the correspondence is so sweet. I love that they set up trips where you can go to visit the children and see exactly what your money is going to. I have volunteered for several of their events and they are well run with great training. I have met the nicest people at the events. I love that I can write online and even upload pictures. They send me information about the region in which my children reside and I even get letters from the Pastors that oversee my children. I have been very pleased and hope to adopt several more soon.

17

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been emailing them numerous time over the last two months advising them we have some financial difficulties and asked them not to take out the outrageous amount of $152 from our bank account. They have ignored me requests and continue taking money out of our bank account. I now have to go to the bank and fill out forms in order to stop them from taking any more money. It's a shame that we have to do that are they that desperate for money that they just ignore my requests. Donors beware this "charity" is extremely greedy and you need to be cautious when signing up with them to give.

Review from Guidestar

16

Donor

Rating: 2

Despite some initial hesitations based on some negative reviews about donors receiving form-type letters from sponsored children, I decided to go ahead with sponsoring a child because of the predominantly positive reviews about Compassion.

Unfortunately, I now understand the disappointment and frustration felt by various Compassion donors who were receiving form-type letters, as I received one in the name of my sponsored child. The adult-level language, almost exclusively focused on the Bible, and the handwriting were clearly too perfect to have been written by a child.

My complaints to Compassion changed nothing.

I believe that Compassion downplays its very stong religious orientation until the moment that you are actually engaged as a donor. I now understand that this is a very born-again Christian-type of organization.

Compassion may be helping kids and their families, but they should be honest upfront with donors that they are a hard-core religious outfit. Also very importantly, the group lacks a commitment to allowing kids to have their own true communications with their sponsors. Once my sponsored child reaches 18 years, I will stop my involvement with this group.

18 Warren L.

Donor

Rating: 2

This organization has a long track record and is truly making a difference in the lives of children. However, there are a couple of major problems: 1. They do not use any QA measures of their customer service representatives; some are excellent, others are not. 2. They don't have a way of quickly connecting with their in-country partners who are serving the children; thus, replies take weeks if not months. 3. They are not transparent about who these in-country partners are; for comparison, go to www.kiva.org and read their information about their partners.

9 lakerdj

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I truly love supporting the fine efforts Compassion International is doing in Haiti. My sponsored child, Paul Ando-Paul is thriving under the guidance and support of Compassion International. I would love to work for them. What a blessing they are to the world!

Doug Johnson
Dallas, Texas

12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a missionary Kid in India, Sponsored by Compassion for my studies. Without compassion I would not been able to have studied.
I am thankful for compassion to have contributed in my life and many more downtrodden and also focusing on Spiritual aspect unlike any-other non-profit organisation.

Review from Guidestar

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor through Compassion since 2003. It has been amazing to see my sponsor child in India grow and learn under the wonderful mission of Compassion. We correspond through letters and I hope to be able to go visit him one day. This is a wonderful mission that has a direct impact on children's lives around the globe. I have recommended Compassion to many people and love how active they are in reaching areas that need so much.

17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

One visit this organization's large HQ in Colorado Springs and you will see that your money is NOT going to poor children! I also hear that the CEO is making a very large salary, one unheard of in non profits and authentic Christian organizations (although I have not confirmed this).

6 Katie75

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a sponsor with Compassion International since January 2012. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know our sponsored children and seeing them grow. I love this organization and volunteer whenever I can with them.

Review from Guidestar

3 Paul98

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Many Blessings I am so blessed by sponsoring children through Compassion! I am excited to be able to write to my children and receive their warm and touching letters. Also, being able to make their Christmas, birthday and family life special and blessed brings great joy to my heart. I truly believe that being Christ centered and involving the local church makes this sponsorship program so successful and unique. Being a sponsor is the best Christmas present I have ever received.

The one-to-one relationship with your sponsored child is truly a blessing from God. This relationship is further enhanced and developed through prayers and regular correspondence between you (either the sponsor or the correspondent sponsor) and the child. I have fond memories of receiving my first child letter, being able to pray for my child and respond back to the child letter. I have grown to appreciate the well-controlled and high-quality driven process that Compassion has implemented to ensure that all letters are translated and delivered. Although at times it seems like the process is slow and cumbersome, the end result is very rewarding; the delivery of the child letter to the sponsor. Not exactly knowing when a letter is going to be delivered is like a special holiday gift from God. So remember to be patient and pray for and write to your child on a regular basis. Prayers and Letters have a huge impact!

5

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been supporting a Compassion child in the Dominican Republic for about 10 years and have had the blessing of meeting him two times. I can assure you your sponsorship means more to this child than you can ever know. It also means so much to his family as well. Our child's father is out of the picture. His mother is Haitian and in the DR Haitians are not always looked at with favor. Our child writes us regularly. Compassion worked very hard to make our visits possible. I think we must be careful to judge the CEO's salaries. I think it more important to look at their life and who they are. If you have ever heard Wes Stafford speak, the Spirit is evident in his life. We don't know what their salary includes. Perhaps, it is also their health insurance etc... I know that when we give extra money we ask what they used it for. We usually send $400. every year in March. When we visited we also asked to meet our child's mom. She wept and wept and prayed in Spanish for five minutes as we hugged. All six of our children got to meet him and play in the ocean with him. It was like he was their brother. It was an unforgettable experience, giving us a taste of heaven, with every tribe and nation. If you can go meet your child, do it. We also talked at length with the translator that was provided. She was now a working for Compassion, but was once a Compassion sponsored child. She talked at length about the blessing of being sponsored...and how it is through Compassion that she learned English. She is now in college to be a doctor, and she is only 17! She explained that much of the problem with poverty is not just the funds, it is the hope that comes. Much of poverty is a mental poverty. When a child is sponsored they are first prayed for often, they are usually given vitamins and parasite medicine, they often receive Bible stories and training, and their connection with their sponsor gives them HOPE and encouragement. Our child receives a snack. Money that we send goes 100% to him if it is a gift. His mom told us how they were able to put in a bathroom with the money we sent. Many of the everyday expenses that must be accounted for are all the people that help set up trips, that help and respond to your questions etc. Compassion is an amazing organization that provides us here in spoiled America with a way to care for the least of these. I give it all the thumbs up you can!

10

Donor

Rating: 5

In response to how much the CEO makes. He is lower paid than the other six leading child organization CEO's such as Child Fund, World Vision, etc. This is easy to check out. I have sponsored five children, one of which has graduated. I have also sponsored two children at ChildFund. Without saying unkind things about another orgaization, I will say that I prefer Compassion. It is important to me that children are fed spiritually. If all we do is provide food, water, shelter without the word of God, we are very short sighted.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an Awesome Ministry, just talked with a Compassion Representive, she was very helpful and very friendly too, even told me about my previous child that I sponsored but had to stop. I highly reccomend this Ministry!!!

Review from CharityNavigator

3 Susan195

Donor

Rating: 5

We've just returned from a sponsor tour to Tanzania. I was so impressed with all the staff and volunteers we met---both nationals and those from the US. I came away with more respect for the organization and the individuals involved; they all seemed very Christ-centered and caring. We visited several centers, the national headquarters, and met our sponsored child. We saw how they supported and trained single moms, met health, educational, spiritual, and social needs of the children, and contributed to the overall well-being of the communities. I liked how they partnered with local churches to influence whole communities for the kingdom of God. Our trip was well planned and gave us a good overview of how compassion functions there. I highly recommend the sponsor tours and definitely feel that our money is well spent.

Review from CharityNavigator

4 Shaun G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have sponsored four children through Compassion International's child sponsorship program and one university student through Compassion's Leadership Development program. I sponsored for the first time in 2005 and have traveled to meet two of my sponsored children in person. Compassion's work far exceeds what I thought was possible for only $38/month.

The child I sponsor have received healthcare (one even had life-saving open heart surgery!), proper nutrition (one at only twice each week before entering Compassion's program), education (one has graduated from university with a degree in medical technology), improvements to shelter, vocational training and two of them have become Christians.

I'm amazed at how well my children are doing in Compassion's program. I've seen their work in person. This is the real deal. The children I sponsor are no longer impoverished but have the skills and health and dreams necessary to escape poverty. Their children will certainly be better off than they are.

I wholeheartedly recommend Compassion International every chance I get.

Review from Guidestar

19

Donor

Rating: 2

I have been sponsoring a child for a couple of years and have concerns about them being more about the $ than the children. Then when I saw their HQ is in Colorado Springs, it was a red flag - for other reasons. Their CEO makes $300K+/yr! Where's his heart at?

I wonder why I get a notice of his birthday 4 months in advance - why should they care how much I give him for his birthday? Is it all going to him? Is any of it going to him? Why are they so anxious for me to give to him? Christmas has to be in by early October. Where is that going? When I go online to make my payment, there's so many requests on the page to give more ... and more. I want to believe they're trying to do more, but there's just a bad feeling I have that my $ isn't helping my child as I hoped it would. I get letters, but they are written by a boy - they are very formal and I wonder how truthful the letters are. What am I going to do? If I stop giving, the boy suffers. They know that I'm thinking that.

How can I know unless I visit. Has anyone visited their child? Mine is in India and I've been there and seen the poverty - I would be ready for the shock I may see - it would be the only thing to put my mind at ease. I know many organizations, like the Red Cross are not ethical at the top, so they cannot be doing good, especially with the money. Haiti donations were used to bring their books to balance for other causes and never went to Haiti. It's like selling donuts in the front of the store and drugs in the back. How can we know?

I see the good financial reviews, but how legit is that? Really. I do think a different model for helping these families would help. They help the child, but not the family. If they help the community, the family will also benefit. It could be so much more effective.

Review from CharityNavigator

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I have sponsored 1 child that graduated from Compassion's program, and I currently sponsor 5 other children in Compassin's program. I have met two of those children. I have seen first hand how my donations directly benefits the children. One child pointed to a hill and said that beyond that hill is the garbage dump where he used to scavage for food for himself and his family. He is now thankful to God that I am in his life and help provide for his basic needs. He carries my photo around with him everywhere he goes. I came back from my trip to Haiti and signed up to sponsor three more children. I wish I could do more. I am thankful that God has provided a way for me to help others in dire need.

Review from CharityNavigator

12 Robert78

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have sponsored children for over 30 years - but what I can add to this is that I worked for COmpassion for 4 years in the country of Haiti' I was hired as an education specialist and trained teachers in active methods that helped the children learn to read faster. I can also confirm that the money got to and benefited the children with food and education. I believed in what they do (educate and care for children) that I volunteer for them now. How many of you volunteer for your former employer?

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donors for many years and appreciate the opportunity to sponsor several children during this time. We are impressed with this organization and its programs.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 3

We have been sponsoring several children through them. Now we have financial difficulty that we cannot sponsor these children any longer. I kept one child who lost her mother. The rest of them all have parents. I called in. I feel the woman who answered the call lacks compassion and understanding on our situation. She is like any other sales person who try to keep your business. Don't feel very Christian. Most of the children they have all have parents. I just had a newborn. I feel like that those parents should take care of their own kids. Plus, they pay their CEO too much money.

7

Donor

Rating: 1

I gave to this organization for years. When my wife was gone it was horrible for me. This organization is absolutely uncaring! I asked four times to remove her from my mailing address and they always agreed. They never removed her and I am constantly remembered on the memories. I hope you do not loose anyone close to you, because I know they only care about your money.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring a young man in the Dominican Republic since he was six. He is now 19. I have had nothing but a positive experience with Compassion. The letters from him are not always full of exciting news, but he's a kid. Mine weren't exciting either when I was a kid. I have been humbled by the thank you notes I get from him though to thank me for my sponsorship and extra gifts. Most often he buys a new outfit with his birthday gifts from me. One year I received a bonus at my job and decided to share part of it with him and his family. They purchased beds for the first time. As a spoiled American, I was humbled deeply.

The customer service staff at Compassion are terrific and go above and beyond to serve. I can't say enough good things about them! On one occasion, I called them to change my address as my husband and I separted. The woman on the phone offered to pray for our marriage with the other staff. I felt those prayers and was truly grateful. Another time I called and a staff member suggested I write to a child that has a sponsor that doesn't write to him/her.

I took on the challenge and it has been a total blessing to me. When the child was young, he drew me beautiful pictures of his village in the mountains of Bolivia. Now he is 14 and writes me letters about his struggles. We share our individual struggles with each other now and pray for each other. I am able to share Scripture with him and encourage his heart.

I can't say enough good things about Compassion International. They have changed my life and my outlook on today's world. There is such a need to help these small ones and in Jesus' name, we are.

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 3

I find it interesting that several of those writing reviews have talked about the wonderful letters they receive from their sponsored children. I have not had that experience. The letters I receive are never personal, more or less form letters, wanting to know how I am, hope I am well, praying for me everyday, and on and on. I have sponsored one child from Haiti for seven years, so she is now 12, have been informed that she makes average progress in school, and yet her mother has written every letter I have ever received, except the last one, and her aunt wrote that one for her. My other child is in Uganda, and I have sponsored her for six years, and she is now 12. Her letters started out being very personable, but lately have also been very formulaic. So, while I will continue to sponsor these children because I do want their basic needs to be provided, I want to say that the personal relationship that Compassion promotes so passionately does not exist for me with either child. I have quit corresponding and just sponsor financially.

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Carol89

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have sponsered 4 children since 1996 and have been very pleased with this organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have sponsored a child with this organization since the early 1970s and have also been to Africa to meet the children I now sponsor with them. I also donate to a Child Survival Program through Compassion in Haiti as well as one in Africa. Having seen first hand the differences this organization makes in the lives of children, their families and communities, and over the years seeing the integrity of this organization financially,walking out their mission statement, I continually recommend them to any and everyone!

4 Carrie42

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring a child in El Salvador for a year now and I am very pleased with this charity. I have received four letters so far; the child does not not know how to write so the letters ask questions and the translator fills out his answers. He does draw pictures for me that show what he does (he loves to play soccer). I was very happy to see that when I gave a family donation they used it to buy extra food. I haven't had any issues with the customer support and in fact, when I hit hard times myself and was unable to donate, they worked with me to ensure I didn't lose the sponsorship until I could get caught up. I would definitely recommend this charity to anyone looking to sponsor a child.

Review from CharityNavigator

3 Kyle10

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring a child through Compassion international for years and could not be happier. This is a wonderful organization that is transparent and makes the most out of my monthly donation. I will continue giving to them as long as I can.

Review from Guidestar

5

Donor

Rating: 3

I think Compassion is a wonderful organization doing tremendous work. We've sponsored a young man from India for almost 6 years now and we have really developed a meaningful connection with him. I feel very certain our money is being used well and we hear from him frequently (we write to him frequently as well). This has been a wonderful blessing to our family. It's beautiful to see yearly photos of how this young man has grown. I did not know at the time we sponsored him in 2007 how Compassion worked. I have since learned that Compassion requires my child to come to a church based center in order to receive services that my sponsorship dollars help provide. I am a Christian and believe spiritual care is very important in helping children thrive. But I prefer World Vision's model of community development. World Vision is a Christian aid agency that helps build sustainable communities and sponsorship dollars fund entire communities.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Protection of the children they help is Compassion's top priority. For the person who gave a negative review they should check into this. Unfortunately in today's world with child trafficking Compassion must review all information going to these children in poor countries. My Mother has visited her children both through Compassion sponsored trips and when she visited countries on her own. When she went on her own Compassion did everything they could to help her meet her children. She did have to have a supervised visit but only for the child's protection. Would any parent in the US want any less for our own children if they were meeting some person from another country.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Twenty-six years ago our first son was born. That same year we decided to support another child through Compassion. Our first sponsored son has since moved out of the program and we have sponsored other children during those years...and are currently sponsoring 2. Why? Because this is a wonderful organization. It works through the local churches (so it is personal to the child) and it not only provides physical nourishment but educational "nourishment," spiritual "nourishment" and help with clothing and other needed items. The impact is not just on the child but the family and the community. Our sponsored children send letters to us and we are able to write back and get to know them better. Compassion also makes available trips to see the children...Our church is linked to one of the churches over in Nairobi, Kenya and we are building a relationship Church to Church. What a wonderful opportunity to watch God work around the world. I am thankful for Compassion...those running it are dedicated to see the lives of impoverished children, families communities see the light of hope. One of the best gifts I ever got was a picture of one of our sponsored "sons" and in the picture of this young man was a smile that "glowed"....He had hope....and that was a definite change from all his other pictures! It was beautiful and wonderful to know that we could have the privilege of helping change the life of someone across the world. God bless Compassion International!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Compassion as a sponsor for 7 years, and recently began work as a volunteer. Compassion is really an impressive organization. It is very focused on its service role, and works hard to serve children around the world. Everything I have seen suggests a very well-run and committed organization.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 5

We have and do sponsor several children for the past 15 years or so. I love the letters from the children, especially as they grow up and communication grows deeper. A small gift from us can go so far in a third world country. I plan on visiting one or more of our girls in Thailand in a couple years or less hopefully. I also love that I can give a birthday or Christmas gift and all the money goes for special gift just for them bought by a person at the center who knows just what she/he needs. I love to receive the thank you notes and here what they got. As for the person who gave a poor review and said gift had to be sent thru Compassion, I am sure Compassion is protecting the child for many reasons. I have spoken to them via phone about this and they are very good to explain in detail if you would like to know. And the person that wrote the review was incorrect in that if each party agrees to disclose their address they can send gifts directly. We had a girl grow out of the program and got her permission for Compassion to give us her address so we were able to send her a gift directly, so that can be done if both parties are agreeable.

2 Simon E.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Compassion. My sister and I have both visited different Compassion projects in Africa and have been impressed with the care and support they offer in tough & challenging conditions. Have a great amount of respect for the work they do.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Compassion international discourages any outside contact with a child sponsored through their program. As an American living in Ecuador for a number of years, I was curious when a poor family disclosed to me that they had children in the program. They had a family sponsor that wanted to send some things directly to the family but was told they should send everything through Compassion. I was also told they weren't receiving some things, Shoes, clothing, medical supplies that the organization had received from the sponsor. They don't want anything shared between the sponsor and the child unless they are the go between. I understand sometimes poor people will ask donor sponsors to send money directly to the families and it doesn't reach the child, but I think Compassion goes too farwith the restriction.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring a child for over 10 years and taken her from child to adult and I know that she has come to know our lord, Jesus Christ. She has a beautiful spirit and this has been an enriching experience. Sorry for all of the other negative experiences, but when you have an organization as large as this one, there is bound to be some problems. We are only HUMAN, after all. God Bless you all!

2

Donor

Rating: 2

Don't do it unless you plan on sponsoring forever!! After 10 years sponsoring a child through Compassion I have to say we will not do it again. Our child was set to graduate the program in June and we got notice that he "graduated" then notice that he "left the program" and finally notice that his family was not meeting the expectations of the program. I was going to let this misinformation slide and let my son choose a child to sponsor for his upcoming birthday but then I got a letter in the mail with the following sentence: Please note that if we do not hear from you within 14 days, we will go ahead and begin your sponsorship of this child. Years ago we gave them our bank info since they said ACH saved them money and we wanted to help as much go to the children as we could and now that was coming back to bite us. In the past we had chosen to join with them to help children and now they were making that choice for us. When I called they said it was standard practice - ridiculous.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have sponsored dozens of kids from different groups since 1970. I loved them all, but when I found Compassion several years ago, I knew it was the group for our family. I love their approach with kids, families and communities, their conscientious stewardship and the attention given to me as a sponsor. Not only would I recommend Compassion, I already have and it worked! Now I have friends who have sponsored children because of my great expreience. Thanks be to God for Compassion’s ministry to these precious children and for the chance to invest in their future.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have sponsored children through Compassion since 2009, and we could not be happier. We had the opportunity to go meet one of the kids, and see for ourselves how Compassion children development programs work. Wonderful!!!! We are thrilled to be part of something bigger than ourselves. An organization that not only releases children from poverty, but, most importantly leads them to the only one who can release them from eternal death: Jesus Christ.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife have sponsored children for over 35 years and have been impressed with their organization and their integrity. We have sponsored two children for many years, write to each one frequently, and Compassion always keeps us alert to their activities. Wesley Stafford has been to our church (which sponsors over 500 children) and he is certainly above approach. It is difficult to find an organization with a higher rating. Praise the Lord for their Christian emphasis, the most important aspect of Compassion International! Ken Snavely

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 1

Both my wife and I have been sponsoring since the early 90s and I have seen this organization slip over the past few years, especially when it comes to their accounting department. We are sponsoring one child and I noticed a duplicate charge on my credit card. I spoke with their support team and they assured me that the matter was fixed but I have yet to see any resolution. While the person on the phone was polite, It's still unresolved, so I will be canceling my account.

2

Donor

Rating: 1

I rarely post reviews of organizations, but I feel compelled to share my experience with Compassion. Since 2007, I have been donating my time and money to this organization as my sister first introduced me to their outreach program in Africa. From day one, there was way too much pressure to donate "in the name of God" and I did not like that religion was drilled in their letters and emails.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring a child through Compassion for six months now, and it has been a wonderful experience so far. Whenever I get new information in the mail about my child, it makes my day, and I like that Compassion keeps in contact with you regularly so that you can feel confident that your money is going to the right place. I am actually not religious at all, but Compassion was recommended to me by a friend and after researching every child sponsorship organization I could find, Compassion seemed like the best one. Donations of this kind are so much more meaningful than just contributing to a general charity where your $38 a month is going into a huge fund -- it's amazing to actually feel like you are making a difference.

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Jeff31

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have sponsored children through Compassion International since I was in my mid-twenties. I am 50 yrs. old now. I believe that this organization does what they say they will do. Help deliver children from poverty in Jesus' name. The children and I have established relationships through the letters we exchange. I know that my financial support is making a difference in that child by his/her receiving medical care, nutrition, education, and, most importantly, an opportunity to hear about how to have a relationship with Jesus. I feel such support for the work that they do that I decided to become an Advocate, or volunteer who will tell others about Compassion. The support and friendships my wife and I have made through the Advocate Network is so rewarding. I am very thankful that Compassion exists to allow me to use my passion to help the poor.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been sponsoring children through Compassion for over 40 years. This has been a wonderful experience. We have written back and forth with the children we sponsor several times a year. When we noticed in one of the letters we received that a child was having problems at home with an abusive father, we contacted Compassion about this. They took action and notified us personally of what was done. We have the highest respect for what Compassion does and how they go about accomplishing their mission. It is amazing that they can direct so much of our giving directly to the field instead of to administration and fund raising.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Compassion International is an amazing organization. What I like most is that you have a one on one relationship with your child. You can see exactely how your donation is being spent. I sent my child a birthday gift and he wrote me to let me know he was so excited when they called his name! He bought a suit and a goat. I like knowing that if I wanted to, I am encouraged to go visit my child. I can call anyone at Compassion and they will work with me if I wanted to buy my child something or I had concerns about anything! It is great knowing through Compassion i am giving a child hope.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Compassion for a little over five years as a sponsor/donor and three years as a volunteer child advocate. I've also had the chance to travel to a developing country and see Compassion's work in the field for myself. Based on these experiences, I can say without reservation that this is a world class organization that I highly recommend. One of my sponsored children lives in Kenya, where post-election violence and drought have caused much hardship recently (in addition to the already existing extreme poverty in that area). Through being sponsored through Compassion and the extra family gift money I've been able to send, her family has been able to purchase livestock. They now have a reliable source of income for their family, and they are working their way out of poverty. In addition, their child is able to attend school and will have the means to support herself when she reaches adulthood. She and her future children will have opportunities that her parents never had, and the cycle of poverty will be broken. Imagine that same scenario times 1.2 million (the approximate number of Compassion children), and you will begin to grasp the impact that this organization is having in the fight against extreme poverty.

Review from CharityNavigator

3 Kimberly10

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to see the work of Compassion International twice. From what I observed it is definitely making a huge impact in the lives of many Peruvian children in Lima, Peru. People should be aware that the organization is heavily Christian in nature and consider this before donating/deciding to sponsor a child(after all-their tagline is 'Releasing Children From Poverty In Jesus' Name' and their statement of faith is similar to the National Christian Evangelical Society's statement of faith). Compassion grassroots level is centered around local churches located in impoverished areas- most children in Compassion's program therefore are Christian to a degree and receive regular biblical training (in addition to meals, medicine, and school fees). The Compassion children I've met have all been well-cared for and every dollar Compassion receives has been well-spent. The organization uses complete transparency with their donors... and continually ranks in the top 1-5% of charities in the United States. They also really seem to take into account the concerns/requests of their donors(i.e. they recently overhauled their letter-writing system recently after receiving so much feedback from sponsors on what could be done to improve it). If you're Christian and you want to make a difference in the life of a child/make a meaningful donation then, definitely consider entrusting Compassion with your money.... whatever you give- you can donate with full confidence that to Compassion it will be money well spent!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

My family and I are on our third child and I have nothing but good things to say about Compassion. When our first child stopped coming to the Compassion center I was notified as soon as it was confirmed the family had moved on. I was offered my last donation back or the option to continue with another child. The second child graduated out of the program and we received a wonderful parting letter. Now we are on our third child who is young enough to only send pictures and some basic writing. Every organization has problems from time to time, but I have always received prompted responses to my questions and requested followup information. Given the choice of paying my taxes and or contributing to Compassion, I couldn't answer Compassion fast enough.

Review from CharityNavigator

10

Donor

Rating: 2

."We will not forward materials or communications that advocate another religious worldview." I have supported a child for about 10 years or more (I think) and all along had concerns that there is a bit too much emphasis, perhaps almost arm twisting, for a child to accept the world view of this organization if he wishes to continue to receive benefits of support. We did receive letters more than once per year, but it was obvious that the child was not to be allowed to send us a letter that was not obviously edited, perhaps even dictated by the organization. I do not believe that the letters as worded would have been the true words of the child's own thoughts, wishes, inclinations, dreams... and frankly, I didn't need all that many through Jesus' in one letter from a small child whose writings did not reflect a child having a normal life with his normal needs, hopes, wishes, etc. I would love to help a child again, but I believe this boy was being blackmailed to fit into one very conscripted mold or be told he might loose his funding... and I suspect that IF he were to have decided that the fundamentalist Jesus was not his style... he would never let anyone known his real needs and beliefs, for fear of loosing his funding. To me that is suspicious of way too much pressure to accept the promoted religion. Sorry, but that is blackmail... or at least suspicious behaviour on the part of the charity.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family has sponsored a child for several years. Through the years we've received handwritten letters (with a translation) and pictures periodically. It's been a blessing to watch this little boy grow up into a young man of 15 now. He was 7 when we began.

The child is wonderful and this organization seems to really care about him. I can even arrange to meet him, if I were financially able to travel there.

I feel certain that our child is being cared for and his quality of life is being improved by our sponsorship.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 1

This is not an organization where folk care enough about the sponsored humans to follow up on individual concerns.

I have sponsored children with Compassion International since 1990. But now I would say do not use them.
I cancelled because this organization does not care to follow-up on child concerns. My sponsored child's letter was 20 lines long, the translation was 5 lines. This happened twice, i phoned Compassion, whose first response was "it is the language they use" ( the language changed all of a sudden from previous letters?). Next they asked me to send them copies of the letters which I did.
Then I had a letter where the child told me he had a bad leg - although photos in the last ten years gave no indication. My email to Compassion via their website got no response.

Get this: when I called them, it was as if I had not sent the copies of the letters to them "not received", nor obviously did they care to follow-up with me the fact they did not have the letters so they could investigate..
.
As for my "email" that is a separate department who should have responded.
Compassion was "sorry I was cancelling and would find another sponsor for my child" in response to me saying how can I trust and organization that does not respond or follow-up on concerns?
I should have stopped when the first child I sponsored reach age 18y and Compassion told me that was it, they cannot do any more for her.