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World Vision International

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.

Programs: Every year, World Vision and its partners serve tens of millions of people in nearly 100 countries, including over one million people in the United States. World Vision's assistance extends to all people, regardless of religious beliefs, gender, race or ethnic background.

World Vision provides emergency relief efforts to bring assistance to victims of both war and natural disasters. Depending on the situation, aid may include food, clothing, and shelter to health care, potable water, and construction of sanitation facilities. Additional projects deal with reducing barriers to progress through improvements to agricultural and nutrition practices, micro enterprise loans, and initiation of literacy, vocational training, and other educational programs. In addition, World Vision is working in Africa, Asia and The Caribbean to help address the needs of widows and orphans in response to the AIDS pandemic through its Hope Initiative.

Adapting to the individual needs of the areas where it works, World Vision coordinates programs for its sponsored children that - along core services, such as medical and dental care, supplemental food and vitamins, and grants and scholarships for school fees and other educational expenses are designed over many years to help make families and communities self-sustaining. According to World Vision, the total number of children being sponsored by U.S. donors is over 700,000.

In the United States, World Vision teams with churches, community organizations, and other volunteer groups. Projects target issues in such areas as tutoring youth, mentoring youth-at-risk, affordable housing, job training and placement, and small business development. Food commodities, medicines, clothing, and other gift-in-kind items (received from governmental sources and private donors) are distributed both through World Vision run projects and ministries affiliated with other organizations. Outside partner ministries receiving gifts from World Vision share similar ideals as overall guiding principles. To educate Americans about the needs of the poor, World Vision produces magazines and other broadcast and print resources, and annually organizes the 30 Hour Famine program for youth to increase their understanding of life in developing countries.

Community Stories

75 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

18

Donor

Rating: 5

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

13

Donor

Rating: 1

I have sponsored a child since 2012-2013, and only heard from then once or twice. After not hearing anything for two years, I sent an e-mail asking if my child was receiving anything from me, since I was sending money, gifts and letters. In addition to the $35 per month, I gave a $200 gift for Birthday and Christmas twice, and received no acknowledgement. After 2 years of no contact, in frustration I contracted World Vision, and they claimed that they sent me an email Dec 5th 2015, they resent it at my request. If you look at the two files, the original note dated Dec 5th 2013, they re-translated and change the date to 2015. When I saw that letter I remembered distinctly. What this tells me is that there is no contact with my original sponsored child, and I suspect they do not receive anything from me.

If you want to sponsor, go to hopeforkenya.org. It is $30 and ALL of the money goes to the child, and you can go visit them. They are children currently in an orphanage in Kenya.

God Bless you with Discernment.

10

Donor

Rating: 2

I have been sponsoring a child since 2007, and have noticed over the past few years, things seem to be changing at World Vision. Letters are fewer from my child, and information now contained in them varies from earlier letters received from the person writing them. My child was born in 2003, and the letter I just received from someone indicated "I turn 10." I am beginning to question who is actually writing the letters. I will continue, at east for now to sponsor my child, but am having misgivings about the validity of this organization

19

Donor

Rating: 2

Our family decided it was important to give Christmas to others in a way that could have a long impact on lives. The promise, as we understood it, was that we would hear from whomever received the donations (goats, ducks, mosquito nets, and water). My grandchildren participated; they are home schooled so this was to be a complete life, learning experience for them. They were disappointed that only I received generic information about where a donation goes or a story about a generic child who received mosquito nets and how it helped but not who received the mosquito nets that they donated = first disappointment. The 2nd and even more alarming was the amount of mail we started receiving from WV; 2-4 times a year I could handle but often it was 2 times a week. I have asked for it to stop and it has yet to stop. In my opinion this is not good stewardship of the funds being received and it is quite annoying to the recipient. We will continue to give to others but are looking for a less wasteful organization to do it through.

Review from Guidestar

38

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Hello, we are college students that have been doing research into non-profit development organizations. We have been studying and reviewing World Vision throughout the course of the semester. Here are our thoughts on the organization.

World Vision, the largest privately funded Christian relief and development organization in the world has dedicated to working with children who are poor and oppressed so as to transform their lives by helping them reach their full potential in their communities. As a faith based organization, World Vision uses a Christian approach in their development and relief services to demonstrate God’s unconditional love but also to tackle the issues of poverty and releasing the world’s poorest from this level. World Vision has eight areas of focus which are: clean water, health, education, food and agriculture, economic development, child protection, gender equality, disaster relief.

To this day, 85% of the donations given to World Vision have gone towards their development projects. For example, in education they have managed to increase children’s access to quality education, especially for girls. World Vision is also involved in preventing the exploitation of children and supporting survivors of child abuse. They have also provided 263.9 million dollars in food assistance to people in need for development as well as disaster relief.

There are some questions regarding the actual impact of World Vision’s development programs, their financial distributions, and their Christian values. World Vision’s development programs appear to act as more relief services and help in the short-term, rather than their goal of fostering long-term development because of financial logistics. This means that a large percentage of their donations are not being utilized in the development programs but are instead channeled to fundraising efforts for which the effects are not realized. The other portion of non-program related financials goes towards management and administration costs which does not translate into development. World Vision also claims that they cater to everyone regardless of faith, nationality, race, sexual orientation, or gender, etc. However, there has been some controversy regarding their employment regulations. World Vision will not employ individuals who identify as homosexual or are in a same-sex union. We encourage donors to be cautious and to review all options of World Vision’s programs before donating towards their cause.

Review from Guidestar

16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been giving to World Vision for over ten years. I've always received thank you's from children in Africa for sending letters, pictures, and gifts that WV sends to me to send to sponsored child. I still give for different things throughout the year because I cannot afford to sponsor a child every month. I'm shocked to see people complain about how much the CEO makes. People from all over the world donate and 95% goes directly to the poor while the other 5% goes to the people who advertise and send supplies. Do you remember the computer that won over a million dollars on Jeopardy donated all of the winnings to WV? And that was just one donation! Also, I'm shocked to hear people are offended by WV showing TV ads of young girls in Human Trafficking crisis. People care more about dogs and cats than children and babies in America! Hello, slavery IS real and it should never be tolerated in any part of the world, especially in America, especially to children! Awareness is KEY! We need to stop this and if you're offended, how do you think the children feel being tortured every day? You want to sweep them under the rug so you don't have to be reminded of it? How would you like to live it? I thank God for WV and any other charity that helps the voiceless and the helpless. Bless you all who work for Jesus!

21

Donor

Rating: 5

The talents required to manage a huge company like Google , Apple or Amazon...are the same talents required to manage a multi million dollars organization like WV .
CEOs make A LOT OF MONEY, they go to prestigious schools, possess multiple degrees, have work experiences with the biggest companies in the world...These individuals are " la creme de la creme" in the world of business. So why are many in here shocked by WV CEO'salary?
You think he should be paid LESS than Amazon's CEO because he works for a charity?
It takes a great deal of talent to be the head of something that big..Actually 300 or 400k a year, is NOTHING compared to the income generated by the donations or compared to another high profile CEO'salary.
WV is NOT perfect, and does not claim to be, but you must give them credit for their incredible work. Keep in mind , they must deal with countries that are financially dysfunctional, corrupted, where Christians are not welcome, with poor technology and means of communication; or geographically isolated.
God , will hold accountable , those who misuse the funds set for the advancement of His Kingdom in the world.... Just do your best to help these kids and their communities, God will judge us individually . Please do not give up on the needy. The message left by Jesus to His disciples is a message of compassion and generosity for the poor and the less fortunate. It is the ultimate message " OF LOVE"
I'm a struggling mom myself; sometimes, I don't even know if I will be able to pay my rent...But by the Grace of God, I sponsor 3 children. I do it with pride and a big smile on my face.
God has NEVER let me down financially, he is my rock!
Surrender ALL of yourself to God, and trust me , He will take care of you!

God bless each one of you and rewards you for your generous heart!

21

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm writing this because I feel called upon to address some issues. I'm a donor and have been for about two years for WorldVision.

My message is primarily towards Christians, as I have a Christian perspective.

I know many people feel that the CEO, or administrative costs, are paid excessively and this could potentially dissuade people from donating. Looking at the numbers, yes, the CEO does look like he gets paid a lot. However, as some previously mentioned, this guy was making millions prior to World Vision as head of corporate companies. He took a substantial pay cut. It is not easy running an organization as big as World Vision. Another thing to consider is that we're all assuming that he spends the money on himself. He may be giving his monies on his own - who knows? I guess what I'm trying to say is that each person will be accountable to God. This should not dissuade our own responsibilities to love others and give to the needy.

It is always a blessing to give. Yes, some of the monies will be misappropriated or not used towards everything we want, as we are humans and we are prone to selfishness. Human ambitions cloud sound judgment many times. However, we forget at times that it is God that gives us the money in the first place. He is the one that will see to it that the funds go towards the right places. At the same time, God tests us with money and those that handle money. From the organization's end, it's a test to see if the administrators / workers of WorldVision will allocate the monies to the children and their necessities. However, from the donor's end, it's a test to see if we trust God. We could always make excuses on not giving to the poor. "They're going to spend it on drugs..." to justify why we don't give to the homeless person on the street, or "Only 10% is really going towards the people in need." Should this really stop our responsibility to give? No one will perfectly give as they should, because no one is perfect. Do you think God will trust you with more money when you are hesitant to give towards his causes?

Our responsibility as donors should not be contingent upon others. I've always seen the missionaries and the other people that are on the front lines to be the ones doing the hard work. I'm fortunate enough to be able to support them monetarily instead.

I'm writing this because I used to be someone that made all sorts of excuses to not give. God rebuked me... harshly. I had to live in poverty for over twenty years to know what it means to be in financial need. I knew firsthand how it felt to not be able to give. I became embittered about being poor and disadvantaged, especially in a country in which many people were in positions to give. However, because of the few people that did give, God's love overcame this bitterness and it was revealed to me that love is sacrifice. God also showed me that at any moment, God could take everything away in order for us to realize that He is in control. No matter how many years you've been at your job, how much education, family, etc. you have, you could have everything taken from you. This is not because God wants to punish, but because we have the illusion that we are in control, when God is actually the one in control. How else to show this unless things don't go our way?

The gift of giving is not easy. It means that you have to trust others without really knowing what they do. I know that this is especially difficult when you have to sacrifice your wants (and sometimes your needs) to be able to give. Why should I give when I need help too? I have thought this many, many times. However, we give because God gave to us. I give, because I know how it is like to be in a position in which I cannot give.

WorldVision, or any other charity, are usually underfunded. The need is great, but those that give, are few.

12 Wendy83

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'll guarentee you that most people complaining on here could never be satisfied. That truth is to be taken into consideration.
I have been a sponsor with World Vision for almost 3 years. I sponsor 4 African children. I have visited two of them; one in Swaziland and another in Zimbabwe. They were both different experiences, but each country is different and you have to expect some of that.
What World Vision is doing for these poor people is amazing. They are working with broken, starving, sick people and giving them the tools and means to survive, and these folks thrive. It may take 15 + years to bring them to a place of SELF-SUFFICIENCY but they do it. They don't just drill a well and go away. They teach them to maintain their wells and at the same time create jobs for their futures. That goes without saying in their clinics, schools and agricultural efforts.
I only hope that everyone of these negative posts were followed by a call to the headquarters and an attempt to clarify things, because this is NOT the World Vision I have come to know. The Rep I speak to is professional, and will resolve any problem that I ever have. It's a shame how cruel some people speak, and quite frankly that attitude alone disqualifies anything they have to say, in my opinion.
Thank-You World Vision for valuing the broken, destitute children of the world. It's working.

18 Edward12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have experience evaluating 2 projects of WVI, one in Africa and one in Montenegro. They are a good org. and having been around HQ., I can say they are not top-heavy in administrative costs. They do not force Christianity on anyone, in my experience. The beneficiaries in the Montenegro project were Muslim, and they were not even aware that WV is a Christian org. They approach development in an anthropological sound way--again, in my experience.

7

Donor

Rating: 1

I've been giving just at Christmas, and after the reviews I think that will stop. I'm shocked at the huge salary the CEO is getting. I refuse to ever donate to the Red Cross because of the ridiculously high salary their CEO is getting. So, sorry World Vision, I'm finished with you.

Barbara, Colorado

14

Donor

Rating: 5

I read a negative comment on here about what the CEO makes. Do you ask these questions when you buy a cell phone plan? Or how about that takeout burger you bought? Amazing what we value here. CEO's of companies as large as WV organization make double to triple the money. The CEO's actually take a pay cut to work for WV. Yes it is a lot of money. In a perfect world everyone would work for free. But honestly the qualifications to run a charity that operates in numerous countries around the world while advocating for change...... You don't think you need someday who knows what they are doing?? If they make mistakes they put everyone volunteering/working and those people they are trying to help in extreme danger in some of these places. The grand scope of what they accomplish isn't simple!
And the CEO's of these charities have chosen to leave other higher paying positions to do this. Smaller charities don't accomplish the same degree.

6

Donor

Rating: 1

This organization misleads their donors about how much money goes to the end recipient. They say they only spend 15% on overhead, but that is only for the fundraising office. Each additional office takes additional monies. In some cases there are 5 additional offices taking cuts before the poor receive any benefit. I would estimated that only 10-20% of the original donated monies actually get to the programs helping the poor.

Previous Stories
6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Back in 1989, World Vision commissioned an internal study to see how much of each donor dollar was getting to the poor. The internal report showed less than 10% was received by the poor. How could this be?

World Vision is a large multi level organization. Each level takes a cut (1 - Fundraising office, 2 - International office, 3 - Regional office, 4 - Country office, 5 - Project office). After all of the salaries and administrative cuts at each level, there was not much of the dollar left for the poor.

This report caused terror in the organization and the findings were quickly suppressed. Senior staff realized there was a big problem and there was a multitude of meetings to try to cut expenses, but sadly it never happened.

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 05/17/2013

Tim, we have no record of such a report, and the statistics you cite are nothing like the economics of our current program. World Vision U.S. spends nearly 86 percent of donations on programs benefiting children and their families (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4768). As we're sure you're aware, providing cash directly to families has been proven ineffective. World Vision works with communities to ensure children and families have access to essential services such as water, education, healthcare and income potential. Included in program expenses are salaries for staff such as doctors and water experts who serve in their countries or regions to ensure programs are designed to improve the lives of children, project staff who regularly monitor sponsored children to see that they are benefiting, and accountants and auditors to monitor how our funds are spent. Rather than being "overhead," these staff fill an important role in running effective programs. Larry Probus, CFO of World Vision U.S., provides an explanation of how donor funds are used and leveraged to benefit the communities we serve: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open We hope you will view his presentation, which provides a current look at World Vision's finances.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Something really stinks here. They run these sleazy TV commercials and then keep the money that is sent in for themselves. They should be GIVING 90% of the donations they get, not keeping it.

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 08/30/2013

Thank you for your concerns. We take seriously our responsibility to use donor funds effectively. As Charity Navigator notes, World Vision U.S. spends 85.6% of donations on programs and just 4.6% for administration, so we are able to get the majority of donor contributions to help children and their communities. (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=4768. ) Additionally, World Vision's Chief Financial Officer Larry Probus explains our funding model at: http://www.worldvision.org/content.nsf/about/why-donate?open. We hope you will view his presentation, which provides a current look at World Vision's finances. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact us info@worldvision.org. Again, thank you for raising these concerns.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I BELIEVE THE COMMERCIAL THAT SHOWS YOUNG CHILDREN BEING SOLD IS VERY OFFENSIVE AS WE ALL KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN MANY FOREIGN COUNTRIES. IT ONLY GIVES PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRIES MANY IDEAS, WHICH SHOULD NOT BE ALOUD.

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 07/02/2013

The TV ad you reference is part of a larger awareness campaign by the Canadian office of World Vision on the issue of child slavery. The point of the spot is to draw attention to the issue of child slavery. World Vision hired child actors who are protected by their union - the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists - to ensure a fair and safe work environment. Their parents were on set, providing another layer of protection. We believe children around the world, not just in Canada or the U.S., deserve this kind of protection, so that no child is subject to dangerous and exploitative working conditions. Our goal is to engage Canadians whether through the media or on the street, to bring them face-to-face with the tragedy of child slavery that affects 115 million children globally. That children are being bought and sold should be offensive and disturbing to Canadians. The challenge is that Canadians don’t see children in these situations first-hand. The commercial is an attempt to bring this reality home, so that Canadians can really consider what it’s like for the children who are affected. For more information on the campaign, visit: http://nochildforsale.ca/#/

12

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sponsoring different children in WV since 1991. My last child finished high school and promised to pay for her college. She and I used to write letters, more than the usual thank you or cards for Christmas. She became part of myfamily. she even called me "aunt". Anyway, I paid for her first semester in college and after that WV just kept telling me and sending me notices that I needed to pay my monthly dues. I called to tell then that paying for her college was more than four times my monthly dues. I thought WV would be more interested in me paying for her college than in paying WV dues for a child who doe snot live in the community anymore because moved to the city to go to college. Few months later and without any communication they stopped sending me ANY communication. WV did not send me any letters to pay for teh second semester so I am assuming she is not in college any longer. And, I have not received any letter from her. Who knows what she was told! Disgusting! How Christian is this! They are just interested in making a profit!!!!

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 04/29/2013

Dear Pepa, We regret the problems with your account and communication with this young woman who had become part of your extended family. Please call 800.890.8915 and one of our donor reps will be happy to help you. Please know that World Vision is a non-profit organization; 87 percent of funds raised go to programs helping children and families around the world. We thank you for partnering with us for more than two decades, and hope we can resolve these issues to your satisfaction. Sheryl, World Vision

12 Bruce18

Donor

Rating: 1

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

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

Review from CharityNavigator

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

After seeing how WV operates on a grassroots level, it makes one want to vomit. If you look at the upper level vision, it may be really. But after seeing how WV works on a grassroots level for 7 years in Africa, I have little reason to believe that much of your money is doing anything but padding the pockets of corrupt grassroots level workers of WV. And in terms of Christian witness, the on-the-ground WV workers smear the name of Christ in the mud by the way they live. PS - Do not think that when you visit your sponsor child, you are seeing the real WV. WV knows how to put on a show that has little to do with reality.

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 03/19/2013

Thank you for raising these concerns. World Vision takes seriously its responsibility - both to donors and those we serve - to use funds appropriately. We have reporting and audit systems in place to detect and correct such problems. We would appreciate the opportunity to look into the specifics of what you saw. Please contact us info@worldvision.org or call us at 1-800-890-8915. Again, thank you for raising these concerns.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 1

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

Dima Garcia

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 03/19/2013

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

Review from CharityNavigator

7

Donor

Rating: 1

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

Comments ( 1 )

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World Vision U.S. 03/15/2013

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