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! :)
ChildFund is a leader in programs focused on improving the quality of life for children living in poverty that is focused on the community to ensure sustainability. I had seen the educational programs like Reading Skill Improvement,School Quality Improvement and Open School for Tribal Children implemented by this organization and was really impressed a lot
Not only works in the villages but strengthens the Community Based Organizations like Self help Groups,Child Well Being Committee,Village Education Committee etc for their empowerment through different training programs and exposure visits
Myself Dr Vinod Goregaonkar,working as Medical Officer had a chance to see and work closely on the Health Programs with the project supported by ChildFund in Raigad District of Maharashtra.As a matter of policy never competed with the government agencies but always supplemented and complemented the efforts of government agency.
I am Mukesh working with a Development organisation and had a chance to experience how ChildFund India working in MP for the children. I see it as great organisation working for a great causes...The impact of interventions is quite tangible in terms of improved health, nutrition and literacy level of the area it is working in...Loads of wishes ChildFund India...Good Luck
Myself Dr V V Kulkarni ,am privileged to be associated with ChildFund .This is one of the organization which works for bringing qualitative improvement in the lives of not only children but their families and community in an integrated manner. It's the organization which knows the importance of 0-3yrs in the child Development and plans the programs for the children and caregivers accordingly.Implemented the Relief and Rehabilitation Program in the land slide affected Village of Jui in Raigad district India successfully in close collaboration with government.The web site provides complete information on all the projects and programs being implemented for the children and their families.I wish ChildFund should continue helping children worldwide
I am Rakesh reside at Dhar district of MP, India..I used to offer my service as village volunteer for ChildFund India..I am associated with this organisation because it cares for children for their Nutrition and education. This is the first kind of organisation working in our area, one of the most backward areas of India. I am grateful to ChildFund India for its responses to the poor needy children through sponsorship program..In my village around 43 children are getting benefited through this initiatives...In upcoming days we want more sponsorship to give those poor children a light of hope!
Myself Mahend from a remote hinterland of Dahr district, M.P, India where ChildFUnd India has been working closely with the, for the and by the poor children/youth who really need support from organization like ChildFund Inida. This Organisation has the dedicated and committed team working enormously for betterment of children with the areas being Health, education and most importantly Nutrition...I am amazed at their dedication. being from the same area I used to work as youth volunteer to suffice the organisation's efforts to bring positive changes. The momentum created by ChildFund India thru youth and Child club is just amazing and Village youths like me are looking forward to keeping the tempo..We will be happy if ChildFund India can provide us with livelihood generation platform so that we can stand on our own feet.
I Pradeep Darole working with families which are supported by ChildFund since the past 12 years have come across families which were dependent on others previously are now on their own with the help of ChildFund India programs. the women have become more independent and aware of their rights
Hi..this is Nrendra from Jharkhand....I am taking the privilege to share few words about ChildFund India. I have been associated with ChildFund India from last 2months and 8days and I am glad that within this small period of time I am able to associate myself with ChildFund India’s area of excellence. There is no doubt that ChildFund India is doing a marvellous job at the grassroots level in preparing a ground for CHILD empowerment. Starting with health to education and ending with employment generation ChildFund India is offering a platform to rural children for overall development. Thank you ChildFund India for all its efforts in strengthening the future of our nation.
It was indeed my privilege to be associated with ChildFund India for the causes of poor and deprived children. I closely observed how ChildFund India bringing smile on the dejected faces of children through various need based interventions. The Sponsorship program, more appropriately called Relationship program has benefited hundreds of children in the area I used to work. I wish all the best for all the future endeavors of ChildFund India. Long live ChildFund India!!
Through the sponsorship program the child and sponsors communicate directly maintaining an emotional relationship and often the sponsor helping the family financially in times of crises and emergencies. The sponsor also helps the child in his education and future career.
I Yashwant Palghadmal has been working with ChilFund India as Project Manager of Partner organization. ChildFund India has extended a helping hand to scores of tribal Dam displaced and beedi rollers families through various development programs (Agricultural development ,Health & Sanitation, Nutrition, Early childhood care & Development ,Education, Child Participation & Protection and Livelihood) and made them sustainable, bringing happiness and joy in the life of families of the district of Pune and Ahmednagar in Maharashtra
For the last 7 years I have been very much interested in following the latest developments/progress of ChildFund India, just for the reason of my passion for children and youth and the commitment ChildFund India has exhibited. Its contribution to the welfare of the children and increasing the participation of youth in development work is noteworthy. In the recent past it has opened its windows to other segments of development, including responding to combating HIV/AIDS through 'Link workers project, currently being implemented in 19 districts of Andhra Pradesh. My sincere appreciation to ChildFund India for the job well done and for its commitment to social cause. May I wish it continues to render its services to many more children, youth and other needy people society.
It is our previlage to thank the ChildFund India for their great support extended to the good cause, as we are working for the children with specially abled in the district of Dakshina Kannada, Mangalore, Karnataka to integrate the specially abled children in regular education with the normal children to mainstream in the society. With the aid of childFund India we have been working in the 15 villages and educating people on early identification of Disability, causes, early diognise, rehabilitation so that we marked to prevent the disability as well also we have been touch the area of Health, Education, Child protection, participation, youth skill improvement & Income generation programme, formation of Self Help Group etc.....Thank you once again childFund India and we hats of for their assistance and programme conducted in and around the country for the grassrout poor people/ Community..With this I close my comment behalf of Mangala Jyothi Integrated School, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Good Day, I am R S Dhakar Member Child Welfare Committee, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment Government of Rajasthan, Udaipur I am also Regional Director Satya AN NGO, Jaipur. As a member Child Welfare Committee I have attended several programmes run by Child Fund India in Jhadol, Gogunda and Kotra clusters ( remote tribal area) of Udaipur ( Rajasthan) district . Having in mind the various needs and issues of underprivileged of our Society Child Fund India set a vision to empower the downtrodden children, to widen the horizon of their life, to facilitate their normal growth process, to up hold their dignity. To reach the above objects Child Fund India is providing educational service, nutritious food to combat malnourishment, health care services through Bal Vadies where there is no Government Anganwadies. In my opinion Child Fund India renders unique services for under privileged children in Jhadol, Kotra & Gogunda area About 1200 children at 32 Balwaries age between 36-60 months are benifitted. Congratulations to the team and team leader
I am privileged to express my view points about CFI. I find the website of child fund international useful and informative. Though I have never got an opportunity to work with CFI directly, still I know CFI as one of the pioneer organisation working for children and young people. The good thing I like about Child Fund International’s work for the marginalised children with an integrated approach. Community participation is one of the core areas which really strengthen towards sustainable change in the society. Child Fund International is a pioneer organisation sincerely committed for espousing rights of children.
I wish all the very best
It’s a privilege for me to be the volunteer of ChildFund India since 2003 gives us much strength for improving the living standards of the children in an integrated manner. The Age wise interventions are proved better options for the children, family and the community. So we wish long live ChildFund India - D.Jayachandra Naidu, Project Manager, RASS Balaji Bala Vikas, Tirupati
My association with ChildFund India Jhabua cluster has been very enriching as a Project Manager with one of the partner area. Bhabhra, the place where I have been working has been benefited in more than one ways. The sponsorship program is like a boon for the poor villagers here who otherwise cannot afford proper health care and education for their children, thus pushing their future in grave darkness. The programs have impacted them in a very positive manner.
I am a professionally qualified social worker associated with ChildFund as an employee of partner organization. I feel privileged be a part of the implementation team and bring happiness in the lives of the children of my own native place Jhabua which is Tribal district in Madhya Pradesh, India. Programs of health promotion and creation of forums to empower the children are of great help. I have personally created and strengthened such child clubs through which children have come up and received guidance on various aspects of life. I have also seen closely the enthusiasm of children in co-curricular activities that we organize in village schools. Their lives have no doubt been positively impacted.
My name is Anand Swami and I am running a Social Society named St. Sophia's Convent Siksha Samity from the last 12 years. The Society works in the area of Awareness generation for Education promotion in the urban slums of Indore district, Madhya Pradesh, India. At present the society is working in the rural areas of Jhabua district with the help of ChildFund India in the field of Health and Non formal Education. The ChildFund programs of Health awareness and Balwadi establishment in the excluded communities of Jhabua are of great help to the people; especially to the mal-nourished children here.
There is no doubt that C.F.I. is a worthy group assisting with the development and welfare of children from less fortunate societies.
Without this organization and others the world would be a lesser place and their involvement is both admirable and essential.
I first became aware of Child Fund (formerly Christian Children's Fund) back in the 1970's while reading my Mother's Time Magazines. I knew when I was still a child myself that I would be working with this charity some day. My first sponsorship began in 1998, and for eleven years I had a wonderful relationship with my sponsored child and her family, who lived in Brazil. It was such a rewarding experience to watch her grow and develop as the years went by. Now my original child is grown, married, and has a child of her own. I currently sponsor additional children with Child Fund, and I am having the same wonderful experiences with these children and their families. Sponsorship is so much more than just giving a monthly donation. Through mail correspondence, we all have a close bond with one another, and view ourselves as extended family members from across the miles. We care about what is going on in one another's lives, giving praise for accomplishments and providing moral support for life's challenges. It is my dream to someday be able to travel and meet my extended family personally.
Child Fund Mexico, is an experienced and very professional organization. We know them for over 12 years now, and we highly recommend their work supporting Mexican Childhood.
I feel ripped off by this charity. I have no idea where my money goes. I have to call and check up on my extra donations. Only after I call, then magically I get a letter from my sponsered child stating they received it. I have never received a picture showing them with the gift (as I was promised by the CCF). I have no idea if my child actually receives anything or even exists at all!! I have sponsered 2 children and the letters are all written in the same exact handwritting. How can that be? I would stop giving to this charity, but I worry that if my boy actually exists, I would be hurting him. I am sure that CCF uses that guilt for their benefit. Also, they went from 2.50 per gift to 20%!!?? Am I helping a needy child or lining the pockets of a rich CEO?? Very Fishy. Very Fishy.
Thank you ChildFund International for being a blessing to over Two Thousands One Hundred (2100) OVC's and Caregivers to access the basic needs like Medical Treatment, De-worming, Vitamin A Suppliment, Scholastic materials, Psycho-social support, Child Protection, Home-Based Care Services, Vocational Training and Income Generating Activities for caregivers in Ndeiya Division, Limuru District, Kenya.
Stephen Njoroge Judy Wambui
(Chairman) - A.I.C. Guthairira (Social Worker) - A.I.C. Guthairira
The Kikuyu District CBO/FBO's CAREGIVERS CAUCUS appreciates and acknowledges USAID and CHILDFUND INTERNATIONAL for the six years (2005 -2011) Project of weaving the Safety Net (WSN) Program in Kikuyu District which impacted tremendously to over Six Thousand Five Hundred(6,500) OVC's and Caregivers.
Stephen Ndung'u (Chairman)
Patricia Njoroge (Secretary)
Jecinta Kago (Treasurer)
Dear Child Fund International:
Sponsoring a child is very rewarding. The children write letters of thanks, and share information about their school and family. It is a program which touches the lives of many, and encourages education and
healthy family living.
At present, I'm sponsoring my third child with Child Fund International since some time in the 1970s. Several years into sponsoring my first little girl, the school was dropped from the program because it failed to meet the standards of care required by the Child Fund program.
I continue to sponsor children confident now that each school is monitored to be sure they maintain Child Fund standards. Our money
accomplishes what the organization claims to do and is well spent.
Child Fund does what I can't do for the children that need us. The pleasure of following the progress and development of 'my' child, is a gift I give to myself.
Jessie I. Fernandes
I have been a CCF Sponsor for many years. Each year on my sponsored child's birthday I send a $100 cash gift. For this service I was charged $2.50 over and above the amount of the gift to the child. This year I find that CCF is taking 20% of the money($20.00), intended for the child and his family, for this service.
When I originally became involved with CCF it was my understanding that my monthly contribution went directly to provide services for my sponsored child, but now in rereading their mission statement I find that they say that they combine the monthly contributions to help people in the area where my sponsored child lives.
Recently, I received a telephone call from a Childfund Fundraiser trying to get me to agree over the phone to sponsor more children.
The more that I hear the more this is starting to sound like an organization that thinks they know best what to do with my money.
Kind of reminds me of the government.
Review from CharityNavigator
My family has been a donor to CFI for several years now. I am a mother to 4 children and find that children's charities hold a special place in my heart. With so many charities out there it is important to find one where your money is best spent. I am impressed with all of ChildFund successes. Thank you for doing what is obviously a labor of love.
I've been a donor for more than 20 years, and when the child I currently have is finished with ChildFund, I will be finished too. They used to be a good charity back when it was Christian Children's Fund, but now they are in the business of ripping off donors. The new policy of taking 20% of any money gift to your child for "processing" is a complete highjack! It doesn't seem bad if you are only giving $20, but if you want to give your child $100 they take $20! You don't have to look far to find much better charities, PLEASE DO! I am giving them a one star rating only because the system won't let me give them NO STARS!!
Review from CharityNavigator
After more than 10 years of sponsoring a child in Brazil, I came to be very
disenchanted with ChildFund International. The letters from my child were all the same--from age 5 to age 15 plus--even when the 'child's' favorite subject was English never did I receive a letter written by my child. The handwriting was all the same and I came to believe it was all a scam. Year after year, I sent money for birthdays and Christmas....usually $50 per occasion but sometimes $100. Long before ChildFund announced it would skim 20% of the gifts, they were ALREADY skimming off the gifts! I no longer trust this charity and I don't even know if the 'child' I sponsored even exists!
Review from CharityNavigator
I have sponsored children through Christian Children's Fund - now ChildFund - for over 30 years. I was very sad when they shed their Christian identity. I tried to dialog with two of their staff members over the change when it happened and was extremely dissatisfied with the way they skirted my questions.
I still have three children sponsored with ChildFund, and I will continue to support them, but I will not replace them when they graduate from the program.
I sent $20 to a child for his birthday recently and he only received $16. That much of a bite out the gift is unacceptable to me, knowing how much value the money has overseas.
I have already begun to sponsor a child with World Vision, and my strategy is to transfer all my support to that organization over time.
Review from CharityNavigator
I was happy with this organization when it was the Christian Children's Fund, when I first became a sponsor 27 years ago. Now, not so much. They take way too much money out of the donation before giving it to the child. The other day I received a notepad with my sponsored child's name on it, with a request to send it back to the organization with a donation. Where is the logic in this? Why didn't they just sent the notepad to the child? I don't intend to stay with this organization after my sponsored child comes of age. I'd rather find another organization now, but that doesn't seem fair to the child.
I have sponsored a child for a number of years -- since before my own children were born. And it's been a fantastic experience. I've learned so much about her country, her way of life, her family environment, and most of it leaves me speechless. To know that I can help such a beautiful child, even in such a small way, is so humbling. I've received letters from her, and from her family members, as well as drawings. And when I look at the pictures she's drawn, and I know they are for me -- that's an incredible feeling. This little person on the other side of the globe took time out of her day to draw me a picture. It's very special. Over the years I've also received photographs of my sponsored child. And I've seen her grow taller, but still, so thin. And I see her clothes, and cannot help but to compare them with the brightly colored, well-fitting clothes my own children wear. Though comparisons like this are of course saddening... the experience of sponsoring a child has brought something so unique and wonderful to my life. I think every year there is something else I could put that money towards. And when I know that I'm not going to spend it, but rather share it, I feel at peace. I would recommend ChildFund to anyone wishing to add a new dimension to their lives. Every letter I've ever written has been answered, and every donation I've sent has brought me a heart-felt thank-you. Whenever I've had to contact the national office I've had a quick response and positive experience. I don't feel like my donation is going "out there" somewhere. I feel like I am actually connected to this little person, and when I get the letters detailing what she spent her birthday money on, again, I am humbled. It's easy to get caught up in the "there are so many organizations out there, I don't know which is best." From my point of view, ChildFund is one of the absolute best. I took a chance on ChildFund, and I am so glad to have this in my life.
I've been sponsoring children through Child Fund International for over 25 years now. I have such admiration for this wonderful organization and would encourage anyone who is considering sponsoring a child to go for it! Words can't express how rewarding sponsorship has been for me.
I started sponsoring one little girl in India in 1985, added a young boy in Bolivia in 1987, and now sponsor six children. Each one is different, but special in their own way. We exchange letters and it is so gratifying to hear about their successes, see how their confidence grows and know that CFI and my sponsorship has really made a difference in their lives.
Here are some examples of the wonderful things "my kids" are accomplishing:
Mae, in the Philippines, is now attending college, studying Electronics & Communication Engineering.
Deekshith, in India, is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Mariama, in The Gambia, is first in her class and plans on becoming a nurse.
I am so proud of them, and am really not sure that all this would have happened without the support from CFI.
I am extemely unhappy with CFI. I have been a sponsor for years (since it was Christian Children's Fund) and I am not sure what happened when they changed the name from Christian Children's Fund to CFI, but there is a marked difference in this organization for the worst. The last three cash gifts to one of my sponsored children have not been received as far as I am aware. The first time I called to ask if she received it since I had not received an acknowledgement, I was told "I can guarantee she received it". After the third concurrent occrance, I do not believe them. I used to suport all of their endeavors, but no more. I will not drop my current sponsored children since I have a commitment to them, but I will not sponsor another child through this organization. I am also disappointed that they dropped "Christian" from their name. I was led to believe that they were sharing God's word through their missions which I have since found out is not the case. If one of your goals is that your sponsored child learn about the Gospel, this is not the organization for you.
Review from CharityNavigator
When money is tight, you watch every dollar you give away very carefully. We have cut back our giving to only a very few organizations and CFI is definitely one of them. Their work on behalf of children worldwide is outstanding and you can trust that every dollar you send is spent appropriately.
I have reviewed much of the literature provided by Child Fund International and am impressed by the level of service that is provided to so many needy children and their families throughout the world. I feel it is also noteworthy that a high percentage of each contribution goes directly to the provision of these services, rather than being absorbed by administrative costs. Therefore, I have chosen Child Fund International to be the recipient of my donations on several occasions.
We have been sponsoring Joyce in Zambia for about 5 years now. Joyce's neighbor writes letters to us on her behalf and includes an list of the items purcased with her birthday and Christmas gifts. It's especially gratifying to see that we are buying goats and roofing materials that are benefiting Joyce's entire family in addition to items for Joyce herself.
I feel that CFI is a very good manager of our donations and we're planning to continue to support our child.
Our company sponsored 2 little girls in Senegal for 15 yrs. Sadly, when we merged with a company based in India they decided to cancel the support. We sent birthday & Xmas presents & received updates, thank you notes from the girls, & many letters.
We have personally been supporting a girl in Uganda since she was 5 yrs old. She is now going to school to become a nurse & we are happily paying her tuition for the 3 yrs of study. Sarah writes to us often with deep appreciation for our support. She tells us about her family, now about her classes, & how happy she is on the way to becoming a nurse. We send money for her birthday & Christmas & we are VERY UNHAPPY ABOUT THE NEW CHARGE CONNECTED WITH THESE GIFTS.
Wow, some of these complaints about ChildFund International really resonate with me. I've been a sponsor for 20 years, but now I really question where the money is going and how much good it's really doing for my sponsored child.
My first sponsored child kept changing his "educational concentration" from age 18 to 21, so the local program could say he needed more time.
My current sponsored child turned 18 last January; now the local program says he wants to be sponsored until he's 24 (24???!!!!?!?!) so he can finish junior high and high school. In what society is someone a child until age 24?
His report cards have always been mediocre. All his letters for 10 years had to be written by someone else because "he can't do it yet", and the 2-dimensional drawings he allegedly sends haven't changed at all in 10 years. What's going on here?
To top it off, I have to agree that the 20% surcharge to send a monetary gift sounds usurious.
Review from CharityNavigator
I have been sponsoring children through this organization for a number of years and was not happy with the 20% fee they charged on monitary gifts. A call to the headquarters put the cost into perspective since there are many steps between the reception and distribution of funds for the stated purpose. They are not dealing with electronic transfers and ATM's on the corner.
I still was a littles miffed until I want to do a sponsorship with a similar large organization. They charge $35.00 per month as opposed to $28.
While ChildFund will accept modest monitary gifts this organization will not accept gifts for the sponsored child UNDER $75.00!!!!
I will not complain about ChildFund again!!!!!
Review from CharityNavigator
I have sponsored a number of children through this program over the past 30 years and am sponsoring 2 at the current time. I was once very pleased to be part of what I considered a wonderful organization. However, since they have changed from Christian Children's Fund to ChildFund I have become frustrated with their new focus which seems to be about tacking on exhorbitant adminstrative costs at every turn.
For example, I just received stickers and note pads with each of my sponsored childrens' names on them. Included in the packages were solicitations to send this "free" gift for the cost of postage ($9.00). Now they have gone to the trouble of custom printing who knows how many of these cute little note pads to mail to us (for the supposed cost of devery to our kids). For the cost of all of that, they could have just sent the note pad to the child directly. Really? Stop pestering us for these goofy (and transparent) fundraisers and spend your time and money making a real differernce in these special childrens' lives by supplying them and their families with things they need!
The 20% off the top of any gift for administrative expenses also bothers me considerably. I will no longer deal with this organization after the two kids I am sponsoring now exit the program.
My family has found the opportunity to save a life through Child Fund to be a great joy and learning opportunity for both the adults and our children.
We have sponsored a young boy from Ethiopia since he was 4. Alias is now 13 years old. There were times over the years when we could barely pay our bills. However, we never missed giving so this child could live. In the process, the children who are more blessed in my life have learned the joy and blessings of giving. Alias has brought more joy to us than we could ever give to him. We have been fearful that we would no longer be able to support the child we love as he gets older. I am relieved to find out that we can continue to support Alias. I would not stop supporting my biological child at any age and I am pleased to know that we can continue to support Alias as he grows into a young man. There is very little chance that Alias can find employment in the region of the world he lives in and I can not turn my back on him. Child Fund is the only organization that I am aware of that offers such a unique opportunity to the donor. I stress: You can save a life for under $40.00 a month. It is a no brainer.
I speak from experience. I work with homeless children in the U.S. I know the cost of covering expenses. I was disapointed to see that some folks were riled because the cost of send a gift rose from $2.50 to 20% of the gift. It costs that amount for me to supply a gift to one of the the children I serve locally. Ok, you have to go out and buy the gift (which in a 3rd world country is not always easy) transport the gift to the child and then the child sends a thank you letter ( the letter part is expensive also)
Please ask your self why you are giving this donation? Do you want to save a child's life? Do you really need to eat out? What is more important? I don't mean to sound preachy. I am just so happy that we are blessed to save a life. That is awesome to me. Thank you Child Fund for valuing all children.
As a former senior executive with ChildFund (several years as CEO in Australia and then five as Regional Director in Asia) I know first-hand the difference the organisation makes in the lives of children in the poorest parts of the world. I regularly visited programmes from Indonesia and Afghanistan to Kenya and Ethiopia and was always inspired by the incredible determination of children, young people and their families to shape their own destiny through the long-term support provided by ChildFund.
I vividly remember meeting a Ugandan woman named Immaculate who was chairing a cattle restocking project - she spoke with such pride and passion about what it meant to her community to have livestock again (their cattle had been stolen by rebels)...they could feed themselves, provide milk for children, pass on calves to other villagers. Even more importantly, this project had given them hope again.
I have 15 years' worth of stories just like Immaculate's...real people with names and children and sisters and brothers who, with a hand up from ChildFund, have grabbed a new future with both hands.
I have sponsored students through Child Fund for over 25 years, In 2006, I joined one of their Study Tours to Brazil and was able to spend a day with my sponsored boy, who was 13 at the time, and his mother. Previous to our visit, I would get obligatory notes, thanking me for birthday or Christmas presents. Then we got to meet, and I have since received long letters from him. Within each one, he mentions his trip to the ocean to meet me and how much his mother enjoyed it, too. We are now "real people" to each other and it has made such a difference.
My family has been sponsoring children through ChildFund for over 11 years now. My mother, sister, and I support 17 children from all around the world...each one of them capturing a piece of our hearts. Our family sees our money not as our own, but as "God's money", and thus, choosing a charity, and supporting it with enthusiastic hearts means really doing our homework to ensure that the money we invest is being put to good use. It is with confidence that I can report that ChildFund is incredibly careful, respectful, and responsible with the money donated to it's organization. We even had a situation many years ago where one "project" was not accounting appropriately for it's funding, and ChildFund informed us that they regrettably had to terminate help in that area. ChildFund knows the burden and responsibility of being accountable to it's sponsors, and I believe that they are doing the best that they can to meet the needs of the sponsors and the sponsored...not an easy balance. The 20 percent increase that many people are referring to in their write- ups is a big change, but it's one that should have been happening gradually over the past 10 years. It requires time and money to deliver special gifts to our sponsored children. When we sent a recent gift of a $500.00 cow, for example, to Uganda, it requires time and one on one effort from multiple employees to make arrangements for the purchase, delivery, protection, etc. I can't possibly pretend to believe that the old fee of $2.50 would have been sufficient to cover the expenses of this task. I am more than happy to pay for the privilege of having someone help me deliver gifts to our beautiful families all over the world! We love ChildFund! We can't say enough about what wonderful things they do!
I was extremely happy with this charity when it was Christian Children's Fund. Since it became Childfund, they have a new policy of taking 20% of each monetary gift I send to my sponsored child and their family. I would drop this charity in a minute if I wasn't so concerned about my sponsored child.
Review from CharityNavigator
My husband and I have been sponsors of children in Christian Childrens' Fund (now ChildFund International) for over forty years. During that time we sponsored a boy named Anastacio Papa in the Philippines for at least fifteen years and became quite well acquainted with him. When he was 21 and had a job we moved on to other children. Last month he looked us up through Facebook and with the help of my granddaughter found me after 20 years. It has been a real thrill for me to learn that he went on to college, has a degree in Accountancy, and is a business manager for a company that manufactures sandals. We have renewed our acquaintaince and exchanged photos and he is continually thanking us for our support of him. He calls us his "foster parents". It is so wonderful to know that our small contribution to his welfare has created a fine, successful man. We always had confidence in CCF and this is more proof of the excellent work they do. Ruth Bogia
My elderly father has been sponsoring children through this organization (first as Christian Children's Fund and now as ChildFund) for several decades. However, now that I am handing my father's finances I have been taking a closer look at the organization's solicitation material and am really bothered by some of it.
For example, we just received a preprinted birthday card that we could sign and return to ChildFund, who would then turn around and deliver it to the child for $9.00. Nine Dollars?!?!? I could send a card for 44 cents because this child is in the US. I understand that some of the money must go to subsidize delivery of cards to children in foreign countries, but $9???? That just is exhorbitant!
We also received a pack of animal stickers that we were assured any child would LOVE. Well, our "child" is 15-year-old boy. I sincerely doubt that he would be thrilled to receive animal stickers. Again, we were asked to send $9 so that ChildFund could deliver these stickers to him. Give me a break! Why doesn't ChildFund look at the demographics of who their gifts are intended for?
The 20% off the top of any gift for administrative expenses also bothers me considerably. All in all, I am not inclined to deal with this organization again after our "child" ages out of the program.
Review from CharityNavigator
ChildFund is a leader in programs focused on improving the quality of life for children living in poverty that is focused on the community to ensure sustainability. Anne Goddard and her team have a passion for what they do and could all be earning a lot more if they worked in the private sector. ChildFund has a global presence and reach that makes them incredibly relevant . They are not a perfect organization but I have yet to find one that is. They are making a difference and impacting the lives of the most vulnerable.
I have had the opportunity to meet a number of ChildFund leaders from the headquarters staff and various countries and have been impressed with their skills, professionalism, integrity, commitment to the mission, and focus on having a sustainable impact through their work. I have had the privilege to work with leaders of many respected corporations and non-profit organizations and would compare the caliber of their counterparts at ChildFund very favorably.
I am devastated tonight as I have had to cancel my sponsorship after following my sponsored child for the last 7 years. I have spoken with Child Fund regarding their gift giving policy of several occasions. I sent various e-mails and made a number of phone calls related to this issue. I tried to explain that when I sent a gift for my child that the gift was for my child, not administrative processes, I was even willing to add a handling fee. I had been paying Childfund $34 each month, $10 more than other sponsors. Several times during my sponsorship I was asked to increase my donation and was more than willing to comply.
During my last conversation today, I asked to speak with a supervisor. I explained that I given more than $300 to the charity annually. I send $25 for my child's birthday and another $25 for Christmas. 20% of $50 is $10, They chose to let me walk away rather than ensure my continued loyalty for $10. The woman on the phone even offered to reduce my monthly donation from $34 back to $24, I told her that I wanted to continue paying $34 each month, and what I wanted was her assurance that any gift that I sent to my child would be given to my child in entirety. She assured me that she was unable to do that and that she could not transfer me to someone who could.
My heart is broken as a small girl in Honduras will be learning that she no longer has a sponsor. I feel like Childfund is using their resources poorly and is using their children to guilt sponsors into staying the course. I pray that Childfund takes a careful look at there policies before children loose their sponsors as well.
Review from CharityNavigator
In the 3+ years I have served on the ChildFund board, I continue to be amazed by the level of care, integrity, and professionalism with which this organization is governed -- both by the staff and the board. It truly is a shining example -- in both the non-profit world, as well as among the Fortune 500 organizations I have had the privilege of working with -- of how to organize effectively to achieve stated goals on time and on budget. ChildFund is singleminded in its mission (to assist deprived, excluded, and vulnerable children and those that care for them) -- and pursues that mission efficiently and effectively. I have met mothers suffering from AIDs in Ethiopia who had gainful employment and could support their children, thanks to ChildFund. And ChildFund helped to provide children and youth in rural Ecuador with a local health clinic, pharmacy, and doctor, when formerly they would have had to travel 2 hours by bus to receive care.
I have served on the ChildFund board for four years and I couldn't be more impressed with the delivery and quality of the programs in the field. The children have access to education, health facilites, clean water, and along with their parents are helped with developing agriculture and other sources of healthy foods. The kids are happy and entusiastic. A combination of internal and external audits assures that the money is spent as it is intended. The staff makes this organization and I am convinced that it is excellent and highly motivated.
ChildFund International and the ChildFund Alliance have a strong, clear mission and program model: to work with communities to build sustainable programs to help every child sponsored and every child enrolled in that community. They work with preschool, school, and youth age groups. I have visited ChildFund programs in 5 countries and I serve on the Board, working with program, finance and oversight. Our donations definitely are put to direct use to benefit children and their communities; our funds are carefully audited and well spent; the staff are dedicated and very hard working. ChildFund has a 70+ year history and experience. An outstanding organization we should support and be proud to support by sponsoring a child or supporting programs (preschools, schools, water, women's health, microcredit, youth, HIV/AIDS, and others).
I have served on the boards of a dozen non-profits and this wonderful organizaton has been the most rewarding because it very efficiently helps so many of the world's most vulnerable children. I have seen so many lives that seemed hopeless have an opportunity to achieve their potential through the work of the dedicated staff of ChildFund. My only hope is that ChildFund is able to raise more money to help even more children. We recently visited a project in Ecuador where life 20 years ago seemed hopeless for the children but with 20 years of help this community has been able to achieve good education for most(80% finish high school and 20% go to college) and also develop clean water systems and use water for irrigation and raise crops for market and have an opportunity for the children to grow up and have good jobs. This community is now ready for ChildFund to move on to another community to give them the same opportunity.
I serve on many non-profit boards but am particularly impressed by ChildFund International and the ChildFund Alliance (which it helped launch) for 3 reasons: (1) the program model is based upon a framework created by research involving affected children, youth and communities; (2) the services and Programs empower beneficiaries to " be all they can be" by helping them live up to their potential, and (3) a special effort is made to develop national and local people as volunteers and staff. ChildFund's focus on the next generation is critically important at a time when the population most developing countries are predominantly young people. Improving their health, education, skills and well being is a proven way to improve themselves, their communities, regions, countries and thereby improving the world in which we all live
I am a board member of Child Fund and we just visited Ecuador on a due diligence trip to see our communities in action. I was awed by the progress the children and families have made in each community. In some communities we have been there 2 years, in other places, 20 years. The takeaway is in all places Child Fund serves the children and families are very fortunate to have their services. A big reason for the success is due to the professionalism and dedication of the Child Fund staff in each country. They are an inspiration. It is humbling and an honor to be associated with this great organization.
My 2 daughters and I have been supporting 17 children in total for quite a few years. We LOVE Child Fund and the way they do such wonderful things for the children in the program. We have had several children not need our assistance any longer as their villages were made self-reliant, thanks to Child Fund. We were then able to have other children come in to our lives and have been so blessed in being able to help. Our goal is to meet the biggest need of each of our families, one at a time by the end of the year. So far we have bought 2 cows and a food kiosk! These aren't just gifts, they are things that can change a family and a village. It takes so little to save a child. Thank-you for the opportunity to help.
I have been with this organization for over 8 years and sponsor a girl in Uganda. There is so much more involved when choosing an organization than the 20% fee. The focus is who you are helping and what difference you are making in a life or community. I found them to excel in communicating with me about my sponsored child. There was a war going on in Uganda and they were able to contact the family and tell me they were safe. Yes, I get letters from my sponsored child but also from the Community Leaders and they put me in their small newsletter. They respond very fast. I've donated money that I wanted just for my sponsor childs community. They contacted them to find the need and quickly got back to me with what they would use it for. Within 2 months I had a letter with pictures in my hands of the Trade School they built and sewing machines and wood working equipment we bought. I had pictures of students. I get updates on how many graduates there are yearly. Also in special gifts to my sponsor child communication and action are very fast. With my sponsorship my child is becoming a nurse. What if I let the 20% stand in my way? Her life would be very different. They gave me the conduit to make a difference in the world. Isn't that the focus?
I have been a sponsor of Children's Fund since 2005. I was very satisfied, and still am, with the 20% expense deduction from my monthly donation, and well aware that all organizations need to deduct administrative costs. I always give more than the minimum monthly assistance. However, I was absolutely appalled by the organizations administrators, when they decided to withhold 20% from ‘special gifts’ and holiday/birthday contributions that go directly to the child and family. That is outright extortion and greed. A $2.50 administrative fee seemed appropriate for these types of contributions. I would have been willing to have a small increase in that fee if the costs were excessive. But, come on – 20%? That’s taking money straight out of the mouths of the children that they are mandated to serve.
I’m continuing to sponsor my child with monthly donations, but will not be sending any additional monies to the family as long as Child Fund continues this practice.
Review from CharityNavigator
I've read the back log of criticism that ChildFund has received for it's 20% admiminstrative fee. Good grief, people, how many of you could run a business with only 20% overhead? If you've got an 80% profit margin, I want to invest in your company! People who work for nonprofits have mortgages, children, health expenses just like you. Do you "volunteer" at your job or do you expect a paycheck?
Working in developing nations that have little or no infrastructure takes a lot of feet on the ground. Money won't magically rain onto the heads of struggling people. It takes one person at a time making the right phone call, connecting with the right person. I have no personal opinion about ChildFund International other than I have friends who are sponsors and who asked me about all the kerfuffle on these pages about overhead. Get real. It takes money to give money unless you are willing to fly over to Kenya every month yourself and personally deliver your good will.
Review from CharityNavigator
I was going to make a contribution to Charity Navigator. Then I discovered that all the reviews critical of ChildFund Int. had been removed. Over the past year, the vast majority of reviews had been highly critical. I made my complaint to ChildFund, particularly on the issue of the exorbitant 20% creaming off for gifts to sponsored children and their families, but also about the high compensation for the CEO and her overall awful leadership. Although the Board's response was polite, it also was unresponsive to my criticisms. Therefore, while I will continue to support my sponsored children, that's all I will do. I respectfully suggest that Charity Navigator restore last year's reviews so that people may have a fair perspective.
Review from CharityNavigator