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! :)
I contacted Childfund to find out how my donation I was planning on making to Japan would be handled. I was told that 70% would go to the cause and 30% would go to Childfund administration cost. I find this to be outrageous and will take my money elsewhere.
Review from CharityNavigator
We have worked with Child Fund for five years now. We love being in touch with our sponsored children and knowing that what we give helps them and their families in so many ways. The extra we donate above and beyond the monthly support is greatly appreciated by the families. We cherish every letter that comes to us. CF allows us to do some good for someone else and that is reward in itself.
Review from CharityNavigator
I have been a donor for more than two decades, continuously sponsoring three children. without notice, I discovered that the yearly Christmas and Birthday gifts I sent to the children were having 20% taken right off the top. To me, this is theft right out of the children s pockets.I am so disappointed I am now looking for a new organization for my donations.
20% fee is outrageous and enough reason for me to seek other charities to support.
Review from CharityNavigator
After donating annually, with several gifts throughout the year, for several years running, first they changed their name (to childfund international) -- no big deal to me as it did not appear to affect matters.
Subsequently, they changed their gift policy, from a flat $2.50 charge / gift to a WHOPPING 20% of the gift, claiming expenses, graft, etc.
Very surprising that they hold a hard stance on this matter, and are losing members, at least as far as the postings on other review boards (my review was removed, so I have no idea how many more were removed as well).
20% is an outrage. Goodbye.
They recently asked for more money to keep the children in the program. And now, Childfund is going to take 20% of my gifts to them, to use for delivery? I just sent $150 to one of my children to pay for 3 medical treatments that he needs. This means they would be taking away one of his treatments from him. I think they are robbing the children and taking the sponsors for a ride. I could see a flat fee for delivery, if it was absolutely necessary, but 20% is exorbitant. I sponsor a child through Compassion International, and they don’t seem to need excessive amounts of funds or to take extra out or the hands of the child I sponsor in order to keep up their program. Also, they have much better communication set up, with much faster response time. And that child is in Uganda, so it is even more remote than Ecuador and Honduras, the countries where my Childfund children live. If I weren’t as committed as I am to the children I sponsor, I would quit this program. And you can be sure that I will be sponsoring further children through organizations that are not ashamed of the name of Christ, and don’t seize money from the hands of the hungry, or those with medical needs for any reason.
I would have continued to sponsor my child if it were not for three things. The ridiculously high salary of the CEO & President, Anne Lynam Goddard that is not reflective of a lean organization involved in charitable giving. The enactment of a 20% tax on any gift that I give my child. Their justification is laughable. Are we to believe that if this organization has a well established infrastructure to provide for the health and welfare of sponsored children that it requires some incredibly difficult additional effort to exchange US Dollars into a local currency and transport that gift to the family? Really? Or is it more likely that Anne Lynam Goddard thought she could extort a portion of a gift that her organization had been entrusted to deliver. 20%, 20%? Has everyone gone mad? This is typical liberal minded dribble, it's an entitlement mentality. For the record, you do not deserve a penny of that money, I gladly paid the $2.50 handling fee for years, that is reasonable. It's a fee, and it's rational. What if wanted to give $1,000 would your organization really feel entitled to withhold $250 from a needy family I am trying to help? If you answer yes, you are two things: first you are not rational, your position would not withstand the merits of a rational argument and second you would betray your true nature as being self-serving and in your line of work that is anathema. Finally, when I called to discuss this with a representative at CFI I could not have been more displeased with the manner in which the other party reacted to my questions and comments. It was like debating a 13 year old. Condescending, incoherent and juvenile behavior to a donor is unforgivable in any audience. We are done, after 7 years, I do not trust this organization, I do not trust the CEO and I will find another medium I do trust to distribute my gifts.
Last summer I travelled through Kenya and visited with my 4 sposored children. I save first hand how much support CFI provides to some of the neediest children in the world. They are able to help the families with their basis survival needs,and health needs. They form close partnerships with the Kenyan government to provide free public education to the children until eighth grade. Not all African countries do this. I was so impressed how they can stretch money to do the most good for the most children. They have a very dedicated staff, I met amazing people in Kenya.
We are on our fourth child sponsored through ChildFund, originally CCF or Christian Children's Fund. We've been with the program long enough to see two of the children through childhood and into college. Children can be sponsored in many areas of the world. Health and Education are two areas they really focus on along with teaching self help and self reliance skills to help individuals make a living on their own. Everything from Prenatal care and education through college education is done to help these children and their parents. I urge you to look at the site and see what they do for yourself.
We searched for an organization that helped children and their families (regardless of their personal religious beliefs) based on their needs of daily survival, education and human rights. We found ChildFund International to meet & exceed all our expectations. For several years we sponsored one child, and now two. What a difference we can make to those in less fortunate circumstances by sponsorship. Annual updates and photo's are sent by ChldFund, as well as several letters, hand drawings and pictures sent by the families sponsored. Becoming a part of the ChildFund family, as well as your sponsored child, you will feel the heartfelt gratitude of many. ChildFund is exceptional in all they do...Do you know in disaster emergencies, they are there too? Relocating families, setting up relief communities...they are there for the children and their families 24/7...This is an organization that I highly recommend and hope you find in your heart to donate or sponsor a child. It truly changes your life....and others.