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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Save the Children Federation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, International, International Relief, Refugees, Zika Virus

Mission: Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Results:

At the very heart of who we are and all we do for children is this essential truth, expressed so fervently by our founder, Eglantyne Jebb, “Humanity owes the child the best it has to give.” That’s why we’re passionately committed to giving the world’s children, especially those most vulnerable, what every child deserves – a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Whatever it takes.

Here are some of the 2018 highlights:

  • Health: We directly reached 28 million children through our global health programs.
  • Hunger: 1.9 million individuals benefited from our efforts to help families feed and support themselves
  • Education: We directly reached over 8 million children through our global education programs
  • Emergencies: We responded to 113 emergencies across 58 countries, directly reaching 16 million people, including 9.3 million children
  • Protection: More than 2.9 million girls and boys were protected from exploitation, abuse and neglect
  • United States: Over 447,000 children were helped by programs in the U.S.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, we created ripples of change in the lives of 134 million children, including 447,000 in the U.S.

Geographic areas served: In an ever-changing world, we’ve been changing lives for 100 years.

Community Stories

135 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10 David261

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Save the Children for the last 5 years. I am grateful that there are organizations with staff that are so committed to those in need of help. The impact that they have made with children in remote parts of the world is astounding. Keep up the amazing work. For anyone that is trying to decide on a children's or if they should support a children's charity. I strongly advise supporting Save the Children. Dave from Boston

1

Donor

Rating: 4

There are undoubtedly many choices when it comes to making a charitable gift, and quite a few if you are looking to sponsor a child. I did my homework and looked for one that had good rankings from the charity watchdogs, transparent reporting and a strong track record. Save the Children seemed to fit all those criteria very well. I have been sponsoring my child for over two years now and I am very happy with my choice. I have received several letters from my child and have seen actual reports of improvements made in his and his village's life. Yes they solicit me often for additional gifts and to sponsor another child, but what nonprofit doesn't, and besides, who can really fault them for trying to raise as much as they can for their cause?

2

Donor

Rating: 2

I was away for 2 weeks, there were 4 appeals from them in my mail when I returned, I got another today, this time with address labels. How much of my previous donations did they waste on begging for more and yet another round of address labels ? Is there anyone who gives charitably who needs more of these ? On top of all that I found today that they pay their CEO almost 400K a year. Another wildly overpaid "charity" employee. I have asked to be removed from all their records as their way too frequent appeals are bordering on harassment, and the CEO makes way more than I ever have .

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 2

Persistent and annoying phone calls for additional donations despite repeated requests to be removed for this organizations phone solicitation list(s). To the point that I refuse to donate any more to this organization. A shame since I know they do good work but there are plenty of others who do as well and don't continually harass their donors.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

My story with STC goes back a couple of years ago. As a professional and teacher in the online space I was looking for a non-profit so my online MBA students could have a good learning environment. Since then, we have established a great relationship with the STC staff and I have contributed time and money to this inspiring organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a Sponsor of a child for 5 years. We correspond regularly. The wonderful thing about the child sponsorship program is that the funds go to the community, not just the child we sponsor. We hear about where our donations are going - to education, health programs, better equipment and supplies for schools - and it feels good to know that we are helping a community provide the right tools for children to get a better start in life. Some of the children in their programs have gone on to become health workers in their communities, or teachers, or even become Save the Children employees! This is a terrific organization with programs this world needs to become a better place.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

On international issues, I respect the opinions of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. When he said Save the Children is a good organization, that was good enough for me!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Save the Children when I was serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America in the mid-1980s. I saw that they did excellent work that really helped disadvantaged children in poor communities. They also do great work during disasters like earthquakes, floods and famines. They have no political or religious agenda -- they just want to do what's best for kids, no matter who they are or where they are (including in the United States). They also have an excellent reputation for financial accountability. I think they put something like 90% of their funds towards programs, so they're not wasting people's donations on fundraising and excessive salaries. An investment in children is an investment in a better future for everyone, so I continue to support Save the Children.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization that really understands the needs of kids and how best to address them. First learned about them during the Haiti earthquake, think I saw them on CNN or some major news network. Before donating I did some research on them and learned they do a lot more than just emergency response. (On that note, they aren't "ambulance chasers", when they respond to emergencies they actually have worked in the country for decades.) They do education and health and a load of other stuff with communities. I also recently learned that they work here in the US which is important to me. (We should be helping ALL kids around the world, but I have a special place in my heart for my fellow Americans.) Sometimes they send too many e-mails but I live with it since the issues are important.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a longtime CT resident, I had been loosely familiar with Save the Children, having heard their name for 30+ years. I never quite knew exactly what they did - I always thought it had something to do with children in Africa. However as I traveled the world in the late 90's and early 00's, I begin noticing Save the Children offices/vans/staff in a lot of place: in the slums of Old Delhi, India; in a school in Kathmandu, Nepal; in the Mindanao, Philippines; in Indonesia responding to the Tsunami; in the Dominican Republic; and then in New Orleans helping to sort out the aftermath of Katrina. I have since become a supporter, donating to their Haiti earthquake response and Japan Tsunami response. I love what they do and any organization that helps hundreds of millions of children each year around the world is invaluable in my book.

1 Alena M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for Save the Children in January 2012. It is an amazing organization to be part of! Not only are the peope very dedicated to their jobs and the mission, but the organization as a whole prides itself on being accountable for their actions. What could be a better cause then helping out children in the USA and around the world! Save the Children has been around for many years and they have helped millions of children and their families. After volunteering for few months, I was hired and work for the organization full time.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I feel that Save the Children is a good steward of my funds. And I enjoy visiting their website to see updates on the different programs and emergencies they help with.

Chip Rohlke

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 3

I'm an ordained Chaplain who was in the Peace Corps in 1977 living on $120 a month & loving it. I've had a non-profit for 20 years -Christ is Creator Ministries that has built an orphanage in Romania, helped women in crisis pregnancies, ministered to inmates in prisons, and done numerous mission trips in haiti, mexico & Romania. I did it all with very little if any help & seldom if ever ask for it. i believe God will provide & He has. My problem with huge non profits is they are without exception playing on peoples emotions and make it easy to salve their conscience about each of our responsibility before God to change the world ourselves. Every one of us needs to pour our hearts & lives into the terrible darkness of this world and make a change instead of thinking we can send a check and God owes us something. He demands the same thing Christ gave...everything.

Jacqueline C.

Donor

Rating: 5

I always donate to worthy causes--and this one is definitely one. I typically consult with Charity Navigator before proceeding. Save The Children Federation, Inc. is a worthy cause. I learned from my beloved mother's loving example to help mothers and children. This charity means so much because it supports an enormously worthy cause, which means so much to me in carrying on our tradition. Also, Save The Children has teamed up with The Red Cross in providing children with centers of their own during natural disasters like hurricanes and tsunamis--on a global scale. I am especially proud to have pioneered this safe space concept. So, during natural disasters, children are occupied with fun activities instead of dwelling on what can be quite traumatizing, they are in an atmosphere of loving kindness. When I found out that The Red Cross took my concept from Hurricane Andrew and teamed up with this charity in taking my concept global, I knew it was a great cause because it shows that Save the Children really loves and worries about a child's well-being--on all fronts--physical and mental. I will continue supporting them and would love to even help them further at some point, in the future. May God bless each and every one of the mothers and children, as well as this worthy organization, which (despite paying their CEO kindly), remains one of the highest rated charities.

Kristine H.

Donor

Rating: 5

I trust Save the Children and have always been confident that my donations are going to help children around the world. I will be a donor for life.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 3

I donate $28.00 per month and support their. Don't like CEO compensation. Excessive. Neither do I like being continuously bombarded with their paper based repeat mailings. I find the frequency of their mailings intrusively obnoxious.Save a few trees and reallocate the dollars to more effectively their mission.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am very impressed with Save the Children's fundraising and marketing campaigns. In addition to efficiently targeting thier main demographic though proven methods, they have recently branched out to target communities that are not traditional donors. For example, they partnered with a famous internet gamer to raise money through World of Warcraft and it was a successful venture. Thier use of social media has been effective at targetting the younger generation.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 4

I've contributed to Save the Children on a few occasions, and recently decided to become a child sponsor. $28/month is about my financial limit. World poverty and inequality are enormous issues that aren't going to be solved by NGOs, but until the world community decides to end poverty, I'll be supporting Save the Children. $.90 of every dollar I give to them goes to the field. The remaining $.10 helps ensure that those dollars are used in the most efficient, responsible, and sustainable way. I highly recommend Save the Children and encourage anyone to become a child sponsor or donor. You will not regret it.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

For the past 5 years, I've had the privilege of seeing Save the Children's work in the field first hand in Bangladesh. I'm ethnically Bangladeshi and my parents are from Bangladesh. I should also point out that Save the Children allowed me to go into the field with them despite not being an employee and NEVER EVER receiving any salary, stipend, or payment for my time in the field with them.

I also have to admit, before 6 years ago, I never had even heard of Save the Children. I learned about Save the Children from local Bangladeshis. You think Americans are skeptical about NGOs? You haven't met a Bangladeshi. In Bangladesh there is a saying which in English translates to "NGOs eat the cash". Yet, for some reason, Bangladeshis love and respect Save the Children.

Going into the field, not reading the brochures or watching the TV ads, I could see why Bangladeshis respect this NGO. What they do works and it changes lives. And, in the areas of disaster relief and child health, it directly saves lives and averts deaths. You are making a difference when you donate to this organization. I know this because I've seen it with my own two eyes.

Reading the comments about this charity, I can see that some people cite the CEO's salary as an issue of concern. But I'm writing this review in the wake of the scandal and controversy surrounding Invisible Children (an organization that only sends 37% of donations to the field). Quite frankly, I think there are a lot less efficient ways to spend your donation dollars.

Because the fact of the matter is many similar sized charities (e.g. World Vision, Red Cross, etc) have higher executive compensation. If how much the CEO gets paid gives you pause well then good luck finding another charity with as much experience, know how, scale, scope, reach, success, and (most importantly) RESULTS that pays their CEOs less than Save the Children.

And as a final note, in response to the person who gave Save the Children 1 out of 5 stars for issues with "their" sponsor child, what people need to understand is if you are sponsoring a child it's not YOUR child. You are helping a child - not owning them. And, especially in Bangladesh, many children simply don't have the means and resources to respond as often as we'd like.

Save the Children also works in a way that child sponsorship goes towards helping communities - not individuals. Because it takes a village to raise a child and so Save the Children works by transforming and empowering communities. And any good NGO that has a reputable child sponsorship program (e.g. World Vision) does the same.

1 Patrick12

Donor

Rating: 1

I was very disappointed in my experience with STC. I became a donor in 2010 and chose a girl in Bangladesh as "my" child. I looked forward to hearing about her life there, and had visions of my son and she writing back and forth. Not too long after I joined I received a copy of a picture she drew. I sent a letter to her praising the picture, asking to tell me about her day, etc. A couple of months later I got a very brief, 5-7 line letter from her. And.......nothing else since then. I sent her another letter about a year ago, a birthday card last fall, and an e-mail in December. Nothing. I emailed SAT in Connecticut, but got a standard "We can reduce the number of communications to you if you want (i.e. their pitches for more money), but no response to my question of why I was getting no mail from my sponsored child. I sent a snail mail to Connecticut in January asking them to stop charging my credit card (and explaining why). The letter was never acknowledged, and the charge showed up on my Feb. bill. I called their main office, and the lady I spoke to was sympathetic, but did not know why I had received no response from my sponsored child in over a year. I'll know in a few days if she cancelled the monthly charge like she said she would. To this day I've never received a response to my snail mail. What happened to it I wonder? It's too bad because they *appear* to do good work.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been very happy overall with Save the Children. I sponsor 4 children through them currently, in 3 different countries, although 3 of those are rather new, and I don't have data on them yet. But I've sponsored a child continuously through them for about 18 years (4 different children). They are great about sending regular updates, and handwritten letters and drawings from the sponsored children. I have sponsored the girl in Nepal the longest, and it gives me an immeasurable joy to see how she has progressed over the years... when I first started sponsoring her she looked frightened and probably didn't have much of a future, being a girl in a culture that favors male children, and being an Untouchable (Dalit) in a poverty-stricken community. I am able to send her small gifts, which the STE country coordinator emails me about promptly, to say what was received. In the past, I've even received photos of my sponsored child with my gifts! So I know they arrived, and that she got them. I actually love to write to the children, and I have read a statistic somewhere that sponsored children who receive letters from their sponsors (even just one letter a year) do significantly better (some 30% or so) academically than children who do not receive letters. I can't change the whole world, but maybe I can help a few people out there. And Save The Children makes that possible. I traveled to Nepal a few years ago, and while I wasn't able to make it to the far-flung region where my sponsored child is, I was able to meet with the STE country coordinator in Kathmandu. She was great -- she made time to meet with me and she was incredibly kind and thoughtful even though I'm not a big donor to STE. I really like the STE website which allows donors to login, see photos of their sponsored children, and see what is being done in their specific communities. Also, their website (after you've logged in) allows you to send an email message to your child. This is a great feature! The only negative thing I have to say about STE are that if a child moves out of STE's impact area (something over which STE has no control) they will give you a new child to sponsor. That has happened to me twice, and it makes me sad....because of course you want to see the child grow and flourish. I think that when kids turn 18 in the STE program, they are "done" and at that point you get another child. But I don't see how STE can do much about whether or not a child moves out of their impact area. I have heard people complain a about being bombarded by mail from STE, but that hasn't happened to me or anyone I know. I get regular (but not overboard) mailings from STE, just enough to keep me informed. I do wish there was a way for me to continue sponsoring my child for longer. I know that the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging allows donors to sponsor the children through their twenties (for university or trade school or whatever) for the same cost as sponsoring a child in grade school or high school ($30/mo). I wish that Save the Children offered a similar program.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

Donor

Rating: 3

CEO 2009 compensation $365,130 (source: Charity Navigator). I donate about $350 per year to STC. 1,042 donations of $350 are required to pay just the CEO's salary. Does that seem a bit excessive to anyone other than me? I am considering re-directing my money to another organization where the CEO's salary is more reasonable. Any suggestions?

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I wanted to support STC's midwifery training program. I had a list of specific questions about the program that were answered via email by the Acting Associate Director of Operations for the Newborn and Child Survival Campaign. It has been my experience that other charities do not offer such one-on-one communication. When I have a question a representative guides me back to their website.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It's simple. If you want to help poverty stricken children, STC is your best bet. forget all those other organizations. STC is by far the most reputable and efficient children charity out there. I dont know where all these negative views are coming from because in the world of charity anyone whose been around long enough has not only heard of Save the Children, but also recognizes it as one of the leading non-profits.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 1

Five members of my family made one-time donations in memory of a loved one two years ago. SInce then we have ALL been inundated with STC mailings and emails despite numerous calls, letters, and emails from each one of us requesting that we be taken off their lists. It is a total waste of money that could be used to help children! It has changed the way I think of STC, and that's a shame.

I could not find an "unsubscribe" link on their website, nor is that an option to check on the printed donor forms. When I emailed (again) last year and requested to be taken off all lists, I got a response back that said I would receive (and I quote) "a reduction in volume of communications from us". That was a first - not "you have been unsubscribed from all communications from us". Reduction in volume? I have personally received 5 mailed solicitations in the last 4 weeks!

All 5 of us have tried repeatedly with no success to be removed.
It has gotten to the point that when any of us receives a solicitation from STC, we send emails to each other with the title "STC again". It has become a bad family joke. But it is really very, very sad when I think of the wasted cost.

I called again a while back and was transferred to someone who said STC gets calls like mine all the time. The person said it was an "executive decision" not to take names off, and also there are numerous non-integrated mailing lists and that's probably why we all get so many mailings. I said I keep sending back the donor form with "remove from all lists" written on it and the person said it won't do any good. I am not revealing gender here because I don't want anyone to get in trouble.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Clearly a worthwhile organization, and I strongly support the work they do. However, one should use caution if using monthly credit or debit cards to donate to their monthly program, because it can be difficult to discontinue the charges. There is no option to cancel at their Web site, so I mailed a letter asking them to discontinue the monthly charges to my account. Nonetheless, a charge appeared in my account two weeks later. About three weeks after that, I received a letter from them asking me to "update my account information"; they clearly still hadn't processed my cancellation, so I called and gave them a verbal cancellation. A charge AGAIN appeared on my account the following month! I think I finally got it straightened out with a repeat phone call.

One also wonders why they have such an expensive monthly sponsorship program; other charities seem to be grateful for smaller donations.

Review from CharityNavigator

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 2

I worked for SAVE and while it is better than many organizations such as World Vision they are not good at providing the professionals needed to design a project or program. Often bad projects especially in education are developed. That is because professionals do not write the projects and they are destined to fail. Project managers are told to write positive reports anyway which I did many times. Corruption happens because their projects are not well managed or supervised. I could have easily walked away with the money for my project because there was no spot checking to see if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. I met some of my colleages in the field who were doing just that. I saw other projects which were definitely irresponsible. This is in a former soviet country. I will not divulge the country. The project managers I met were also not of a very high quality.
I

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organisation has been incredible. Although I have only been a supporting member (Global Neighbour) for 4 years, I have had a keen interest in their work for over 10 years now. Children really are the future, and ensuring children's rights, healthcare and education seems to always be at the forefront of what Save The Children do. I applaud everything they do.