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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

55 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

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.

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.

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

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

6

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.

3

Donor

Rating: 4

We sponsor 4 children and having read "A Hole in Our Gospel" over the Christmas holiday I felt compelled to add another... Maybe more down the road. We are at a stage in our life where we feel that we have been so blessed that it is time to give others opportunities that they may not otherwise have. We have been involved with WV for almost 10 years. I was introduced to the organization through a Women if Faith Conference.
I love the concept of having a personal relationship with a specific child. Most charities you just give but don't really establish a relationship with any recipients.
I also think it is very wise to take on communities as well where the children.
3-4 times a year we receive personal letters and periodic updated from WV as well about each child and that child's community.
Two if our Kids are Christian, one is Muslim and one is Buddhist. I have found myself judging less and praying more as I learn about the lives of these kids. Of course I hope that the two non Chistians may be called to Christ at some point in their life ... However, that is not why I am helping them... If that occurs then Praise God and the Holy Spirit.
I really didn't do alot of homework before we started supporting this wonderful organization. About a year ago I did some and felt positive about it financially. I just learned about the CEOs salary amount. I think a this person deserves the amount but he no doubt has done very well before he came on board in the private sector.... but wouldn't it be so awesome if one his own he chose to forego a good portion of the amount returning it to the organization... Maybe in his own way he has already done something comparable. I
I also believed that some of the expenses for fundraising could be trimmed. If I could see a reduction in both these areas, my rating would be the highest possible!

16 Melissa68

Donor

Rating: 1

Poor oversight and no accountability! I was sponsoring 3 children in Uganda through World Vision for about 1 1/2 yrs. I had the opportunity to visit them and found one child did not know he had a sponsor until 10 days before I arrived though I had received mail supposedly in his name and thank you notes for gifts I had sent. The other child had only a few letters I had sent but nothing else though I had received letters regarding other gifts in her name, and she was not in school because the family could not afford the fees though my sposorship money was supposed to pay for her school. The WV rep said my money supported community projects not the individual child which I felt bordered on fraud. I ended my sponsorship though I continue to support the children though private means. After I contacted WV to discuss this they said they were "investigating" and I have heard no concrete results from this "investigation". Beware large organizations-know where your money goes!

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.

Review from CharityNavigator

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14

Donor

Rating: 1

I sponsored 3 children in Uganda. I had the chance to visit 2 in 2011. One child had none of the items I sent her and couldn't afford the school fees to attend the school my dollars given in her name was supporting. The second child didnt even know he had a sponsor until 10 days befor I came, though I had been paying for over 1 1/2 yrs. Also I brought a friend who was a native speaker and who told me the WV reps. were not telling me the truth about what the child and his famiy were saying. Also when I left the WV staff gave this family a letter saying I did not want to sponsor them because they "lied" about not having a sponsor. I contacted the office in Seattle and sent them all the letters I had received in the children's names, as well as the phony dismissal letter, etc. and WV said they would "look into it". A year later and they still have no response. WV is too big and there is no accountability. Zero stars!

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 3

I have been a long time donor to the charity and have a high regard for its work. I would however hope that less funds be spent on the glossy brochures that I receive (which do nothing to influence my giving other than create a negative perception as to overhead costs).

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Chuck Y.

Donor

Rating: 5

Easily our favorite charity! We sponsor a child and have had our kids pick items from their Christmas catalog to give.

Review from CharityNavigator

Donor

Rating: 5

Our favorite charity, my wife and I have sponsored three children consecutively. For the first two kids we were notified when the kids and their community did not need our help any longer. They asked if we would like to sponsor another child. We did. It is awesome they get the children and their communities self sufficient. They also have many opportunities to give with matching donations as high as twelve times our donation.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 5

We sponsor 2 children with World Vision and love the work they're doing. We do not hear from these children directly very often, but we do receive updates from their communities. These children are in very remote parts of Africa--our little girl is from the Congo. Some similar Christian charities lack the capacity to create infrastructure in such inaccessible places. Proud to stand with World Vision in the Congo which has had 2 civil wars that have killed over 6 million people. Violence is still ongoing in parts of that country. Love that World Vision is working to create self-sustaining communities by partnering with those communities to prioritize needs and create local solutions-- a hand up--not a hand out. Finally my sponsorship dollars not only benefit our sponsored children--they benefit the ENTIRE community. We also sponsor with another Christian group from Colorado that requires children to come to their church based centers. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian group that helps everyone regardless of their religion. I think this is an especially powerful way to share God's love.

5

Donor

Rating: 3

World Vision is a good charity and they do a lot of good for disadvantaged children in struggling communities. As a child sponsor I would like to see fewer brochures and expensive printings sent to me and more money directed to the children and communities in need. I also would like to see a CEO salary more in line with the $150k per year charity average than the $380k they currently pay. I often wonder if I am paying $35 per month to the benefit of my sponsored child or to the $380k per year benefit of a CEO?

Review from CharityNavigator