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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.

3

Donor

Rating: 4

The work done by World Vision is very important but I would like less money be spent on publications sent to donors which ends up in the trash.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been associated with World Vision for approximately 35 years. My wife and I helped with phone calls to raise donations in the mid-70's and she worked as an Administrative Assistant there for a year or two in the 70's also. We have been monthly donors to World Vision for 25-30 years. We have always found the people at World Vision to act with the highest integrity. They demonstrate concern for the people whom they serve and they also demonstrate concern in regards to accountability for the donations received. Every time we have asked any type of a question, they have responded immediately. They provide us impact statements for the projects we support. We periodically research charities and World Vision in particular, to make certain that we are being good stewards with our giving. We have never been disappointed in World Vision. They have been a wonderful witness for God's love.

Review from CharityNavigator

13

Donor

Rating: 1

scam scam scam... notice on their website there is nowhere a reasonable person can find to cancel their account or their autogiving.. after giving for almost a year i attempted to cancel the account ,, you can not find a place on the website to cancel.. you go to the faq no answer you go to the search box enter cancel or cancellation, nothing comes up.. you call the 800 number the person their can not find out ont he web how to cancel either.then when they tell you over the phone they will cancel for you and you ask for an email confirmation all of a sudden their system cna not email you that information you need to wait for a letter to come in the mail... so now i sit and wait to see if this is cancelled or not..its surreal that they make it impossible to cancel trying to drag one more last payment out of you....what a shame, exceot what a great lesson that my 12 yr old now learned that just because someone has a good looking website does not make the reputable..now this week i will teach how to blog about this and how to forward this information to the appropriate authorities..

Review from CharityNavigator

4 Sojourner

Donor

Rating: 5

World Vision continues to impress me. We sponsor children in Africa to help educate them, encourage and empower them in their lives. We donate to individuals who do marathons that are sponsored by World Vision as well since together, they raise funds to create provide water wells that will last forever to help those in Africa. This organization embodies Christ's calling to serve the poor, the oppressed and those in need of love and care.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

My daughter who is 17 committed my family to a $35 monthly donation. This charity did not ask if she was 18, ask for ID or if she had permission to commit my family. I find that this is poor practice for an organization who is looking for world class recognition.

Review from CharityNavigator

23

Donor

Rating: 1

The following are two reviews for two different sponsored children through World Vision and two different situations entirely: one for a short lived sonsorship in Ghana, and  one that came to an abrupt end by World Vision in India this month.
1) I sponsored a girl in Ghana, but could not shake the feeling that I was being ripped off by the local "charity".  I received a picture of a different girl, and when I called WV in the US to find out what was going on, was literally told that children change as they get older. Mind you, I had just started sponsoring the girl a few months earlier, so she must have turned into a different person within a few months. After insisting hat this was a different human being, they agreed to look into it. I never heard back about it. I also asked the WV employee on the phone how much oversight they had over Ghana employees, as I never heard back form the sponsored child after sending her mail. I was of course reassured that I had nothing to worry about. In the course of the following weeks, I sent another letter and parcel but never received an answer. Instead, I got a "progress report" (fill in the blank card) that was clearly filled out by an employee. He/she had the audacity to draw three lines in the back (drawing area for children) and write "vase" and "tree" next to them. The "drawings" were done with the same ballpoint pen, yet I had sent the girl color pencils and crayons. The girl being 10 years old, I expected her to at least draw her own drawing (what else is the point of it?!)and fill in the blanks on her report herself. (My name is ____ I am ___ years old... nothing fancy here!) When I called to inquire, the WV staff were ignorant to the fact that this 4th grader lived in a country with English as its official language and reminded me that they operated in countries where translators were needed!! They must have passed on my complaints, because I received 4 letters within 2 weeks, one thanking me for "all the gifts". The letters  were typed and kept referring to the girl as "the child". I decided not to keep sponsoring some corrupt Ghanaian employee's villa any longer and wrote one last good bye letter. Sadly, I will never know if this girl ever even knew she had a sponsor, or if she ever benefited from any money I sent. ............................................................. 2) I have been sponsoring a girl in India for the past 5 1/2 yrs, during which time, I only received two "progress reports" that were not even filled out by her herself, but by the WV employee in the respective office, though at the time of the last one she was in 4th grade and had taken English since 1st grade. Yesterday, I bought back to school gifts I wanted to send to her. When I logged into my online account last night to look up the address, a different child was presented to me as my sponsored child, in a different part of India, whom I had presumably started sponsoring 3 weeks ago?! I called up the office today and they informed me that WV was no longer needed in my sponsored girl's region and that they are stopping operations there. I no longer could sponsor her, write to her, find out about her, would never be able to get in touch with her due to their child protection policies, and in short, should just get over it and sponsor that other child they already signed me up for or any other child I chose. I am completely heart-broken, because I had planned on visiting her, on the day I made this commitment (it was never a matter of "if" and always a matter of "when") , I had commited to myself to see her through college and make sure that, when she is old enough, she would know that she has someone who can help her if she ever were in need. In short, I was determined to make this specific girl's life better and give her a real chance in life. While the monthly gift goes to the community, I had hoped that through letters, books, writing utensils, writing paper, an atlas, etc., she would gain an appreciation for school, and through an education have a better life. Now, I won't ever know anything about her. I never ever thought sponsorship could come to such an abrupt and unnatural end. The WV employee on the phone commended me for taking such interest in a person I do not know, and reminded me that child sponsorship never really goes directly to the child anyway, but to the community... yet, THEY create this bond on purpose by sending out a photo and a name, so that, as a sponsor, you associate ONE person with your gift. How would I not feel saddened to know that all this was taken away form her and me without as much as a prior notice.
Also, I never knew if she ever received any of the books, letters, pens, pencils, toys, etc. that I sent her. I am now looking to find a different organization where communication is more open. I feel burned by World Vision and can't get over the fact that I will never know if "my little girl" ended up on the street, in a brothel, as a child bride, or in college. And I will NEVER stop wondering.

7

Donor

Rating: 2

I have been sponsoring a girl in Mexico for two years. I gave 100 dollar special gift . I did get a picture of her with her gifts which was nice . The letter seemed fake though like it wasn't her talking. Also the letter had the wrong name on it. I called the field office and they said I was her only sponsor and not to worry. Besides thevthank you letters for money she never wrote.

Review from CharityNavigator

14

Donor

Rating: 1

I sponsored seven children and did not find out the truth about sponsorship for many years. All of the thousands of dollars that I paid all those years to ensure that my sponsored children had food, clean water, education, and medical care were wasted. In addition, I gave multiple $500-$1,000 "gift notifications" to World Vision to buy things for specific children, for example to purchase oxen (twice), to build a home, and to build and stock a chicken farm. When inquiring about a specific child who I had sponsored for seven years, I was told that she was being fed three times per week at school. OK, so World Vision feels that three meals a week constitutes the child being fed? What about the rest of the time? No food help from World Vision. I also learned that yes, the child receives a medical exam once per year, but not treatment of any health problems. My child needed iron tablets, which cost pennies, but World Vision would not provide those to my child. It makes me sick to think of the thousands of dollars I gave to World Vision now that I know almost no good was done with any of it. Donors, beware!

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 4

I only hope the money I give will do good for the child I am sponsoring and his family as well as his village. I did receive a letter from my sponsor child's parents thanking me for sponsoring their child, it was a nice letter. I hope World Vision will only become more efficient with funds and continues to try to help people as best as they can. I'm not a Christian but I think this is the best charity to help a sponsored child, and that is what really matters.

1 Jennifer105

Donor

Rating: 5

We have donated monthly to support a child for a couple years now and we think it is the best nonprofit organization out there. We love how they help people and how they get their donors involved in helping others. We also think how they break down their finances is reasonable and purposeful. If any employee is making a lot of money, we trust the organization to have good reason for it. It is easy for us to say that they make too much and the money should go to help others, however we trust them and believe that their hearts are in the right place and I'm sure they use their own money to be generous to others as opposed to lavish spending.

5

Donor

Rating: 3

For those of you debating about what the World Vision President makes: The email circulating is false, but only in that it refers to World Vision (Canada). The President for World Vision U.S. is the one that makes nearly half a million a year salary. The email was correct, however it should have noted World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns and (not) World Vision Canada President Dave Toycen. Regardless, they're under the same umbrella. If you still don't believe it's true look it up, it's all public info. Here it is on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2010/14/charity-10_World-Vision_CH0194.html

2 Barbara J Ferraro

Donor

Rating: 5

Unfortunately I did not do my research when I sponsored two children from World Vision, to see what their employees or CEO's are paid, or even researched what the children are learning. I was already a sponsor with Compassion International for 3 children at the time and another sponsor had a child with World Vision so I chose a couple also. Since then, which has been almost 6 years now, I have noticed the difference between Compassion and World Vision and I would prefer to give more support to Compassion. I do believe World Vision does a lot of good work but I like the openness of Compassion and how they do things regarding the paperwork and the finances. I was actually a volunteer level II Advocate until this past January when I had to give it up due to Shingles affecting me physically, I still have them. I would never tell anyone not to choose World Vision nor would I promote them, I tell everyone that they are a good organization but I do prefer Compassion. Every years since I became a sponsor Compassion has continued to show good results through Charity Navigator.

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 5

No doubt it is a good charity and the goal is admirable. Still $380.6 K is a lot of money for someone whose goal is to help. If he made !00 K less, think of how many more children could be helped. As a percentage of the money involved, his salary is probably not exhorbitant. Nonetheless, the more he takes, the less goes to the children. I guess the Salvation Army needs to go overseas. I did not volunteer time. Just a pretty good chunk of money in 2011. Those who give a physical effort God bless and more power to you. You are good people. . . . all of you and Mr. Sterns as well.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Alvin, the email you are referring to is completely false. Snopes even ran an article on it: http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/charities.asp

2

Donor

Rating: 3

A recent circulating e-mail states that World Vision is one of the highest offenders in paying CEO's: "The World Vision President (Canada) receives $300,000 base salary plus: a supplied home valued at $700-$800,000 which is completely furnished. All housing expenses are paid, including taxes, water/sewer, telephone, high speed weekly maid service. Private schooling is provided for his children, he receives and upscale automobile, a $55,000 personal expense account for food, clothing, etc and a $125,000 business expense account, etc., etc. Please respond to this. Is it true????

Review from CharityNavigator

5 MARK SMITH

Donor

Rating: 5

Having attended numerous World Vision trips and functions I can tell you first hand you will not find a better source for your charitable dollar. World Vision's Area Development approach is by far the "best in the business". With a budget of over 1 BILLION dollars World Vision was able to recruit the CEO of Lennox, Rich Stearns. Rich took a significant pay cut to take over World Vision and basically walked away from millions he would be making in the corporate arena. Read his book before you decide to stop helping save the lives of the poorest of the poor. There's a reason why World Vision was the 2nd largest charitable organization in the USA last year. World Vision has earned my trust.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been donating to World Vision for several years and finally decided to check them out on Charity Navigator. I was shocked to read some of the reviews and esp see how much their CEO makes. I compared this with the other child sponsorship organization CEOs and most of them make way less, some nothing at all, devoting their time for free. I wrote to World Vision to express my disappointment and got a long rambling response validating and justifying WHY their CEO makes market salary. If he wants a market salary, he should work for a large corporate house not an organization supposedly dedicated to serving the underpriveleged. I am a salaried person who makes a fraction of what their CEO makes and have been denying myself several things each month so I can donate to a child for several years now. I can only hope my donations found their way to my sponsored child all thes eyears. And I am taking my hard earned support elsewhere.

1

Donor

Rating: 3

I have been giving to world vision for several years I decided to check them out on charity navigator. After seeing their ceo make three times what I do I think I'll find another charity to donate to. Noone needs that much.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 5

After reading the book "The Hole in our Gospel", my wife and I decided to sponsor a child in Africa through World Vision. Having looked at various charities with similar goals, we choose to use World Vision. Their rating is high; their effectiveness is unquestionable and the amount of our donation that actually goes to the children is extremely high. We were also moved by the personal commitment of Mr Stearns. While executive compensation is always going to be second-guessed by donors or potential donors, we looked at the compensation in the context of the overall effectiveness of World Vision and recognized that a person with the experience and skills to lead an organization of this size and influence is worth his pay. We're pleased to be able to help children through World Vision, and we are more than comfortable that the Lord's money is being well spent.

1 Steven12

Donor

Rating: 5

I love this charity. I support 3 kids through it monthly, and have been for years. I wonder why they feel they need to pay the president so much though?

Review from CharityNavigator