Frequently Asked Questions

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About giving (including where your money goes)

I want to give in a smart way. How can I be sure you’re putting my donation to good use?

First, we love people who do their homework, especially when it comes to how they spend their giving dollars. In 2020, 85% of our total expenses supported the programs and activities that help our children. We work hard to keep our overhead costs low, so that our children can have as many benefits as possible.

Where does my money actually go? Do you give it directly to the children in your program?

Great question. We have short and long answers below.

Short answer: No, we don’t give funds directly to the children, but your support is invested directly into programs that impact your child’s future.

Long answer: Your giving dollars ensure sponsored children have access to community centers, as well as caring local staff and volunteers.

If you’re becoming part of a child’s team, it means your child is immediately able to access basic program services for health, education, empowerment and employment.

Many of our expanded programs need additional funding to allow more children to participate. So occasionally we ask supporters to donate to specific programs. We develop these programs so that each country can deliver customized support to our children based on their specific needs where they live.

We deliver our programs so that each country can deliver better, more customized support to our children. Our mission is that every child graduates from our program healthy, educated, employed and empowered to break the cycle of poverty.

P.S. Many sponsors also choose to give extra gifts to their child’s family, which works a little differently.

How do you make sure my gifts to Children International are spent wisely?

We take a lot of security steps to ensure your donations are safe and support programs that deliver the most impact. For starters, your donation is directly deposited into the bank, which means the donations are handled in a secure and professional way from the moment they are received. We also have independent CPA firms audit each agency every year. Plus, we do our own internal agency audits annually. To top it off, you can visit our community centers and see for yourself how your impact directly benefits the kids!

How do you choose locations to build a community center?

We look at areas with the highest concentration of poverty, usually urban slum communities. Using government data and statistics, we identify major cities and then seek to understand what the need is and what other services are offered in those communities.

How do you know which children need help?

Our local social workers determine which families need the most help. After meeting with family members, we use an assessment tool to determine if they are eligible. The social workers look at aspects such as a family’s source of income, how reliable it is, the number of family members living in the home, the number of beds, the amount and types of possessions, and whether the household is led by a single parent. Our assessment helps us develop a score that provides an overall way to look at a family’s need. We also look at where the family lives to make sure they live close enough to be able to easily access our programs and services; providing services to as many kids as possible in a concentrated area allows our programs to reach farther. Our local volunteers – who know the neighborhoods first hand and the people living there – are often the first to suggest a family that is in dire need of help. Then our social workers do the due diligence and the math.

When we open a project area, we do so near villages and communities where there is great need. We want to involve as many families as we can in our sponsorship program. We try to make sure that all of the families in one community are receiving the help they need before opening another project in a different area.

All children within our project area are eligible for sponsorship if they are in need of assistance. We do not ask questions concerning religious beliefs, family background, political beliefs, or any other questions that may exclude certain children. We believe that if a child needs help, he or she should receive it.

How can my gift do so much?

We work hard to keep costs down while keeping the quality of our programs way up. To do that, we:

  • Hire local staff. Our team members reside in the countries where they work and are extremely familiar with our communities and local customs. Hiring locally is also less expensive and relatable for our families.
  • Buy in bulk. We buy supplies in mass quantities, many times directly from the countries where we work. Doing so keeps costs down and supports local economies.
  • Gain strength in numbers. We enroll large numbers of kids in the same area to help us provide the most impact.
  • Recruit volunteers for support. Our trained volunteers — mostly the moms of sponsored kids — assist us with delivering services and leading activities. We have whole families who get involved!
Can you provide specific figures?

Absolutely. Check out any of this official paperwork, and if you want to learn more, you can also contact our Care Team.

Is my gift tax-deductible? How can I get a tax receipt?

If you live in the U.S., your gift to Children International is tax-deductible. Getting your tax receipt is easy! Just log in to see your giving history and print a copy of your tax receipt.

What is Children International's tax id or EIN?

Children International’s tax identification number, or EIN is 44-6005794 

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

If for any reason you would like a refund for your donation, we will process the refund, using the original method of payment. It may take up to 10 business days (depending on your bank) for a refund to appear on your account.

How can I find out if my employer will match my gift?

More than 10,000 companies nationwide will match their employees’ gifts to Children International. Find out if your company is one, and double the impact of your gift!

Children Cherity Agency

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