How Does Child Sponsorship Work?

When you sponsor a child for the holidays, you’re helping to ensure that they and so many others can grow up healthy, learning and safe – no matter where they were born. Too many children right here in the U.S. and around the world aren’t getting the opportunity to reach their full potential. When you sponsor a child in need, you can help make real change.

Top 3 Questions About Child Sponsorship

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What is Sponsorship?

Child sponsorship is a unique program that connects one child in need with one compassionate person like you! 

Becoming a sponsor means giving children from around the world the chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe – forever changing their life and future. You just might find that it changes you, too.

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How much does it cost to sponsor a child?

Sponsoring a child with Save the Children costs about $1 a day! You can become a sponsor for $39 a month.

Your sponsorship is truly an investment in children’s lives and futures!

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Why become a child sponsor with Save the Children?

Save the Children was the first organization to offer supporters the opportunity to sponsor an individual child. Today, we are one of the most highly regarded charities in the world.

In 2020, 1 million people in the U.S. supported Save the Children.

What You Receive When You Sponsor a Child:

  • A welcome kit, including a photo and information about the child you sponsor.
  • The opportunity to write letters back and forth to get to know more about the child you sponsor.*
  • Annual updates and ongoing print communications highlighting the impact of sponsorship on the child you sponsor and other children in the community. 
  • A personalized online account where updated photos, videos and information about the child you’re sponsoring will be shared to keep you engaged. 
  • The joy of knowing you’re truly making a difference! 

What the Child You Sponsor Receives:

  • The opportunity to receive letters or special games and keepsakes from far-away friends. (Many children in our programs have never received a piece of mail in their entire lives!)*
  • Safe and friendly places to learn and play. 
  • Your continued support and investment in their community. 
  • The opportunity to participate in the empowerment of their community.
  • Community-led change that impacts education systems, healthcare and protection.

*Letter-writing is only available through individual child sponsorship, not lifeline sponsorship. To learn more about the different sponsorship types, click here.

How to Sponsor a Child for Christmas

A girl in purple shirt standing next to a wood m fence holds up a letter written to her sponsor and smiles.
  1. Sponsor a child of any age or gender, from countries all around the world.

  2. About 10 days after you sign up to become a child sponsor, you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail. Your welcome letter will introduce you to his or her life, include a child photo and more information about how your sponsorship impacts their entire community. 

  3. Watch as your ongoing support enables the work that empowers the child you sponsor. As a sponsor, you’ll have the opportunity to exchange letters and continue to get updates on how your sponsorship is making an incredible difference. 

Where Can I Sponsor a Child?

Map of the countries where you can sponsor a child through Save the Children

No matter where you sponsor a child, your sponsorship will go towards giving children a healthy start in life and continued support as they learn and grow.

You can sponsor a child in many countries around the world, including in:

Sponsoring a child in need provides a decade of empowerment – and beyond

Child sponsorship programs are structured with growth in mind—the growth of the child and the growth of the community.

By partnering with communities for 10-15 years, this long-term commitment allows us to work with the community to thoroughly assess and understand their community’s unique needs and work with them to deliver successful sponsorship programs that achieve lasting results. Learn more!

When our teams transition out of an area, we work to ensure local community members feel confident in continuing the programs we started together without our ongoing support. This allows us to move on to help girls and boys in other communities while ensuring the successes we achieved for children continue.

Stories from Sponsored Children

In 2020, more than 200,000 sponsors worldwide supported programs that directly benefited over 2.4 million children in 22 countries around the world – including the United States. Thanks to our growing community of child sponsors, we continue to increase our impact and reach, helping more children than we did the year before.


At 12 years old, Beauven is already making the world a safer place for kids. She trained to become a Child Health Promoter through her school's sponsored health and nutrition program. Read more


In the rural farming region of Egypt where 16-year-old Ahmed lives, it’s common for children to be forced to leave school so they can help support their families. When Ahmed joined a sponsorship program that allowed him to earn money over the summer and stay in school, his future opportunities changed. Read more


Hope loves to read, but she didn't start out as a bookworm. Every time Hope was asked to read aloud in class, she would cry. But that all changed when she joined Reading Rocks, the sponsored literacy program at her school. Read more

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Child Sponsorship

1. What is the child sponsorship program?

Child sponsorship is a program that connects children in need with compassionate sponsors like you! Becoming a sponsor means investing in a child’s life and empowering them to grow up healthy, educated and safe. When you join our sponsorship family, you can be sure you're joining a growing, global community dedicated to doing whatever it takes for children, transforming their lives and the future we share.

When you become a child sponsor, Save the Children does not give your donation directly to the child you sponsor, rather we combine your monthly contribution with the support of other sponsors to help aid projects in their community – creating a “ripple effect” of positive change.  

2. How much does it cost to sponsor a child with Save the Children?

Sponsoring a child with Save the Children is just $39 a month.

The most effective way to help children is by combining your contributions with those of other sponsors, rather than giving them directly to the child you sponsor.

Your generous monthly support will go towards helping empower the lives of children and families in your sponsorship community through our innovative programs. Your sponsorship is truly an investment in children’s lives and futures!

3. Is child sponsorship effective?

With an ambitious vision and over a century of leading expertise, Save the Children is one of the oldest and highly regarded charities in the world. We are consistently recognized for our proven program responsibility and fiscal accountability. We earn high ratings from independent services like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch, and we are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.

When you become a Save the Children sponsor, you can be sure you’re joining a growing, global community dedicated to doing whatever it takes for children, empowering their lives and the future we share.

4. Can I write or email my sponsored child?

Yes! Exchanging letters and emails with the child you sponsor helps build a caring connection that deepens the impact of our work. 

Writing a letter on behalf of your family, or even having your child/grandchild correspond, is a great way to get your family involved in the sponsorship experience, help them learn more about the world and share in the joy of connecting with others. Once you become a sponsor, you will be able to email your sponsored child through your online account. Your email will be printed, translated and delivered directly to your sponsored child by our country office staff. 

Please keep in mind that there may be delays or inability to deliver letters in a timely manner due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We will do everything in our power to deliver your message while keeping staff and children safe. 

We’ll also occasionally provide you with colorful greeting cards that you can personalize and send to the child you sponsor in recognition of special occasions, such as his or her birthday. Children love reading your messages, so please be on the lookout for these special mailings. 

5. What types of child sponsorships are available?

Save the Children offers 3 types of child sponsorship:

  • Individual child sponsorship gives you the unique opportunity to develop a one-on-one relationship with the child who you sponsor, while benefiting children in their community as well. Individual sponsors have the opportunity to exchange messages with their sponsored child via email or postal mail. 
  • Lifeline sponsorship is where you contribute monthly support to a sponsorship community and receive information and updates about a single child, but there is no one-on-one relationship or ability to communicate with the child. This is a great option if you’re interested in learning how an individual child participates in sponsorship, but you aren’t able to or interested in corresponding with a child. 
  • Program sponsorship is where you contribute monthly support to our programs in a specific sponsorship country. Program sponsors receive updates and success stories on our overall results in the country, but have no individual child communication or updates. This is a great option if you’re interested in supporting sponsorship programs, but you aren’t interested in corresponding with a child.

You can become an individual child sponsorship and lifeline sponsorship online. If you are interested in program sponsorship, please contact your Supporter Experience Center team at 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST).


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