Frequently Asked Questions About Child Sponsorship
- What is child sponsorship?
- What types of child sponsorships are available?
- Why should I join Save the Children?
- How does sponsorship work?
- Will my sponsorship connect me with an actual child?
- Why can I only sponsor a child in select countries?
- What happens once I join?
- How long should my support last?
- Can a child have more than one sponsor?
- Can I adopt a child through Save the Children?
- Can I cancel my sponsorship?
- Will I always be sponsoring the same child?
- What happens when a child grows up?
- Need more help?
- How does Save the Children help children and families impacted by coronavirus?
- How much does child sponsorship cost?
- Will my sponsorship always cost the same amount?
- Is my sponsorship support tax-deductible?
- How will my contributions be used?
- Are my contributions used differently if I’m corresponding or not corresponding with the child I’m matched with?
- What is the best way to pay for my monthly gift?
- How do I change my payment type?
- How do I update my credit card number?
- How will I be notified if my support is interrupted?
- How do I change from monthly support to annual or quarterly support?
- How do I increase my support?
- Will I receive a tax receipt for my monthly donations?
- Where can I find Save the Children’s financial information?
- Can I write to the child I sponsor?
- Why can I no longer select a child I can write to when sponsoring a child through the website?
- Can I send cash directly to the child I sponsor?
- Can I visit a sponsored child?
- Can I share information about the child I sponsor via social media?
- How does Save the Children protect the identity of supporters?
What is child sponsorship?
Child sponsorship is a monthly donation program that connects children most vulnerable to poverty, inequality and discrimination with compassionate people like you! Sponsorship means giving children the chance to grow up healthy, educated and safe — changing their lives and futures. (You just might find that it changes you, too!) When you donate, Save the Children combines your monthly contributions with the support of other generous donors to help not just one child, but also their family and community and others like them in the U.S. and around the world.
What types of child sponsorships are available?
In the past, our child sponsorship program matched one sponsor with one child. Now, to have an even greater impact, we are transitioning to a model in which multiple sponsors are matched with a child or a specific country. Sponsors will receive regular updates on the child or country — as well as other children and countries where we work. To reduce operational costs and use donations more efficiently, new sponsorships no longer provide an option to write to a child. This also prevents children from being disappointed if they don't receive a letter or don't have a sponsor. Now, your gifts go even further to help more children and families around the world, and we couldn't be more grateful for your support.
Why should I join Save the Children?
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the U.S. and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We help ensure that children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We develop pioneering programs that deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those in the hardest-to-reach places.
With an ambitious vision and a century of leading expertise, we’re one of the most highly regarded charities in the world. We're consistently recognized for our proven program responsibility and fiscal accountability, with 86¢ of every dollar going to programs for children and families. We earn high ratings from independent services like Charity Watch. Year over year, we earn the highest four-star rating from Charity Navigator, whose ratings are updated annually based on two broad areas of a charity's performance: Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency. We are also accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
When you become a Save the Children supporter, you can be sure you’re joining a movement dedicated to creating irreversible, positive change — for, and with, children
How does sponsorship work?
Save the Children selects communities that will benefit from our programs based on need. Our local staff and partners work hand-in-hand with these communities to develop and manage programs. All children are offered the opportunity to participate — in consultation with their families or caregivers — and experience the powerful impact of your generous ongoing support.
Will my sponsorship connect me with an actual child?
As a supporter of Save the Children, you’ll help children of all ages throughout entire communities. Your monthly gifts — combined with donations from others — will benefit many children in the community where the child you sponsor lives along with thousands of other children around the world. We'll also share regular updates that will show the tremendous difference you're helping to make in children's lives.
Why can I only sponsor a child in select countries?
We wish we could work in every country, but we can't. The countries where sponsorship is available are based on needs within the community, and whether our programs are a good fit to address those unique needs. We take our commitments to the children, communities, partners and supporters we work with very seriously. We won't abandon any programs, children or communities in the middle of our work with them. We only transition out of sponsorship communities once we ensure that the community is equipped and empowered to continue the progress we've made. The only time we make an exception to this is if there's a significant safety risk for children, communities or staff. In those circumstances, we address the most pressing needs of the community in the moment, which may result in stopping our traditional sponsorship programs.
What happens once I join?
About 10 days after you join sponsorship, you’ll receive a welcome kit, with everything you need to begin a meaningful sponsorship journey, including photos and information about the children and the community you’re supporting through your donations.
You’ll also receive an annual update report and ongoing print, email and mobile updates about the impact of your sponsorship on the community. You can also keep track of the progress happening in your sponsored community through your online account, which will be periodically updated with photos, videos and country program information.
How long should my sponsorship last?
Joining Save the Children as a monthly donor is a voluntary, ongoing contribution. You decide how long you’re able to help. Many donors have supported our work for more than 15 years, and some as many as 50 years!
Can a child have more than one sponsor?
Yes! Previously, our child sponsorship program matched one sponsor to one child. Now, to have an even greater impact, we are transitioning to a model in which multiple sponsors are matched with a child or a specific country. Sponsors will receive regular updates on the child or country — as well as other children and countries where we work. Although with new sponsorships there's no longer a one-to-one relationship, or the ability to write to a child, you'll receive regular updates on the child you sponsor and how your impact helps.
Can I adopt a child through Save the Children?
Our work and resources are solely focused on helping children grow up healthy, educated and safe within their own communities. If you’d like to consider adoption, we suggest you visit the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov and click “Learn about Adopting a Child to and from the U.S.”
Can I cancel my sponsorship?
Joining Save the Children is an entirely voluntary, ongoing relationship that supports our critical work with children most vulnerable to poverty, inequality and discrimination around the world. Before you make the choice to cancel your support, it may be helpful to adjust your support amount and consider all the ways in which your decision can impact children. Click here to find out more.
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Will I always be sponsoring the same child?
Save the Children's programs are structured with growth in mind — the growth of the child and the growth of the community. That's why we establish long-term commitments with local community partners and work with the communities to deliver successful programs that achieve lasting results. When our teams transition out of an area, we ensure the community is self-sufficient and can continue the programs without our support. This allows us to move on to help children in other communities with the peace of mind that the successes we achieved with the community will continue long after we're gone. In some circumstances a sponsorship may need to be transitioned to another child or region, for example when a child moves out of the area or we transition out of the community. Regardless of the child you're matched with, your support will be used to help provide a safe environment for children in the U.S. and all over the world so they can learn, grow and play.
What happens when a child grows up?
We work in real communities, with real families and in ever-changing situations. Sometimes children leave our programs because of their age. Or if a child's family moves to another community. In events like these, your sponsorship will be moved to a new child or program to ensure you can continue creating lasting, postive change for children. We'll be sure to notify you of the change when it happens.
If you have any questions that aren’t answered here or need additional help, our Supporter Experience Center will be happy to assist you with anything you may need. Contact us at [email protected] or 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST). As an existing supporter, you can also manage your account through our website.
For supporters living outside the U.S., you can send an email to our Supporter Experience Center at [email protected] or call +1-203-221-4000.
How does Save the Children help children and families impacted by coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a global pandemic that has threatened children’s rights in countries around the world, including those countries where Save the Children has programs. The coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching impacts, not only on the health of children, families and their communities, but also on education, protection, food supplies and social interaction. Children around the world continue to face health, education and safety risks due to coronavirus. That’s why Save the Children continues to work to ensure children and families affected by coronavirus receive the support they need to keep healthy, continue learning and stay safe.
How much does child sponsorship cost?
You can join Save the Children for just $39/month. Your gift is pooled with the gifts of others to support children and families in the U.S. and around the world. It's a powerful investment in children’s lives and futures! If you can afford more than $39 a month, you’ll help us achieve even more and ensure the long-term sustainability of our programs. If you’re interested in increasing your support, you can update your gift amount online or by contacting our Supporter Experience team at 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST).
Will my sponsorship always cost the same amount?
Not necessarily. Many supporters choose to upgrade their gift periodically (thank you!), allowing us to do even more for children around the world. There are also instances where we prompt this upgrade due to the rising operational costs in the countries where we work. We do this to ensure that our programs for the children remain unaffected by economic ebbs and flows. Please know that these small increases pooled together make a HUGE difference for kids. Every cent you give makes change for children. We can’t thank you enough for your ongoing support!
Is my sponsorship support tax deductible?
Yes, Save the Children Federation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is deductible to the full extent allowable under IRS regulations. For specific, tax-related questions about your charitable giving, we encourage you to contact your tax advisor.
How will my monthly contibutions be used?
Your generous monthly gifts can help give children a healthy start in life, opportunity to learn and protection from harm. You help to support them as they learn and grow in a safe, supportive environment. We work hand-in-hand with children, families and local partners in their communities to develop innovative, sustainable solutions that meet the unique needs of children. Learn more here.
Are my contributions used differently if I’m corresponding or not corresponding with the child I’m matched with?
Your contributions are used in the same way whether or not you are writing to the child you’re matched with. Starting in 2022, we combine all sponsorship gifts so we can ensure stable, long-term support. This approach will reduce our overhead and operational costs significantly so we can be more flexible in response to crises - like the COVID-19 pandemic, earthquakes, conflict and other emergencies.
What is the best way to pay for my monthly gift?
You can pay for your monthly gift in a variety of ways, including through a bank transfer, recurring credit card gift, wire transfer or personal check. We recommend setting up an automatic (or recurring) bank transfer through our Supporter Experience Center, because it saves us on the significant processing fees associated with credit card and check payments. We want to ensure as much of your support as possible goes to the children who need it most.
How do I update my credit card number?
You can update your credit card number by logging into your online account and clicking “Manage My Giving.” From there you can find your sponsorship gifts on the right column and can update your credit card number by selecting “Update Credit Card”. If you need assistance, call our Supporter Experience Center at 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST). To ensure the security of your information, we do not recommend sending credit card information over email.
How will I be notified if my support is interrupted?
If your contribution is unable to be processed (when, for example, your credit card or bank account number changes), you will receive notification by mail, email and SMS (if you have provided us with your mobile number and email adress) and then a printed statement each month until your information is updated. You'll also receive a phone call from a Save the Children representative to help you update your payment information.
How do I change from monthly support to annual or quarterly support?
Your Supporter Experience Center can assist in changing your contribution frequency and can be reached at [email protected] or 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, (EST).
How do I increase my support?
If you’re ready to provide even more support to child you sponsor and other children in the U.S. and around the world you can easily update your contribution amount online in the “My Giving” section of your online account. Your Supporter Experience Center is also happy to assist you and can be reached at 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST).
Will I receive a tax receipt for my monthly donations?
As a recurring donor, you will have access to an online history of your recurring giving. A full-year summary of your donations is typically available in late January of the new year, in PDF form, via your online account under "Manage my Giving". This summary can be used as your tax receipt. You can also use your monthly bank or credit card statements for your records. If you are unable to access your full-year summary of giving online by March of the following year, please use this form to request one or call us by phone at 1-800-728-3843. Duplicate receipts may take up to 10 business days to process.
Where can I find Save the Children's financial information?
Save the Children has a proven track record of program responsibility and fiscal accountability. You can be assured that Save the Children uses the valuable resources sponsors provide in the most efficient, cost-effective ways possible.
Our independently audited financial statements consistently show that nearly 9 out of every 10 dollars we spend goes to programs and services for children and families in need. Click here for more financial information.
To have the greatest impact for children enrolled in our programs, all new child sponsorships offer the opportunity to receive updates on a child and other children, families and communities benefiting from your support. We no longer offer an opportunity to write to a child. Why? To reduce operational costs and help direct more money towards programs that help children have a healthy start in life, access to education and protection from harm.
If you're already corresponding with a child, you can continue to write to them, ideally by email. You can find more information and country specific contact details in your online account or by contacting the Supporter Experience Center at [email protected] or 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST).
Why can I no longer select a child I can write to when sponsoring a child through the website?
Our goal is always to ensure that we have the greatest impact for kids. One way to do so is by reducing operational costs so as much of your donation as possible can go to support programs. All new sponsorships will allow you to receive updates on the child but don't include the opportunity to correspond with that child. This avoids having children feel disappointed if they don’t receive a letter and allows us to direct more money towards programs that help to ensure that children have a healthy start in life, access to education and protection from harm.
Because cash can make children a target in some of the economically deprived areas where we work, supporters can't send money directly to children. However, additional monetary gifts to support our work are always appreciated. These valuable funds will support the programs that may benefit the child you sponsor and other children in the U.S. and around the world — helping us to make an even bigger difference in their lives and futures.
If you'd like to make an additional gift, you may do so through our website or contact our Supporter Experience Center at 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST).
To keep children safe and allow staff to prioritize our program work, Save the Children supporters aren't able to visit children participating in our programs. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST). Thank you for your understanding and continued support of our life-changing work for children.
In today’s digital age, children are exposed to new risks. While you may have good intentions in sharing information about a child participating in our programs, there are people who could use that information to cause harm. For children's protection, please don't post any information online that could be used to identify or locate the child you sponsor, such as last name, school name, community name or photo.
We do encourage you to post on social media to share about your experience (and hopefully inspire others to join the Save the Children family!) but to do so in a way that ensures the safety and protection of all of the children. For example, you can say, “Becoming a Save the Children supporter has meant the world to me. I love knowing children will have a better life and a brighter future because of me.”
Thank you for helping us keep children safe!
To protect the identity of our supporters, we don’t share your contact information directly with the child you sponsor.
If you are contacted by the child you sponsor, his or her family or a community member outside of communications sent by Save the Children, we ask that you not respond and immediately contact our Supporter Experience Center at [email protected] or 1-800-728-3843, Monday-Friday 8am-5pm (EST).
Our utmost goal is to protect the children we serve, as well as the generous supporters who make our work possible. Thank you for partnering with us to achieve this goal.
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