Monday, August 9, 2010

Does Sponsorship REALLY Make a Difference?

Many nonprofit organizations offer child sponsorship. It is a great way to personalize the connection between the donor and the recipient. However, the marketing of sponsorship programs can be somewhat misleading. In an article about Child Sponsorship, The Better Business Bureau notes that most sponsorship programs do not give their donations entirely to the child.

“In most cases, sponsor contributions are pooled with other donations and are used to support projects designed to benefit the local community where the child lives as opposed to being conveyed exclusively to the child” (

For one thing, typically the administration cost for sponsorship needs to be taken out. Some of the larger organizations also have costs from their domestic offices, their field office, and then the salary of the workers hired to write the child´s letters (because most children in sponsorship programs are illiterate), then the salary of translates to put the child´s letter into English so that it can be easily read by his sponsor in the United States. For a large organization, a sponsorship program can be a very expensive undertaking because all of the staff needed.

Efficient organizations typically require about 17% of your $36 monthly donation to cover the overhead costs of running a sponsorship program. That means that about $400 of the $434 dollars you donated that year will go toward programs in the community of your child. Yet the question remains: is the child´s life really being impacted by your sponsorship donation? Do the years of sponsorship give the child a chance at a different life, and the opportunity to experience the abundant life Jesus promised was available to all?

AFE, on the other hand, does not take out any overhead costs from sponsorship donations. $30 of your $30 donation pays for programs that directly benefit your child. These programs include a full lunch and breakfast provided throughout the week, Christian mentorship and formation, family help and intervention, shoes, clothing and holiday celebrations, and extracurricular activities and transportation.

Another difference between AFE and some of the larger sponsorship organizations is that because we are small, we know your child personally, and we can guarantee that your donation is making a difference in his or her life.

Maira, one of the first children rescued from the dump, comments that she found God at AFE. In a country in which most do not graduate the sixth grade, she makes straight A´s in the tenth grade, and dreams about becoming a doctor, to make a difference in her country. Maira´s life has been changed by the programs that your sponsorship donation supports. Will you help partner with us to change more lives as well?

Find out More about Child Sponsorship

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