Choosing a Child Sponsorship Charity
Child sponsorship charities tug at your heartstrings. You want to help…but you're not sure which child sponsorship charity to choose. There are five important questions you'll want to ask before signing on:
5 Questions to Ask of a Child Sponsorship Charity
• Are they making a difference?
• How do they distribute their funds?
• Can they be trusted?
• How much does sponsorship cost?
• What kind of feedback and information will you receive?
For 75 years, child sponsorship charity Plan U.K. has been working to provide a brighter future for children in some of the world's poorest communities.
Are they making a difference?
Plan U.K. is making a difference in a huge way. With a focus on health and education of children, the global children's' charity works to strengthen families so whole communities can prosper and thrive. Last year Plan U.K.
• had 1.5 million sponsored children
• affected the lives of 56.4 million children and their families
• trained 175,886 professional and volunteer health workers and 62,424 community health workers and traditional birth attendants
• trained 76,419 professional and volunteer education workers and supported the construction and rehabilitation of 1,723 schools
• trained 165,148 people in agricultural, vocational, and business
• trained 110,972 community members and staff of partner organisations in child protection
• supported 2,119 microfinance organisations and 77,792 local savings and loan groups
• supported 122,297 households to improve their sanitation facilities, and helped refurbish 5,804 water points
How do they distribute their funds?
When you sponsor a child, you can choose their age, gender, and country. Plan U.K. uses a community-led approach, so when you sponsor one child, you are helping an entire community.
Your financial contribution will be pooled with money from other donors and used to help the community in which your sponsored child lives. Your donations will be used according to the community's needs, and may include building schools and improving education, providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation, or making up food shortfalls when crops fail.
Eighty-three percent of expenditures go toward development work. Seventeen percent is spent on fundraising and administrative costs.
Can they be trusted?
Plan U.K. is a registered charity in the U.K. and holds itself accountable to sponsors and the children and communities they work with. Programmes are routinely evaluated to confirm they are meeting the children's needs. Internal and external auditors are used to monitor finances as well the daily operations. Published financial statements include details of spending and fundraising. One World Trust’s 2008 Global Accountability Report ranked Plan U.K. in the top three non-governmental organisations for good accountability.
How much does sponsorship cost?
You can sponsor a child for £15 a month.
What kind of feedback and information will you receive?
When you sign up, you'll get a welcome pack that includes a photo and information about your sponsored child and his or her community. You'll be free to reach out to your sponsored child with letters and photos. Plan U.K. will also send you a yearly update on how things are going in their community.
Your support will help to lift a community out of poverty, offering children the opportunity to lead more productive and fulfilling lives. If you've been considering a child sponsorship charity, Plan U.K. definitely passes the five-question test.