The Best Organization to Sponsor a Child

by Didem Tali

According to GuideStar, an information service for nonprofit organizations, more than 85,000 children's charities exist in the U.S. and among these, hundreds of organizations give the option of sponsoring a child. The American Institute of Philanthropy ranks charities that specialize in child sponsorship and work in different geographical areas. Choosing the best one depends on your priorities.

Save the Children

With the sponsorship program of Save the Children, you can sponsor children in the U.S. or overseas in the countries where the charity operates. With the funds received from sponsors, the charity prioritizes early childhood care and development, basic education, school health and nutrition, adolescence development and innovation. Eighty-nine percent of the donations given to Save the Children directly benefit these programs.

Unbound

Through Unbound's sponsorship program, you may sponsor not only a child, but also a young adult or an elderly person in a vulnerable community. Unbound has a holistic approach to community development. The primary goal of the sponsorship programs is to build capacity in communities for economic self-sufficiency and empowerment. Ninety-three-and-a-half percent of the donations to Unbound directly go to program activities.

World Vision

With World Vision's child sponsorship program, you can reach children in almost 100 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The charity's advanced online search allows you to pick the sex, age and geographical location of your sponsored child. It also includes a photograph, a few personal features and a brief video of each child, making the sponsorship experience more personal. When you donate to World Vision, it uses 79 percent of your donation toward its causes.

Compassion International

Compassion International is an organization that solely focuses on child sponsorship. As a Christian organization, Compassion International's goal is "releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name." The organization also serves as a ministry and wants to ensure sponsored children "become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults." Eighty-four percent of the donations you make to this organizations benefits these goals.

Pearl S. Buck International

Pearl S. Buck International aims to change the lives of orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children across the world. This includes ethnic and racial minorities, disabled children including those with HIV/AIDS, and refugees, displaced and stateless children. The sponsorship program of this organization prioritizes health, education and psychosocial development of children. At Pearl S. Buck International, 87 percent of the donations go to programs.

About the Author

Didem Tali is an award-winning journalist whose work was commissioned by BBC, Deutsche Welle, Irish Times. New Internationalist, Southeast European Times and others. She holds a master's degree in media, communication and development from the London School of Economics.

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