Does Child Sponsorship Work?

Does Child Sponsorship Work?

In 2008, Dr. Bruce Wydick, a professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, along with two colleagues, conducted a study of Compassion’s child sponsorship program to determine its impact on the adult life outcomes of formerly sponsored children against those of children who were not part of the ministry’s programs.

Their research spanned two years and focused on six nations where Compassion provided child sponsorship between 1980 and 1992. They interviewed 1,860 formerly sponsored children along with non-sponsored siblings and children from their communities and outlying communities where Compassion programs were not offered. Data was collected on more than 10,000 individuals.

Wydick and his colleagues concluded that Compassion’s program has large and statistically significant impacts on the educational, employment and leadership outcomes of our children. This research has been peer-reviewed and was published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Political Economy—one of the most prestigious economics journals in the world.

Research Findings

When asked which component of Compassion’s program was most beneficial to the formerly sponsored children, the most common answer was "educational support" (38.5%). The second-most common response related to "spiritual or character development" (29.4%).

U.S. Media Contacts
Tim Glenn

(719) 272-5377

Becca Bishop

(719) 272-5109

For all non-media related inquiries, please call (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.

Research Interviews

In more than 15 short video interviews, Dr. Bruce Wydick shares the compelling facts on why Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program really does release children from poverty.

Watch the videos >

Faces of Success and Effectiveness

During their studies of formerly sponsored children, Dr. Bruce Wydick and his research team discovered that sponsored children were more likely than their non-sponsored peers to pursue careers with a service focus

Ronnie, Mariela and Evans are evidence of this. They are Child Sponsorship Program graduates who completed their educations beyond high school and began fulfilling careers without participating in the Leadership Development Program.

Meet Ronnie, Mariela and Evans >

Jarius Melcher

Jarius grew up surrounded by adults struggling to find work and children unable to attend school. Because of caring sponsors, Jarius was able to attend the Compassion development center at a local church. Now he is a logistics specialist.

Watch a video about Jarius >

Margaret Makhoha

Margaret, a 2003 Leadership Development Program graduate, represents her home district of Namayingo in the Ugandan Parliament. She won the election with 50 percent of the vote in a four-candidate race.

Wimper Sanchez

Wimper Sanchez emerged from a life steeped in poverty, crime and violence. Thanks to his local church, Wimper's leadership potential was nurtured and he was accepted into Compassion's Leadership Development Program.

Watch a video about Wimper >