Does Child Sponsorship Work?

Wydick Research

Independent researchers have conducted an in-depth study of Compassion’s child sponsorship program to determine its impact on the adult life outcomes of formerly sponsored children. The researchers 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 will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Political Economy—one of the most prestigious economics journals in the world.

Compassion gives children the opportunity receive a good education.
More Education

The research found that former Compassion sponsored children stay in school longer than their non-sponsored peers.

  • Former Compassion sponsored children stay in school 1 to 1.5 years longer than their non-sponsored peers. (In Uganda, the numbers are much higher—2.4 years.) An extra year of schooling could have long-lasting impact on a child’s future employment possibilities as an adult.
  • Former Compassion sponsored children were 27-40% more likely to finish secondary education than those who were not enrolled in the child sponsorship program.
  • Former Compassion sponsored children were 50-80% more likely to complete a university education than non-sponsored children.
  • When asked which component of Compassion’s program was most beneficial to the formerly sponsored children, the most common answer given was “educational support” (38.5%). The second-most common response related to “spiritual or character development” (29.4%).
Compassion's Child Sponsorship model works to develop leadership skills in children in order to develop future community leaders to help alleviate poverty.

The research found that former Compassion sponsored children were more likely to be leaders in their communities and churches.

  • Former Compassion sponsored children were 30-75% more likely to become community leaders as adults than their non-sponsored peers.
  • Former Compassion sponsored children were 40-70% more likely to become church leaders as adults than their non-sponsored peers.
  • Compassion sponsorship increases the probability that a child becomes a teacher by 63%.

Dr. Bruce Wydick

Bruce Wydick is professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. Professor Wydick received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1996, studying under 2001 Economics Nobel laureate George Akerlof.

Learn more about Dr. Wydick's research >

Wydick Research 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

Here are four Child Sponsorship Program graduates who were able to complete their education beyond high school and embark on fulfilling careers without joining the Leadership Development Program.

Read more >

Video: Jarius Melcher's Story

Jarius Melcher 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 project at a local church. Now he is a logistics specialist.

Watch Jarius' video >

Video: Margaret Makhoha's Story

Margaret grew up in poverty but had a Compassion sponsor. Compassion partnered with Margaret's church in Uganda to help release her from poverty.

Watch Margaret's story >

Wimper Sanchez's Video

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

Watch Wimper's video >

U.S. Media Contact
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.