Why is it so hard to compare other sponsorship organizations to Compassion’s holistic child development through sponsorship program?
“Just from my involvement with the industry, it seem that there are 2 different kinds of child sponsorship organizations. One, some that operate more like Compassion, foster a pretty close relationship between a sponsor and a child and the emphasis really is on that sponsored child. And the resources that are provided by the sponsor are directed very specifically at that child. There are advantages and disadvantages with that.
“One advantage is that it makes it easier for us to look at the outcomes in that person’s life and see if those resources made a difference.
“Other organizations foster a relationship between a sponsor and a child, but the funding the sponsor gives in the name of the child goes more broadly to the village to provide what economists call ‘public goods.’ So, it might be used to drill a well or build a school or pave a road or it could be used for any number of things.
“It’s much more difficult to assess that kind of program because the benefits are more diffuse. And so it makes it difficult to compare an organization like Compassion where the benefits accrue to an individual person in a way that we can actually measure the impact much more clearly with this other kind of child sponsorship program.”