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Give a Gift FAQ

Connect With Your Child Through Gift Giving

Giving a gift to your sponsored child and the child’s family is a way that you can help meet the needs in their lives. Monetary gifts to your sponsored children mean new outfits, their first pair of shoes, a school uniform, toothpaste, food, or even livestock.

A gift given to your sponsored child is one way to show your love and commitment to them and to Jesus. And with family gifts, your gift provides income-generating opportunities or assistance that the family can use to help support themselves, as happened with Rinki and her family.

How do I give?
  • You can give online by credit card or an automatic debit of your bank account.

  • You can give your credit card information to a Sponsor Relations Representative by calling (800) 336-7676.

  • You can give by check.

    If you choose to send a check, please make it out to Compassion International and mail it to:

    Compassion International
    Colorado Springs, CO 80997

    Please remember to include your sponsor number on the check. Additional information, such as the child's number and the purpose of the gift (i.e., birthday, Christmas, graduation, etc.), should be included on an attached note to ensure proper handling.

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How much may I give?

You can give up to $200 a year to your sponsored child — a $100 birthday gift and a $100 general gift — and an additional $1,000 to the family. You can also give a graduation gift of up to $2,000 in the child's final year of sponsorship.

If you would like to give more than appears in the drop-down for Additional Giving within My Account, you can. Please call a Sponsor Relations Representative at (800) 336-7676.

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Is there a minimum amount I may give?

We request that child gifts, including the graduation gift, be at least $10. Gifts of less than $10 will be donated to the Christmas Gift Fund.

Family gifts should be at least $25, and student gifts should be at least $25. Student gifts refer to gifts for Leadership Development Program students.

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Will Compassion purchase a gift on my behalf? Can I specify what type of gift should be purchased?

Your monetary gift will be exchanged into local currency and transferred to the Compassion-assisted center for your sponsored child. A child development center staff member will work with the child and a caregiver to make the purchase with your gift money. The staff member will serve as an adviser, ensuring that the purchase is developmentally appropriate.

In the spirit of good stewardship, through minimizing banking fees, monetary gifts are sent with regular sponsorship funds on a monthly basis to Compassion-assisted centers. Based on when your gift is given in this disbursement cycle, it is possible that the child development center will not receive the gift funds for up to two months.

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When can I send a gift?

You may give a gift at any time. Birthdays and Christmas are frequent gift-giving occasions, but you may also give family or child gifts on other occasions. A graduation gift may be given during the child's final year of sponsorship.

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What kind of gifts may I send?

If you would like to send your child and/or your child’s family a gift, you can send a monetary gift, and Compassion staff in country will make purchases for the child and/or family through the local economy.

We ask that you not send monetary gifts in your correspondence with your child. However, you can send a small, paper gift with your next letter. Delivery and customs systems prohibit us from delivering packages to your sponsored child, so we require that anything you send fit in an 8-1/2" x 11" envelope and be no more than six total pages, including your letter.

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Can I give a gift to my sponsored child's family?

Giving a gift to your child's family helps provide income-generating opportunities the family can use to help support themselves and ultimately be released from poverty. 

Family gifts can be used to purchase livestock and household equipment or to establish a small business.

Read about the impact of giving a family gift. 

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Do I have to give a gift to the child I sponsor?

No, you do not have to give gifts to your child or his family. A gift is truly that — a gift. But if you choose to do so, it will be:

  • a memorable experience for the child and his or her family.

  • a tangible expression of your love.

  • a way to strengthen your relationship with the child.

  • and a way to meet a need in the family's life.

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Why does Compassion restrict how much I can give to the child I sponsor?

Many of the children and families Compassion works with live on less than U.S. $2 a day. We restrict the size of monetary gifts to avoid creating opportunities for dependence, and to avoid fostering jealousy within the community, which could place a child and his or her family at risk.

Gifts are individual expressions of love and encouragement, which complement the core lessons taught by our church partners.

Our goal is to stop the cycle of poverty that stalks families from one generation to the next, and we do this by equipping children with the skills they need to be successful in their own right.

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What if I gave a gift and then learned that my child no longer attends the child development center?

The Compassion country staff and church partners will attempt to deliver any gift they receive, even if the child no longer attends the center. If the child or family cannot be located, or the center itself cannot use the gift, it will be transferred into the Christmas Gift Fund, unless you request the money to be returned or applied to another fund.

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Are the gift-giving guidelines for a Leadership Development Program student the same as they are for a child?

No. Student gifts from U.S. $25 - $500 will be allowed. A gift can be given a maximum of two times per year (total maximum of U.S. $500 per year), including a birthday gift.

Additionally, a maximum amount of U.S. $2,000 will be allowed for the purchase of a computer and supplies. Sending monies for a computer will require preapproval from the country office through the field memo process.

Lastly, a graduation gift from U.S. $25 - $2,000 may be given during a student’s final year in the program.

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Are there other ways I can give?

We have multiple giving opportunities for you to consider, including the AIDS Initiative, Disaster Relief and the Child Survival Program, among others.

Your donations to these funds — which support programs that complement and work alongside our holistic child development programs — help make special projects possible, projects that go beyond child sponsorship, often providing an extra layer of care that can benefit an entire community. We call these opportunities Complementary Interventions.

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What if I still have questions?

If you have additional questions about giving gifts, please contact one of our Sponsor Relations Representatives at (800) 336-7676 (toll free in the continental United States), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT.

You can also visit our blog to learn more about the whys, whats and hows of gift giving.

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