Compassion International Child Survival Program Frequently Asked Questions

What are the distinctive features of Compassion's ministry?

Compassion is Christ-centered. We commit to honor Jesus Christ in all that we do. The Great Commission is at the heart of our mission and discipleship is at the core of our program. Every child who participates in a Compassion program is given the opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ and discover how to develop a lifelong relationship with God. 

  • Compassion is church-based. We work in partnership with local churches to assist children in their communities.
  • Compassion is child-focused. We are committed to making a difference in the individual child's life. Local staff are personally acquainted with children to minister to the unique needs of each child. We strongly believe in ministering to individual children because it has been proven that changed individuals are the most effective champions of change in their communities and nations.
  • Compassion is committed to integrity. Since our beginning in 1952, we have never wavered in our commitment to integrity in every aspect of the ministry. We commit to honoring the dignity of every individual, accurately presenting the gospel, practicing the highest standard in the use of funds and adhering to sound principles in ministry.

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How did Compassion begin and what is its current status?

In 1952, evangelist Rev. Everett Swanson was preaching in Korea. Moved by the plight of Korean War orphans, Swanson established a program whereby caring people were able to provide food, shelter, education, medical care and Christian training for those orphans. Rev. Swanson's program became the basis for what is now Compassion. Presently, Compassion serves more than 1 million children in 26 countries around the world.

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What percentage of expenditures are spent on program activities?

Throughout the years, Compassion has consistently averaged more than 80 percent of total expenditures being used for program activities, with less than 20 percent being used for fund raising and administration. During the past five years, the actual program percentages has averaged nearly 82 percent.

We use conservative accounting methods that do not inflate our effectiveness in this regard. That's why Compassion earns the highest ratings from independent agencies that look at the financial management of nonprofit organizations. In addition, Compassion is a member of several accrediting agencies, including:

  • Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (founding member)
  • Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

Learn more about Compassion's financial integrity.

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Is Compassion affiliated with any church or denomination? Compassion partners with local churches representing over 65 evangelical, Christ-centered denominations. Our statement of faith is the same as that of the National Association of Evangelicals.

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Are my contributions to Compassion, including my Child Survival Program support, tax-deductible? Yes. All contributions to Compassion are tax-deductible in the United States. As a requirement of the 1993 Revenue Reconciliation Act, we verify that no goods or services of value are given to you for your contribution.

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How do children benefit from my monthly support?

Your monthly support will enable Compassion center staff to work directly with little ones through age 3 and their caregivers, as well as expectant mothers. Your support not only will provide them nourishment and medical assistance for physical health, but it also will help us equip and encourage guardians to maximize each child's God-given potential — mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Specifically, the Child Survival Program offers:


  • Prenatal care
    Each year millions of babies around the world die from malnutrition that begins in the womb. Compassion cares about these babies and their mothers. The Child Survival Program provides help to expectant mothers through nutritious food supplements and assistance in obtaining prenatal medical care. Expectant moms are also educated about such vital topics as:
    • fetal development,
    • the childbirth process,
    • breastfeeding and 
    • infant care.
  • Equipping, educating and encouraging caregivers
    Our care doesn't end when a baby is born. Caring workers from the Child Survival Program make regular home visits for hands-on, one-on-one training and encouragement. During these visits, guardians are taught practical skills such as:
    • how to sterilize baby bottles to prevent illnesses,
    • how to make their homes safe and child-friendly,
    • how to discipline in effective and supportive ways and 
    • how to provide opportunities for mental, emotional and social development.

Additionally, participants in the program meet regularly to share their experiences, learn from each other,and provide mutual encouragement.

Finally, through the Child Survival Program, caregivers who are not literate learn to read and write, as well as learn trade skills that will help them better provide for their children and themselves.

  • Nutritious supplements
    In addition to regular food supply distributions, their caregivers are provided training in:
    • hygienic food preparation,
    • the principles of nutrition and 
    • how to meet the special nutritional needs of young children.
  • Purposeful spiritual nurturing
    At Compassion, it's important that children get a healthy start in life and learn at an early age that Jesus loves them. Through the Child Survival Program, mothers and other caregivers are presented the gospel and encouraged in their spiritual development. They are also taught how to apply Christian values in their child-rearing practices and how to share God's love with their children through stories, songs and age-appropriate activities.

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How much does it cost to be a Child Survival Program Partner? If you choose to support a Child Survival Program project, the cost is only $20 per month.

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What is a Child Survival Program partner?

A Child Survival Program partner is someone like you who wants to help save the lives of infants and toddlers affected by poverty — our world's youngest, most vulnerable children. Early intervention is crucial for the present and future well-being of these children. As a Child Survival Program partner, you will help us provide the assistance they so desperately need for a healthy start in life and a bright future.

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Why does the Child Survival Program also enroll caregivers other than mothers?

Staff of the Child Survival Program work with mothers because, most often, they are the primary caregivers of their children. However, there are circumstances when the mother cannot be the primary caregiver. If that is the case, other caregivers in the extended family, including the father who may be the legal guardian of the child, are enrolled in the program.

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Will I be helping a specific child and his or her caregiver? No. You will be supporting a specific program and all the children and caregivers it serves.

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What is the Child Survival Program and why did Compassion start it?

Early childhood is a critical time for children and sets the stage for their future. Without a healthy start, a child’s chances of normal development are small. Tragically, in our world today, one out of every 11 children dies before the age of five, mostly from preventable causes. To have the greatest affect on these at-risk little ones, Compassion’s Child Survival Program works directly with caregivers, as well as expectant mothers, to help them provide a solid foundation  — physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually — for their children.

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If I become a partner, how long does a Child Survival Program partnership last?

Partnership offers you the opportunity to support a specific Child Survival Program project, which serves up to 100 children and their caregivers at a time. Through your connection to that project, you will enjoy the blessing of seeing many young lives saved and set on the road toward a bright and healthy future. While we hope you will be able to continue your support for many years, we recognize that partners' circumstances sometimes change. You may discontinue your partnership at any time.

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Will the children in this project eventually enter Compassion’s child sponsorship program? If so, can I sponsor one of these children when they leave the Child Survival Program? Children have the opportunity as early as age three to enter Compassion’s sponsorship program. Children and their guardians participate in the Child Survival Program based on the seriousness of their developmental needs and the time it takes to address those specific issues. Ideally, these little ones will transition into the Compassion sponsorship program where they will be matched with individual sponsors and continue the process of growing into happy, healthy Christian adults. If partners of a project in the Child Survival Program would like to become sponsors of individual children they can. But Compassion does not guarantee that partners of a project in the Child Survival Program will become sponsors of children who once attended or graduated from that project.

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How will I be informed of progress and specific developments in the project I sponsor? When you become a Child Survival Program partner, you will receive information describing your specific project. You will also receive occasional updates on your project as well as the Child Survival Program. These updates will help you see how you are making a difference in the lives of little children and caregivers. You will also better understand the unique challenges facing families served by the program.

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How can I be assured my support will have a direct effect on the children?

Compassion is consistently commended for financial efficiency and integrity and for being a leader in good stewardship of resources. More than 80 percent of total expenditures go directly to help children and less than 20 percent is spent on fund raising and administrative costs.

Accountability is a commitment and a value that drives our whole organization. We regularly conduct audits to make sure that funds are properly received, tracked and managed. Beyond making sure that funds are reaching a local project, we carefully monitor and evaluate program effectiveness and the long-term affect by tracking progress of the individual children. Like you, we want to be sure that real development is taking place in the life of every assisted child.

We are committed to earning and keeping the trust of those who give to this ministry. If you have any financial questions, please call us toll-free at (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Time.

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