Best Child Sponsorship Programs

Child sponsorship is one of the most effective ways to help children and their families rise out of poverty. The best child sponsorship programs provide education, health care, food and more to those who need it most.

According to a poll of top development economists, child sponsorship is the most effective long-term development intervention for fighting poverty and helping the poor.

It not only addresses a child's immediate physical needs, but it also builds self-esteem and self-respect in the marginalized. But not all child sponsorship organizations and child sponsorship programs are equal.

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Which Organization has the Best Child Sponsorship Program?

To understand the effectiveness of a sponsorship program, we should look to the independent research of others instead of self-assessments, donor impressions or individualized accounts of impact.

Fortunately, we have access to an independent and peer-reviewed research study published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Political Economy to help us.

In 2008, Dr. Bruce Wydick and two colleagues conducted research on the effectiveness of international child sponsorship in helping kids escape poverty.

The research team wanted to compare multiple child sponsorship programs. However, Compassion was the only child sponsorship organization to accept the invitation to join the study.

Instead of comparing programs in multiple organizations, the research team focused on researching the adult life outcomes of formerly sponsored children in our program against the outcomes of children who were not part of the program.

Researchers collected data on more than 10,000 individuals in six countries between 1980 and 1992; children enrolled during that time were adults between 2008 and 2010.

The research found that Compassion-sponsored children were more likely to complete all levels of education.

As adults, they were more likely to become salaried employees, more likely to have white-collar jobs and more likely to be community leaders helping improve entire communities.

Compassion Supported Children:

Spend an average of 4,000 hours in safe, nurturing programs

Stay in school up to 1.5 years longer than unsponsored peers

Are up to 18% more likely to have salaried employment in their adult years

Are up to 40% more likely to finish secondary education

Are up to 80% more likely to graduate college

Are up to 75% more likely to become leaders in their communities

What is the Best Charity to Sponsor a Child with?

So how do you choose the best child sponsorship program for you and your family? The best program for you is the one that matches your values.

All of the best child sponsorship programs share similarities. However, there are also many differences to consider.

To help you make the best decision for your circumstances, priorities and values, consider these six questions before deciding which charity to sponsor a child with:

  • Who implements or administers the program?
  • Who benefits the most from your financial support?
  • How often does the child take part in the program?
  • What does the child experience in the program?
  • What if the sponsored child has unique needs?
  • What is the role of the sponsor?

Child Sponsorship Program Comparison Chart

To help you choose a child sponsorship program, use this comparison chart for more information on cost and other important details.

  Compassion International World Vision Children International ChildFund International Save the Children Unbound Faith-based Yes Yes No No No Yes Church-based Yes No No No No No Medical care Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Education Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Food and nutrition Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Can supporters donate outside of sponsorship? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Can supporters write to their sponsored children? Yes Yes Yes Yes Must contact organization to be matched with an eligible child Yes

At Compassion, our child sponsorship program works to release children from poverty.

We partner with thousands of local church partners who tailor our holistic child development model to the unique needs of the children they serve.

When you sponsor a child with us, the beneficiary of your support is your sponsored child. The family may receive indirect benefits, but our focus is on the one child.

For more information, read our Child Sponsorship FAQ.


Through our sponsorship program, we address every major aspect of a child's wellbeing, including their spiritual, economic, social and physical needs.

Our program provides:

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that unlocks the potential within their heart

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to defeat illiteracy and provide critical skills

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to protect against malnutrition

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to fight back against disease and sickness

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through a local church to overcome fear and hopelessness

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to protect from crime, violence, and danger

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Sponsor a Child Today with the Best Child Sponsorship Program

Is Compassion the Best Child Sponsorship Program For You?

Compassion International is a leading Christian charity and one of the best child sponsorship programs.

We partner with thousands of local churches in low- and middle-income countries that implement our program. Our board of directors, global partners and church partners have established clear child protection policies to keep every child in our program safe.

When you become a child sponsor, the beneficiary of your support is your sponsored child. You’re able to show love and encouragement to your sponsored child through regular letters. Plus, your sponsored child will send letters back to you!

Through sponsorship, children learn that someone in another country loves and supports them.

What Makes Compassion International Different From Other Child Sponsorship Programs?

The Compassion International child sponsorship program features three key distinctives:

  • We’re church-driven: Compassion works exclusively in partnership with thousands of local churches. The church leaders live in their communities and know how to best meet the needs of their children.
  • We’re child-focused: Compassion focuses on the individual child and his or her holistic development. This means we care about each child’s emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
  • We’re Christ-centered: Jesus Christ is the heart of Compassion’s ministry to children in need.

Sponsor a Child with Compassion Today

When you sponsor a child, you’re helping to release them from the grips of poverty. Help us share hope with a child in need by sponsoring a child today.