About Child Sponsorship

Are you interested in sponsoring a child? Good! Because child sponsorship is one of the most effective methods for helping children escape poverty. It changes lives for the better, and it changes lives for good.

According to a poll of top development economists, child sponsorship is THE most effective long-term development intervention for helping the poor. It not only addresses immediate physical needs, it also helps builds self-esteem and self-respect.

But not all child sponsorship organizations and child sponsorship programs are the same, which is why we’ve written these instructions on how to sponsor a child.

4 Simple Steps on How to Sponsor a Child

a girl smiling

Step 1

Determine What is Important to You

The first step in how to sponsor a child is to decide what is important to you and what you value, because there are many child sponsorship organizations helping fight child poverty, and each organization has areas it focuses on and excels in.

Things to Consider:

A peer-reviewed and validated study published in the Journal of Political Economy determined that child sponsorship through Compassion works to release children from poverty, and that Compassion’s program is an effective means of fighting poverty.*

Step 2

Research Your Options/Organizations

Once you’ve determined what’s important to you, it’s time to find the organization that best matches your values and priorities. And Google (or Bing) is your friend in this.

a child stands in front of a wall

Popular and Helpful Searches to Get Started With Include:

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  • Child sponsorship program reviews
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  • Christian child sponsorship programs
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The organizations that show up in the search results will sound pretty similar – Save the Children, Children International, ChildFund International, Compassion International, Plan International, Food for the Hungry, Food for the Poor, World Vision, Unbound and One Child, but they’re not all the same.

To help you make the best decision for your circumstances, priorities and values, consider asking the child sponsorship organization(s) you’re interested in these six questions, and visit each website to learn about:

Be sure to investigate how reputable each organization is, as well. Read testimonies from actual sponsors and check the organization’s rankings and ratings from top charity watchdog organizations, such as Charity Watch and Guidestar.

Compassion is consistently given high ratings by sponsors and watchdog organizations alike.
a girl smiling

Step 3

Sponsor a Child Through the Website

Once you determine which charity you want to sponsor a child with, look on the charity’s website to find the navigation link or tab that says “Sponsor a Child.” It usually will be quite prominent.

Clicking on the link will take you to a page where you can view the children waiting to be sponsored.

This page will typically have a feature that allows you to filter the children and find a child that matches one or more criteria, and the more filters you apply, the more specific your results will be.

Our Sponsor a Child page allows you to search by region, country, gender, age, birthday, special needs – even name. You can search for children who have been waiting the longest for a sponsor and for children who have been orphaned, affected by HIV/AIDS, have a mental or physical challenge, or a particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Children as young as 3-years old are available to sponsor, and children graduate from our program between 18 and 22 years old, depending on the country.

If you find it difficult to choose a child to sponsor, consider these 10 suggestions on how to do so.

When you select a child from the filtered results or if you have the website automatically select a child for you, you can often learn more about the child, his or her community, and the country he or she calls home.

Once you "select" a child to sponsor, typically by clicking on a button from the individual child’s biography page, you’ll enter into the website "checkout" process.

On the checkout page, fill out the required fields with your contact and payment information, then click to "continue" or "review." Make sure all your information is correct before you finalize your sponsorship.

Once you have finalized your sponsorship, you’ll typically receive a packet of information and pictures of your child in the mail in a week or two, depending on the organization.

Step 4

Write Letters. Regularly.

The last step of how to sponsor a child goes beyond the basic question of simply how to select a child to sponsor. This step extends the answer to address another aspect of the question — what is involved with sponsoring a child.

The answer is simple. Participate. Engaged and active sponsors help children flourish. And letter writing is the primary activity sponsors use to engage with their sponsored children.

a girl smiles holding a letter

Letter writing offers the means to establish a relationship with the child you choose to sponsor. Christian child sponsorship organizations will encourage you to pray for your sponsored child. And some organizations may offer the ability to visit your child, but what is common to most organizations is the ability to write letters to your child.

Taking advantage of the opportunity to write and exchange letters regularly will help you connect with your sponsored child on a deeper level. The more you participate in your sponsorship, the more you and your sponsored child can benefit. Our letter-writing FAQs, letter-writing ideas, and letter-writing prompts make it easy to send that that first letter. We even have a "how to" on writing your first letter.

Sponsoring a child is an effective way to get involved in the fight against poverty and to help a child living in poverty. Change a child's life for the better and for good. Sponsor a child today!

At Compassion, you will receive a minimum of two letters a year from your sponsored child, in addition to a new photograph every two years. You will also receive a progress report about your child's development every three years.

Sponsor a Child Today!

Partnering with the local church in a one-to-one relationship is a child sponsorship model we have seen work well for decades. Would you consider becoming part of our family and sponsor a child today?

About Compassion International

Since 1952, we have been a trusted charity committed to releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Our holistic child development model is delivered primarily through child sponsorship and is Christ-centered, church-based and child-focused.

  • Christ-centered –Jesus is the core of our ministry and his life and teachings shape our programs, reflect the spiritual commitments of our staff, and guide how we love people, respect communities and cooperate with nations.
  • Church-based – We partner with local churches to address the specific needs of the children in their communities because we desire to equip the Church to fulfill its role as salt and light to the world, and because local congregations are catalysts for community change, optimizing the mutual respect, resources and common purpose critical in caring for children.
  • Child-focused –We are the world's leading authority in holistic child development through sponsorship. We only match one sponsor with one child and help each child we serve to develop individually and holistically: mind, body and spirit.

Our approach to fighting poverty through child development and child sponsorship allows us to effectively address each kind of poverty and all of the causes. From supplemental nutrition to assistance with healthcare, from educational assistance and vocational training to mentoring and hygiene training, child sponsorship through Compassion effectively and holistically releases children from poverty in Jesus' name.

Sponsor a child today!

Give With Confidence

With Compassion, your donation is used wisely to help children around the world.

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Trusted Charity Since 1952

Have Questions About Compassion and How We Work?

Donating to a charity is an important decision. So when you’re passionate about a cause and want to make a difference, we encourage you to do your research. Compassion is 100% committed to financial integrity, stewardship and using each dollar wisely. If you have any questions about Compassion or exactly how your donation will be used, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

* Wydick, Bruce, et al. “Does International Child Sponsorship Work? A Six-Country Study of Impacts on Adult Life Outcomes.” Journal of Political Economy, vol. 121, no. 2, 2013, pp. 393–436., doi:10.1086/670138. Accessed 10 July 2020.


Please call us at 800-336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT, to speak with a Compassion representative.