FAQs

FAQ Topics

Common Questions

WHAT IS CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

Founded in 1964, Children Incorporated is an international nonprofit organization that assists impoverished children in the U.S. and abroad. Partnering with already-established schools, orphanages, and childcare centers, we facilitate child sponsorships, manage special projects, and maintain special funds for emergency needs that arise for the children we serve.

Children Incorporated provides resources for children in need in the United States and abroad because we passionately believe that children everywhere deserve education, hope, and opportunity.


WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?

Our administrative office is located just outside of  Richmond, Virginia in North Chesterfield. We maintain nearly 300 program sites in 12 U.S. states and 22 foreign countries.


HOW MANY CHILDREN DO YOU SERVE?

Roughly 10,000 children are enrolled in our sponsorship program each year, and ChildrenIncorporated has assisted more than 250,000 children since our founding in 1964. Moreover, thousands of additional children receive aid each year as a result of contributions from our donors.


DO YOU HAVE A RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL AFFILIATION?

No. Children Incorporated is an independent charity.  We have no religious or political agenda. Our goal is to assist as many impoverished children as possible, and we respect each child’s religious and cultural heritage.

That being said, the projects with which we partner are existing NGOs, and, in some countries, these include childcare facilities that are managed by religious organizations. For example, we support children who live at the Puente Piedra Girl’s Home, an orphanage in Peru that is run by Catholic nuns.


HOW MANY STAFF MEMBERS DO YOU EMPLOY?

Children Incorporated employs sixteen paid staff members at our administrative office in North Chesterfield, Virginia. Additionally, approximately 300 volunteers manage our program sites around the world, administering our services to children in their care.


WHAT SORTS OF GIVING OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU OFFER?

Children Incorporated provides for the needs of impoverished children through two primary approaches: child sponsorship and special funds and projects.

Sponsorship provides an underprivileged child with basic and education-related necessities such as food, clothing, healthcare, school supplies, and tuition payments. This vital support allows impoverished, vulnerable children to develop to their full potential – physically, emotionally, and socially. Sponsors positively impact the lives of the children they sponsor through the simple knowledge that someone cares about their well-being. This gives children in need hope, which is powerful.

Our policy is to consider the needs of each sponsored child on an individual basis. In contrast to other child sponsorship organizations, our volunteer coordinators personally shop for the children enrolled in their respective schools, orphanages, homes, and community centers on a regular basis, as they are familiar with each individual child’s circumstances and needs.

Donations to our funds and special projects support feeding programs, income-generating projects, health, and education assistance programs, as well as critical projects like school expansions, medical clinic repairs, housing improvements, and more. Please take the time to find out more about the work we are doing around the world beyond our sponsorship program.

Additionally, we welcome and encourage planned gifts.


WHY DO YOU RELY ON VOLUNTEERS TO IMPLEMENT YOUR PROGRAMS?

First, because all of our volunteers are teachers, social workers, guidance counselors, school principals, or other childcare professionals, we have found that they are in the best position to meet the unique needs of each child. They interact with the children enrolled in our sponsorship program on a daily basis, and they observe firsthand the circumstances of each child’s life.

Second, working with volunteers allows us to keep our programs highly efficient. We benefit because we employ only a small number of paid staff members. This allows us to devote a higher percentage of our funds directly to the children enrolled in our program. Meanwhile, our volunteers benefit because our program helps them to improve the lives of the children in their care.


HOW DO YOU CONFIRM THAT YOUR VOLUNTEERS ARE IMPLEMENTING YOUR SERVICES CORRECTLY?

Each volunteer must submit reports verifying that he or she has appropriately managed the Children Incorporated funds. All project reports are carefully audited at our Richmond, Virginia office. Additionally, our staff routinely visits project sites to ensure that every volunteer is correctly implementing our program.

Our coordinators volunteer with Children Incorporated because we help them to help their children. Our volunteers take great pains to uphold the integrity of our programs, and we are very grateful to them for all that they do!


MAY I VOLUNTEER WITH CHILDREN INCORPORATED?

At this time, our only regular volunteers are the on-site program volunteers who manage our project sites around the world.

Sometimes there are volunteer opportunities at our Virginia headquarters. Please call our office at (800) 538-5381 for more information.

About Sponsorship

WHAT IS SPONSORSHIP, AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

The sponsorship relationship enables a donor to support a needy child by means of monthly contributions and, if the donor so desires, through the exchange of correspondence. A sponsor’s friendship and encouragement is priceless to a child in such circumstances. Indeed, many children value the relationships they establish with their sponsors as much as they value the financial help they receive. Our current monthly sponsorship rate is $30, and it goes toward providing basic necessities, such as school supplies and fees, food, clothing, and access to healthcare, among other services.


IS IT POSSIBLE TO VISIT MY SPONSORED CHILD?

It is possible to visit sponsored children; however, since we work with a network of volunteers and projects, and circumstances vary from area to area, we cannot guarantee that all projects are open to sponsor visits. If you are interested in visiting a sponsored child, please contact us for specifics relating to the child and project.

If your child’s project does allow visits, we ask that you contact us
at least 45 days prior to your planned visit. One of our Sponsorship Managers will assist you in making arrangements with the project, parents, and site volunteer. Children Incorporated has forms to request the visit, and a child protection policy in place that we ask sponsors to follow. This includes a background check at the sponsor’s expense.


HOW LONG CAN I SPONSOR A PARTICULAR CHILD?

We hope that you will assist your sponsored child until he or she leaves our program. This typically occurs when a child graduates from high school or moves out of our service area. Due to the transient state of many families and the trying circumstances of the regions where they reside, we cannot predict or guarantee how long a child will remain enrolled in the Children Incorporated sponsorship program, although we make every effort to provide services to children for as long as possible.


WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL MY SPONSORSHIP?

Sponsorship is not a binding agreement, and you may cancel your child sponsorship at any time. We recognize that circumstances change and you may be unable to continue your regular contributions. We simply ask that you notify us of your decision so that we may find a new sponsor for the child you sponsor. If you would like to continue supporting Children Incorporated, there are many ways you can help that do not require a monthly contribution. Please see “Other ways to give” for more details.


WILL I RECEIVE UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE CHILD I SPONSOR?

Yes. We will send you updated information and an updated photo about once a year, although the frequency may vary depending upon the child’s location. The typical progress report includes information on the child’s grade level in school, hobbies, and interests.


HOW DO I PAY FOR MONTHLY SPONSORSHIP?

Sponsorship contributions may be made by check, money order, credit/debit card, or ACH transfer (debit from a checking or savings account). Please call us or visit our website if you would like to set up automatic recurring contributions on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or yearly basis.


MAY I SEND PACKAGES TO THE U.S. CHILD I SPONSOR?

Yes! Sending a gift can be a great way to give your sponsored child extra help at certain times of the year, or to simply let the child know you are thinking of him or her. Here are some suggested guidelines: Please send monetary gifts directly to our North Chesterfield, Virginia

office, as our site coordinators are not able to process checks or cash. Packages of already-purchased items should be mailed directly to your sponsored child’s school address. We recommend using a tracking service, if possible, when shipping a package to the child you sponsor.


MAY I SEND PACKAGES TO THE INTERNATIONAL CHILD I SPONSOR?

Due to high customs duties and the likelihood of loss, we do not recommend sending packages to our program sites outside of the U.S. Children Incorporated cannot guarantee receipt of any packages you send internationally.


MAY I WRITE TO THE CHILD I SPONSOR?

Yes! Corresponding with your sponsored child can be a wonderful experience. Our site volunteers will translate your letter, if necessary, and deliver it to your sponsored child. You will find the project mailing address in your child’s information brochure.


WHAT SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT?

The children enjoy learning about the lives of their sponsors. Writing about your own family (children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, etc.) is always a good place to start. The children also like to learn about your part of the world, what you do for a living, your hobbies and interests, and any pets you may have.


WHAT IF I HAVE SPECIFIC QUESTIONS REGARDING THE CHILD I SPONSOR?

Please call us at 1-800-538-5381 or email us at sponsorship@children-inc.org. Depending on the nature of a child-specific question, we may need to contact our volunteer coordinator at the site of your sponsored child’s project. We will get the requested information to you as soon as possible, as long as it does not violate the child protection and privacy laws to which we adhere.


MAY I SEND ADDITIONAL GIFTS FOR MY SPONSORED CHILD (FOR BIRTHDAYS, HOLIDAYS, BEGINNING/END OF SCHOOL YEAR NEEDS, ETC.)?

Yes. Contributions beyond regular monthly sponsorship amounts are always welcome, and there are no minimum or maximum amount restrictions.

With these additional gifts, the needs of the child you sponsor will be addressed first and foremost, and any remaining funds may be shared among other equally-needy youngsters at the same project at the project coordinator’s discretion. Children Incorporated will designate 10% of your additional contribution to cover our administrative and processing costs; this means your sponsored child and possibly other children at the same project will benefit from 90% of the total you send as an additional monetary gift.


ARE THERE DEADLINES FOR SENDING ADDITIONAL MONETARY GIFTS FOR THE CHILD I SPONSOR?

Yes. It takes time to process a gift and send it to the child you sponsor, particularly if your child lives in a foreign country. To send additional monetary gifts to your sponsored child, please make sure the gift arrives in our Richmond, VA office at least sixty days prior to the date you would like it to be received by the child.

Your Contributions

DOES MY GIFT QUALIFY FOR A TAX DEDUCTION?

ChildrenIncorporated has been a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization since 1964. Contributions, therefore, may be eligible for tax deductibility status. We strongly recommend that you consult with your tax advisor when making such determinations.


I WOULD LIKE TO INCLUDE CHILDREN INCORPORATED IN MY ESTATE PLANS. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DO THIS?

There are many options, including bequests, IRA/401(k) designations, annuities, and charitable remainder trusts. For more information, please contact us at 1-800-538-5381. We will work with you to create a plan that best meets your needs.


DOES CHILDREN INCORPORATED PARTICIPATE IN A MATCHING GIFTS PROGRAM?

Yes! Please contact your human resources department to determine whether your company participates in such a program.

Monetary gifts may be mailed to:

Children Incorporated
PO Box 72848
North Chesterfield, VA 23235