Jul 9 2012

How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

A. Great question. It’s important that you fully evaluate any charity you consider partnering with, and we’re happy to answer any questions about CFCA you might have.

At CFCA, we’re proud of our outstanding ratings from charity evaluators. We receive an A+ from CharityWatch, their highest rating possible.

Charity Navigator says we perform as well as or better than most charities in our cause. We also meet all 20 rigorous standards established by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

Here are some ways in which we ensure accountability:

1.Program support.More than 93 percent of CFCA’s expenses go toward program support, a remarkably high number in the nonprofit world.

Sponsored child in the Philippines

Arbie Nicole, a sponsored child in the Philippines, writes a letter to her sponsor.

We know that you donate to help your sponsored friend build a path out of poverty, not to provide our staff with fancy new desks, and we remember that when it comes time to disburse money. Visit our Kansas City office and you’ll see what we mean!

(Our international headquarters is in a modest, converted warehouse in Kansas City, Kan. Most of our furniture was donated or purchased for a low cost by our resident thrift-shopper extraordinaire and longtime CFCA staff member, Jan.)

2. Organizational audits. A fancy term, but it just means that we travel frequently to our projects around the world to ensure that sponsorship benefits are delivered and have a significant impact in the lives of sponsored friends.

On these visits, Kansas City employees meet with sponsored friends, their families and staff, evaluating a project’s structure, staff, performance and program quality.
In short, we want to ensure firsthand that your money is benefiting your sponsored friend.

We ask questions such as:

  • Do children have equal access to benefits?
  • Are the benefits appropriate for the families’ and communities’ needs?
  • Are benefits personalized (not one-size-fits-all) and going to the family’s greatest needs?
  • Is there accountability and documentation for all benefits?

While in-country, we also make random visits to sponsored friends. This helps us learn about the project through their eyes.

CFCA headquarters staffers visit each project country to conduct organizational audits, project visits and financial audits.

3. Financial audits. We conduct both internal and external financial audits to ensure the integrity of our program.
financials pie chart
CFCA’s financial statements are audited each year by an independent certified public accounting firm.

These in-country audits enable us to evaluate the project’s records, ensuring the appropriate structure of checks and balances is in place.

4. Awareness Trips. Each year, more than 700 sponsors travel on CFCA awareness trips to visit their sponsored friends in their home countries.

These trips allow sponsors, and friends of CFCA, to see the sponsorship program in action. Travelers meet their sponsored friend, visit sponsored members in their communities, meet in-country staff and more. Awareness trips provide a transparent look at the CFCA Hope For a Family program in action.

“My sponsored friends are no longer just pictures and letters—they are real. I know how they sound, where they live, what they eat, what they like to do. I know their families. I remember their hugs. When I send a letter now, I know the staff who will pass it on to my sponsored friends; I know who at CFCA is looking after them.”
—Mission awareness trip traveler to the Philippines, Jan. 2012

At CFCA, we’re committed to a personalized, community-led sponsorship program that enables families to build a path out of poverty. We work hard to ensure that each dollar you donate accomplishes just that.

For more information, please email mail@cfcausa.org or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.

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0 thoughts on “How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?”

  1. I have traveled on several CFCA missions trips and I am in awe of the amount of services the sponsored individuals receive through what seems to me a small amount of money.

    1. Thank you so much, Esther. I love the way CFCA president and co-founder Bob Hentzen put it: “A small amount of money from a whole lot of people equals a whole lot of help and a whole lot of responsibility.”

      We’re deeply humbled and grateful for your support, as well as the support of everyone in our community, for making our work possible.

      ~Shanxi, CFCA online content manager

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