Evidence that child sponsorships pay off

Apr 03, 2013

One of the most longstanding fundraising approaches for international children’s causes is proving itself amid scrutiny from university researchers.

A team of economics professors and a graduate student from three universities published a study that demonstrates the positive effect of “child sponsorships” on education, careers and community leadership.

Child sponsorships typically involved donors getting matched up by a charitable organization with a child in poverty from a developing country. Donors send monthly payments to cover the basic needs of their sponsored child, and in many cases have the opportunity to exchange letters with the child.

The researchers surveyed 10,144 individuals in Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, the Philippines and Uganda, working with Compassion International, a leading child sponsorship organization.

The authors report, “We find that sponsorship results in 2.4 additional years of formal education, and large and statistically significant impacts on employment, occupational choice, age at marriage, age at child-bearing, dwelling quality, and community leadership. We also find evidence of positive spillover effects for many of these outcomes onto younger siblings and other village residents of the same age.”

Many Amway distributors and employees have been longtime advocates of child sponsorship organizations like World Vision, Child Fund and Compassion International.

This study shows what most of us know intuitively – that it pays off to help, even if it’s just one child at a time.

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