How to decide which Child Sponsorship Charity is best for you...
With so many child sponsorship organisations out there, how do you decide which charity is the best? Is the best child sponsorship charity the oldest or largest or perhaps the newest or smallest? After all, making a long-term commitment which has the potential to transform a child’s life, is a decision which cannot be taken likely; it is vital that you decide which child sponsorship charity is best for you.
Perhaps the most effective way to assess which child sponsorship charity is the best for you, is to look at how their child sponsorship programmes incorporate the key variables listed below. After introducing each variable we have demonstrated how they are incorporated by SOS Africa’s Child Sponsorship Scheme...
1. Focus of Support
Often the variable which is most significant to potential child sponsors is where the support will be focused, including the geographic location, and specific identities of the intended beneficiaries. Whether they have a connection to a specific region or culture, or are responding to a call for help, sponsors often have a pre-determined preference.
SOS Africa was founded in South Africa in 2003 to support underprivileged children from some of the most deprived regions in the country (highlighted by SOS Africa's Documentary Video). Partnering with struggling schools, we provide educational support to empower children from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
2. Support Provided to the Child
Alternatively, sponsors may be more influenced by the specific services which a child sponsorship charity provides. Usually established by the Trustees when a charity is founded, the services provided are outlined in the organization’s Governing Document and can have either a broad or narrow focus, e.g. prioritising academia and training or perhaps the provision of extra-curricular activities such as sport or music.
SOS Africa provides each child with a holistic education programme tailored specifically to their needs including school tuition, special needs support and counselling (when required), student mentoring, extra-curricular activities and school holiday workshops.
3. Cost & Financial Transparency
As ever, such important decisions are often determined by a sponsor’s budget. The cost of child sponsorship plans vary considerably, typically ranging from £2 per month up to and beyond £50 per month, dependent on the services provided and the number of sponsors allocated to each child. Financial transparency is also a priority for most sponsors who want to ensure that their hard-earned money is invested in the child supported.
To accommodate varying financial circumstances, SOS Africa offers sponsorship plans ranging from £10 per month to £50 per month. Our most popular plan is the £50 per month plan (see above) as it offers extensive and holistic support for the child and regular feedback for the sponsor. As a small charity, SOS Africa also guarantees that 100% of all donations are invested in the education and care of the children we support – UK expenses are covered by Gift Aid.
4. Feedback to Sponsor
Last and by no means least, prospective sponsors may also base their decision on the level of feedback provided to sponsors. The level of feedback provided also varies considerably among child sponsorship charities; some provide basic feedback such as a school report or photo and others provide regular updates, even encouraging communication between child and sponsor.
As a smaller, more personal grassroots organisation, SOS Africa prioritises feedback and encourages communication between child and sponsor. We provide sponsors with termly reports, photo albums, updates via the SOS Africa Children’s Blog and sponsors can even communicate with children via email. After a few years of sponsorship, sponsors can even visit the child they are supporting to witness the impact of their support, first-hand.
5. Further Information
Sponsors may also wish to seek further information such as reviews by past and current child sponsors and recent child sponsorship success stories to evaluate the impact of different child sponsorship programmes.
Reviews from past and current SOS Africa Child Sponsors who have visited our education programmes can be found on the SOS Africa website. We are also delighted to say that our High School Students have a 100% graduation rate.
We hope that you have found this article helpful and wish you luck when deciding which child sponsorship charity is best for you!
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact SOS Africa.