Christmas gift donation

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I saw a Facebook post which said, Send A Christmas Gift To Your Sponsored Child Now!
I clicked the link and was shown my acct. with an app to send my little guys, Tutor and Thanapat, a Christmas gift. The donation app stipulated: Gifts for my sponsored children: Panasapol Supanam and Thanapat Siripaisalket - as the recipients and there was a space for a Gift for additional children, which I didn't choose.

After making the authorization I received an email saying, " Thank you so much for your generous Christmas gift! Your gift will bring incredible joy to so many precious children in need this Christmas. Here's a record of your donation: Christmas Gift Fund  - $50.00 - one time."

Which is it, gifts for my two boys or a gift to a general Christmas fund?

I am only authorizing a gift for my boys, no one else.
Please advise.
Thank you.
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mark bowen

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Posted 1 year ago

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KristenH, Champion

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Christmas gifts are pooled together so that all children will receive a Christmas present, regardless of if they have a sponsor or not. So your gift will be put into the Christmas fund and your kids will each receive a gift from that!
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mark bowen

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Compassion, if this is for a general fund the donation app misrepresents the facts. I would like an immediate refund of the $50. Thanks.
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KristenH, Champion

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While I'm sure Compassion will be happy to give you a refund, there was no misrepresentation of facts. As another sponsor I clicked through the links and it was all explained quite plainly.
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mark bowen

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Take a look at the enclosed picture of the app page. There was absolutely a misrepresentation of the facts.
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KristenH, Champion

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I did take a look. Right below what you screenshotted is what I took a screenshot of - an explanation of how the money is used.
All it took to see it was scrolling down just a bit further.
(Edited)
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KristenH, Champion

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Adam

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The reason they say it like that is because at Christmas your kids will each get a gift that cost about $25. If you get a refund, your kids will still get a gift but someone else will be paying for it out of the fund. I was planning on donating to that this year if possible. If everyone donates for their own kids then all the kids can get better gifts.
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mark bowen

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Thanks for the input but I'm not a cheapskate.
When I get my refund my boys will get still their Christmas gifts, as usual. 

I'm all for making a Christmas a joyful experience for all the kids, especially the neglected ones, that's why I'm with Compassion to begin with.

But, I want the option to make my own decision to give to a general fund for that purpose and not be mislead into doing so -  as the donation app plainly did.
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Leah, Employee

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Mark, I apologize for any confusion and completely understand that you feel mislead. Please rest assured that your donation of $50 for the Christmas fund has been cancelled and your credit card has not been charged. I was able to stop the transaction before it finished processing on my end. Christmas time is a special time of year and we want all of the children in the Compassion program to feel loved and special at Christmas. We have in the past done child specific gifts and found that children who did not receive a gift felt hurt and left out. To prevent this from happening and to ensure that the birth of Savior is a joyous and celebratory occasion, we chose instead to pool funds. This way we can have special celebrations in the center and every child receives a gift of equal value. This method of giving places the emphasis on the coming of Jesus and the wonderful message of his birth instead. I hope you understand our intentions are good and that we mean well. We try to provide sponsors with this information online throughout our website and are not trying to be deceptive in any way. So again, I apologize. Your children will receive a Christmas gift from our Christmas fund either way and we will let them know that this a special gift from their sponsor. I would like to encourage sending them one of our Christmas cards or creating a special Christmas letter online or through our free mobile app. I hope this resolves the issue and I am happy to further assist in any way that I can. Blessings. 
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Phelan England

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While I understand the intention is good, I believe the method is slightly misleading.  You're suggesting that I am giving directly to my sponsored child with this email, the subject line being "You can send [sponsored child] a present!". But this is not the case, I can make a contribution to a fund that my sponsored child will benefit from. The next line is a link to donate to the general fund which is named "send him a special Christmas gift?".  But I'm not sending it to him, I'm sending it to a fund you've put together for all the children in compassion.  Not until the bottom of the email (which is several lines down, after several others that continue to misrepresent what I will be doing by clicking any of the links provided) do you put that, in fact this isn't the case, and that it's a general fund.  

I'm still going to donate, but I think you should rethink how you represent this, as it is misleading, although I would not say entirely dishonest.  You could have rephrased this email simply with "Give children like [Sponsored Child] a Christmas gift" or "Give Compassion Children a gift this year", there is no reason why you couldn't have been more up front about how this fund will work.  It's essential as a charity organization, and as a Christian organization, that compassion conduct itself above reproach.  I'm disappointed to see that Compassion would use what I'd consider a phishing tactic to elicit donations.  In the future please be wary of misrepresenting the organization as trust of your donors is the only reason said organization can exist.  
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Madison

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Hi Phelan, 

Thank you so much for your response and your care and concern for this matter. I have forwarded your suggestion to the correct department within Compassion. 
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mark bowen

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Thanks Leah. I assure you that I fully appreciate your intentions in that regard. As someone who hasn't gotten a Christmas or birthday present for several decades now, I can truly relate. Why do
you assume that my intentions towards my boys are anything other than charitable?

If you check my account, my giving and letter writing history with my little guys speak for themselves.
I posted, above, a photo of the donation app that I was taken to which you likely saw. It leads one to believe that the gifts are specific to one's sponsored children with no mention made of the fund pool until the acknowledgement email after verification. 

I think it would be more transparent, and honest, to include that info on the donation app itself so that there's no misunderstanding or any of this wasted time sending messages back and forth. 
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mark bowen

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Thanks Adam, I'm sure your intent was sincere. No harm done brother.
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Sarah, Sponsor and Donor Relations, Social Media

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Hi Mark! We will definitely pass your feedback on about the Christmas donation page to the correct department inside of Compassion. As Leah mentioned yesterday, we were able to cancel the transaction from our end. What you are probably seeing in your bank account right now is a pending authorization that should fall off of your account within the next few days. If it remains there, please do let us know!
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mark bowen

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Thanks Sarah, I will.
Blessings.
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Joe Cowart

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I understand where mark is comming from. I got the same link and was gere to see why i havent herd what the child i sponsor was recieving for christmas. I am by no means wealthy but felt a calling when a band that is sponsored by compassion brought out the pictures and heart breaking stories. I am sponsoring a child because i want too. I just think it would be nice to be able to tell my three children what the money they are giving up is giving to the little girl in indonesia. I think this is a great program. Just seems every page is asking for more money and no contact to the girl we have chosen. That by the way; was what pulled my heart strings the most is to see her grow in god and out of poverty. Thank you and god bless. I will be praying for a clearer approach. I think the contact and personalization stories are what made compassion good to begin with.
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Joe, 

Thank you very much for your feedback as well! We truly do appreciate you taking the time to explain to us your feelings on this. 
I see that you recently began sponsoring Irin. We are so thankful to welcome you to our Compassion family! Please know that the best way for you to know what is going on in her life is to write letters to her. You may do this via snail mail and send them to out address: 

Compassion International
Attn: Correspondence
Colorado Springs, CO 80997
 
Note: a street address is not needed as we have our own zip code.

You may also send letters online if that is more convenient for you. You may do so by logging into your My Account at Compassion.com. You may also access your letters from you sweet child here as well. 

Please know that you will begin to learn more about your child as time goes on and you begin to build a relationship with this sweet young lady. Please let us know if you have any questions as you get started. :)
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Teresa Dawn

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@Mark, 
I"m happy to hear that Compassion was able to help you out.  I'm just a sponsor, not staff but I just wanted to add that if you want to give a Christmas gift to just your kids you can use the "Child Gift" option and send.  I'm guessing send around October and it'll arrive around Christmas-ish and go just to your kids.  I've done that before.  I LOVE the Christmas gift fund but as a single mother who struggles to buy gifts for family/friends at that time of year I don't give to it and I'm glad my kids still get gifts  I have done that option just for my kids before though when I felt led to by God since I knew that my sponsor child was having an especially rough go of it that year.  They would have received the gift fund gift and the child gift from me, so just an added extra, but I felt like they really could use that little extra this time around so I did it that way.  I wish I could afford both but I can't.
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mark bowen

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Thanks Teresa. I appreciate your kind heart in sponsoring kids as a single mother. Blessings
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Jim Hormann

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I do not like the way the Christmas Gift is divided up also.  Am I mistaken or do "family gifts" only go to the child's family after the administrative fees are deducted??  Also what is the percent of admin fees?
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KristenH, Champion

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All gifts except Christmas gifts go to the child or child's family. 10% is deducted for administration fees.
The Christmas fund is different as it's a fund for all sponsor children.
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Jim Hormann

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Are birthday gifts put into a fund also or is the amount minus 10% given to the child?
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Shannon Massey, Employee

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Hi Jim! As Kristen mentions above, all gifts other than Christmas are handled with a deduction of 10% for admin, and then dispersed to the family and/or child. :)

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