How do we know you spend our money wisely and that our child even gets the money...

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We have sponsored our child for several years now and all of the letters we receive from her appear to be written by someone else, say about the exact same thing and never include anything that would make us think she has ever read and responded to a personal e-mail we have sent. We are seriously considering ending our sponsorship.

Along with this I would like to know what your senior employees are paid. We have been shocked to find out how much people like Billy and Franklin Graham make recently.
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Michael Lyman

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Posted 8 years ago

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KristenH, Champion

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I think it would be helpful if you talked to other Compassion Sponsors who have actually taken a trip to see their Compassion kids. There are many of them on . I personally have sent a gift with one to take to one of my kids in Tanzania and she really received the gift :-) What country do you sponsor your child from? I've noticed that my kids in Tanzania, Kenya and India write the most informational letters and respond to questions the best. My kids in Rwanda and Ethiopia not as much. Some things to try to get your questions answered, maybe write one or two questions, at the end of the letter and highlight them? I think a lot of times the kids don't write a response as soon as they get the letter. They take their letter home and then write another's entirely possible they've forgotten which questions you've asked.
Please, check out You can connect with others who sponsor in the same area, possibly even talk to someone who has been on a trip to the country your child is from. They might also have some tips on how to get your questions answered! God Bless, Kristen
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Shaina Moats

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You're also welcome to check our review on Charity Navigator ( We've received the highest rating for the last nine years.

You may view the salaries you requested on the Form 990 here:
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you are right to ask questions... my letters are the same, and sometimes my "child" tells me things in response to my letters that don't even correlate to anything I've said. I also just found out how huge Wes Stafford's salary is, and have not been able to get an answer to how much money actually goes to the children.

Most of the positive responses here seem to come from employees.

I'm not happy I've given so much money while struggling to feed and clothe my own child.
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Becky, Champion

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Some project staff are better than others at helping children understand sponsor's desire to get responses to their questions (it's a cultural thing that drives me crazy sometimes as why would I ask a question if I didn't want an answer!). Some put up sample ideas of what to write to help children who struggle to write along as letter writing is very strange to them (and sadly it is strange to many children in the USA too). If you are still sponsoring a child and want advice other than what Kristen listed above for letter writing, then please join, set your profile to public so others can see a journal entry you write and post your question there. Many sponsors will be happy to give you suggestions they have used that worked and didn't work for them as well as if you find other sponsors from the same project then you can know if other sponsors there do or do not have the same problem. Thousands of sponsors are active on that website, and that is where you would get a large response from other sponsors compared to here.

Please see my response to your question about how much money goes to the children on another thread here. These support forums are relatively new here, and the CI employees that work on them thankfully work on other things also (it would be alot of money to pay multiple people to be on their blog and forums with no job other than to answer questions). So, answers do not always happen within one business day.

And yes, asking questions is important about any topic relating to a charity you donate to. While I may not agree that CI should dramatically change their financial practices, I do agree that it is right to ask questions and decide if the charity is one you do or do not want to support in terms of mission, fiscal responsibility and transparency.

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