One of our sponsored children left program. Compassion states they will AUTOMATICALLY charge CC

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We strongly disagree with the policy of 'Automatically' charging a credit card if it is not authorized! (Please consider changing this policy before children who need help are affected). To be clear, if a child drops from the program, it is NOT RIGHT to send another child's information packet and then 'Automatically' start charging a sponsors credit card in the absence of hearing a decision from the sponsor. This violates trust, and probably applicable law! I spoke to another sponsor who, some time back, dropped sponsorship because of the exact same issue.

Shame on Compassion for this policy. It has damaged the trust we had in Compassion.  My wife and I likely will choose another child to sponsor, but others may not and that is my main concern.

Many of us reading this have had a 'gotcha' / 'catch 22' surprise charge from some big impersonal company we have done business with. I strongly urge Compassion to change this policy before it further damages sponsor relations. We do understand a strong desire to help the kids, but right is right and this policy is simply clearly wrong. Hopefully the management / leadership team can see this as well.
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Curtis Scholl

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Posted 4 years ago

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KristenH, Champion

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You can ask them to put a note on your account that you do not want them to select a new child for you in the event that yours leaves. I did that when we had to downsize the number of sponsor children we had, as they aged out of the program I didn't want them replaced for the time being.
I'm sorry you felt that this violated your trust :( The Compassion reps on here are really good about answering these threads and I'm sure that yours will be addressed too.
Blessings, Kristen
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Sarah, Official Rep

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Hi Curtis. I am so sorry that you feel Compassion has violated your trust with this policy. Please know that it is not our intention in any way to do so, but to continue helping more children around the globe be released from a life of poverty.

The majority of our sponsors do want to continue sponsoring a child immediately after one child leaves the program, so we have a system  in place that automatically sends a packet with a new child's information in it for the sponsor to consider. The request for a sponsor to contact us if they do not wish to sponsor the child is included in that packet, with the alert that the child will be automatically accepted onto the account if we don't hear from you within a certain length of time. Because we give you adequate warning about the new child being accepted, we actually are not going against any laws.

I do see that one of our representatives took care of your situation yesterday, putting that new child up for a different sponsorship. He also noted your account to not send a new child packet when your children leave the program. Please let us know if we can serve you in any other way. I will pass your feedback on to the appropriate party in our offices.
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Curtis Scholl

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Thanks for the note. I need to correct something, please do send an information packet should our sponsored child drop from the program. Please do not include any time limit or any 'charge by default' of our credit card in said packet.

The wife and I are included in the majority you speak of who would like to sponsor another child in place of one that drops from the program. Here is the problem with a policy as you have outlined. If the packet does not make it to us, or we are otherwise unable to read the letter then funds are taken without consent. Life is busy and many things could legitimately prevent us from reading the note in the packet regarding the automatic charges. 

It seems to us a dangerous gamble is made on the part of Compassion electing to collect unauthorized funds hoping most will say, or do nothing about it rather than simply asking for authorization. Clearly trust is compromised with this policy. We do not think the 'end' justifies the 'means'. Please do not endanger relationships with sponsors with this policy. Doing so will compromise the help we give the children.

I have asked several brothers and sisters in Christ about this Compassion policy (including our Pastor) and without fail all say it needs reviewed. Again, please forward this policy issue to the leaders for evaluation. Let's us walk in the light.


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Hi Curtis. I can only speak from my own perspective as a fellow sponsor, but with all due respect, I actually do prefer the way things currently are with going on to support another child and automatically setting everything up for us. My wife and I have donating to Compassion built into our budget and we would want to continue giving to Compassion by sponsoring another child if one of our sponsored children were to graduate, move out of the area, or otherwise leave the program. And if we ever decided to stop giving to Compassion then we do would cancel our donations at that time. All that to say, I know that Compassion has over 1.7 million children sponsored in their program and so they have a lot of sponsors to try to please and they must make decisions based on what they feel that most of the sponsors would prefer. God bless you, sir, and welcome to this community.
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Curtis Scholl

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Hello Adam,
Thanks for the note and no worries, I find your comments respectful. It appears we have a difference of preferences, but that kind of thing can happen. It is up to Compassion's leaders / decision makers to address this should they elect to do so. My concern is this policy may (and I'm sure has) affected sponsors in a negative way. Just shining light on it so as to encourage a review of the policy.

Blessings to you as well.

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William Blair

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What I hope they do is give all new sponsors the option up front that way they know ahead of time they can decide what to do when the time comes. When I do a Compassion event I tell people about this and that I have on my account not to send me another child to sponsor when one of mine leaves. I hope this helps everyone.
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I agree with William. It should be an option, to be chosen by a new sponsor from the beginning.

It was a personal decision to get involved, select a country of interest, and the actual child. I don't agree with CI making these decisions on my behalf and then becoming my burden to correct if I disagree.

I have seen many comments that disagree with this practice.
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I agree, BillyC. This is the way I would prefer too. For me it was also a personal decision to select both the country and the child. It would make me feel a little awkward to refuse a child that was selected for me, yet if I were ever in that situation I would again prefer to select the child myself.
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BillC and Beth, I'm sorry that you disagree with this method as our intention is not to deceive you or in any way, manipulate or guilt you into sponsoring another child. We certainly understand that some sponsors love to find their own child rather than have us select a new child for them. We went with this specific process on the request of the majority of our sponsors but I have passed your feedback along.  

I have also updated both of your accounts so that you are never offered a child automatically when a child you're supporting leaves our program for any reason. We will still let you know if a child leaves, but you will be able to sponsor another child, if you choose, at your own time and select a child of your choice. 

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