What percentage of children in Compassion's program are currently sponsored?

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Of all the children in Compassion's child sponsorship program, what percentage are currently sponsored? 
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Marissa

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Posted 5 years ago

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Emily

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Good Morning Marissa! This number fluctuates frequently as you can imagine because we are daily getting new sponsor's and children. Currently however, 90.7% of our children globally are sponsored (9.3% waiting for a sponsor), and just in our United States office, 89.7% are sponsored (10.3% waiting for a sponsor). 
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Lindsay

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That's a pretty impressive percentage! If it's not too much bother to explain (because I'm sure there are a lot of variables), what are some determine factors for how many kids the organization signs up? Like, is it purely on a needs basis, based on population, etc., and is the percentage of unsponsored kids taken into account at all? For example, if there's a spell where sponsorship is atypically low, are new sign ups slowed down.
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Emily

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Lindsay, there are certainly many variables just as you said, that go into the number of children that are registered into our program each year including each of the ones you stated. Children are selected by our church partners in the countries we work because they know the needs of their area. The leadership of the project (often a pastor with a committee of church leaders) identify and select the poorest of the poor families and decides, based upon the size and relative needs in the community, whether one or up to three children within each family can be sponsored. Each individual project has a quota that is set by the country office.  This means that the number of students in each projects, depends on various factors such as the number of staff we have available and the number of people that can work and support the children. So that quota also comes into play for the number of children Compassion can register. Currently, children who are between three and nine years old are eligible for registration in Compassion programs. Now, Compassion’s desire is reach as many children as possible but even more importantly, we want to raise up children to be self-sufficient and effective Christian leaders in their communities that are released from poverty. For this reason, the pace at which Compassion is able to grow and welcome in new children to our programs, depend consistently on our ability to achieve these outcomes. To say it more plainly, the quality and effectiveness of the sponsorship is more valued than the quantity of children in the program and our focus is on the individual child. We also want to minimize the time children have to wait for a sponsor and we do not want that time to be longer than an average of 4 months thus, this is also taken into consideration each year when our projects reach out to more children for our program.
(Edited)
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Rachel Hoffman

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I understand my sponsored children were already attending the compassion centers in their communities for months before I came along, but I'm wondering what changes in their centers when a child is sponsored. Does my child's center get more funding? Is another child admitted to the program to await a sponsor? Does the center expand operations based on the number of its children who are sponsored? I'm just curious how it all works.
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Susan

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Rachel, the funding really does not change much with a new sponsorship. You are helping to directly provide for your child's involvement in the program. Your child and their family receive the same benefits whether they are sponsored or not. It obviously is more difficult for us to fund unsponsored children than it is for sponsored children because that funding must come from a general fund. Also, we do forecasting, based on past sponsorship numbers, to decide how many children can be registered that year. However, let me be clear, our funding model is a one-to-one, child specific, sponsorship model, and not a community model like other organizations.

Your sponsorship helps your child to put a "face" to the benefits that she has been receiving. Also, having a sponsor who sends the children letters communicates that an adult cares about them and is invested in their life. You might consider watching this video to see the impact of sponsorship in the life of that child and family. Sponsorship really makes a huge difference. Children are more likely to drop out of the program the longer they wait for a sponsor. 
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Maggie Fasig

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Susan - are you saying that if 50 children and their families are enrolled in a Compassion Center program, all 50 get the same benefits (e.g., food, medical care, church camp) whether they have a sponsor or not? So the *only* benefit from sponsorship is letters that the child receives and specific monetary gifts throughout the year (e.g., extra money I give for my child's birthday)? In my mind, then, my monthly sponsorship money is going to support Compassion's mission wherever it is needed in the world, not necessarily to support the Center of the children I am sponsoring. Do I have this right?
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Athena

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In my mind, my funds now go that child, freeing up the funds that Compassion was using so that they be used to bring another child into the program.
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Chak

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I think the current model is fairly balanced. It'll be hard to leave a needful child without sponsor to be without support till a sponsor comes along, and should the sponsor drops out later, the child becomes unsupported again. The poor children are supported and then our support comes in - the child may or may not strongly attribute the support she was already enjoying to the individual sponsor but I feel in addition to the monetary contribution, our most important contribution are our prayers for and communication with the child.
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Emily

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Maggie, you're correct in saying that all 50 children in that project receive the same support whether sponsored or unsponsored. Like Susan mentioned, the children in that project that do not have a sponsor, are supported through a fund that we call, the Unsponsored Children's Fund. Incredibly generous sponsor's and donor's choose to give extra donations each month (or one time gifts) towards this fund to specifically assist us in supporting the children in our program who are not yet being financially supported by a specific sponsor. We do not kick these little ones out of our program just because they do not have a sponsor and we could not do this without caring sponsors who give of their resources, time and prayers to make this possible. We are truly blessed to be able to keep children in our program and offer them love and care despite the time they have been patiently awaiting sponsorship. 

To answer your second question, your support is not just going anywhere we need it around the world unless you're giving towards a specific fund like our Most Needed Fund, the Partners of Compassion Fund, our Water of Life Fund, etc. The support you give each month for your kiddo is sent to your child's project and used for program costs that benefit your child. 100% of any monetary gifts that you send such as a birthday gift, will go to your kiddo specifically and is not split up between any other children. :)
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Maggie Fasig

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Emily - thanks for the clarification; that was very helpful!  I am glad to know that my monthly financial sponsorship helps not only *my* child but the project and unsponsored children overall. 
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Chak

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May be helpful to Compassion to know which country has the lowest percentage sponsored, longest waiting time, most sponsor visits, etc.
Also, percentage of physically challenged/orphaned children sponsored, average number of sponsored child per sponsor, average sponsored years per child, etc.
(Edited)
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Emily

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Chak, I wanted to let you know that I am working on getting these percentages for you if possible :). It may take a couple of days but I will get back to you as quickly as possible on this! 

For now, I do know that It really varies every year on who receives the most sponsor visits. In 2013, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic received the largest number with over 700 visitors each.
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Chak

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Thanks Emily!
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Emily

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Good morning Chak! Although I was not able to gather all of the numbers you requested, one of our departments that gathers this data was able to provide me with a couple more statistics for the inquiries you had above.
  • As of February of this year, Togo has the highest percentage of unsponsored children at 29%. India and Indonesia also consistently have a high number of unsponsored children, they are also some of the largest countries that we serve in. 
  • Also as of February, Sri Lanka has the highest average wait time for eligible unsponsored beneficiaries at 3.74 months. Our goal is for children to wait no longer than 4 months for a loving sponsor. Togo also has a longer wait time than most countries. Generally, countries in Africa and Asia have longer wait times than children in South America.
I hope you find this information helpful! Susan also recently replied to an inquiry regarding the success of our program that you might also be interested in reading, here. Thank you for your patience with us as we gathered this data for you :). 
(Edited)
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Chak

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Thanks a lot for the efforts, Emily!
Average waiting time is less than 4 months - pitiful that quite a few kids are still waiting after 300 and 400 days! :(
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Emily

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Hi Chak!

We certainly do everything we can to avoid children waiting as long as a year or more and we make them a priority in trying to find these children loving sponsors as quickly as possible. We are so grateful for the prayers of individuals like you for God to bring sponsor's to those children quickly! 

Also, I just received information regarding our orphaned and special needs children. Based on children that are currently being sponsored by individuals through our office in the United States, 1.5% of them are orphans and .5% of our children that are currently sponsored are special needs. We value each and every one of these precious children and are so blessed to have the opportunity to show them the love of Christ. For more information on how we select children for our program, you can read this post which also has a link to a post on our web page that we wrote on how children are chosen by our staff. 
(Edited)
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Chak

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Thanks again, Emily!
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Douglas Root

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled How many unsponsored children are there?.

Hello, I am an advocate and am talking to a couple churches about a Compassion Sunday.  Last year I saw a post on this site of a Compassion report with the number of unsponsored children by country.  The report was dated June 30, 2014.  I was wondering if you could post an update to this report.  I wanted to show each of the churches where the greatest need was.

Also, as a possible idea, would it be possible to post this report somewhere on the Advocate page whenever it is updated?  I think it would be an awesome tool for us to use throughout the year when we select children and packets for advocating.

Thank you.
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Emily

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Douglas, first of all, thank you so much for your advocacy! We are so blessed by your heart to find loving sponsors for children that have been so patiently waiting :). I merged your inquiry into this conversation because someone asked a very similar questions just a couple of months ago. Because the number of unsponsored children changes daily, it's difficult to give the most updated numbers which is why a percentage was easiest to provide. You can see the percentage of children that are currently waiting for sponsors in my response above. As you can see, Togo, India, and Indonesia have a high number of children that are awaiting a sponsor.

I am going to try and gather some more updated numbers for you but thought this might be helpful in the meantime :). I have also passed your suggestion along to our advocates network so that they can consider putting this information on the Advocates page in the future. Thank you so much for your ideas to help us provide our advocates with the best tools and resources for advocating for these kiddos!
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Emily

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Hi Douglas! Because you're hoping to give these church's an idea of where the greatest need is, the exact numbers in each country might not help you out as much because they flucuate daily. However, a percentage might be more valuable for you when educating potential sponsors. As of this month, the overall average percentage of unsponsored children per country is about 3.57% with a range of Sri Lanka
having the lowest amount of unsponsored children at 1.29%, and Ethiopia having the highest amount of unsponsored children at 5.73%.
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Douglas Root

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Emily, thanks for the information.  Can you also tell me approximately how many children are currently unsponsored?  I know this changes all the time, but I just wanted to give them an idea of the magnitude of children.  Thanks.
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Susan

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Douglas, 204,478 children are currently unsponsored.  
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Angelee

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Holy Poo Poo!!!  That's like 7,770,164 a month to get resources to them!  DUDE!!!  Whoa!!!  You all are awesome for caring for them until they get sponsors!  I want to take another one, but I can only afford 2!  I love my two dearly!!!  They are so darling!  But, 7,770,000+ a month...  Okay my mind is blown!  There are houses out where I live that cost that much!  It's a good thing God owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills!  $7,770,000 is like bunny hunting to him!  But DUDE!
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Teresa Dawn

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@Susan, is that number worldwide, or is that only kids whose packets are in the USA branch of Compassion?
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Susan

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Teresa, this number is for all unsponsored children globally. Please note that this number changes daily. Right now, the number of unsponsored children is at 109,847. 
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Teresa Dawn

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Thanks Susan!!!  That's great!  I expected it to change daily, but 100,000 more kids sponsored in a few weeks is terrific :D  (Though I imagine that number also reflects both kids leaving the program, as well as new registrations) 
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Angelee

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I didn't mean to shout...  Not sure hoe that happened...  But the thought blew my mind!  I didn't realize how "big" Compassion is.  So, my mind is just in uncomprehend mode.
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Adam

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Hey Angelee! Compassion is absolutely huge in terms of the money that they manage, but you would never know it by how well they treat us sponsors. :) You probably won't find that anywhere else. Compassion is extremely transparent about their finances and they publish all of their tax returns and audited financial statements on their website. One of the first things I did was go online and look at their prior year tax returns and it made me even more sure about sponsoring with them. They are very, very good stewards of the money they are given and I have a tremendous amount of respect for the management of this organization. I've never seen another organization like Compassion. I'm not sure there is one.
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Adam

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By the way, Angelee, Amen to your first comment! You are absolutely right and I didn't think you were shouting. There's nothing wrong with being excited about the Lord providing that much money for children living in poverty. I get pretty excited about it myself sometimes! :)
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Angelee

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I just took a look... I didn't know i could take a look!  Once again my mind is blown...  This has got to stop happening... I need those brain cells!  Well... I guess there's room for new ones... I digress!  How many children are sponsored on a regular basis?
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Teresa Dawn

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Susan or Emily will have to answer that one a "worldwide basis" since there are advocate packs out and other country sites... But here's a live list of all the kids sponsored off of the USA Website each day! Today seems a low day so far, usually it's at over 100 by the end of the day, I've seen it reach over 400 on ocassion, but 100 is usually closer

http://www.compassion.com/become-a-sponsor-dashboard/
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Katrina MacDonald

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Why have the children in Columbia been waiting for the longest times?
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Susan

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Hi Katrina! As mentioned throughout this post, the numbers of available children and wait times changes daily as more and more children find sponsors. We do everything we can to find loving sponsors as fast as possible for each child. As you can imagine, with several events and methods of finding sponsors, there is a lot that goes into statistics like the ones above. For example, about six months ago we had a large church that was only sponsoring children in Nicaragua. That greatly changed the numbers of children available from Nicaragua and changes the wait times for children in other countries as they might have been sponsored had there not been a specific country requested. You also might notice that because the children listed on the website represent only a portion of the total number of children who are available for sponsorship, the longest waiting children shown on the website do not give a full picture of where all of the longest waiting children are from. If you look right now, most of the children who are the longest waiting today on the website are actually from Indonesia. 

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