ChildFund ∗ International

Photo source: Childfund Anual Report 2012
ChildFund International 

Socio-economic development for children and their communities

ChildFund International supports marginalized children and their communities by strengthening their capacity to develop and sustain comprehensive development programs.

ChildFund International has worked with marginalized children for 75 years. Now working in 31 countries, it partners with existing local organizations, and enterprises to identify key local problems and possible solutions – health, education, micro-enterprises, etc–, all of them family oriented. This strategy of working in partnerships enables ChildFund to make better use of its efforts and resources.

The initiative has realized that ensuring transparency in the management of the funds is a key strategy to ensure their effective use and attract donor support. , For this reason, it has established an informational hotline for its projects’ supporters. This transparency also helps connect donors to their recipients emotionally, an important factor for the continuation of their support.

ChildFund also shows that this transparency, in turn, is reliant upon the extent to which the organization is capable of systematizing its project (its processes and outputs). This organization also emphasizes the importance of allocating a percentage of its income in fundraising work, that is, of investing the required resources to address the financial sustainability’s imperative.

Among the different strategies to secure diversity of funds, (and reduce dependency to one sole source), ChildFund:

♣ Establishes win-win partnerships with enterprises – in which enterprises promote themselves by showing their support for ChildFund projects.

 Requests online donations in various modalities, including children’s sponsorships.

♣ Searches for grants.

♣ Makes investments and secures beneficial interests in trusts.

♣ Matches donations of enterprises and their employees with community sponsorship programs.

♣ Encourages enterprises to open local cooperatives. The cooperatives’ participants agree to take care of families and communities (e.g. bring their children to school) in exchange of accepting the job of producing certain goods and selling them to the enterprise at a fair price. Any profits are reinvested in the cooperative. Such enterprises benefit from tax deductions and ensure suppliers that accommodate their needs (the members of the cooperative). The community benefits from stimulation of local production and employment opportunities, which reduces migration to the cities. 

ChildFund strategies are comprehensive and integrative in reach. All funds collected are used to support both the sponsored child (and the different dimensions of its needs such as nutrition, medical attention, clean water, educational books, materials, teachers, etc.) and its whole community (clean water for drinking and healthcare). As such, funds are combined and used to benefit all children and their community, not only the sponsored children.

Other strategies help avoid creating dependency. The community sponsorship programs are intended to ensure the community’s self-sustainability in an agreed period of time. The money to find the partner enterprise comes from ChildFund’s main office and it is recovered from the money the enterprise provides in the sponsorship budget. Each of ChildFund’s local offices is an officially registered civil organization and not a part of ChildFund’s main office. The budget increases the community’s Civil Association’s self-sustainability through capacity building programs (training them on getting funds, managing programs, establishing cooperatives, increasing social participation, etc.).

The enterprise and ChildFund make an agreement where the local Civil Association (the community organized) ensures results in a certain period of time (10, 20 years), and if there are no results (periodical evaluations are made) the funding is stopped. That is, the partnership creates an Exit Plan for both the enterprise and the ChildFund’s main office to ensure a decentralized development program.