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Things to Consider Before Sponsoring a Child

Most child sponsors think of what they do as a deeper, more personal take on donating. Instead of just putting money into a charity, they create a bond between them and a child in need, taking responsibility for their education, well-being, and future success. But let’s face it, these are tough economic times and you do want to know where your money’s going. If you’re thinking about sponsoring a child, read on for answers to some of the most common questions.

Child matching

You can usually choose which child to sponsor, or choose a country, region, age, or gender. Save the Children, for example, allows you to narrow your choice down in all of these categories. Some sponsors choose a place they’ve been to or plan on visiting, while others have a soft spot for children with certain disabilities.

Following your child’s progress

Most organizations also let you communicate with the child if you want to.  This gives you the opportunity to build a friendship and make your bond with the child even deeper. You can sign up for regular updates on the child’s school performance, health, and economic status. Sometimes you even get drawings or letters from the child to his or her sponsors.

Sponsorship costs

The costs of sponsorship depend on the organization administering the program, and how much of the child’s needs are covered. You can sponsor a child for less than $30 per month. The money may not be spent directly on one child, but combined with contributions from other sponsors to help the entire community. This ensures that all children benefit from the program, instead of just those who live in sponsorship communities.

Tax deductions

Child sponsorship contributions are tax-deductible. The policies vary by country and state, so it’s best to contact your local tax office for information. There’s usually a limit to how much of your contributions can be written off your taxable income. Different rules also apply for when you give or receive a gift sponsorship.

Opting out

There is usually no minimum or maximum duration for child sponsorship. Charities usually let you opt out any time, or change your sponsorship terms with little or no question. Each one works differently, however—some let you sponsor a child for a fixed term, in which case there may be more paperwork involved. In general, however, there are no constraints on opting out, as contributions are completely voluntary.

 

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