Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for considering child sponsorship. We hope that this information addresses any concerns you might have, and that it will help you in determining if you're ready to make a commitment to one of these very special children. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 745-2202.
What do I need to do to become a GlobalFingerprints sponsor?
The preferred method of becoming a sponsor is to simply sign-up online. If you have questions about this process or would like to pay via check or by automatic monthly withdrawal from your checking account please email email@example.com or call (800) 745-2202 to get your sponsorship set-up. To set-up your sponsorship we need the following information: # of children to be sponsored at $35/month ($420 per year), first and last name, address, telephone number and email address (required for sponsorship).
To pay by check, please make check payable to EFCA and designate GlobalFingerprints Sponsorship #21709-39661 in the memo. Mail your check to EFCA GlobalFingerprints, 901 East 78th St., Minneapolis, MN 55420.
Is my online sponsorship donation secure?
With an online sponsorship donation, you trade in check writing for simplicity, security, and maximizing your sponsorship gifts to help children. Donations processed online are guaranteed secure. The GlobalFingerprints program, as part of the EFCA, benefits from secure online transactions processed through Verisign. Verisign provides a critical layer of security enabling online transactions, protecting data, and safely delivering information. If you have questions or concerns about your online transaction, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is my sponsorship donation tax deductible?
Yes. You are not receiving goods or services for your support, and your gifts qualify as charitable contributions. Whether you may deduct them from state or federal taxes depends on which tax form you use and your personal situation. Please contact the IRS or a tax advisor for answers to your specific questions. At the end of the year you will receive a donation statement from the Evangelical Free Church of America for all sponsorship contributions.
Am I the only one sponsoring a specific child?
Yes, we assign only one sponsor to each child.
How does GlobalFingerprints ensure accountability?
The Evangelical Free Church of America is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and all budgets and field expenditures are accounted for and reviewed by EFCA national office accountants under guidelines defined by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
GlobalFingerprints runs all of its in country operations through national partners of the EFCA. Each sponsorship area has a designated accountant and had joint accountability both locally to program leadership and to the GlobalFingerprints director in the U.S. Budgets are determined annually and each area submits monthly reports on how funds were used.
What percentage of my $35 a month sponsorship goes directly to the needs of the child I'm sponsoring?
Of the $35/month, 75% ($26.25) goes to field for the educational, medical, nutritional, and spiritual care of the child. 15% ($5.25) goes toward administrating the program (donor receipting, accounting, office, and IT support). 9% ($3.15) goes to program fund for expanding GlobalFingerprints into new locations, necessary travel to fields, and for continuing to maintain and expand the sponsorship base of GlobalFingerprints. 1% (.35¢) is reserved for the emergency fund to be used for emergencies experienced by supported children. GlobalFingerprints is also committed to keeping the administrative expenses flat (thus reducing administrative percentages as the number of sponsorships increase).
What type of contact will I have when I sponsor a child?
Our hope is to facilitate meaningful relationships between the sponsored child and GlobalFingerprints sponsors. To help enhance this relationship, the method of connecting with each other will be via email correspondence. Once you have registered as a program sponsor, you will receive a photo of the child you can pray for along with specific information to help build this relationship. Annually, you will receive an email communication from the child you are committed to and have the opportunity to reply. In the future, we hope to be able to provide more frequent communication.
Communication between sponsors and their sponsored child is one of our greatest challenges at the moment, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We have one internet access point in an area the size of Indiana and all correspondence between sponsors and the kids must be transported via bicycle to this location and then translated, prior to being made available to sponsors. Please be patient if you don't hear from your sponsored child frequently. The children are extremely grateful for your sponsorship, it is just not easy for them to show it.
How long will my sponsorship last? What if I must discontinue my sponsorship?
We ask our sponsors to make a long-term commitment to sponsorship. This would mean sponsoring a child until they graduate from secondary school or from a vocational school. In many countries a student may not graduate until their early twenties, especially if they did not start school at age 5 or 6.
While we hope that you will continue your sponsorship for several years, we recognize that sponsors' circumstances sometimes change and they are unable to maintain their support. With this in mind, you may choose to discontinue your sponsorship at any time. If you must discontinue your sponsorship we ask that you email us email@example.com or call (800)745-2202 to let us know as soon as possible, so that we might immediately find a new sponsor for the child.
Once GlobalFingerprints starts sponsoring a child it is committed to that child. GlobalFingerprints does not discontinue a child's sponsorship, even if their original sponsor is unable to continue their sponsorship.
Can I send birthday cards, extra money or gifts to my sponsored child?
It is very difficult for GlobalFingerprints to deliver special gifts to the children, especially in Congo where there is no mail system and the child supervisors ride hundreds of miles each month on a bicycle. If you really would like to send something to your child, please realize that it could take up to 6-months for your envelope to get to the child, depending upon when we next have staff traveling to the area. We request that it all be contained in a flat envelope and that the child's name and ID number be written clearly on the outside of the envelope. Suggestions for contents include: a family photo, pictures drawn by your children, a couple of pencils, balloons or barrettes. Please do not include candy, gum or any other food items. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out where to mail your envelope.
If you would like to do more for your child than your monthly sponsorship, other ideas include:
- regularly praying for your child and interceding for their needs before our Father in heaven
- participating in some of the special giving projects to raise money to meet extra needs of the children. These projects have included raising money for shoes, Bibles, Sunday School Materials and school books in the past.
- advocating for GlobalFingerprints and encouraging others in your small group and church to sponsor children through GlobalFingerprints. If you would like brochures, child cards, stickers or DVDs or other materials to help promote GlobalFingerprints please contact us email@example.com or call (800)745-2202.
Can I bring a sponsored child to the U.S. to visit?
No. Bringing a child to visit the U.S. is not permitted for several reasons, including health and travel safety issues, culture shock, language barriers, and difficulty for the child in readjusting to his/her life after returning home. Most of these children lack any ID cards as well, so passports and visas would be very difficult to obtain.
Can I adopt the child?
At the moment, adoption of children sponsored via GlobalFingerprints would be very difficult, if not impossible. If at any time in the future adoptions could be considered, we will notify sponsors of that possibility.
What qualifies a child for the GlobalFingerprints program?
Each country in which GlobalFingerprints works is going to have different selection criteria for participation in the program. Child selection is done by our national partners administering GlobalFingerprints in country and is done according to agreed upon criteria for that country. The needs of children where we work are great and there are always going to be more children in need than we have sponsors to provide for.
One of our non-negotiables is that GlobalFingerprints is an outreach tool, and therefore must include both children from both Christian and non-Christian homes. We request that at least half of the children in our program come from outside of the church.
One of our core values is to "meet the tangible needs of the most vulnerable children in society." To maintain integrity and fairness we need to have an objective definition of "most vulnerable." Elements that may play heavily into selection may include:
- Orphan - one or both parents have died
- Living with someone other than birth parent(s)
- Single parent home
- Under-developed for age
- Poor physical health (malnourished, illness, skin infections, anemia, TB, AIDs, etc.)
- Poor emotional/mental health (sad, no eye-contact, not engaging with others, depressed, etc.)
- Abuse victim (physical, emotional, sexual)
- No adequate daily care (left alone all day to fend for self, child doing all chores because elderly caregiver is unable to provide)
- Not attending school
- Child is working to provide some income for family
- Female (we would request that at least 50% of selected children be girls)
How does my sponsored child benefit from my monthly donation?
GlobalFingerprints is committed to help meet the physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs of each child sponsored. Your sponsorship provides:
- education (tuition, uniforms, shoes, books and supplies),
- health care (preventative education, vaccines, clean water, diagnosis/treatment by doctors),
- nutrition education and supplementation,
- social development (healthy relationships, Biblical world view, character, boundaries), and
- spiritual teaching, training and love
Everything done within GlobalFingerprints is filled will love, prayer and blessing for all those we work with.