Document

GlobalFingerprints FAQ

Some frequently asked questions about child sponsorship

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 globalfingerprints@efca.org or call (800) 745-2202.

Financial Questions

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 globalfingerprints@efca.org 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.

How much of my sponsorship goes to meet the needs of the child?

Slightly less than 20% of your sponsorship money is allocated to administration and training. This includes training the staff who care for the children as well as launching new sites and developing programs at current sites. So, a significant amount of this money is still indirectly helping the children.

Less than 1% is spent on fundraising.

Approximately 80% of your sponsorship contribution funds programs that directly help the child you sponsor such as paying for school fees, medical bills, and supplemental nutrition.

**These numbers are based on financial statements from 2018

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 donorserv@efca.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.

. Each GlobalFingerprints site has a designated bookkeeper. Budgets are determined annually and each site bookkeeper submits regular reports on how funds were used.

Sponsor Expectations

What type of contact will I have when I sponsor a child?

We understand that communication from or about your child is very important to you. That’s why GlobalFingerprints staff are working diligently to provide at least two correspondences from or about your child each year.

When you think of correspondence with the child you sponsor, probably what comes to mind is writing notes back and forth to one another. Sometimes this is possible. But there are also situations where this is not feasible. One common reason is the child is too young to correspond.

Unfortunately, another common reason children cannot correspond with sponsors is religious persecution. In countries with limited freedom for Christians, GlobalFingerprints does not tell the children in the program they have a sponsor in the United States. Instead, they are told that someone who cares about children is providing financial support to help them.

GlobalFingerprints staff in these countries with limited religious freedom still share Christ with the children in the program, typically in a very open way. In fact, God is drawing many children from Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu backgrounds to Christ through the generous support of sponsors and help provided by GlobalFingerprints. But we realize it is not in the best interest of the child or GlobalFingerprints to highlight the connection between GlobalFingerprints and the United States.

In these cases, where a child cannot correspond directly with their sponsor, someone who is in contact with the child or their care worker will provide updates on how your child is doing.

How will I hear from the child I sponsor?

Typically, communication from your child will come through the GlobalFingerprints website. When correspondence from your child or someone who cares for your child is uploaded to the GlobalFingerprints website, you should receive an email alerting you. This email will have a link to the correspondence portal where you will find the message from or about your child.

To check if you have any correspondence from your child…

  • Go to “globalfingerprints.org”
  • Click on “sponsor login”

(If you do not remember your password you provided when you set up your account, click on forgot my password and follow prompts)

  • On the next screen hit the “login” button
  • Your sponsored children will be listed under the heading: “Active Sponsorships”
  • Click “View Child(ren) Info” and you will see the correspondence.

If you have correspondence from your child but have not been receiving email alerts, it could be that your account does not have your correct current email. To verify your account has the correct email listed…

  • Go to “globalfingerprints.org”
  • Click “sponsor login”
  • On the next screen hit the “login” button
  • Click “Update Sponsor Info”
  • Check to see if the email is correct and make any necessary changes.
  • Click “Save Changes.”

Once your email is correct, you will be notified when a new correspondence is added.

Although, much of the GlobalFingerprints correspondence comes through the website, some GlobalFingerprints staff go the extra mile and send correspondence or pictures and thank yous from the children directly to sponsors. So, you may receive updates that way as well.

How often will I hear from the child I sponsor?

It sounds pretty simple to ensure every sponsor receives two updates from their child each year, but it can be notoriously difficult. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, some of our care workers travel nearly 100 miles (each way) through the jungle by bicycle to visit sponsored children. Add to that the fact there is very limited internet access and you can imagine the difficulty.

That’s not to make excuses. We are continually working to improve our communication system so our correspondence will be more timely. But we are also very grateful for your patience as we work toward improvement.

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have not been receiving updates from or about your child, let us know. We’ll try to figure out where the breakdown is occurring and will work to get you an update on how your child is doing.

Contact us: (800) 745-2202 or globalfingerprints@efca.org

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 globalfingerprints@efca.org 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 globalfingerprints@efca.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 pray for your child and interceding for their needs before our Father in heaven.
  • Participat 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.
  • Advocate for GlobalFingerprints and encourage 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: globalfingerprints@efca.org 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.

Sponsored Children

What qualifies a child for the GlobalFingerprints program?

A child qualifies for GlobalFingerprints sponsorship when they have an area of risk and vulnerability in their life. Those vulnerabilities vary from country to country.

For example, the child might be at risk or vulnerable to malnourishment, lack of education, or unsafe living conditions.

The needs of potential children are assessed and those with the greatest needs are accepted into the GlobalFingerprints sponsorship program and a sponsor for them is sought. We also make an effort to include many children from a variety of religious backgrounds so they can learn about Jesus Christ and the hope found in the gospel.

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, nurture and an invitation to participate in a local church when one is available.

Everything done within GlobalFingerprints aims to express the love and compassion of Jesus to children in great need.