Category Archives: Ask Sponsor Services

Jul 9 2012

How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How do I know my money’s going to benefit my sponsored friend?

A. Great question. It’s important that you fully evaluate any charity you consider partnering with, and we’re happy to answer any questions about CFCA you might have.

At CFCA, we’re proud of our outstanding ratings from charity evaluators. We receive an A+ from CharityWatch, their highest rating possible.

Charity Navigator says we perform as well as or better than most charities in our cause. We also meet all 20 rigorous standards established by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Read more

Jun 5 2012

What about my sponsored child’s additional educational expenses?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. How can I help support additional educational expenses of my sponsored child?

A. CFCA encourages sponsored children and youth to strive to achieve their educational goals. For a growing number of sponsored youth, this means pursuing a college education or vocational training.

Normal monthly sponsorship benefits, however, are not always enough to cover the entire educational expenses, and the sponsored member’s family may not be able to make up the difference.

If you are interested in helping your sponsored friend with additional educational expenses beyond the monthly sponsorship amount, you can make special contributions by establishing an education fund for your sponsored friend.

If your sponsored friend still has a few years before reaching higher education or vocational training but you would like to start planning for the future now, you can make additional contributions to a future education fund for your sponsored child.

Contributions to this fund are held at CFCA until your sponsored friend is ready to begin college or vocational training.

For more information, or to set up an education fund for your sponsored child, please email or call Sponsor Services at (800) 875-6564 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.

May 21 2012

3 best (and worst) gifts to send to sponsored children, aging friends

Writing letters and sharing photos are wonderful ways to build a strong friendship between you and your sponsored friend!

We so appreciate our sponsors who take the time to get to know their sponsored children and aging friends through correspondence.

Rosana helps CFCA sponsored child Auner write letter to sponsor

Rosana, right, helps Auner, a child sponsored through CFCA, write a letter to his sponsor. Rosana is a mothers group leader in Guatemala.

To improve your sponsorship experience, we’ve outlined the 3 best (and worst) gifts you can send in the mail.

Best gifts to send

1) Letters

Whether it’s a brief note asking about their family, how they’re doing in school or just saying, “I’m thinking of you,” a letter can mean the world to a child whose mother is sick, to a youth struggling to finish school, or to an elderly person who yearns for companionship. (Writer’s block? See some of our letter-writing tips to get you started.)

No matter how simple, these letters and notes help let your friend know there’s someone far away who cares and wants them to succeed in life.

Note: You can now send eLetters, which are messages sent to your friend through your CFCA online account. (You must be logged in to your online account before sending an eLetter.)

2) Cards

Birthday cards, holiday cards, friendship cards … There’s a reason why cards have endured even in today’s digital age, and that’s because they’re so personal!

Another option, if you and your sponsored friend speak the same language, is to send a recordable greeting card and let your friend meet you through a recorded message.

3) Photos

When you began sponsoring, you were given a photo of your sponsored friend. Just as you enjoy knowing to whom you’re writing, your friend would love to have a photo of you or your family.

Sending a photo allows your friend to get to know you a little better. As you place your friend’s photo on the fridge or elsewhere in your home, know that your friend’s family will have your photo in a special place, too.

Worst gifts to send Read more

May 3 2012

CFCA Communications Centers: Bogota, Colombia

CFCA has five communications centers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya, India and Colombia.

Although we call them centers, which sound like a big operation, they actually consist of one or a few local staff members. They help us find and feature stories from our sponsored children and aging friends.

Harry Garcia, CFCA communications liaison in Colombia

Harrison Garcia

We’d like to introduce you to each communications center liaison, starting with Harry in Colombia.

CFCA has changed the life of many families. This is how CFCA changed my life as well as my family’s.

My name is Harrison Garcia, and I am 27 years old. I am the CFCA communication center liaison in Bogota, Colombia.

The story of my family at CFCA started when my sister Carolina, now 35, got sponsored in our little school 27 years ago.

The benefits that she received through CFCA at that time were a great help to my family as my mother was a single mother with three children.

When I was 10, I got sponsored, too, and it was a great experience for me to share letters with my sponsors during three years. Read more of Harry’s story

Apr 24 2012

Should I connect with my former sponsored child on Facebook?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. I recently received a Facebook friend request from my former sponsored child. Should I accept it?

A. While we can’t prevent a former sponsored child from trying to find and contact their sponsor via Facebook, we do encourage everyone to consider any potential risks that could happen from direct contact.

These risks may not come from your friend, but from other people within your friend’s community who learn about their direct contact with you in the U.S.

Some of these risks could include requests being made to you for ongoing support, or people trying to extort money from your friend or friend’s family because they are in direct contact with someone in the U.S.

For these reasons, CFCA does not facilitate or encourage direct contact between sponsors and their former sponsored friends.

We cherish the friendships that form between sponsored friends and sponsors through our program. Unfortunately, our ability to safely facilitate these friendships is only through the sponsorship program.

Please note: CFCA’s child protection policies do not allow current sponsors to be in unsupervised communication with sponsored friends, including social media such as Facebook.

To protect the privacy of our sponsors and ensure that all communications with sponsored friends are appropriate, our project staffs monitor all correspondence.

Related links:

Apr 10 2012

With your help, we’ve sent $1 billion in overseas support

Eliakim and Rebecca in Kenya

Eliakim, left, and his sponsor, Rebecca Shaneyfelt. Rebecca visited Eliakim on a CFCA mission awareness trip to Kenya in February 2012.

Great news, everyone! As of April 2012, weíve sent $1 billion to the field in support of our programs to help sponsored children and aging friends around the world.

(Read our news report here: CFCA reaches milestone in supporting families)

We’re deeply humbled and grateful for the support of everyone in our community for making this possible.

As stewards of the money you, our sponsors and donors, entrust to us, we’ll continue our commitment of sending the highest reasonable amount of available resources directly toward program support.

We also will continue to honor our co-founders’ commitment to put the needs of those living in poverty first.

CFCA President and Co-founder Bob Hentzen put it this way at a CFCA board meeting:

“We want to promote a new view of globalization, one in which we put into international motion a true sharing of the resources of God’s creation. We want the resources and goods of this earth to favor unity, not separation. In our preferential option, we favor the poor.”

Because of their perseverance and the support from more than 628,000 sponsors who have “walked” with us, we’re the organization that we are today. We’re excited to see where the next 30 years will take us.

As always, thank you so much for your support!

Feb 13 2012

Automatic Payment Plan helps you, CFCA and sponsored friends

Angel, CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador

Angel, left, is a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador.

Last year we had a special initiative in which our project in Guatemala would plant a tree for every sponsor who signed up to pay for sponsorship through our Automatic Payment Plan.

This year we have another initiative!

Sign up, and CFCA will send $5 to your sponsored friend’s project to help meet urgent needs in your friend’s community.

That means if 100 sponsors from your friend’s project sign up, your friend’s project receives $500!

Right now two out of every five sponsors choose to pay their sponsorship using our Automatic Payment Plan. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Save on postage and the time it takes to mail your contribution.
  • Never miss a payment ñ your contribution is automatically processed each month.
  • Reduce paperwork ñ electronic payment is environmentally friendly.

If you want to sign up online, go to (If you havenít already, you will need to log in to your online sponsorship account.)

Enter the amount of your monthly sponsorship payment and click ìMake payment.î

A pop-up question will ask, “Would you like your sponsorship contributions paid automatically each month?”

Choose ìYes,î and your first monthly payment will be added to your contribution basket. You can adjust the amount and the frequency of your payment, if you prefer to pay on an annual, semi-annual or quarterly basis.

As you proceed through the checkout process, you will be able to choose which payment account you want to use (or add a new one).

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Jan 27 2012

How do I help CFCA, continue providing for my sponsored friend?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. If something happens to me, how can I help CFCA and continue to provide for my sponsored friend?

A. Whether through a current gift, will, trust, retirement fund or life insurance policy, you can support the ongoing work of CFCA and also provide for the continuation of sponsorship benefits, emergency assistance or higher education for your sponsored friend.

Planning today using our estate planning tools can make a lasting impact for years to come.

We are here to help with any questions you or your advisers might have regarding estate gifts to CFCA. Contact Michael Calabria at (800) 875-6564 or, or visit for suggested language and beneficiary information for your attorney to include in your estate documents.

We assign the highest reasonable amount of available resources to directly benefit sponsored friends. See our financials and the consistently high ratings we receive from independent charity evaluators.

Dec 11 2011

Why doesn’t CFCA have programs in the United States?

Ask Sponsor ServicesQ. Why doesnít CFCA have programs in the United States?

A. CFCA was founded in 1981 to work in developing countries because two of the founders, Bob Hentzen and Jerry Tolle, had worked in Latin America and witnessed conditions of extreme poverty in which the most basic life needs went unmet.

Social assistance programs similar to those in the U.S. are often not available in communities where CFCA is present.

Education may not be free. Parents must often pay enrollment fees, or buy books, uniforms and supplies they cannot afford. Many children donít visit doctors because of the cost of care.

CFCA’s Hope for a Family program provides benefits tailored to the needs of sponsored friends, such as nutritious food, education, health care and livelihood programs for families to help them build a path out of poverty.

In developing countries, the contributions of CFCA sponsors go a long way toward providing these vital services.

CFCA does strive to serve the local community at its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan., through participation in several programs, including an internship program for underprivileged high school students and collecting personal-care items for a homeless shelter.

Dec 5 2011

Why shouldn’t I send packages to my sponsored friend?

As Christmas approaches, many sponsors want to know why we discourage them from sending packages larger than 9- by 12-inches and more than an inch thick.

Gift packages to sponsored children and aging friends

A gift package to a CFCA sponsored friend in El Salvador. The estimated value of the items was $10, but it would have cost $75 for staff members to claim the package.

Here’s a real-life example why:

Santa Ana, El Salvador

The import office in Santa Ana recently notified Henry Flores, director of our communications center in El Salvador, that a package had arrived addressed to CFCA.

Normally the CFCA staff does not retrieve packages from the import office because the fees are too costly.

But Henry went this time because he was anticipating some camera equipment sent by our staff in our Kansas City headquarters.

When the package was opened, Henry was surprised to see it contained a fishing tackle box and fishing supplies.

The importing office gave Henry a receipt and told him it would cost CFCA-Santa Ana $75 in fees to claim the package, $50 for the importing office and $25 estimated taxes.

(Taxes are based on the total of the value of the contents, plus the U.S. postage amount and the customs cost stamped on the package. The sponsors also sent a fishing pole, but for some mysterious reason, it arrived at the projectís post office box and bypassed customs.)

The receipt shows the estimated value of the items at $10. The senders paid $40 in U.S. postage.

Add the cost of claiming the package, and you end up with $125 for $10 worth of fishing gear that will never reach the sponsored child.

Henry left the package at the customs office. It will eventually be auctioned off by customs along with other unclaimed items.

If you’d like to make Christmas special for your sponsored friend, you can always write a personalized eLetter or donate to our Christmas fund.