Holt International

Child Sponsorship FAQs

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How long are children in Holt's sponsorship program?
We work with every child and family in our programs to make a sustainable, long-term plan for the future — a plan in which the family is healthy, financially stable and able to independently care for their children. It can take months or years to ensure that children and families have everything they need to thrive. Children remain in our programs until they have a safe, stable home environment and their basic needs are being met. For children waiting for an adoptive family, their sponsorship ends when they finally arrive home — entering the loving care of a permanent family.
How long is my sponsorship commitment?
Some Holt International sponsors have been supporting children for more than 20 years. Your support is critical to the child or family you choose to sponsor. If your child graduates from our sponsorship program, we will introduce you to another child from a similar program waiting for a sponsor. Of course, your sponsorship commitment is voluntary, and you may choose to end your sponsorship commitment at any time.
Are the children in Holt's sponsorship program on track to be adopted?
We view sponsorship first and foremost as an effective way to prevent child abandonment or displacement. Very few of the children in our sponsorship program are on track for adoption. Most of the children we serve have one or both parents — or extended family — to care for them, and we strive to keep children in their country of birth and with their family, whenever possible. Adoption is a life-long and beautiful decision, but we only seek adoptive families for children who have been relinquished for adoption and cannot be reunited with their family. We do not view sponsorship as an avenue to adoption. If you are interested in international adoption, please contact our adoption counselor! We'd love to speak with you.
How often will I receive updates about my sponsored child?
Every child and family in our program works with an advocate — a teacher, social worker or Holt staff member — to prepare an update 2-3 times per year. This update may be a letter, photo or drawing from your child, or a note from their advocate. The children in our programs love to share about themselves, and three times per year we provide opportunities to send a message and photo from your family in return. Click here to read more about corresponding with your sponsored child.
Are my contributions tax-deductible?
Yes! Holt qualifies as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under IRS code 501(c)(3). We will send you a receipt acknowledging your tax-deductible contributions.
How much of my contribution goes to my sponsored child?
Holt International strives to maintain a low cost of operation, and in 2014 nearly 71 percent of your donation went directly toward services for children, families and communities. As God calls us to be good stewards of your donations, we are always working to increase this percentage. By opting for paperless statements and automatic withdrawal of donations, you help us cut the cost of printing and processing.
Does my donation go directly to my sponsored child?

There are many reasons why Holt doesn't give cash to the children and families in our programs, but the biggest reason is that we care deeply about those we serve and we want every mother, father and child in our programs to be successful.

While giving a family $30 each month may seem like a fast and easy way to help them solve problems related to poverty or illness, this approach could actually have a harmful effect on their livelihood. Instead, we provide services and support that help families get their feet on the ground, and then learn, grow and create a stable future — with their children in school, consistent food on the table, and the ongoing ability to meet their child's needs. Giving families the tools to provide for themselves is far more empowering and effective in the long term — a valuable lesson we've learned throughout our 60-year history of serving children. To read more about this, click here.

Why do children have more than one sponsor?

We are different from many child sponsorship organizations because, while your monthly gift impacts entire communities, we offer more than just broad community support. Our care goes deeper. Every child and family works with a highly trained teacher, social worker or Holt field worker to build long-term goals for the future. These on-the-ground advocates support families' dreams for the future while also strategizing how Holt can best serve their immediate needs.

The children, families and communities we serve are in difficult-to-reach rural areas. Some children have special medical or physical needs. Some children may be orphaned or displaced. And they often live in extreme poverty — surviving on less than $1 per day. For this reason, the cost to serve each child is often higher than $30 per month, so most children in our programs receive support from more than one sponsor. We pool all sponsorship gifts by country program, which allows us to serve even more children each year in the most cost-effective ways.