Let’s face it—money matters. And when it comes to where you invest it, you want to be completely confident.

Giving to charities is no different. You want to know where your money really goes and how it’s used. It can be easy to be skeptical.

And we don’t blame you. We know that giving isn’t one-dimensional. That it’s not just about a transaction, but about a calling, a passion and a vision. When you set out to invest in the lives of children in poverty, you want to be sure that you’re doing just that.

Girl holds change in her hands with a note that says, "Make a Change"

In a survey for their 2020 Global Trends in Giving Report, Nonprofit Tech For Good reported six reasons why people do not give to charities. They found that 12 per cent of those surveyed don’t trust organizations to spend their money well.

If that statistic tells us anything, it’s that charities have work to do. At Compassion, we want you to be confident in where you are investing your gifts. We’re proud to be named one of Canada’s Top 100 Charities for Financial Transparency and are committed to continuing to earn our generous donors’ trust.

Our desire is to steward your sacrificial generosity with intentionality and responsibility. We love our supporters and want to enable them to make an incredible impact for the Kingdom.

Like you, we value transparency and responsibility. So, we’re answering some of your most practical and burning questions when it comes to all things money. 

Little boy in a blue shirt sits against the wall of his Compassion centre and beams.


1. Does my sponsored child receive my donations in cash?

Sponsored children and families don’t receive cash, but instead are recipients of goods and services, carefully designed, delivered or purchased according to their needs by their local church. 100 per cent of family and child gifts go directly to the child and family, as appropriate gifts purchased by centre staff in consultation with the family.

2. Does Compassion have a bare minimum of what they send directly to the field?

Our commitment is that no less than 80 per cent of your donation goes directly to ministry activities—including all expenses that occur within the country your sponsored child is from—which directly benefit sponsored children. In 2019-2020, 84.4 per cent of funds were used for program activities benefiting the children we serve, and 15.6 per cent for operating expenses.

3. How were sponsorship funds used in 2020?

Sponsorship in 2020 enabled us to meet the very real and urgent needs of children and families impacted by COVID-19. It empowered the local church to continue serving sponsored children in their communities, ensuring they had hygiene supplies, medication, food and housing security as they dealt with the pandemic and its fallout.

Between April and December 2020, Compassion’s frontline church partners were able to distribute over 10.8 million emergency food packages and 7.2 million hygiene kits to families in need. They also provided emergency medical care to over 870,000 individuals and over 365,000 cash transfers to families living in communities where the direct distribution of food and supplies is restricted.

On top of our COVID-19 response, Compassion’s frontline church partners continued to engage in long-term holistic child development. In 2020, sponsorship funds were also used for spiritual development through virtual Bible lessonscognitive development through support for remote learning, socio-emotional development through counselling and child protection training for staff and families.

*Note: The ways in which sponsorship funds were used in 2020 was a unique response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See how sponsorship funds are used in normal circumstances here

4. What is your percentage allotment toward sponsorship and non-sponsorship?

90.7 per cent of ministry activity funds were directed toward sponsorship, which is our child development program. 9.3 per cent of ministry activity funds went to non-sponsorship, which includes Survival initiatives, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene initiatives, Education and Health. (See the full list here.)

5. How much do you spend on fundraising?

For every dollar we spent, 9.1 cents were used for fundraising efforts.

6. What does the 9.1 cents per every dollar spent for fundraising efforts cover?

The 9.1 cents used for fundraising efforts in 2019-2020 paid for all of our fundraising staff, print and media advertising, printing and distribution costs for our mailings, fundraising events and online activities. Compassion does not, directly or indirectly, pay finder’s fees, commissions or percentage compensation based on contributions.

7. Where does Compassion’s support come from?

In our last fiscal year, Compassion’s support came from 91,013 individuals and families, businesses, churches, schools, foundations and other groups. Individuals and families make up 98 per cent of our total supporters.  The other 2 per cent comes from businesses, churches, schools, foundations, service or community organizations and other groups.

Sponsor is visiting his child and reading a book to him.

8. Is Compassion considered reputable by the wider public?

Yes! In fact, Compassion has been rated one of Canada’s best charities for financial integrity in 2020 by MoneySense, Charity Intelligence Canada and Maclean’s. To ensure ongoing transparency and responsibility, independent and internal audits of our work are conducted regularly to ensure donor support is being used efficiently and with integrity. Compassion Canada is proud to be an Accredited Member of the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities.

 9. Do you share your audited financial statements with the public?

We thought you’d never ask! Each year, we make our audited financial statements available to you with all the details you want! Check out the latest one here. As a registered Canadian charity, our financial details are also made available publicly on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.


Learn more about how your support can make a difference in a child’s life today.

Learn more

*Updated March 2021

Written by: Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips is the Writer and Editorial Specialist for Compassion Canada. She is passionate about pursuing justice and mercy through writing, crafting, music, and sharing stories over a cup of strong coffee.