What is Gifts of Compassion? Each year, people across Canada have the opportunity to give gifts to help lift millions of children, families and their communities out of poverty around the world.

Gifts of Compassion are delivered within the framework of Compassion’s proven holistic child development program, which means when you give, you can be confident in a real, tangible and long-lasting impact.

Whether you’ve been giving to Gifts of Compassion for years or this is your first time hearing about it, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about these unique gifts that make big impacts for children and families in need around the world.

Here are 5 things you need to know about Gifts of Compassion:

1. Local leadership is core to Gifts of Compassion

A woman in a pink sweater hugs a young girl in a red shirt. They are both smiling and sitting on a bench.

Judyth is a Compassion centre director in Bolivia.

Every gift in our gift guide meets a need identified by local church leaders in the communities where we work.

Meet Judyth. She is a Compassion centre director in Bolivia. Every gift in the Gifts of Compassion gift guide is there because a local leader like Judyth identified the need.

It’s one of the things that makes Compassion unique: We partner with over 8,000 local churches in 29 countries to deliver our proven child development program to more than 2 million children and their families. Because our local church partners are already embedded in their communities, they have unique insight into the needs of their neighbours, which drives everything we do.

Anytime we dig a well, build a house, offer a scholarship or meet any other need, it’s because a local church with close knowledge of their community has identified, initiated and taken ownership of the intervention.

This becomes even more important in the times of crisis we saw in recent years, like the COVID-19 pandemic or the global food crisis. Because Compassion’s local church partners were there before the crisis and will be there long after, they are prepared to respond both urgently and sustainably to the needs of their neighbours.

When you give to Gifts of Compassion, you can be confident that your gifts meet real needs.

2. You can share your impact

Two young girls are in a forest holding cell phones and smiling at each other.

Meysella and Jeny are Compassion program participants in Indonesia.

Gifts of Compassion are designed to be gifts given in honour of the people in your life. We provide cards digitally to help explain the impact of your gifts.

Gifts of Compassion are meant to be just that—gifts! While we invite you to give Gifts of Compassion anytime as a regular donation, we think they are even more fun when you pass it on and give a gift in honour of someone in your life, whether for Christmas, their birthday, anniversary, graduation, just because or something else.

When you give in honour of someone, be sure to download a Gifts of Compassion card or use our e-card feature so that you can share the impact of your gift with your loved ones.

And don’t be afraid to get creative! Pair your Gifts of Compassion with fun and personal gifts—like a houseplant to go with the gift of Vegetable Seeds or a new book to go with the gift of Textbooks. There’s a Gift of Compassion for everyone in your life!

3. Gifts of Compassion fuels child development

A boy in a blue striped shirt smiles at the camera

Five-year-old Weeview is part of Compassion’s proven holistic child development program in Thailand.

Gifts of Compassion are integral to Compassion’s unique and proven child development model.

Wait, you might be thinking, I thought Compassion was a child sponsorship organization. What do goats or washrooms or mosquito nets have to do with child poverty?

Great question. Compassion is a child development organization whose mission is to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. We do that by meeting the needs of children in every aspect of their lives—physical, mental, social-emotional and spiritual—through child sponsorship and by funding interventions that foster communities and spaces where children can thrive.

Child sponsorship, though incredibly effective, does not accomplish holistic child development on its own. The needs that are met through major gifts and one-time donations like Gifts of Compassion come alongside child sponsorship to help ensure that kids, families, churches and communities have everything they need to break cycles of poverty in Jesus’ name.

4. Top-rated for financial integrity

In Haiti, Compassion staff member Marie Rose fills out a form.

Marie Rose, a Compassion staff member in Haiti, filling out forms the bank. She is one of the many staff around the world committed to stewarding your gifts with integrity and excellence.

We take your trust seriously. Financial integrity is a top priority at Compassion.

We don’t take it lightly that our sponsors, donors and supporters choose to entrust their funds to Compassion. Faithful stewardship of the resources entrusted to us is a core value and something we take very seriously.

Compassion Canada is proud to be an Accredited Member of the Canadian Centre for Christian Charities. We are named by Charity Intelligence, Maclean’s and MoneySense as one of Canada’s highest-rated charities.

Last year, 82.6 per cent of our funds went to program activities, while 17.4 per cent went to fundraising and administration. We are committed to ensuring that every dollar you invest in the fight against child poverty is used in the most effective way possible to have the biggest kingdom impact.

More on Compassion’s finances

 5. Gifts of Compassion make an impact

A boy in a striped shirt and blue beanie holding two chickens in his arms.

Six-year-old Juan Carlos poses with his chickens in Bolivia.

Your gifts have a real impact for children, youth, families and communities experiencing poverty.

People across Canada have been making an impact through Gifts of Compassion for more than 10 years. That impact has been immense.

These gifts aren’t just photos on a website. They aren’t just dollar amounts or inspiring cards you can pass on to friends and family. These gifts impact real stories, real lives and real communities:

  • Stories of youth like Bobita in Bangladesh, who would’ve had to choose between food or education before she received the gift of emergency food packs, which enabled her to continue her education and work towards a brighter future.
  • Communities like Las Mojarras in Nicaragua, where the gift of vegetable seeds was transformative for families.
  • Lives like Brian, Francis and Achille’s, who received lifesaving surgery thanks to generous Compassion donors.

These aren’t just words on a page. They are an invitation to be part of giving life-changing gifts to children and families living in poverty.

Ready to give a life-changing gift?

Browse Gifts of Compassion

Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa is Compassion Canada's Manager of Content and Public Relations, telling stories that inspire and equip compassionate people to take action on behalf of children in poverty. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied International Development, and a current Master of Communications Management student at McMaster University.