direct payment plan In the contact center, we talk to a lot of sponsors about their contributions — changing credit card expiration dates, updating their bank account information, processing donations, etc.

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Larry from Georgia. Larry was so passionate about his sponsored child and our ministry. He explained how he was led to sponsor his child out of a desire to fight injustice and poverty — especially for the most vulnerable — children.

During our conversation, he asked if he could donate extra money to cover the processing fee we incur when we charge his credit card — a question I was surprised by.

Regrettably, we’re unable to accept that kind of contribution. However, there is a way that the spirit of the question can still be met, a way that helps us send more funds to our children and church partners.

Make your contributions and monthly sponsorship payments via a direct payment plan.

When you set up a regularly occurring and automatic direct payment plan (e.g., Automated Clearing House (ACH), bill pay or credit/debit card), you save us at least $1 on each transaction. It’s a significant amount when you consider that many of the children’s families we serve survive on less than $1 a day.

The most efficient payment method for us to handle is ACH. Our processing and labor costs are typically less than 10 cents, compared to credit card and bill pay (over $1) and check (over $2).

Bill pay is when you tell the bank to send us money. The bank does the work, and they charge you and us for it. ACH is when you tell us to get the money from your bank.

Also, when you sign up for a direct payment plan, we not only save on labor costs, but also on mailing costs. We won’t send monthly confirmation statements for your payments — just one statement each year for tax purposes.

After I explained this to Larry, he asked us to automatically debit his checking account each month (i.e., ACH). As he stated, every little bit helps.

If you would like to set up a direct payment plan for your sponsored child’s monthly support, please log in to your account on compassion.com and click “Direct Payment Plan.” You can also call us here in the contact center at (800) 336-7676. We’d be happy to help!

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15 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Aug 16, 2010
    at 7:17 am

    Shaina – This is great information! Helps to know details of how to get every penny we can into the programs we support. For example, until I took a tour of the Compassion building, I did not realize how expensive the processing of check payments was for Compassion, in comparison with other options. This type of info helps sponsors make informed decisions. Thanks!

  2. Aug 16, 2010
    at 8:39 am

    Thanks for posting this information. I sent a request a few years back about processing charges Compassion incurs for each type of payment as I wanted to select the cheapest option to make my money go the farthest. I received similar information as I set up ACH. I saved the email, but it is great to have a blog to point people to instead of simply mentioning my own personal experience!

    On another note, I’ve absolutely loved the few recent blogs about gift giving and schooling as those were (and are) great sources of information despite being a sponsor for 10 years now! Many thanks to whomever decided to get those posts written as well as the writers :-)

  3. Ken M.
    Aug 16, 2010
    at 9:24 am

    This makes payment easier for the sponsor, too. If I had to send a monthly check, it probably would not arrive on time because I’d forget to send it or I’d wait until the day my salary is placed into my account which would delay the time in sending the check. When the money is automatically taken from my account I find that I don’t complain as much about not having enough money. It’s as though it is money I don’t see so I don’t miss it.

  4. Whitney
    Aug 17, 2010
    at 10:59 am

    I’ve always made monthly payments, mostly by credit card, but sometimes by check. I wanted to be intentional, even if for only one day, to make sure to pray for each of my sponsored children. Of course, I had no idea the costs I was incurring. I will definitely be setting up direct payment ASAP. Apparently that will stop me from receiving monthly statements, as well! Thanks for the information…

  5. Stacey
    Aug 17, 2010
    at 4:34 pm

    I am so glad now that I have the automatic withdrawal! Every dollar counts, where the children are concerned. I pray the Lord will double each gift sent.

  6. Mary Fidlin
    Aug 18, 2010
    at 12:40 am

    Thank you so much for this information. I will call and have my contributions made by the ACH Direct Payment Plan. I didn’t realize there was such a high fee for the checks I’ve been sending in each month. I know every dollar helps. I want each of my dollars to go to my sponsored child, not the banks.

  7. Barb
    Sep 20, 2011
    at 12:12 pm

    This is great information…is there anything else that we could do that would be equally as helpful to steward our money wisely? I know that sponsors can write as much as they wish, but would it be easier on Compassion’s resources if we wrote only a certain number of times/month? Or used one format over another (i.e. email vs sending in things via snail mail)? I realize that there is probably a cost either way like sending in fewer letters means less income for translators or having Compassion print off emails might cost just as much as processing other forms of correspondence. It would be nice to have some recommended guidlines so my desire to help doesn’t actually backfire.

  8. Terese Olszewski
    Oct 31, 2011
    at 8:44 am

    I agree; this information should be included in the fund raising/outreach literature, as I would have originally set up an ACH debit instead of monthly credit card payment. Also, when I enrolled to sponsor a child through my church, I filled out a paper enrollment form, but my email and name on credit card account were entered into your system incorrectly, which caused delays and phone calls. So I would also encourage people entering data for someone else to double check their entries to avoid undue delays in processing. Thank you so much for all you do! God bless you.

  9. Jenni Tilson
    Jul 21, 2012
    at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for doing all you can to make sure sponsor money goes as far as it can to help the children. Praying for continued blessings on Compassion.

  10. Patty Webster
    Oct 25, 2012
    at 8:45 pm

    Hi, I have a quick question…on your website you stated that in order for my child to recieve Chrismas money I would have to send the money by October 31st….

    Question: I don’t get paid until Nov. 3rd, I am disabled and only get a check once a month…Will my child recieve his Christmas money on time ??
    Thank you very much for answering my question.
    God Bless !!!

    • Jacquie Parella
      Oct 26, 2012
      at 5:23 am

      Hi Patty! Every child registered in our program receives a Christmas gift no matter what. The donation you send in for your child for Christmas, if not used this year, is held in a special Christmas fund and is used next year. So if it comes in a little late that’s ok. It still helps and won’t keep your child from getting a gift. Jacquie

  11. Greg
    Jun 27, 2013
    at 12:33 pm

    Can I stop receiving the print newsletter that is mailed to my house? I’d rather have the cost of this letter applied to the sponsored child.

    • Jacquie Parella
      Jun 27, 2013
      at 2:14 pm

      Hi Greg! Just e-mail us at ciinfo@us.ci.org or give us a call at (800) 336-7676 and we’ll take care of that for you.

  12. DNMP
    Jul 12, 2013
    at 1:53 pm

    Thank you Greg for asking your question! I’m going to email them because I really don’t like to use paper anymore especially if I can get the information electronically or in a soft copy!

  13. Tawny
    Aug 5, 2013
    at 7:34 pm

    Hi! I had not realized that I could be doing more by having the money taken directly from my banking account! I was happy to make the switch. My recommendation would be for the website to consolidate the payments to one amount (mine had been broken into 2 parts: my child’s amount and Compassion’s). Unknowingly, I only switched the larger amount to my baking account, not realizing a portion would still be charged to my card. It wasn’t until I got back online 2 months later to figure out what had been going wrong. I think it would be more helpful to have the TOTAL amount for everything be the first option online and then if the giver wanted to make their payments separately, it could be a later option. Thank you for all that you do! God Bless!!!

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