compassion-international My name is Shaina, and I work in Compassion’s contact center in Colorado Springs. If you have ever called Compassion regarding your sponsorship, you may have spoken with me. ☺

In the contact center, it’s our job to answer your calls and questions and to contact you when issues about your sponsorship come up —for example, notifying you if a natural disaster has affected your child.

We also answer e-mails, run live chat on our website (Did you know we have that?), and communicate with our country staff on your behalf.

We don’t often see the direct impact of our work, though. It’s sometimes difficult, on the other end of a phone line or on a computer screen, to see that our jobs are actually helping the children we serve.

My passion to release children from poverty is what brought me to Compassion, but I have questioned God many times over His decision to place me in this department. What I have embraced is this: Sponsorship would not happen without you.

When I serve you well, I not only nurture your commitment to our ministry, but also your attachment to your child and your desire to know and love that sponsored child. My job is to advocate and educate on behalf of the children we serve.

In order to be able to do that — to advocate for the children in our program — everyone in the contact center wants to provide the best service possible to you, at all times. But at this time, we don’t have a way to measure how we are doing with this.

Please consider this blog post an open forum to let us know about your experiences calling and e-mailing Compassion, good and bad! Whatever you have to say, we want to hear about it.

Thanks.

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  1. Amy Wallace
    May 26, 2010
    at 5:01 am

    I have no complaints about my contact with Compassion Canada. They have been so friendly and helpful, and quick to get back to my emails. But I guess this doesn’t really help you :P

  2. Teresa
    May 26, 2010
    at 6:12 am

    I have called Compassion a few times over the past couple of years. 99% of the calls have gone very well. I value the information I get when I ask questions, and the staff has been very wonderful. I was disappointed recently when one gentleman was not as caring. I have sponsored a child in Haiti since 2008. I recently had a new daughter, so I wanted to sponsor a new child, in her honor. Haiti is dear to my heart, so I wanted to again sponsor in this country. I wasn’t sure if you were taking new sponsorships there yet or not in light of the earthquake. The website still says no sponsorships until verification of the child’s status can be made, and I wasn’t sure how to interpret that. When I called to ask about this, the man very crassly told me ‘no, we don’t have any kids to sponsor there right now because you and about a million other people only want to sponsor in Haiti’. He didn’t bother to ask if I would even consider somewhere else, or to thank me for being interested in sponsoring at all. He didn’t know I already have a connection to Haiti, but it was very obvious it wouldn’t have mattered to him anyway. I understand that your call center is probably bombarded with questions about Haiti since Jan 12th. I’m sure it’s been overwhelming at times. But each of those calls should still be valued. I called with a sense of joy and excitement at the prospect of sponsoring another child, and ended the call defeated and hurt. That just shouldn’t happen. FYI – I got on the website and did sponsor a girl in Rwanda. His negativity didn’t keep me from sponsoring, but it may do that to someone that didn’t already have an established relationship with Compaasion.

    • Ginny Sharman
      Jun 1, 2010
      at 3:13 am

      Which Compassion office are you referring to please?

      Thanks and blessings.

      Ginny Sharman
      Sponsor Relations Director
      Compassion UK

  3. Amy
    May 26, 2010
    at 7:15 am

    I’ve used the live chat twice, and thought it was very helpful both times. I wish it were available more often.

  4. May 26, 2010
    at 7:49 am

    I would love to know more about live chat!

  5. Kristen
    May 26, 2010
    at 7:51 am

    I am always impressed at the caring response I get from Compassion call center staff. They are always very patient and generous in answering my questions no matter how insignificant they seem. They always thank me for being a sponsor and for being devoted to my sponsored children and tell me what a blessing I am. My only complaint would be about consistency in their answers to some questions. I know some sponsors have gotten fairly detailed information about their children’s past experiences (# of sponsors, frequency of previous letters, length of time in the program, etc) while others are told that the call staff is not able to provide that info. After hearing of another sponsor getting past pictures emailed to her recently I decided to ask for that, too. (this is something I have long wanted but didn’t want CI to have to take on the expense of printing and mailing the pics – I hadn’t considered email!!) When I called I was told that past pictures weren’t kept on file. An odd response considering someone else had just been sent the past 2 pictures on all of her children. I didn’t push the matter because I know the CI staff is busy and it’s just not that important for me to have those pictures. I try to remember that sponsorship is not about me. All in all, I am very appreciative of the work you do, your staff has gone above and beyond for me on many occassions!!

  6. Nicola
    May 26, 2010
    at 9:07 am

    I have really struggled with contacting Compassion UK. I understand that a high call volume is hard to deal with and they are always perfectly pleasant but they never seem to do what I ask them to do! I have had to ask for the same thing six times before, each time getting more and more frustrated! This also meant lots of lost resources for the organisation which could have been used to meet the aims of the charity. I seems like the admin just needs to be tightened up and some investment in this would be very worth while.

    • Ginny Sharman
      Jun 1, 2010
      at 3:11 am

      Dear Nicola

      I am so sorry you have experienced difficulties when calling Compassion UK. It would be helpful for me to know more.It may also help you to give me a call so that I can explain any difficulties you may be having, My direct line number is 01932 832250. I would welcome a call from you. I want to ensure our sponsors are completely satisfied. If you cannot call then please email me at ginnys@compassionuk.org and I will ensure you get a direct reply.

      Thank you so much for all you are doing to support Compassion’s ministry to children. We appreciate and value your sponsorship very much.

      Sincerely in Christ

      Ginny Sharman
      Sponsor Relations Director
      Compassion UK

  7. Jenny
    May 26, 2010
    at 9:12 am

    you guys are going a great job! I love how I can contact anyone at any hour of the day and get an almost imediate response! I love everything about Compassion and everything you guys are doing! Keep up the excelent work! :)

  8. May 26, 2010
    at 9:23 am

    Like Amy, I’ve only had experience with Compassion Canada, so I don’t have anything to add about the Colorado office…

    The Canadian office is awesome, there is a great amount of consistency, the atmosphere there must be really healthy and inspiring for the staff because they’re all genuine, pleasant, enthusiastic, and SO helpful. Even though I know their number by heart and call on a very regular basis (Advocacy questions, trip questions, sponsorship, etc), they never make me feel as though I’m a burden to them.

    It’s one more thing I love about Compassion — the people who work there!

  9. Sarah Mac
    May 26, 2010
    at 9:43 am

    I have been very impressed with the call center staff. I have called with some crazy questions and they are always very patient. Example: My child in Uganda always talked about her best friend and asked me to pray for her. I called Compassion to try and find out whether this child was in the project and sponsored. They searched Caroline’s project and all other projects in the area for this little girl about 8-10 years old. They even tried a few different spellings of her name. I was so impressed at her willingness to go above and beyond to answer my question and care for kids.

    Wonderful people. It makes me feel loved and appreciated when you tell me thank you for writing letters and caring about kids.

  10. jennifer
    May 26, 2010
    at 9:53 am

    You guys have always been great to me! I’ve used phone, email, and live chat… (sorry I have lots of questions!) and have had great experiences with all of them. Last week I talked to Jenna (I believe) and she was very helpful. She seemed very passionate about her job and was very helpful. I really enjoyed her! And Brett through live chat has always been awesome – answering all my questions very cheerfully. I would agree with Kristen about consistency issues, but other than that, I don’t have a single complaint. You guys are awesome and even though you speak to sponsors about their kids all day every day, you seem to maintain your passion and willingness to help. Thanks for all you do!

  11. May 26, 2010
    at 10:27 am

    I called CI many times and have always gotten caring, kind, responses. I remember the first time that I asked for a correspondence child. The gentleman on the other end was silent for a moment (he was checking to see if I wrote to my regular child) when all of a sudden I heard “Holy cow you write to your child a lot!”. I thought it was so funny. I do write my kids 2-3 times a month at least (occasionally it has been more). I have never had a discouraging call. It has always been very pleasant.

  12. Amy
    May 26, 2010
    at 10:31 am

    @Tim Tinkel, I got a similar response when I called to ask for a correspondence child. I write every week.

  13. Shaina
    May 26, 2010
    at 10:36 am

    Thanks for the feedback so far!

    Amy and Susan- Live chat enables sponsors and donors to chat with a Compassion representative through our website. On some of the pages on our website, you will notice a box that says “Click here to chat with a representative now.” When you click that box, you will be immediately connected with a Compassion representative. We hope to make live chat available more often.

    Teresa- I am so sorry that you had a disappointing experience, but am glad to hear that you were able to choose a child to sponsor on our website. I will take your feedback to my team as a reminder that each and every call we receive should be valued.

    Kristen- Thank you for your feedback regarding consistency. Because there is so much information in the Compassion world, it is difficult to keep everyone on the same page. Hopefully, we can develop a plan to make the information flow consistent across the board. For the record, you may request for the current picture and the previous picture of your sponsored child to be emailed to you. You may use the contact form on our website to do this, or send an email to ciinfo@us.ci.org.

  14. Kathy
    May 26, 2010
    at 11:53 am

    I have called several times and have always spoken with friendly, caring people. Just recently I spoke to Jamie about a letter I received from one of my girls. In it she made mention of a possible serious family issue which I hoped the Compassion Center she attends could look into. Jamie was very caring and asked that the information be sent to his attention specifically. It is good to know that it will be evaluated and not just brushed aside. Do you help the children? YES you do! This little girl may need help and contacting the center is what will get help to her.

    Thanks for all you do for the children and sponsors!

  15. Stephanie Green
    May 26, 2010
    at 12:24 pm

    I’m a question asker by nature and have been very impressed with the level of professionalism I’ve received regardless of what I ask. The only complaint I have is the consistency area. Now that OurCompassion is up and running, lots of sponsors come together to talk about their experiences and we often notice inconsistencies in how things are handled. Kristen’s example is just one. We also hear about items that are sometimes rejected in the mailing process but sometimes they’re not. The guidelines about what can be sent are pretty detailed but there are still some grey areas like plastic stickers. Stickers are ok but plastic is not. So sometimes plastic stickers go through and sometimes they are rejected. Overall, I think you guys do a FANTASTIC job but I do hope you are able to come up with a way to streamline the process so all sponsors has nearly the same experience.

    Oh, and THANK YOU for asking for our feedback. Opening yourself up to criticism takes bravery and I commend you for taking this step! :-)

  16. Steph K-C
    May 26, 2010
    at 1:24 pm

    I think you’re doing a great job! Once I even randomly spoke to someone I knew who used to live in Ohio. :) Thank you for working with me and spreading God’s love! :D

  17. Linda T.
    May 26, 2010
    at 3:35 pm

    I love what Compassion does and I feel blessed that you allow us to be a part of it!!! I have always had pleasant experiences when calling Compassion and have had very few occasions to do so.

  18. Stephanie Green
    May 26, 2010
    at 4:06 pm

    It is always a pleasure to talk to Compassion reps. When I call,if they don’t know the answer, they try to find it and get back to me.I know you work with huge numbers of sponsors and so I am always grateful for a cheerful voice that helps me learn more about my kids and their situations!

    Shaina- Thank you for all you and your team do!!!

  19. Terri K
    May 26, 2010
    at 5:45 pm

    I don’t know if I can express this well, but I’ll try. The impact of your work – wow, its huge! The relationship that I have started to develop with my sponsored childen is the thing that keeps me looking for more ways I can help my kids – how I can encourage them, teach them that God loves them, save a little more money so I can send a family gift. Every little scrap of information helps me feel like I’m getting to know my kids better. Having a warm, interested person answer my questions, never make me feel like I’m wasting their time and offer more than I ask for makes me feel like its ok to call and ask questions and encourages me to be more involved in the sponsorship and Compassion. Having a relationship with my kids is what makes it a joy to give and changes my perspective on my own life. Every one I have talked to has been kind and professional, but a few have gone the extra mile and made me feel like we were partners in God’s work. If sponsors who are engaged with their kids are having an impact, then you are having an impact by helping sponsors connect with their kids!

  20. May 26, 2010
    at 6:01 pm

    As I have quite a few correspondence children I call the GMC frequently to do birthday gifts for them.

    I have had mostly good experiences with the representatives at compassion’s GMC. Most of the time the reps who answer are friendly and are willing to answer my questions. I have had a few experiences where the representative sounded bored and a little put out to have to be answering my questions, but those calls are few and far between.

    My only large frustration seems to be shared by many others. Since more sponsors have been communicating with the OC website we have started noticing inconsistencies. For example a sponsor will post something about information they got about their children, and then others will try to get the same info only to be told that it is not allowed. I empathize with the vast information and far reaching questions that are asked, but I would rather have the representatives ask instead of just telling me that “no, it is not available” (when I know that other sponsors have been getting the information). Maybe one solution would be to ask sponsors for some of the most frequently encountered inconsistencies (past photos of children, questions about correspondence children as far as sponsors involvement, past history of sponsored children, etc….) and then put together a reference page for the representatives.

  21. Tracie
    May 26, 2010
    at 6:05 pm

    Nothing but LOVE for the CO office! What a joy when I needed a few quick questions answered as a new sponsor. I was telling my sisters after my call how awesome it would be to work at Compassion. My operators were very helpful and you could feel the sweet caring attitudes come right through the phone. Keep up the good work!!!

  22. Handi
    May 26, 2010
    at 7:47 pm

    My experience with Compassion at Colorado has been excellent. Thank you so much for what you are doing.
    Keep serving Him with excellence!

  23. Shannon
    May 26, 2010
    at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for all you do!

  24. Lindy
    May 27, 2010
    at 4:10 am

    Your team at the Compassion office in Colorado is such a blessing! Because we sponsor a number of children, and have been sponsors for over 20 years, we have had all kinds of interesting situations and questions arise. Nearly always, the responses from the Compassion staff have been just what your name says– compassionate. On a few occasions we have gotten inconsistent responses, as others have mentioned here. The one that was hardest on me was when our finances were a bit tight and one of our children had left the program. I got a message on my giving receipt that the monthly sponsorship funds were on hold for that child. In the past I’ve arranged to move those funds over to another child’s next month’s sponsorship. This time when I called Compassion, I was told, rather scoldingly, that MOST people give the left-over sponsorship funds to the project when a child leaves. Not wanting to appear greedy or uncaring, I told the lady I was speaking with to go ahead and arrange for that. Later, I called about another child who has just left, and guess what! My month’s sponsorship for him was quickly and cheerfully applied to another child for next month! We really love all of you at Compassion, and we appreciate all you do. Thanks for this Blog! I think addressing the consistency problem would be a good thing for you, for us, and for the children still needing sponsors.

  25. Kathy Olson
    May 27, 2010
    at 7:21 am

    I have never dealt with an organization as large as Compassion where I can call and get such consistantly caring, friendly service. Once when I called about sponsoring another child, a lady said to me “Wow, do you realize you’ve been doing this for 27 years? Do you realize that your first sponsored child must be nearly 40 years old now?” It made me feel really valued. No one had ever said that to me before (that was before OC). I know the center staff is so busy but they have always treated my call as if it were the only one. I remember once I called near to tears because I thought my newly sponsored orphan’s siblings had been taken to an orphanage because they were not sponsored. It turned out not to be the case, but the staffer on the other end of the phone was very compassionate and patient with my concerns. I have not found another organization that does such a consistanly good job as you guys do. Keep up the good work!

  26. May 27, 2010
    at 12:24 pm

    My only complaint about the call center is that it’s not located in my city so I can come and work for you. ;) If you can rectify that problem, that would be super-duper.

    The call center folks have always been incredible, kind and helpful to us. I think it must be a tough job because, as others have said, there is so much info a person needs to know to answer literally every question about Compassion. I want to put in my 2-cents and say that I hope the call center people are compensated well. They play an important role in donor satisfaction and it would be nice to see the call center people stay long-term and build their knowledge base to effectively answer sponsor questions. To build that kind of a team I believe that you have to compensate people well.

  27. May 27, 2010
    at 1:35 pm

    Nothing but kindness, courtesy and respect from your office! Thank you so much for all you do–

  28. Laura
    May 27, 2010
    at 7:20 pm

    I am a brand new sponsor, just as of last Saturday. I was praying about whether to sponsor a child thru Compassion or World Vision (I sponsor 1 child at WV already.) I did this all online. I learned from a person who compared the differences between the 2 that the children who have been waiting for a sponsor for 6 months or more have a heart on their profile picture. Yet when I started looking thru the pictures, these children were not pictured first. The only reason I knew this was because of what someone else told me, so I figured out how to find those children who have been waiting a long time. Last Saturday there were 283 children waiting for a sponsor for 6 months or more, but then there were 282 after God showed me my precious sponsored child Jadex.

    My point is that maybe those children who have been waiting the longest should appear first when someone starts a general search.

    Thank you.

  29. James H.
    May 27, 2010
    at 7:41 pm

    I have not contacted Compassion, but your wondering about God’s decision to place you are where you will remain a mystery that will be answered in God’s own time. My guess is that you do what you do because it where you are currently needed. Have a blessed day.

  30. Nancy White
    May 28, 2010
    at 3:20 am

    I have had many specific questions about my sponsored children. I have called the Colorado office and you all went OUT OF YOUR WAY to help and actually knew about my children. It made my sponsorship and your caring very real. Thank you. Awesome job!!!!!

  31. Sara Kruger
    May 28, 2010
    at 5:53 am

    Every time I call, I am very pleased with the customer service. The department is very kind and helpful. My only complaint concerns the time I discovered one of our sponsored children was no longer part of the program. I noticed that the monthly sponsorship for this child was not withdrawn from my account. I called the office to ask for details and was given an explanation, and several weeks later, I received a letter also explaining the circumstances. However, I would have thought that such an explanation would have been offered before I was aware there was a problem.

  32. Valerie Long
    May 28, 2010
    at 6:57 am

    I’ve always had wonderful experiences when I’ve called the call center or e-mailed about something. I’ve never used the live chat so I can’t comment on that, but the other services have been very helpful and courteous and have provided excellent customer service!

    If I had to choose one area that I wish was better, I’d have to say that I wish you had Saturday morning hours for the Sponsor Relations lines. My work schedule is so messed up during the week that it’s hard to actually call during the week. So it’d be nice if there were Sat. morning hours. But other than that, I have absolutely no complaints on the system and even that’s just my own convenience issue! :)

    Thank you for all you do!

  33. Jennifer
    May 28, 2010
    at 11:29 am

    The staff in the Compassion phone center has always been awesome!

    The only suggestion I have is that the online chat feature is not available very often. I would prefer to use that as my method of communication. It’s so much easier especially for us introverts!

  34. Amanda Knutson
    May 28, 2010
    at 1:50 pm

    I’m a new sponsor and so I have a lot of questions. When I’ve called the call center, I have had nothing but kind, compassionate, very friendly sounding people talk me through what I was wondering and answer my questions very professionally. My only “complaints” or issues would be the inconsistencies mentioned above about what information can and can’t be shared. And I second the idea about Saturday hours. :) Thanks for all you are doing to help these children and the people who love and care for them!

  35. Shaina
    May 28, 2010
    at 2:59 pm

    Thank you so much for all of your feedback! The kind comments mean so much to us here in the contact center. I am going to take your ideas and see how we can implement them to better serve you.

  36. Betsy
    May 28, 2010
    at 5:25 pm

    How do I use the chat? Would like to give that a try but don’t see it.

  37. Sharon Sobczak
    May 28, 2010
    at 7:54 pm

    Compassion Canada has always been great answering my questions and seeking out answers, especially Christine.
    The only complaint I have, is when sponsoring children on another country’s site. I had no problem going thru Compassion Canada call center, to sponsor a child on the US site. However, friends on OC, thru the US site, had problems sponsoring a child from the Canadian site. Most were told it is not possible, or to phone the Canada office. Is there a method we should be using.
    Children should not be zoned to a particular country, after all if you sponsor in Ethiopia, does it matter if it was from the Canadian site, or US site. The children have gotten listed thru compassion, and they do not care which country their sponsor is from.
    The US has a great site, with lots of additional information. However, people on OC, would like the Canadian item of “How many days” a child has been waiting. Additional information about the Project number would be great, and more specifics on where the project is located, many times it mentions being near a city, but that city is not on the Country’s map.
    Since I am a programmer, and most of this information can be computerized, why does Compassion not have a central web site with all the children on it?
    Thankyou for being open to our comments, it means alot.

  38. Chris Pauley
    Jun 1, 2010
    at 11:48 am

    Hello, I am the administrative assistant at a Church and have been writing to two sponsored children for four years. My concern is that I am now questioning whether or not one of the boys is writing the letters himself. He is 13 years old and presumably writing his own letters. The most recent letter was address to Mom and Dad, with reference to a recent promotion to the 1st grade. There has also been an issue with the spelling of his name, which would be understandable if he were’nt writing the letters and signing them himself. We have recently done a campaign for Compassion International in the Church and many of the congregation members have opted to sponsor a child. Now we are beginning to wonder if things are on the up and up. These days you hear so much about different scams and it seems that it is time to do a little investigation into this situation. I hope to be hearing from you soon. P.S. I am sending a copy of the letter to your representative Ted Brooks.
    Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
    Chris Pauley

  39. Sharon Sobczak
    Jun 1, 2010
    at 1:35 pm

    Compassion Canada office located in London, Ontario.

  40. Jefff Carpenter
    Jun 6, 2010
    at 10:12 am

    Shaina, I completely understand your thirst for tangible indicators that the Contact Center USA is making a difference. I’m an active Child Advocate and often wonder if the many brochures I have out there are connecting at all, or if I’m effectively conveying Compassion’s amazing ministry when I speak. But– being on the “front lines” I DO see sponsor’s faces & hear from their stories in person, and getting sponsorships occasionally IS a solid measure that I’m making a difference.

    That said, please know that you guys ARE an incredible help to me in my ministry, and have frequently gone overboard to answer my ma-a-a-any questions. Y’all are full of Christ’s love and that shows radiantly almost every time I call in. Merci, gracias, danke, domo arigato for being there– for DEFINITELY taking part in my getting kids sponsored!

  41. Janine
    Jul 22, 2010
    at 12:28 pm

    Has Compassion discontinued offering chat? I would love to use it but can’t find it.

    • Shaina
      Jul 22, 2010
      at 2:39 pm

      We do offer chat, but not all the time. If it is available, you will see a button on the website that says “Click here to chat with a representative.”

  42. Alan
    Apr 11, 2012
    at 1:42 pm

    I just got off the phone with CI and I am thinking if looking for another organization that has a heart for children. Sure I called to voice a concern, I believe there is a disconnect between Compassion and the true needs of the child, but that does not make excuses for the robot voice at the other end of the line. This opinion is based on a visit to see my sponsored child, and a recent letter. I would never stop supporting my current sponsored child but I have second thoughts about sponsoring any more. There are other organizations.

    • Shaina Moats
      Apr 11, 2012
      at 2:12 pm

      I’m sorry you weren’t satisfied with the letter you received and with speaking with one of our representatives. If you’d like to email your feedback to ciinfo@us.ci.org to my attention, I’d be happy to take a look at it.

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