How to Make Your Financial Contributions Go Further

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 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!

19 Comments |Add a comment

  1. darren johnson September 2, 2015

    dear sirs, my car was stolen and a check book was in the vehicle. I had to close the account my spouncership is drawn out of. I need to know how to change my payment information

    1. Susan Sayler September 3, 2015

      Darren, I am so sorry to hear that this happened to you. 🙁 To change your payment information, please log into your account at Once you are logged in, please click the button for Payment Information. Then click the link to Edit the information. You are also always welcome to call us at 800-336-7676 and we would be happy to update this information for you. Thankfully, it looks like the withdrawal is not scheduled until the 20th so we have some time to work this out.

  2. Ivania May 12, 2015

    Hi! I would like my notifications instead of paper in the email so the donation will be more for the girl Im sponsering.

    1. Susan Sayler May 13, 2015

      Hi Ivania! Regrettably, we are not able to provide the email notifications at this time. We are currently updating our systems and are looking to provide this option in the very near future. We will certainly let you know as soon as this is available.

  3. Tawny August 5, 2013

    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!!!

  4. DNMP July 12, 2013

    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!

  5. Greg June 27, 2013

    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.

    1. Jacquie Parella June 27, 2013

      Hi Greg! Just e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call at (800) 336-7676 and we’ll take care of that for you.

  6. Patty Webster October 25, 2012

    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 !!!

    1. Jacquie Parella October 26, 2012

      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

  7. Jenni Tilson July 21, 2012

    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.

  8. Terese Olszewski October 31, 2011

    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. Barb September 20, 2011

    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.

  10. Mary Fidlin August 18, 2010

    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.

  11. Stacey August 17, 2010

    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.

  12. Whitney August 17, 2010

    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…

  13. Ken M. August 16, 2010

    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.

  14. Becky August 16, 2010

    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 🙂

  15. Sherry W. August 16, 2010

    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!

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