1. How long will my child sponsorship last?
We have created our sponsorship program in such a way that you can continue sponsoring the entire training period of the child, whether it is dance, arts, or sports. However, the sponsorship is subject to changes in the location of the child such as when the child’s family shifts to another place or if the child is enrolled in another school, which is not affiliated to our sponsorship program. In such a situation, we will inform you promptly of any changes. We may also recommend you to extend your support to a different underprivileged child.
2. How much will I have to pay to sponsor a child?
Our sponsorship fee is very affordable. It costs you just $39 per month with a plethora of benefits for both the sponsors as well as the sponsored children.
3. Is the sponsorship limited to certain countries only?
Due to various legal hurdles at present, we accept sponsors only from specific countries. Check below to know if your country is part of our allowed countries list.
4. Do you accept Checks?
We accept checks as a payment option. You can select the Check feature on the billing option while you process the sponsorship online. We accept checks issued by a US bank and the funds should be in US dollars. We allow checks only over $100. The first payment by check is due 30 days from the date of child sponsorship purchase.
5. May I send gifts to my sponsored child?
We allow a sponsor to send gifts to the sponsored child on special occasions, like birthdays, a cultural event, or to meet a particular need of the child. If you intend to send a tangible gift, please contact us before sending it.
We will be able to make suitable arrangements for the gift to be delivered to the dance or sports school the child belongs to. We would like to recommend that you avoid gifts that are too fragile, expensive, or operated by batteries.
Additionally, please avoid items that are not safe to use by the child, including medicine, jewelry, currency, makeup, eatables, inappropriate clothes or gifts, etc. that are against the socio-cultural value of the country the child belongs to.
6. Will I be the only person sponsoring the child I'm helping?
Yes, you are the sole sponsor for the child. It is very important to build a strong rapport with the child, which you can do via writing letters. This way your sponsored child will relate much better to you as her or his only sponsor.
7. What do I do if I am considering canceling my child sponsorship?
If you want to cancel your sponsorship, then you can contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may cancel your sponsorship any time you wish to do so. If your child is still actively communicating with the sponsored child and you want to temporarily cancel the sponsorship, we can help you to shift the sponsorship to one of your friends or relatives. This will allow your child to continue the friendly rapport with the sponsored child.
8. What benefits will the child I sponsor receive?
The dance school or gym* receives double the amount of revenue for every sponsored child. This helps the child to compete more often, travel, and also to buy the supplies needed.
Other benefits include:
Dance or sports training helps to build a strong character in the sponsored child. Dance and sports are not always about winning accolades and medals. The training helps in imparting valuable lessons on hard work, discipline, teamwork, sacrifice, facing failure and success, setting up goals and striving to achieve them, overcoming hurdles, and understanding the value of preparation and practice.
The communication with the sponsored child via letters plays a vital role in the education of the child, in addition to their overall character development. Most children that are part of the sponsorship program participate via their public school system.
The countries we operate in have the English Language as the main language in which the children learn, although they can also choose from other languages. We also expect the regular school of the child to use our sponsorship program as an instrument for developing their English curriculum.
On occasion, the child may be asked to communicate in English with you via our correspondence system so that he or she can ask questions on life in your home country. This helps them to practice learning the English language. This is why it is vital that you respond to the letters from your sponsored child.
*As per the US law, the revenue from sponsorship for gym equipment and salaries is restricted to public or non-profit schools.
9. Are there Expenses Your Charity Will Not Cover?
We will not pay for routine expenses of a child that a parent takes care of for enrolling and training at a school. For instance, our grant does not cover the child’s:
- Registration fees
- Mandatory insurance fees
- Monthly gym fees
- Fees for clothing
Covering routine expenses is the responsibility of a parent. This will help avoid creating an unhealthy dependence on our charity. Our charity is aimed at developing the child and expanding the opportunities that come the child’s way. If we use it for routine expenses our objective will not be accomplished.
We grant revenues to schools on the specific agreement that they continue charging the family of the child for their services and other fees for starting the training. Exceptions include war refugees who may not be able to meet the routine fees.
A small percentage of children will lack the resources to meet these expenses. In such cases, we allow the school to use the grant for covering the expenses. This helps students to participate in sports and dance.
10. How is the Money Distributed to My Sponsored Child?
Depending on the country, revenue is distributed in 2 possible ways:
- We issue a grant to every Federation or to the Federation designated non-profit organization. The organization receiving the grant plays the role of financial representative and provides subgrants to local schools. It also holds the responsibility of monitoring proper use of funds. The grant amount is decided by the number of sponsored children present in a school.
- We set up a branch with our own staff in the country the sponsored child lives in to distribute revenue directly via a grant to every participating school.
If a school is not a non-profit entity, IRS rules restrict the use of grant revenues on the school. In this case, our branch or financial representative will spend the revenue on the sponsored child’s travel costs, exhibitions, registration fees, competitions, exhibitions, gear, and other expenses so that the child receives the benefit directly.
Note: We never distribute money to the child directly. IRS rules for US Charities prohibit such a gesture. Direct aid can create unhealthy dependency and funds may be misused. It also causes tax issues to the family of the child and increases the risk of being targeted by corrupt government officials. However, we can allocate a gift of minor monetary value to the child every year.
11. How can my child communicate with the child I sponsor?
When you decide to sponsor a child for the mutual benefit of your child and the child you sponsor, you become the donor and your child, the sponsor. You should enter the first name of your child under the ‘Sponsorship Done on Behalf’ section on the account page in our website. Thus, when your child writes a letter to the sponsored child we will be able to deliver it.
You can know how your child can contact the sponsored child here. To build a strong relationship between your child and the sponsored child, you can begin by asking your child to share a family or personal photograph and an introduction letter. We will translate the letter and deliver it to the child.
Sponsored children love to keep letters and photos of the sponsor as treasured belongings. Click hereto know how to write the first letter to a sponsored child. Although children love to communicate by sharing videos, we do not translate them. Luckily a majority of the sponsored children are minimum 6 years and know English enough to understand.
When there is frequent sharing of letters, the sponsored child will know that someone other than her immediate family cares for him or her and benefit greatly from it. Communicating through letters is highly developmental and the more frequent it is done the better will be the development.
12. Will my sponsored child write to me?
Yes, your sponsored child will write to you first when you choose the child and later depending on how frequent your letters to the child are. If you do not write any letters to the child, she or he is not required to write letters to you.
We will send the letter written by your sponsored child to you via email. If you request the actual letter be sent to you via postal mail we can make it happen. You have to reply to the emailed letter and request that the originally written letter be sent to your address.
Note: The letter may take a couple of months or more to arrive. This is why we send a digital letter copy to you via email. We retain the originally written letter for just 30 days. So, the earlier you request for the letter easier it will be for us to send it to you.
You can also create a scrapbook for the photos and letters that the sponsored child sends you. This will be possible after you have exchanged letters for quite a few years. The book will help you cherish the bond you have developed with the sponsored child and help you be content, proud and happy that you have contributed to the child’s development.
13. Can my child send videos messages to me?
Yes, and this happens quite often! Children love to create videos using YouTube and share them with sponsors. They may even do so while speaking English as an effort to practice learning and speaking English. Producing videos in return in English is strongly encouraged. Be sure to set the video to unlisted so only you and your sponsored child can view it! Children in Eastern European countries are most apt to send videos to sponsors. Children in India or Africa outside of a city may not have internet or a mobile device required to create a video.
14. I would love to receive a video message from my child. What steps can I do to encourage my child to create a video message for me?
Begin by sending a video message to your sponsored child first. Tips: Include your gym, home or your day to day activities in the video. Introduce your friends and family. Show your skills in gymnastics, sports or dancing.
To get a response from the child immediately, end the video with a question for the child. This will inspire the child to create a video. However, in some underdeveloped or developing countries, children will not have the equipment needed to make a video. So, receiving a video in such a situation is not a sure thing.
15. How does GCDF ensure that my support actually benefits the child I sponsor?
Every financial representative at year-end submit reports to GCDF that displays how the grant money has been utilized and distributed. Also, gyms and dance and sports that receives a grant are required to submit a report on how the money has been utilized for children’s benefit. We will also release an audit report and publish it on our website. U.S. law generally requires grant-makers to exercise expenditure responsibility, therefore, every financial representative agrees to an open book policy where we can review their records to assure appropriate utilization of the funds.
16. Are my contributions to GCDF, including my child sponsorship support and gifts, tax-deductible?
Yes. All contributions are tax-deductible in the United States. As a requirement of the 1993 Revenue Reconciliation Act, we verify that no goods or services of value are given to you for your contribution.
17. What percentage of expenditures are spent on program activities?
We can firmly guarantee that a minimum of 80% of revenue is used for Program Activities in every country we operate in. We reserve 20% of the funds to cover overhead expenses. Of this money, 10% is used for overhead costs for administration of the organization and 10% is used for redistribution of grant money to the different gyms, sports schools or dance schools by the financial representative. We may reserve 5% of the funds for national federations to develop the sports or art via national projects or teams.
18. How is a child in sports selected to participate in the Program?
The parents of children in participating schools can sign up for the program only if the child is engaged in a serious sports competition or are actively training to engage in serious sports competition. IRS regulations only consider our work charitable to sports schools if it fosters serious amateur athletic competition. Generally, the school needs to be administered by, affiliated with, or a member of the national federation for the child's respective sport.
There is an exception for vulnerable children training in specialized schools. See Question 20 below.
19. How is a child in a dance school selected to participate in the Program?
The parents of children in participating schools can sign up for the program only if the child is regularly enrolled in a dance program with the intent of engaging in dance exhibitions. IRS regulations only consider our work charitable to dance schools if it has a regular faculty, daily comprehensive curriculum, and a regularly enrolled body of students.
There is an exception for vulnerable children training in specialized schools. See Question 20 below.
The President of GCDF has authority under the charter to authorize the support of schools which primary purpose is to combat juvenile delinquency or lessening the burden of government, which are two lawful categories of charity in the United States.
Essentially, these schools protect vulnerable children in high-risk communities from violence, drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, and gang inclusion. These schools are not required to be affiliated with a national federation nor serve the promotion of arts as their primary goal. We only require the school to be a nonprofit institution and to have their sports or arts program as part of their regular curriculum.
If your sponsored child is in a school that serves this purpose, your sponsorship revenue will be used to protect the children in the school from exploitation by supporting their development through the school's sports and arts programs.
21. Do you pool funds?
Yes, we pool funds and it is also required according to Federal Law. U.S. law prohibits any charity organization from receiving donations and using the funds solely for the sponsored child. The IRS frowns on such individual attention as it considers it as cooperative fundraising and bans it to avoid charities from losing their charitable level.
When we pool the funds and provide equal benefits for every child, GCDF can get itself qualified for issuing donation receipts that are tax deductible to our sponsors. The sponsorship donation you make for your child will go to the school of your sponsored child and it is equally spread among all children involved in a similar sport or dance program.
The only exception to this rule is that you can provide monetary gifts of low value. Moreover, if the money you contribute is spent only on the child you sponsor, it can cause jealousy issues among the children in the participating school and even among family members of the child.
If for some reason a sponsor is late on providing the support or did not send the contribution, the benefit to the child will be terminated. This can wreak havoc with the development phase of the child. This is why we pool the funds so all needy children can benefit equally from the sponsorship revenue.
22. Does your grant revenue go to Private Commercial Sports or Dance Clubs?
No, but their children benefit from our program. IRS regulations do not allow our grant revenues to go to a club that isn't a non-profit. In this situation, we operate similar to a Boosters Club, by only covering the expenses directly for the benefit of the children at the Private Club (Ex: pays their travel fees, competition or exhibition fees, trainer registration fees, leotards, etc.. directly to vendors). It is possible that another local charity may act as a boosters club for the Private Club, receiving funding from us via a grant. Parents may also form an actual Boosters Club to receive the grant revenues to help children at the Private Club.
23. Do the donations finance the national sports team of my sponsored child?
According to our agreements with various national federations, we allow reservation of about 5% of the revenue from sponsorship by the national federation for benefit of the national program or for joint projects with GCDF. While this reserve amount system is not followed by all federations, the option is open to a national federation at any time.
24. What happens if my sponsored child makes it to the national sports team?
The sponsorship ends* when the child becomes a part of the national team. This is because the national government will take over the funding of the child. The government will fund all costs of the child and provide a salary from the Ministry of Sport and the child will stop training at his or her school. You can, however, continue corresponding via the mailing address of national training base which we will provide to you upon request.
* Cheerleaders sponsorship doesn't end. Cheerleading isn't yet an Olympic sport and therefore doesn't get any federal funding.