AIC offers two unique categories of sponsorship:
Education Outreach Child Sponsorship: funding the needs of the children of our Educational Outreach Program.
Special Projects Sponsorships: donating toward one of our programs’ specific annual expenses.
2. What is the difference between a Child Sponsorship option and Special Projects Sponsorship?
Click here to see our various special projects sponsorship options.
The benefits offered by your Special Project Sponsorship will affect many children and their families. Through pictures and follow-up updates from this project for the duration of one year, you will gain a unique insight into the lives of those with whom we work.
Unlike Child Sponsorship, which we hope will be an ongoing, long-term commitment made by a donor to a child, we consider Special Projects Sponsorship to be a one-time commitment toward an annual expense, for which the donor will receive updates and photos.
3. Am I my child’s only sponsor?
If you are a Special Projects sponsor, you will be the only person sponsoring that particular project, though some project options are comprised of multiple cost packages that can be sponsored by different people. For example, if you are sponsoring a classroom, you will be the only person sponsoring that particular classroom, though other classrooms may be sponsored by other individuals. We have multiple classrooms, caregivers and teachers, so those special projects can be sponsored by more than one person each year. The school uniforms and Diwali gifts options may each only have one sponsor per year.
4. Do my sponsorship donations go directly to my child?
5. How often will I receive information about my sponsorship and what types of information can I expect to receive?
At the beginning of your sponsorship, you will receive a profile that includes information about your child’s background, personality and history with AIC. From that point onward, you will receive a photo of your child and a progress report twice per year, as well as a creative sample (an artistic/literary/academic creation by your child) once per year.
Please note that although each sponsor will receive personal information about his/her sponsored child, the sponsor will not be able to communicate directly with the child (i.e. personal letters, emails, personal correspondence). This policy is in place for the protection of the children with whom we work. (For more information on this policy, please see question #12.)
Special Projects Sponsorship:
At the beginning of your sponsorship, you will receive an information page with photos about the special project that you have opted to sponsor. From that point onward, you will receive a photo update and a written update twice per year.
Please note that after the initial information page, Diwali gift sponsors will receive a photo update and a written update only once per year, as the holiday of Diwali occurs only once annually (in October/November).
6. In which format will the information about my child be sent to me?
Although sponsors based in the US and Canada are welcome to receive hardcopy updates, we hope that you will consider receiving your updates in the environmentally-friendly electronic format if you are comfortable with that option. Choosing to receive electronic materials ensures that more of your money is going directly to the children, rather than to offset the administrative costs that AIC incurs printing and mailing your materials. Please take the time to consider which option is best for you, and mark the designated box on the Child Sponsorship form to reflect your choice.
7. If I live outside of the United States, can I still sponsor a child or special project?
All sponsors making payments from accounts in banks outside of the U.S. must make payments online (via Google Checkout, PayPal). Unfortunately, we are unable to deposit checks from banks in other countries. We are happy to assist with this process if you have questions about the payment options.
Sponsorship material is available only in electronic format to sponsors based outside of the US and Canada.
Sponsorship materials, including receipts, are only available in English at this time.
There is a possibility that we will expand hardcopy distribution areas, as well as language of choice for the sponsorship materials, in the future. If so, we will notify you of the expanded sponsorship options and you will have the opportunity to adjust your preferences if you wish to do so.
8. Your sponsorship options look more expensive than some others I have seen. How come?
In particular, our children attend competitive schools that provide highly sought after courses, such as English language and technology, which will provide many job prospects in India’s competitive marketplace. By attending highly regarded programs, our children will be exposed to opportunities that will result in financial independence as well as a transformation of their community.
The achievement of such an ambitious goal for our children depends heavily upon the aforementioned interwoven layers of support that necessitate per-child expenditure that is significantly higher than many other organizations’ sponsorship costs. We believe, however, that these costs represent a worthwhile investment in the future; with the sustained, multi-faceted support that the children receive through AIC’s programs, the cycle of poverty is well on its way to being broken for an entire community of people.
9. I do not have the financial resources to sponsor a child, but want to help. What can I do?
There are also many ways of getting involved that do not require a financial commitment! The “Get involved” page on our website offers several ways that you can make a difference in the lives of our children without spending money.
10. What is included in the full sponsorship option that is not included in the partial sponsorship options?
11. Do I have a say in my child’s upbringing or education?
12. Does my child know that I am sponsoring him/her?
In addition, and perhaps more importantly, we strive to foster equality among all of the children, and to avoid competition, division among the children, and hurt feelings if sponsors display different levels of involvement and interest in their children (e.g. if one child receives letters and gifts and another child receives nothing, or if one child’s sponsor comes to visit and another child’s does not). Therefore, we seek the full, informed consent of the appropriate, care-giving adults (parents, guardians) for a child’s participation in our sponsorship program.
Although your sponsored child does not know about your sponsorship of him or her, you will still have the opportunity to meet your child or send letters or gifts if you would like. Please refer to the guidelines that we have developed (see questions #13, #14, and #15) for more information.
13. Can I visit my child?
If you decide to visit, you will have the opportunity to meet your child, but your visit will be structured so that you interact with all of the children in the program, who will also be excited to meet you. We therefore request that you refrain from singling out your sponsored child for special treatment, attention and personal gifts. While we understand that you will undoubtedly be excited to meet the child about whom you have heard and seen so much, but it is in the best interests of our children to view you as an ordinary visitor to AIC, not a visitor with a particular interest in one child over all of the others.
We also ask that you pay close attention to our visitors’ policy and respect our need for sufficient notice before coming to visit. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are thinking of coming to visit AIC!
14. Can I write letters or send gifts to my child?
If you would prefer to send a monetary gift for your child’s birthday or a special holiday, we are happy to put it toward a communal gift for that occasion. Please note, however, that birthdays and holidays are celebrated with love, joy, cake and gifts here at AIC, so you should not feel any pressure to send additional gifts.
15. Will I receive personalized letters/drawings from my child?
16. Will the cost of sponsorship change as the child grows up?
17. How long does my sponsorship commitment last?
However, we understand that sponsors’ circumstances sometimes change, and if you decide to discontinue your sponsorship, you can rest assured that your sponsored child will continue to be taken care of through AIC’s work. However, if you are doubtful of your ability to be an ongoing sponsor, please consider making a one-time donation or sponsoring an item or general expense (Special Projects Sponsorship) instead.
Additionally, it is important to understand that a sponsored child’s situation could change as well. Although it is rare, there have been a few situations of children’s families moving outside of the reach of AIC’s programs. In the event that a situation such as that affects your sponsored child, we will inform you immediately so that you can decide whether to transfer your sponsorship to another needy child or discontinue sponsorship.
18. Will I receive a receipt for my donations?
19. How can I find out more information about the projects my donation is funding?
For real-time updates, you will also have the opportunity to following AIC online, as we work hard to keep our Twitter and Facebook pages regularly updated with photos, anecdotes, and notification of upcoming events and projects. It is likely that if you’re looking closely, you’ll even catch a glimpse of your sponsored child or special project in our photos and updates!
20. Does AIC sell, rent, or trade donor information (e.g. mailing and e-mail addresses) to other agencies?
21. Can I publish, circulate, or post online information or photos of my sponsored child?
All information, materials and content shared for purposes of child sponsorship remain the property of the Ashraya Initiative for Children and may not be used, reproduced, transmitted or distributed without the express prior written permission of the Ashraya Initiative for Children.
In the unfortunate event that we find that materials related to our children are being used in an inappropriate manner, we reserve the right to terminate sponsorship. If you have any questions, please contact us at sponsorme[at]ashrayainitiative[dot]org.
22. I didn’t find the answer to my question here! Who should I contact?