Sponsorship FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions for Village Partnership and Children's Homes

Click to view FAQs for the I Love Baseball program and the University/Vocational Student program.

View the short version of the COTN gift giving policy.

View the full version of the COTN gift giving policy.

What specific benefits will the child I sponsor receive?
Your donation will help meet the physical, educational, social, and spiritual needs of your child. Your donation will go into our sponsorship fund and your child will receive the benefits of their program through your contribution. Every child in our program is assigned multiple sponsors to meet all of their needs. 

For a few of the specific benefits, see below:

  • $32 a month: Village Partnership (Sierra Leone, Malawi, Uganda, Dominican Republic, and Haiti)
    Your monthly gift will help a child living with parents or caregivers who cannot adequately provide for them by assisting with their physical, educational, medical, and spiritual needs.
  • $43 a month: Family-Style Children’s Home (Sierra Leone, Malawi, and Uganda)
    Your monthly gift will help an orphaned child living in one of our Children’s Homes.
    Housing, food, medical care, schooling, clothing, and spiritual discipleship for your child are all included.


How does COTN ensure my support benefits the child I sponsor?
We have competent staff in each of our countries who make sure our programs are operating effectively. There are strict financial accountability guidelines in place.


Does all $32 or $43 go directly to my child?
Your donation will go into our sponsorship fund and your child will receive the benefits of their program through your contributions. It is our desire to meet the needs of all the children in our care.


How long should my sponsorship last?
You may sponsor your child through high school, University Program, or trade school, depending on the child. Our desire is to see these children actively contributing to their society. (For some, this might be 18 years old, others older.) If we determine your child no longer needs support, or if your child moves out of the area we serve, within 30 days we will send you a profile of a new child for you to consider sponsoring; your sponsorship will automatically transfer to this child unless we hear from you.


How important is prayer in COTN sponsorship?
Very—we not only desire your financial support; we highly value your prayer support as well. Your child sees prayer as important and will be praying for you.


How can I learn more about my sponsored child? 
You can learn more through writing letters, visiting your child on a Venture Trip, and reading our blog and other resources on our website. You will also receive regular updates about our programs through emails and newsletters. 


How can I communicate with my sponsored child? 
Specifics for letter writing can be found at cotni.org/letter-writing. Your child will respond to any letters you send, and we will send you a new photo of your child every year. We encourage you to write letters to your child, but please do not send more than one 6-by-9-inch envelope per month. The contents of this envelope should weigh less than 1 lb. and have a monetary value of less than $25. Our in-country staff will translate letters both coming and going. It may take several months to hear back from your child as our mail is sent with staff or teams traveling to our countries.


May I send gifts to my child? 
You may send items with your letters to our USA office, as long as they fit in one 6-by-9-inch envelope, the contents of this envelope weighs less than 1 lb., and has a monetary value of less than $25. We will also identify special Christmas and summer camp projects each year. If you visit your child, you are welcome to bring gifts, as long as they are appropriate and their total value does not exceed $25. (See our gift giving policy here.)


Why do we have rules for gift giving? 
While we appreciate the intent behind gifts, if directions are not followed, direct gift-giving can cause several problems for your child. These include: (1) causing jealousy among other children; (2) undermining the authority of parents and in-country staff; (3) breeding dependence and materialism; (4) taking the place of more urgent needs; (5) misuse or misinterpretation of the items and their meaning. (See our gift giving policy here.) 

What can I expect to receive regarding my sponsorship?
You will receive an update from your sponsored child once a year and an updated photo at Christmas. You will also receive response letters from your child if you write.


Can I visit my child? 
Yes! Visiting your child can be an exciting and encouraging experience for both you and your sponsored child. We greatly encourage it. For more information on joining an existing “Visit Your Child” trip, or to set up a trip of your own, visit cotni.org/venture/trips or contact us at venture@cotni.org or 360-698-7227.


How do I update my credit card information online?
You can update your credit card information online by logging in to your 'Partner Profile.' Log in by clicking on 'My Account' (in the top right corner of this website) and entering your password. From your profile, click on the 'Gift Info' tab and then click on 'Edit Settings' next to your recurring gift. On the next screen, you can update your credit card number, its expiration date, and/or your billing address. (Please note that you must enter your entire credit card number to update any information on this screen.) Save when you're finished.

If you have not yet established your 'Partner Profile,' or cannot access your profile, please call 360-698-7227 for assistance.


Why does COTN need to do SmilePacks® events, resource drives, etc.? Aren't the children who are sponsored guaranteed to have food, clothes, etc.? And if they are, then where do the food and other resources go?

While sponsorship provides for the needs of the children already in our care, packaged meals and donated resources allow us to provide for children who do not yet have sponsors, and to help children who attend our schools, live nearby, and take part in partnering programs. 

For example, not all of the children who attend our schools are enrolled in our sponsorship program, but almost all of them eat meals at school. COTN uses the meals you package to feed these students and, sometimes, other children who are not directly involved in our programs but live nearby and have a significant need. 

In addition, COTN uses donated resources and packaged meals to provide for the needs of children who are enrolled in our programs but do not yet have sponsors. When a child enters our care, they do not have a sponsor waiting. We take children into our care by need and in faith—trusting that sponsors will soon follow and the needed funds will come in. While these children await sponsorship, your donated resources and packaged meals greatly help to meet their needs.


If you have further questions, please contact our sponsorship department at sponsorship@cotni.org or 360-698-7227, or visit cotni.org/letter-writing.