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Sponsorship FAQs

Child Sponsorship

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to sponsor a child with Plan International UK?

We ask for a minimum donation of £19.50 a month, which works out as £4.50 a week or 65 pence a day, although many of our sponsors choose to give more.
This monthly amount means that we can achieve lasting results from your sponsorship. If you prefer, you can make your payments quarterly, twice a year or annually.

How does sponsorship work?

Child sponsorship creates a unique personal connection between you and a child in one of the developing countries where Plan International UK works. You are able to exchange letters and photos with your sponsored child and see how much your support is helping transform their life and the lives of those around them.


How are my donations spent?

Your donations go towards sustainable community-based development projects where your sponsored child lives. At least 80p in the pound goes towards our work to improve children’s lives, and our projects include building schools, digging wells, training teachers and providing vaccinations.

Child poverty has complex causes, and to really improve the life of a child in the long term, we’ve found we ultimately have to address the needs of their whole community and country. That’s why sponsored children are involved in deciding, planning and carrying out all the projects Plan International funds and supports. It’s important to remember that when you sponsor a child, an additional 72 children could benefit.

With Plan International UK, you can be assured that your money is making the biggest possible difference. Sponsoring a child helps drive change at local and national level, making improvements that benefit everyone in your sponsored child’s community and beyond. 

What will I receive?

When you first sign up to be a sponsor we’ll send you a welcome pack with a photo of your sponsored child and information about them and their community. This will be followed by a letter or drawing from your sponsored child, which you can respond to. You’ll receive annual updates and photos, so that you can follow your sponsored child's progress and find out more about the activities that Plan International is supporting in their community.  

Can I choose the child I sponsor?

You can choose whether you sponsor a girl or a boy, and their approximate age. We currently run sponsorship programmes in 50 countries and you can choose which country you’d like to sponsor a child in.

How long will I sponsor for?

We hope your relationship with us and the child you sponsor will continue for a number of years. But, if your circumstances change, you can stop at any time and we will try to find another sponsor for the child. Children are usually sponsored until they are 18.

How does my sponsored child benefit from my support?

Your sponsored child will benefit greatly from the development work we do in their community. Your donations will go toward getting the basics that every child needs; they’ll be more likely to grow up healthy, for example, eating a decent diet and enjoying a childhood free of disease. They could get the chance to go to a well-equipped, stimulating school instead of having to do exhausting, dangerous work all day.

What’s more, sponsored children also play a leading role in deciding, planning and carrying out Plan International-backed projects, learning valuable skills in the process that will stand them in good stead later in life. These are life-changing opportunities for a child in a developing country. And your support could mean even more.

A sponsor can inspire a child’s imagination and encourage them to achieve their ambitions through the letters you exchange.We regularly hear wonderful stories of how children were encouraged to study hard at school by their sponsor and how they’ve gone on to become doctors, teachers, midwives or activists.

Last year alone, sponsors’ letters helped to improve literacy for 1.4 million children!

How does Plan International UK select which children to sponsor?

Once we have chosen to work with a community, we aim to involve as many families as possible in the work we are doing. We encourage the community to discuss who may benefit most from being a sponsored child, and children themselves are actively involved in these discussions.

Ultimately it is down to the child and family to decide if they wish to be sponsored. Some other factors are taken into account, including age, the relative wealth and status of the child’s family, and the need for approximately equal numbers of boys and girls to be enrolled in each community.

Even if a child doesn’t get the chance to be sponsored, they will still benefit from the shared projects we support in that area. This is one of the strengths of our sponsorship scheme – it’s not only the child you sponsor who benefits from your support. Because your donations fund community-based projects, many more children will benefit too.

How many children are currently sponsored by Plan International UK?

In the UK, there are currently around 83,000 child sponsors, supporting over 88,000 children.

Is sponsoring a child like adopting a child?

No, definitely not. The child you sponsor will have a family of their own, but sponsors play an important role in the eyes of the child and their community.

As well as funding projects that help them and their community and country, your sponsorship can inspire and encourage them – it's amazing how a simple letter or card can boost children’s self-esteem and motivate them, and children tell us they love hearing from their sponsors.

Can I send a gift?

Sponsors can send small, inexpensive items to sponsored children that can fit into an A4 envelope no more than 5cm thick and which weighs no more than 150 grams. Items you may send include:

  • Photos, stickers and balloons
  • Pens, paper
  • Ribbons, bookmarks

It is not possible to send the following items:

  • Money, expensive items or items which appear expensive (e.g. precious metals, wrist watches)
  • Sharp or fragile gifts (e.g. scissors,compasses, thermometers)
  • Skin and hair care products (e.g. soap, make-up)
  • Perishable items (e.g. food, sweets, seeds, pressed flowers)
  • Liquids (paint, bubbles etc.)
  • Clothes (T-shirts, caps, etc.)

I have more questions – who can I speak to?

Our Supporter Relations team are happy to answer any questions you have about sponsorship and our work. You can call them on 0300 777 9779 or email You can also request an information pack.

I live outside the UK – can I still sponsor?

Yes you can. If you have a UK bank account, you can sponsor a child here. If you don’t have a UK bank account, you can donate using a credit card or by making an international bank transfer. To do this, please call us on +44 (0)20 7608 1311.

Change a life today

Start your wonderful sponsorship journey