If you’ve ever felt a tug on your heart to help a child in need, sponsoring a child through an international organization is an incredible way to make a tangible difference. By committing to a modest monthly donation, you can provide the critical resources for a child’s basic needs as well as access to education, healthcare, and empowerment programs.

But with so many worthy organizations to choose from, the process of becoming a sponsor can feel daunting. Where do you even start? Here’s a guide to sponsoring a child overseas in a few simple steps:

1. Research and select an organization

Look at the finances, methodologies, and track records of major sponsorship organizations like World Vision, Compassion International, Save the Children, and UNICEF. Decide if you’d like your donation to go to a certain cause area like clean water, education, or gender equality. Check ratings on charity evaluators as well.

2. Review sponsorship requirements

Most organizations require a minimum commitment, usually around $35-40 per month, paid monthly or annually. You’ll provide basic information like your name and contact details when signing up.

3. Choose your child’s profile

One of the most powerful parts of sponsorship is the ability to select a specific child to sponsor based on their age, gender, country, and personal story. You’ll typically receive a photo and brief background on the child.

4. Correspond with your sponsored child

A wonderful aspect of sponsorship is the ability to develop a relationship with your sponsored child through letters, photos, and annual progress reports. Writing letters of encouragement and sharing about your lives helps make it a meaningful bond.

5. Follow your child’s progress

Beyond just financial giving, you’ll receive updates on how your donations are impacting your sponsored child’s community and providing key resources like clean water, education, food aid and more. Many sponsors take great pride in seeing the tangible fruits of their giving over the years.

6. Get the whole family involved

Sponsoring a child can be an enriching way to instill values of empathy, gratitude and generosity in your own children. Have them write letters, do chores to raise funds for additional donations, and learn about the child’s culture.

While the need is great, organizations have a proven track record of maximizing even modest giving to transform a child’s circumstances through basic needs, skills and opportunities. If you feel called to walk alongside a child’s journey out of poverty, sponsorship could change two lives – theirs and yours.