GENERAL FAQs

What is a City Impact child sponsor?

At City Impact, a child sponsor is someone like you who has made the decision to invest personally in the life of a child in need. As a child sponsor, you enable your sponsored child to participate in a church-based school that offers life-changing benefits, including help with learning development, health care, social-skills development and Christian training. All of the sponsored children attend San Francisco City Academy (SFCA), a K-8 private Christian school of San Francisco City Impact.

As a child sponsor, you will have a meaningful connection between you and the child you support. The child you sponsor will know your name, write to you, and benefit directly from your monthly sponsorship. In return, you can help your sponsored child develop a sense of confidence and self-worth by the love you express through letters and prayers.

Your relationship with your sponsored child makes you an important person who has a significant role in his or her development. You stand alongside the parents, pastors, teachers and friends who are taking an active role in encouraging and raising your sponsored child.

What does my $38 go towards?

The child you sponsor through City Impact will receive opportunities and services that most children in the inner city of San Francisco simply cannot receive.

• Hear the gospel and learn about Jesus
• Receive an education
• Be healthy
• Develop self-confidence and social skills

Must I hold and practice specific Christian beliefs to sponsor a child at City Impact?

City Impact does not set criteria for child sponsorship. You are not required to sign a statement of faith or a statement regarding your religious beliefs and practices. We do, however, seek sponsors who are aligned with our ministry approach and philosophy. City Impact is an evangelical Christian ministry dedicated to the holistic development of children in poverty.

How does City Impact ensure that my support benefits the child I sponsor?

City Impact programs and classroom sizes tend to be smaller (averaging 13 children); the staff becomes personally acquainted with each sponsored child and his or her unique needs. Sponsorship support for all of the children in our school is combined and managed to provide a wide range of developmental activities.

City Impact regularly conducts both internal and external audits to make sure funds are properly received, tracked and managed. Every financial process from the school to the other programs is regularly audited.

However, it is not enough to ensure that funds are reaching your child and being spent on planned activities. Like you, we want to be sure that development is taking place in the life of every child. City Impact works hard to monitor and evaluate each program and long-term effectiveness, right down to the individual child. Anytime we see an irregularity, we take immediate and appropriate action.

How long does my sponsorship last?

Child sponsorship is a program that offers you the opportunity to stay with a child for a number of years as they grow. Our program lasts year round until he or she graduates from 8th grade.

What happens if my child leaves the program?

Please understand that sometimes a sponsored child’s circumstances may change. For example, families move away from City Impact and children have to leave our child sponsorship program. In this case, we will notify you immediately with an update on your sponsored child’s situation. From there, you will be given the option to transfer your sponsorship to another child in need. If we don’t hear from you regarding your transfer, we will automatically assign you a new child or switch your funds to go towards the greatest need, filling any immediate gaps within child sponsorship.

Are there additional ways to support the child I’m sponsoring?

We will be providing additional ways to support the child you are sponsoring through various methods such as mail and email. In the summer, there will be ways to support your child through summer camp, backpacks, and classroom wish lists. In the winter, there will be ways to support your child through Christmas gifts.

If you are interested in supporting the family needs of your sponsored child, please contact the Sponsorship Department and we can provide more information regarding that.

We also allow gift giving for special occasions such as a birthday and graduation. Please refer to Gifts for more information.

If I must discontinue my sponsorship, what happens to the child I’ve been supporting?

We understand circumstances arise that make it difficult to continue your sponsorship. We would love to work with you to make adjustments to your account so you can continue your relationship with your sponsored child if you would like.

Give us a call at 415.738.6017 and we can let you know about options such as putting your sponsorship on hold or if you would like to cancel your sponsorship entirely. We will immediately look for a new sponsor for your child and aim to continue that child’s support without interruption.

What percentage of City Impact’s expenditures are spent on program activities?

Through the years, City Impact has consistently averaged more than 90% of total expenditures being spent for program activities, with less than 10% being spent for fundraising and administration. We use conservative accounting methods that do not inflate our effectiveness in this regard.

How did City Impact begin, and why do we exist?

Learn more about City Impact here

Am I the only person sponsoring my child?

Our child sponsorship program is a shared program, meaning some children have more sponsors than others. Child sponsorship helps subsidize the child’s tuition, which is based off a sliding scale per each family. Depending on how much each family is paying for tuition, the rest is covered by various numbers of sponsors to help cover the gap. It truly takes a village to raise a child.

Letters 

How do I write to my child?

Letter-writing is the main form of communication with your sponsored child. You may use the stationery we provide in your welcome kit to introduce yourself to him/her. You can always use your own stationery.

Where do I send my letters?

San Francisco City Impact
Attn: Child Sponsorship
PO Box 16217
San Francisco, CA 94116

Please make sure to include your child’s name either on the envelope or inside the letter.

When will I receive my first letter from my child?

When you sign up to sponsor, you’ll receive a welcome kit in the mail with an initial letter template for you and your family to fill out and send to your child. Upon receiving your greeting, your child will respond to you.

What can I send to my sponsored child?

You may send letters, birthday cards, and gifts (refer to Gifts for more information).

Why do my letters take so long?

All letters are screened by the Sponsorship Department before they are given to your sponsored child. Turnaround time can range from two weeks to one month for letters to be processed, delivered, and responded to.

Why is someone else writing for my child?

Younger children in particular often need assistance to write or respond in letters. If that is the case, we assign a volunteer or staff member to sit down with your child and help them write their letter back to you.

What happens to my letters during the summer?

Our school is still open during summer months but we put a hold on letters, gifts and lunch visits. All letters sent from mid-May to mid-August will be delivered when school is back in session.

What should I write about?

• Your family, friends, and pets (attach a picture!)
• Your favorite hobbies or sports you enjoy
• Your work, church, school, and area where you live or grew up in (no specific addresses, please)
• Your relationship with Jesus Christ and prayer requests
• Encouragements about any milestones your child has reached
• Things you might have in common with your child or any interesting facts

Is there anything I shouldn’t write about?

Please avoid any topics that might make him/her uncomfortable or are considered inappropriate
• Elaborating on material possessions (i.e. the size of your home, car you drive, etc.)
• Suggesting that your sponsored child visit your home
• Exchanging personal contact information (email, phone) and social media accounts

Gifts

What kind of gifts may I send?

You may send a gift for your sponsored child with a letter. Feel free to enclose greeting cards, bookmarks, stickers, gift cards or gifts for celebrations (i.e. birthday, graduation, etc.), and/or appropriate photos with the letters you write. Please avoid giving cash.

How do I give gifts to my child?

You may give monetarily (via credit card or check) or mail in a gift. We make opportunities readily available throughout the year for special events (i.e. Christmas, year-end, etc.) to give monetarily. If you’d like to give a birthday gift today, please give online below
Give Now

How much/often may I give?

Gifts can amount to $10 to $25 per child and you may give up to twice a year.

If I give monetarily, will City Impact purchase a gift on my behalf? Can I specify what type of gift should be purchased?

All individual gift amounts are used on behalf of your sponsored child. Sponsors may designate money for their child’s birthday, special occasions or expressed need. The Sponsorship Department will purchase these gifts on behalf of the sponsor and make certain these funds are used appropriately.

Can I mail in a check?

To send a check for a designated gift, be sure to include the purpose for which the gift is to be used (please do not include your child’s name on your check). Make the check out to : San Francisco City Impact

Can I mail in gift cards or personalized gifts?

Yes, you have the option to send a gift card for the child/family or send a special personalized package that you’ve put together.

Where do I mail in packages for my sponsored child?

(Note: different address)

San Francisco City Impact
Attn: Child Sponsorship
230 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Can I give a gift to my sponsored child’s family?


Yes, if you desire to give a family gift, please limit it to three times per year and give no more than $300 per year. The Sponsorship Department will help advise families on how best to use these funds, alongside your input and opinions.

Lunch VIsits

How do I visit my child?

To schedule a visit and find out more, please give us a call or visit sfcityimpact.com/lunch

Can I bring food or gifts?

We highly discourage sponsors from bringing a gift during a lunch visit since we don't want to take away from the experience of meeting in person. School lunch is provided on-site for school children and sponsors. We don’t allow sponsors to bring a special lunch for their sponsored child, however, we encourage bringing a small treat (store bought) for your sponsored child’s entire class. To do so, please first email sponsorship@sfcityimpact.com.