Engaging Donors and Ministry Partners

A transition from residential to family care cannot be implemented and sustained without the necessary financial support. Bringing along current donors and cultivating new donor relationships are essential to supporting the costs associated with the transition process and a new business model. Some donors may initially be resistant to change, especially those who have directly engaged with the children, or feel emotionally and spiritually invested in the current model of care. Raising awareness to build a shared understanding of the importance of family care and engaging donors in meaningful and appropriate ways help to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Donors and ministry partners may also contribute to the transition process by helping develop the business model, funding new projects that strengthen families and children, and offering technical expertise and training relevant to family care.  Inviting donors to participate in these specific ways lays the groundwork for a new kind of partnership aligned with best practice.

From Faith to Action: Strengthening Family and Community Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa A tool to encourage donors to fund community programs that keep children in family care, rather than simply funding orphanages. Describes the many strategies being used to invest in community-based care, and contains specific program examples. (Firelight Foundation et al.)

Journeys of Faith: A Resource Guide for Orphan Care Ministries Helping Children in Africa and Beyond Features principles of better practice, and includes examples of orphan care ministries that support children in family care and long-standing partnerships that are grounded in faith, prayer, and experience. It is intended as a resource and a guide for churches, pastors, students, mission field personnel, and others. (Faith to Action Initiative)

When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor… Or Yourself Articulates a biblically based approach to poverty alleviation, promoting the idea of walking with people in ways that lead to lasting change. Used by church and ministry leaders to design international ministry. (Corbett, S., and Fikkert, B.)

Kinnected Orphanage Checklist Provides a checklist to determine whether an orphanage is operating legally and following best practice, including ensuring that the orphanage is legitimately a last resort option for children and is not actively recruiting children and separating families unnecessarily. (ACCI Relief)

Child Sponsorship: Exploring Pathways to a Brighter Future (for purchase) Reviews the remarkable growth, diversity, and challenges of child sponsorship. It features the latest progress in child sponsorship practice and necessary tensions experienced by some organizations as they seek to maximize impact. (Watson, B., and Clarke, M.)

Interagency Guiding Principles on Unaccompanied and Separated Children Outlines the guiding principles that form the basis for appropriate action on behalf of separated children. Designed to assist governments and donors. (International Committee of the Red Cross)

Transitioning Donors Guidebook Includes five steps to bring supporters on the new journey to transition, because a good transition requires stable funding. The guidebook answers how will you bring donors with you and how will you fund initial costs? (Christian Alliance for Orphans)

Transitioning Donors Checklist [Spanish Version] A companion piece to the Transitioning Donors Guidebook to help track your progress. (Christian Alliance for Orphans)


Transitioning Donors Effectively This webinar offers guidance laid out in Transitioning Donors: 5 Steps to bring your supporters on the journey to a new model on transitioning donors away from funding orphanages and toward supporting family strengthening and family-based care. It is part of CAFO’s Knowledge and Practice Series, connecting research to practice in OVC care. The webinar explores how to get financial partners on board when the need to transition to a new model of care, which better meets the needs of children, arises. (Christian Alliance for Orphans)