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FAQs

Who is Plan?

Plan raised over €700 million in 2013, primarily from individuals through child sponsorship. Plan actively involves local communities in setting up and implementing projects, including families and children. Our aim is sustainable development: a better world for children now and in the long-term future.

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Who benefits from Plan's work?

Children are at the heart of all Plan activities. Our approach is hands-on, community-led and sustainable. Last year we worked in 90,229 communities helping over 158 million people.

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What is child sponsorship?

Sponsorship is a link between individual donors in 21 countries and children and families in 50 developing countries. Our system of sponsorship allows sponsors and communities in developing countries to exchange letters and build a bridge of understanding between them. Sponsors also receive regular progress reports from Plan. Sponsorship donations are used for community projects, which improve the quality of lives of children, from building schools, health clinics and soccer fields to providing clean water, safe housing and sanitary latrines.

Sponsorship is therefore one of the most transparent, sustainable systems for helping whole communities lift themselves out of poverty and secure their children's right to education, health and a better future. Most of our sponsors choose to make a commitment to donating money over a long-term period. This provides a reliable source of funding for Plan.

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Why doesn't sponsorship money go directly to children?

To effect lasting change, a child cannot be isolated from a family, or a family from a community. By improving the facilities and resources in the communities where children live, Plan projects help give children their best chance of fulfilling their potential in the long-term future.

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How does Plan choose the communities in which it works?

Plan has developed criteria to ensure we work where there is the greatest need and where we can have the greatest impact. To determine need, Plan considers international development indicators such as infant and maternal mortality rates, the country's wealth, government stability and willingness to work in collaboration with us to improve children's lives. Once need is established, Plan requires family and community commitment to participate actively in bringing about lasting change.

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How does Plan make a difference?

Plan's active support for child development over a long period of time aims to improve the healthy development of children from before birth, through safe delivery, preschool care and development, primary and secondary education, to an adulthood in which they can be valuable and productive members of their community.

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Does Plan show where the money goes?

Plan has a policy of accountability and openness. We publish an annual report containing worldwide consolidated financial statements. We encourage sponsors to visit our programs overseas, to meet the children, families and visit their communities, and observe the impact of their assistance first-hand.

All annual reports are available to download from our Finance and Governance section.

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How long do children remain enrolled with Plan?

As long as necessary, but not after they reach 18. If the family still needs our help then we often register a younger brother or sister. Other reasons why a child could cease to be enrolled could be that a family moves out of the area where Plan works, or that our goals have been reached and it is agreed that the community has become self-sufficient. On average, children are enrolled with us for 9 years.

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As a sponsor, can I give more than my normal monthly contribution?

Yes. Extra contributions are always welcome, and are used to provide additional funding to many vital projects. You can, of course, sponsor more than one child.

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How much of my money goes towards Plan's development projects?

On average, 89% of the money raised by Plan goes towards planning and implementing our programme work.

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Do Plan's fundraising activities comply with international standards?

Yes. Plan is unique in publishing consolidated worldwide financial statements covering its operations. These statements, which are prepared according to International Accounting Standards (IAS), cover the fundraising side of the organisation and the use of funds in programme countries. The statements are audited by PriceWaterhouseCoopers and clearly show how Plan spends the funds that are raised. The management and operations of Plan's central organisation have been independently assessed by the International Committee on Fundraising Organisations and are in compliance with ICFO standards.

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On-line donations and payments

Like most other charities, Plan Ireland's website offer online payment facilities, including sponsorship and donations. These are made through secure pages which are subject to very tight security and monitored regularly. Please look out for the padlock symbol which indicates that a page is secure.

Please contact Plan Ireland if you are concerned about any emails you have received, or to report anything suspicious.

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For any further queries about Plan, please contact us below:

Plan Ireland
126 Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2
T: (+353) 1 6599 601
F: (+353) 1 6599 602
E: info@plan.ie