How do you ensure the child is disadvantaged?
We work with schools and social services agencies to receive referrals of children who are financially disadvantaged. The parents/caregivers are then required to complete an application and agree to Variety's code of conduct. Variety then reviews the application to ensure the family meet stringent criteria including income levels.

How long do I need to sponsor my child for?
We review each child’s situation annually, and can continue to support children who are in need until they turn 18. While we'd love you to sponsor a child for as long as possible, we understand that if your financial situation changes you may need to cancel your sponsorship. Please get in touch with us as soon as possible if things change.

How much of my sponsorship contributions go directly to support my sponsored child?
A full 75% (or more) of your sponsorship donations directly support your sponsored child. The remaining amount (a maximum of 25%) is used to cover the cost of running the programme. This includes: getting in touch with your child’s family and assessing their needs; helping the family to request and spend their funds year around; reporting back to you on how your donations have been spent; and communicating and working with schools, social welfare agencies and community groups to refer children in need to the programme.

How does the child receive their funding?
Variety manages your funds on behalf of your child’s family to ensure that, where possible, the money goes straight to the provider (like the school) to directly benefit your sponsored child and can’t be used for other household expenses. Your help is tailored to whatever basic essential it is that the child really needs.

How are sponsors kept up to date on their child’s progress?
We keep sponsors up to date with an annual report and photo.

How is the child and their privacy respected?
Child privacy is maintained through strict policies and procedures which ensure personal details, such as last name, address and school are not publicly known.

Can I write to my sponsored child?
Yes, the easiest way is through your Variety sponsorship page on our website (see “How do I access my Variety sponsorship page”, below). You can also send a letter or card through the post. To respect the family's privacy, all communication must be made through Variety. Our address is: 

Variety - the Children's Charity
PO Box 17276
Greenlane
Auckland 1546
New Zealand

Only include general details about you and your family, and don’t include your last name, your work details or children’s school.

When you send us a letter for your sponsored child be sure to include the following details on a separate sheet of paper: Your full name, email address, and the child’s name.

How often will I hear from my sponsored child?
We send you a note from your child - along with an update on how your sponsorship is helping - once a year. We also encourage the children to write to you at other times. However, this isn’t always possible in some homes. We do know from working with the families, that the kids whose caregivers are not able to help them write back are often the ones most in need, and most appreciative of the generous support of their sponsor. When we do receive letters, we send them on to you.

Can I give my child a gift for their birthday? 
Yes. We’ll send you a reminder of your child’s birthday via post – and the opportunity send a birthday card, as well as a present in the form of a gift card from The Warehouse and/or Countdown. You can also make a birthday gift through your Variety sponsorship page on our website (see “How do I access my Variety sponsorship page”, below). On your sponsorship profile page, go to My Sponsorships (via the top menu), then click on your child’s name and you’ll see a red Donate Birthday Gift button. So that the full amount can go to your sponsored child, $10 will be added to your gift to cover postage and processing. Birthday gift cards are sent by tracked courier for security.

Can I give my child a gift for Christmas?
Yes. Each year, we’ll post you an opportunity to donate gift cards from The Warehouse and/or Countdown for your child for Christmas. You can also donate online: Go to variety.org.nz, click the Donate button, select ‘Christmas appeal’ from the ‘Please help me support’ dropdown, and tell us in the ‘Comments’ box how you want your donation used. We will deduct $10 of your gift to cover postage and processing, so please consider adding an extra $10 to cover this cost. That way, the full amount can go to the family. (Gift cards are sent by tracked courier for security.)

Can I send in my own gift for my child?
We’re a small team and are unable to handle gifts sent in by sponsors. As lovely as they are, the time and money it takes to send them on is considerable, and we want to make sure as much money as possible is going to support the child.

What happens if my sponsored child leaves the programme?
It happens infrequently, but if it does, we will match you with another disadvantaged Kiwi kid who desperately needs a sponsor.

Why do children sometimes leave the programme?
In some cases, families shift away unexpectedly without telling us, often due to difficult personal circumstances. We try all avenues to find them, including schools, social workers and their support networks we know about. Sometimes we are unsuccessful. In happier cases, the child’s situation has improved to the point where they no longer need assistance. That’s a cause for celebration!

Can I view my sponsorships and donations online?
Yes. Most sponsors have a Variety sponsorship account now. You can visit yours at any time to update your details, view your sponsorships and donations and send your sponsored child a birthday gift.

How do I access my Variety sponsorship page?
If you signed up to become a sponsor on our website after 20 October 2016 visit variety.org.nz and click Sign in at the top right. Then enter your email address and the password you registered. If you became a sponsor before that date, click Register and enter your email address and a password. If we already have your email it means you have a Variety account. You’ll be prompted to re-set your password to visit your page.

How long has Variety's Kiwi Kid Sponsorship been around?
During 2012 we undertook a research project involving our supporters, members of the public, schools, doctors, community organisations and various government ministries to identify issues facing today's Kiwi kids. Overwhelmingly we were told about the growing divide between the 'have' and the 'have nots' - Kiwi Kid Sponsorship is Variety's response to address this issue. Following a successful trial programme we officially launched Kiwi Kid Sponsorship in 2013.

Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. You can claim a 33.3% tax rebate for donations. At the end of each tax year, Variety will send you an annual tax receipt and an IRD Tax Credit claim form to complete. If you wish, this rebate can be donated back to Variety so we can help more Kiwi kids in need.

Contact our team 

Our Kiwi Kid Sponsorship team is happy to answer any other questions you may have. Email sponsorkids@variety.org.nz or phone us on 09 520 4111.

Read more about Kiwi Kid Sponsorship

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