World Vision is not a scam. It meets the 20 Standards for Charitable Accountability, according to the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. The organization asks sponsors to commit to a $35 monthly donation per child.
According to About.com, World Vision is a top-rated relief organization "dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty." The organization occasionally wants sponsors to provide additional gifts for events including holidays and the sponsored child's birthday. In addition, sponsors have the opportunity to provide special gifts on their own initiative. One time gift opportunities, through a holiday catalog, allow an individual to provide a goat, chicken, water well or other needs for a family or village.
World Vision encourages children and sponsors to correspond. The organization forwards correspondence to and from English-speaking children, and the staff makes necessary translations for children that do not speak English. Children too young to write are encouraged to send drawings to express appreciation for the sponsorship. In some cases, a relative or staff member composes a letter, but the adult signs such letters.
During the three-year period ending in 2013, the BBB notes one program service complaint for World Vision. The report notes World Vision as addressing the complaint.