World Vision FAQs

The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions about World Vision and the work we do. 

You may also be interested in our Child Sponsorship FAQs, or if you have questions that are not answered here please feel free to contact us.

World Vision is a global humanitarian aid and development organisation that provides short-term and long-term assistance to children and families living in poverty. The World Vision International Partnership spans nearly 100 countries, employs 37,000-plus staff and in 2019 raised more than US$2.9 billion. 

For 70 years, World Vision has been engaging people to work towards eliminating poverty and its causes. World Vision works with people of all cultures, faiths and genders to achieve transformation. We do this through emergency relief, long-term development projects, advocacy, collaboration and education.

World Vision Australia is one of the nation’s largest charitable groups. With the support of more than 200,000 Australians, we are helping to create lasting change in the lives of the world's most vulnerable children. 

Our work is made possible by the support of generous Australians, including many who sponsor a child or donate to support our emergency appeals. Other funding sources include donations from philanthropists and corporate partners, as well as the Australian Government and institutional donors.

More than a billion people around the world live in poverty and struggle every day simply to survive. World Vision works with vulnerable communities at the grassroots level, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and resources to work their way out of poverty.

World Vision brings globally proven approaches together with each community's own strengths to address their specific challenges. Our work includes long-term development programs, emergency relief projects, advocacy and education. 

The aim of many of our projects is to help communities become self-reliant through a range of initiatives such as health improvements, education and skills training, agricultural development, access to finance, small business workshops and leadership development.

World Vision Australia aims to ensure the highest proportion of its funds gets to those in need. If you want a breakdown of where World Vision Australia’s money goes, read Where the funds go and our Annual Report.

Our financial statements are externally audited (in the same way and to the same standards which apply to Australian companies) and our annual reports are prepared to internationally acknowledged standards of transparency for not-for-profits.

World Vision works in some of the poorest countries in the world where the need for help is greatest. 

The World Vision Partnership works across Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

World Vision Australia supports the World Vision Partnership’s global operations, including the cost of technical experts who oversee and coordinate disaster relief, development and international advocacy activities across the globe. To read more about how we work through the World Vision Partnership, see our Annual Report.

World Vision Australia also works with Australia First Nations communities around the country. 

We partner with First Nations communities around Australia to achieve positive and lasting change. 

Since 1974, we've been adapting our community-led development approach to support First Nations communities to lead their own development and create a brighter future for their children.

Our Australia First Nations Program works with both remote and urban communities around the country, including in the Pilbara and West Kimberley, Central Australia, Sydney and Melbourne.

You can find out more about our current projects here.
Australians are part of a global community where basic human rights should be afforded to all, no matter where one is born. Yes, charity begins at home but it doesn’t have to end there. We are lucky in Australia that we can afford to respond to those in need at home as well as providing life-saving aid to those beyond our borders. 

Australia has the 11th highest GDP per capita in the world according to International Monetary Fund figures and our level of government debt is low compared to other developed countries. Although we are well placed to support developing countries, currently the Australian Government spends around 21 cents in every hundred dollars of national income. We are lagging behind other wealthy countries such as Sweden, who contribute 1.1 percent of Gross National Income, the Netherlands at 0.65 percent, and Germany at 0.41 percent.

Most importantly, overseas aid and development saves and transforms lives. For example, the under-five mortality rate has fallen by 59 percent since 1990. This is equivalent to one in 11 children dying before reaching age five in 1990, compared to one in 26 in 2018. Aid has played a big part in this progress. Unfortunately, thousands of children still die every day so more still needs to be done. 

World Vision is all about making a difference and creating change - and making it easy for you to be a part of that. Whether it's helping through sponsorship to meet the basic needs of a child, their family and community, helping rescue children from exploitation, funding vital development work, helping people in emergency situations or participating in advocacy campaigns, every person who supports our work is making a positive difference in someone's life.

Around 200,000 Australians now contribute to World Vision's work around the world. As a part of a broader movement against global poverty, this is creating broad-ranging changes to the living standards of those living in desperate poverty. For example:

  • In 1990, one in 11 children under five died from preventable causes. By 2018, this figure had fallen to one in 26 children. Aid has played a big part in this progress.
  • Aid has been a major factor in improving children’s access to education. An extra 40 million children have received a basic education each year since 2000. 
  • Sending aid to Africa can save many lives. Based on Global Fund estimates $370 million in aid can prevent more than 160,000 HIV, malaria and TB-related deaths each year. 

While we are motivated by our Christian values and faith, at World Vision we recognise that many people in the world do not share our beliefs. It is not our goal to convert anyone through our work, and we never seek to do so.

The primary focus our work is addressing the immediate and long-term development needs of communities, particularly the most vulnerable. We respond to these needs regardless of the religion or beliefs of a community or of individual community members.

As we do work in partnership with communities, depending on specific circumstances we may partner with local faith-based groups and encourage their participation in the development process.  

World Vision has fundraising guidelines in place to help groups, individuals and organisations who wish to undertake a fundraising event. If you're hosting an event to raise funds for World Vision, we ask that you familiarise yourself with our requirements to ensure accountability to donors.

Please read the World Vision Fundraising Guidelines.

The CEO’s salary is set by the Board of World Vision Australia based on our remuneration policy of paying all World Vision Australia executives salaries within a range at or under the 10th percentile of the Australian executive salary market.  The CEO of World Vision Australia oversees a large program of aid work globally and annual revenue of more than $400 million.

World Vision programs support modern contraceptive methods as part of an integrated approach to effective family planning. World Vision’s family planning guidelines encourage both men and women to take equal responsibility for their children’s birth and development. With both maternal and child mortality rates at alarming levels in many developing countries, individuals and couples are provided with the knowledge and the means to determine the number and spacing of their children to ensure the survival and wellbeing of both mother and child. These objectives are consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

All contraceptive methods promoted by World Vision are reviewed with respect to ethical, medical and development standards. World Vision programs are also designed and implemented in partnership with communities, and in collaboration with national health policy, the local health system, local faith-based organisations and other non-government organisations undertaking similar programs.

Contraceptive needs and preferences may vary depending on the cultural context. That's why our programs providing integrated voluntary family planning services offer a range of natural and artificial methods. Given the high risk for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), dual protection methods are encouraged. Examples of protection methods include abstinence, consistent and correct use of condoms, use of a contraception method, and mutual monogamy.
World Vision’s primary aim is to help people work their way out of poverty – we do not tell families how many children they should have. 

However, improvements in the lives of the poor do have an impact on reducing family size.  For example, the UN Population Fund says when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

Depending on the laws, policies and community attitudes in the countries where World Vision operates, our work might include things like the educating girls, improving childbirth facilities and support for women in remote communities, fostering economic opportunities, and providing information about family planning and birth spacing – including contraception, where it is appropriate. 

Population growth rates in most countries are falling and the global average for the number of children born to each woman has dropped from 3.7 in 1980 to 2.4 today.
World Vision Australia does not tolerate fraud or corruption in its operations and programs and is committed to the highest standards of legal, ethical and moral behaviour in all we do. 

To make sure that corruption and fraud is prevented or detected in a timely manner, World Vision has implemented a number of measures including: 
  • World Vision staff – here in Australia and overseas – monitor and visit projects and organise audits of project finance to make certain that all funds are properly used
  • A management systems has been set up that avoids any individual having exclusive rights to spend large amounts of money
  • Thorough background checks on staff are conducted
  • Local employees are trained to detect and deter fraud 
  • A whistle-blower system has been established so staff (and eligible non-WVA persons) can report any suspicious behaviour. Please refer to our Protected Disclosure Policy
  • Each project and national office is accountable through a range of internal and external audit and program quality review procedures  
  • Reports are sent to the donors who give us money and to the governments and authorities in the places where we operate, and to our industry peers
  • World Vision Australia’s accounts and operations are externally audited.

Additionally, World Vision complies with the requirements of funders such as Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

The enormous body of work done by the IPCC - an international body of highly regarded scientists - and World Vision’s own field experience is sufficient evidence for us that climate change could undermine every aspect of our work. 

While a single disaster cannot be attributed entirely to climate change, it has been predicted that global warming will increase the severity and frequency of cyclones, flooding and drought. In fact, it has been reported that the number of extreme natural catastrophes has tripled since 1980.

These occurrences hurt the world's poorest communities the most, and first. The impacts of climate change have the potential to reverse the significant gains already made on reducing global poverty. For that reason we will continue to push for domestic and international action on climate change, while working in and with developing countries on adaptation, providing measures which minimise the impacts of climate change, and supporting low-carbon and sustainable practices.

One of the less-understood components of our work is advocacy. If you keep rescuing people from the river, eventually you’ve got to go upstream and see who is throwing them in. That’s what advocacy means for World Vision: tackling problems and roadblocks that lead to inequality and poverty while partnering with communities to run long-term sustainable development programs. Together this leads to change.

World Vision unapologetically works with all sides of politics on issues such as overseas aid levels, climate change policy and maternal and child health spending so that national and global policies are established that lift people out of extreme poverty.

This work is vital for the world’s poor, and may have an impact every bit as dramatic as anything we can do on the ground in developing countries.
Information that you provide to us will enable us to process your request (eg. gift, payment, registration, subscription, change of details) as the law permits or for other purposes explained in our Privacy and Security statement. We don't rent, sell or exchange information we hold.

As a financial supporter of World Vision Australia, you will receive an Annual Tax Statement by the end of July each year showing a summary of tax-deductible donations you have made to us in the previous financial year.

Depending on your own tax position, the Annual Tax Statement will help you claim a tax deduction when it is time to prepare your tax return.

Find out more about Annual Tax Statements and receiving your tax statement online in our Tax Statement FAQs.