Response Updates

Top 10 Best Charities for Children

Reported by Convoy of Hope

Children around the world face deep challenges to their health and even their lives — poverty and hunger, the horrors of abuse and neglect.

Add to these the perils of childhood cancers, inadequate healthcare, lack of education, and devastating wars and natural disasters, and the picture becomes distressingly clear — the role of charities has never been more crucial.

Children’s charities are vital lifelines, providing physical aid as well as emotional and mental support.

Parents, philanthropists, and anyone with a heart for children often ask, “What are the best children’s charities?”

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Check out this guide to learn more about the 10 top children’s charities that are going beyond basic solutions for critical needs and are nurturing young people with unwavering commitment and care.

Characteristics of the Top Children’s Charities

When selecting a charity, it’s important to research the defining characteristics of exemplary organizations, examining how their practices, transparency, and results set them apart.

Understanding these traits is crucial if you want to make a difference in young lives and ensure your support most effectively meets children’s needs.

1. Transparency

Children’s charities should regularly disclose how they utilize donations, offering scheduled updates on the progress of the children they help.

Financial reports, board member qualifications, and corporate sponsor identifications all give insight into an organization’s character.

2. Efficiency

It’s essential that a children’s charity uses all donations wisely, minimizing overhead costs to maximize the amount that serves a child in need.

High fundraising and administrative costs (as a percentage of a donation) can detract from actual programs.

Child Sponsorship Organizations Characteristics

3. Cultural Sensitivity

A children’s charity should respect and work in harmony with local cultures, understanding the unique needs of the communities it serves.

This extends to managing any communication between donors and children.

4. Impact Measurement

Regular evaluation of a charity’s program results is vital to confirm they are making a significant, long-term difference in children’s lives.

Top 10 Children’s Charities

1. Save the Children

Save the Children is dedicated to improving the lives of millions of children globally, especially those children living in poverty.

Through comprehensive programs, Save the Children addresses critical needs, such as education, health, and protection, making a tangible difference in children’s lives.

Save the Children Logo

By sponsoring a child, often through a monthly donation, donors provide essential support, including access to better education, healthcare, and nutrition, fostering a brighter future for the child.

Save the Children’s commitment to transparency and effectiveness ensures that donations make a significant impact, offering hope and opportunities to children worldwide. In 2022, for example, Save the Children programs and partners helped 118 million children in 116 countries become healthier, safer, and educated.

To learn more, you can visit their website.

2. Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) plays a pivotal role in supporting families with children facing life-threatening pediatric diseases. By providing a “home away from home,” RMHC helps alleviate the emotional and financial strain on families during challenging times.

RMHC facilities are strategically located near hospitals, offering families comfortable accommodation close to their hospitalized children.

This proximity allows parents to stay involved in their child’s care, reducing stress and fostering emotional support, vital strategies for promoting the child’s recovery.

RMHC’s commitment to care extends beyond lodging. Their supportive services — such as home-cooked meals, educational and recreational activities, and even vegetable gardens — are tailored to meet the unique needs of each family, ensuring a nurturing and compassionate environment.

For more information about RMHC’s work and impact, you can visit their website.

3. Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit helping children in a variety of ways around the world.

Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding initiative provides nourishing meals to support children in need, helping to alleviate the challenges of food insecurity.

Beyond ensuring children receive regular, healthy meals, Convoy integrates its food program into wider community development efforts. 

For example, when Convoy helps local farmers utilize better agricultural practices that result in larger crops, those farmers can dedicate part of their harvests to feeding local children.


Convoy of Hope is feeding more than 530,000 children around the world, with a strategic plan to raise that number to 1 million by 2030.


When a natural disaster or regional violence displaces communities, Convoy’s relief response makes a difference in children’s lives. This can take the form of clothing, shoes, school backpacks, hygiene kits, and even new toys.

Through strategic partnerships and a network of volunteers, Convoy of Hope finds the best way to help restore children’s lives.

Pro Tip: Finding the Best Charity

By carefully vetting a charity before donating, you ensure that your contribution effectively benefits the lives of children around the world.

Organizations dedicated to charitable work vary in their efficiency, transparency, and impact. Charity Navigator is a valuable resource, providing detailed evaluations of charities, helping donors understand how organizations use their funds and the overall impact they have. 

Charity Navigator’s reports can help you make sure your donation creates a genuine difference in the lives of children and supports trustworthy organizations. For more in-depth information and to research specific charities, visit Charity Navigator.

4. Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots, operated by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, plays a critical role in bringing joy to underprivileged children during the holiday season.

This organization collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them to children who might otherwise not receive gifts.

Their mission is to deliver a message of hope, helping to inspire children to become responsible, productive, and patriotic citizens. Toys for Tots’ nationwide campaign involves a vast network of volunteers and local community members.

For more information, visit their website.

5. My Stuff Bags Foundation

My Stuff Bags Foundation provides comfort and support to children who have been rescued from abuse, neglect, or other volatile situations. Often, these children find themselves in foster care or at a shelter with nothing of their own.

The foundation provides “My Stuff Bags,” which are blue duffels filled with new belongings — stuffed animals, coloring books, small toys for all ages, games and puzzles, school supplies, books, and more.

Bags often include a security blanket, a source of physical and emotional comfort to these children during a time of great need.

This thoughtful gesture helps to restore a sense of normalcy and personal dignity. For more details about My Stuff Bags Foundation’s compassionate work, you can visit their website.

6. World Vision

World Vision is recognized as a top children’s charity, largely due to its impactful child sponsorship program that allows individuals to support the well-being and development of a child in need, fostering transformative changes in communities.

World Vision’s commitment to feeding the hungry has resulted in an 89% full recovery rate for the malnourished children they have fed over the past 10 years.

But their sponsorship approach goes beyond just meeting immediate needs; it aims to create sustainable improvements in the lives of children, their families, and communities.

World Vision’s extensive work in various parts of the world ensures that children receive nutrition, education, healthcare, and protection, crucial for their overall development.

World Vision’s holistic model has garnered global recognition, making them a leader in child-focused humanitarian efforts. For more details on their work, visit their website.

7. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is renowned for its groundbreaking work in pediatric cancer research and treatment. This institution provides free medical care to children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The hospital’s pioneering research ensures that every child receives the most advanced care possible. St. Jude’s commitment to sharing their research freely worldwide amplifies their impact, helping countless children globally.

Families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing, or food, relieving financial stress and allowing parents to focus solely on their child’s health.

For more information about St. Jude, visit their website.

8. Children International

Children International is dedicated to helping their recipients break free from the cycle of poverty. Programs focus on key areas like health, education, empowerment, and employment, aiming to transform the lives of children and their communities.

With a holistic approach, Children International addresses the immediate needs of children while also investing in their long-term development. This long-term commitment ensures that children not only survive but thrive, becoming educated, healthy, and empowered adults.

For more information about Children International’s work, you can visit their website.

9. Education Cannot Wait

Education Cannot Wait (ECW) is a global fund dedicated to education in emergencies and protracted crises. ECW aims to ensure that every crisis-affected child and young person is in school and learning.

By focusing on both immediate response and sustainable development, ECW works to provide safe, free, and quality education to millions of children and youth affected by conflicts, natural disasters, and displacement.

This includes a strategic focus on children with disabilities, who are particularly vulnerable. ECW’s approach involves rapid funding allocations for immediate response and multiyear investments for durable solutions.

ECW collaborates with governments, multilateral organizations, NGOs, and other partners to deliver inclusive and equitable quality education.

For more information about this educational work and impact, visit their website.

10. Local Charities

When researching organizations that are making a difference in children’s lives, don’t forget local charities.

Supporting local charities that help children is a deeply fulfilling way to contribute to your community.

Utilize search engines and social media platforms to find local children’s charities. Look for organizations that align with your interests, whether it’s education, health, or child welfare.

Once you have a list, visit these organizations. Your firsthand experience can give you a better understanding of their operations and impact.

A Convoy of Hope volunteer hands a bag of groceries to a guest of honor in Sacramento, CA.
A Convoy of Hope volunteer hands a bag of groceries to a guest of honor in Sacramento, CA.

Connect with friends, family, or colleagues who actively participate in charity work. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations.

You should also check local community centers, which often collaborate with or have information about local charities. They can direct you to organizations that are making a difference in the lives of children in your area. Local charities often host fundraising or awareness events that provide deeper insight into their work and impact.

Remember, connecting with a local charity not only supports the organization but also strengthens your community. Your involvement, whether through donations, volunteering, or advocacy, can make a significant difference in the lives of children in your neighborhood.

How To Volunteer for Children’s Charities

Volunteering for children’s charities is a rewarding way to make a significant difference in young lives. Here’s a quick outline on how to get started:

Convoy of Hope volunteers running a field and mobile distribution in Maui to ensure individuals and families have the support they need.
Convoy of Hope partners with the Pittsburgh Steelers for their annual Huddle for the Holidays, a way to bring some hope and resources to the Pittsburgh community.

1. Identify Your Interests

Consider what aspects of child welfare you are passionate about, such as education, health, or social services.

2. Research Charities

Look for reputable children’s charities that align with your interests. Check their websites for volunteer opportunities.

3. Understand the Requirements

Some charities might require specific skills, background checks, or training sessions for volunteers.

4. Commit Your Time

Decide how much time you can dedicate to volunteering and be consistent.

5. Apply and Train

Fill out the necessary application forms and participate in any required training or orientation programs.

6. Stay Engaged

Once you start volunteering, stay committed and look for ways to contribute meaningfully.

Next Steps

Donating to a children’s charity is a powerful way to make a positive impact. Consider your values, research the charities’ effectiveness, and choose one that resonates with your desire to help children.

Remember, every contribution, no matter how small, makes a difference in a child’s life.

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