Our Results

We Believe

The role of anti-poverty organizations should be to strengthen local human networks of support, not replace them. Replacing human networks creates dependency; nurturing human networks creates interdependency.

In the Unbound program...

51% of sponsored children stay in school more than a year longer than their peers.

77% of sponsored children participate in the program through organized small groups.

90% of mothers believe they have the power to change the lives of their families.

How we evaluate success

Unbound employs a three-tier approach to measuring program effectiveness and outcomes for sponsored persons and their families. This framework reflects Unbound's commitment to personal relationships and outreach, while recognizing the value of evaluation for program development and the power of experience in a global organization.

  • The Plane captures multiple programs and countries, but a lesser degree of detail.
  • The Plaza provides a picture of a community, but only in its own context.
  • The Porch offers broad detail, but narrow understanding.

Global outcomes (The Plane)

The Plane, the plaza and the porch
The Porch (Individual), the Plaza (Local Program) and the Plane (Global) offer a metaphor for three levels of outcome measurement. Each level presents possibility and limitation.

As an international organization, we recognize the need to step back periodically and look at the big picture. Global evaluations explore questions of organizational outcomes for all program participants across borders and in every region. These broad investigations help tell our collective story and understand the effectiveness of our approach in key areas such as educational attainment, economic self-sufficiency, empowerment of mothers and community participation.

Regardless of region or program, what changes do we hope Unbound sponsored persons and their families will experience as a result of their participation in the program?

There are four primary areas where we focus our global evaluation efforts:

  • Education or preparation for life path
  • Community participation
  • Economic stability
  • Parent empowerment

These domains are embedded within the Unbound program characteristics, such as capacity building, economic self-sufficiency, empowerment and mutual accountability and support. They serve as the primary focus for global evaluation efforts directed from Unbound and will be central in determining Unbound's impact on the world.

We have seen results in three of these domains at a global scale.

  • Educational attainment data from 22 local programs communicated the extent to which Unbound programs are helping sponsored persons to achieve a level of education that prepares them to be in competition with their peer group for employment and to be educated community members, parents and leaders. The global conclusions indicate that a full three-fourths of sponsored children and youth are reaching educational levels comparative to (+/- 1 year) or better than their age peer group of their national population.
  • Similarly, participation and empowerment were explored through a study of 697 randomly selected parents of sponsored children, principally mothers. The evaluation also concluded that parents who are part of a small parent group are more likely to consider themselves leaders and be active in community problem solving. On all participation indicators, including budgeting, saving and program planning, parents in groups scored higher.
  • Women are particularly connected to one another in the community, feel empowered to change their families' lives and exercise leadership.
See our Global results

Local program outcomes (The Plaza)

Work at the local program level is tailored to the needs of individual sponsored friends and the initiatives of their communities. Families work with program staff to define and measure outcomes and utilize the results for continuous program improvement. With training and technical support from Unbound's evaluation team, these locally directed evaluations ask questions like: What is the program accomplishing? How are families different now? What could we do better?

Specific program evaluations allow communities to adapt and grow in their specific context. And these evaluations collectively help fill the basket of evidence of Unbound’s impact around the world.

See our Local Program results

Individual outcomes (The Porch)

Unbound’s individualized program and one-to-one sponsorship model allow us to understand and communicate outcomes not just at a global or community level, but on a very personal level. Regular letters written by children, youth and elders to their sponsors provide a unique and personal update on the specific impact of the program in their lives. Letters provide direct feedback about how the relationships and support make a difference. We encourage sponsors to look for and ask about the experiences and accomplishments presented in their sponsored friends' letters. Does she discuss how she is progressing in school? Does he mention his mother’s participation in a mothers’ group or how the benefits of the program are impacting his family?

We also understand, however, that some sponsored friends are not great at communicating outcomes. Some lean toward only communicating the good and some fill their letters with other important personal details and gratitude. For these reasons, we are growing in our ability to gather and communicate data on individual changes and impact, through individual participant records, educational benchmarks and exit surveys.

Read about personal outcomes shared through letters.


Unbound's leadership, including its Governing Board, is organized under the Carver Model. The Carver Model dictates that an independent Governing Board be responsible for:

  • Defining the “ends” (outcomes) of the organization, derived from the goals it wishes to achieve, and
  • Creating the policies that must be followed by the board and management in their pursuit of these goals.

Unbound's management provides monitoring reports which demonstrate progress toward the board’s stated outcomes. These are presented to the Governing Board at three board meetings each year.

Results Reporting

Global Outcomes


Local Program Outcomes


How others evaluate us

American Evaluation Association

Unbound maintains a full-time program evaluation staff who are active members of the American Evaluation Association and abide by the AEA Guiding Principles for Evaluators.

Greater Kansas City Community Foundation

Unbound adheres to the standards of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, committed to increasing charitable giving and connecting donors to needs they care about.


Sponsor with confidence

  • Charity Navigator

    Unbound is awarded 4 out of 4 stars by Charity Navigator, with the highest score of 100 in the area of accountability and transparency.

  • Charitywatch

    Unbound is the only child sponsorship organization to receive CharityWatch's highest rating, an A+.

  • Great Nonprofits

    Unbound receives the distinction of Top-Rated Nonprofit from Great Nonprofits, based on reviews from people who donate to, or benefit from, nonprofit organizations.

  • BBB Wise Giving

    Unbound meets all 20 rigorous standards established by the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance.

  • Unbound has the Platinum Guidestar Nonprofit Seal of Transparency


    Unbound holds the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar.