How does sponsorship work?

When you sponsor, you choose to partner with a child, youth or elder — contributing $40 a month and building a relationship with your new friend. All sponsored friends in our program are partnered with just one sponsor at a time. When a sponsor is unable to continue their support, we work to find their friend a new sponsor; so you may not be your friend’s first sponsor, but you will be your friend’s only current sponsor.

Some sponsors choose to sponsor more than one friend, and while your friend can only have one sponsor at a time, you can partner with as many children, youth and elders as you like!

Why sponsor? Does sponsorship work?

We’ve found our unique approach to sponsorship to be the most effective way to help children, youth and elders on their path out of poverty.

When you sponsor through Unbound, you get the opportunity to make a real, direct impact by partnering with a friend in need. You’ll create a meaningful connection through letters and photos, and you’ll join our worldwide community of sponsors, staff and sponsored friends — all walking together on a journey to transform lives.

For sponsored friends, your sponsorship provides financial support so they can work toward their goals. Your relationship tells your friend, “I believe in you,” and opens a door to a community of mutual accountability and support.

Sponsored members and their families participate in their local program where parents join small support groups and become leaders by serving their communities and planning program activities. The Unbound program cultivates economic self-sufficiency by offering training, workshops and access to capital to start small businesses.

How does my monthly contribution help my friend?

Our local teams work with sponsored members and their families to best use their funds to achieve personal and family goals. They may choose to utilize funds for things like tuition and school supplies, health care, housing repairs or materials for a small business.

Sponsored members and their families determine how to put their financial benefits to work to best suit their needs.

How long does sponsorship last?

Your sponsorship lasts as long as your friend remains eligible for the program—and you choose to continue your support. For children and youth, benefits typically continue as long as your friend is attending school, and may extend through trade school or university.

Our program staff work with sponsored families to determine when it is the right time to leave the program, with careful consideration given to the family’s needs. In most cases, sponsored members leave the program when they reach their educational goals, move away from areas where the Unbound program is located, achieve full-time employment, or if their family’s economic status improves significantly.

Unbound will notify you if your friend leaves the program.

In the video below, Unbound social worker Edna González explains Unbound's role in helping families choose what's best for them when it comes to leaving the sponsorship program.

What happens when it's time for my friend to leave the program? 

First, feel proud! Although it can be difficult to say goodbye, take a moment to reflect upon the incredible difference you’ve made in the life of your sponsored friend and the special relationship you’ve built together.

Second, please consider continuing your support by partnering with a new friend. We always have children, youth and elders waiting to take the first steps on their paths out of poverty, and your support helps them get started.

What happens if I need to discontinue my sponsorship?

If you are unable to continue your sponsorship for any reason, please reach out to let us know and we will begin looking for another sponsor for your friend. In the meantime, your friend will continue receiving sponsorship benefits.