Pursuing and achieving success

We believe the best path out of poverty is a self-directed one, and we have the results to prove our approach works. With more than 30 evaluators on our staff around the world, we are dedicated to ensuring that Unbound continues to be effective, efficient, and always learning and improving.


The outcomes we seek to achieve

We establish spaces where marginalized groups are empowered to create equality, justice and unity in their communities. Existing power imbalances are addressed with a commitment to non-violence, dignity and long-term change.

Goal orientation
Sponsored members and their families have clear personal goals and realistic plans to achieve those goals.

Decentralized decision-making
Sponsored members and their families have the primary voice in selection of benefits and services as well as other key program decisions, within a solid framework of staff support and internal controls.

Capacity building
The primary focus of the program is for families to develop their own capacity for personal and economic growth rather than a focus on the distribution of material goods.

Sponsored members and families are the primary agents in their development, even self-managing many aspects of the sponsorship program with support from Unbound staff. Ultimately, the community develops programs independent of Unbound.

Economic self-sufficiency
Sponsored members and their families meet their basic needs through a combination of income-generating activities, access to capital and sponsorship benefits. Over time, families rely more on their own initiatives to meet their needs.

Mutual accountability and support
Sponsored members and families form a support network in which they encourage and are accountable to one another.

Sponsored members and families are agents of positive change in their communities. They see themselves as part of a worldwide movement with opportunities to share their lives with their sponsors, who are walking the path with them.

Culture of learning
Sponsored families, with program staff, balance reflection and action, define and measure outcomes, and utilize results for continuous program improvements.

Today in the Unbound program

Globally, parents of sponsored children, primarily mothers, participate in 12,500 small groups, making space for mutual accountability and support.

Ninety-eight percent of sponsored members receive their benefits through cash transfers to their individual bank accounts, empowering them to make the decisions about how they will use those benefits to achieve their personal goals.

Participants in the Unbound program have formed 159 different cooperatives around the world including credit, consumer, producer and multipurpose co-ops. These cooperatives build the capacity of families to develop sustainable, long-term sources of economic growth.

Small groups of Unbound participants hold more than $11 million in savings, available for sponsored members and their families to access loans for business capital and supplies, training expenses or other needs.

More than 35,000 families in the Unbound program have started small businesses and livelihood initiatives to develop economic self-sufficiency and cover their basic needs. The most common types of income-generating activities started in the Unbound world include running convenience stores; sewing; and tailoring; rearing livestock; food vending; farming; driving taxis, tuk-tuks or pedicabs; selling secondhand clothes; baking and candy-making.

More than $1.3 million in Agents of Change grants have been awarded worldwide, giving small groups the opportunity to drive positive change in their communities through initiatives to provide access to clean water, purchase school desks, fix roads and bridges, improve community safety and more.

Globally, more than 700 staff members are former sponsored members, scholarship recipients or family members of former Unbound participants. These individuals grew their personal capacity as they developed into local leaders, and they have a deep desire and commitment to give back to their communities.

Each sponsored member is visited by the social worker assigned to them at least once a year, helping participants continually learn and improve as they work toward their goals.