April 10, 2023 | Child Sponsorship

Unbound launches newly redesigned website

A more streamlined, intuitive and engaging user experience greets new visitors, sponsors and supporters alike

By Kati Burns Mallows

For more than 40 years, connections have been at the heart of Unbound. A newly redesigned website is just one of the many ways that the organization continues to strengthen this commitment, offering digital enhancements that are intended to give more value and functionality to users while making it easier for them to connect.

An enhanced Unbound.org launched April 11 following a multi-year effort by the organization to upgrade its online presence. Seeing the project through to finish involved input from the Unbound community — including hearing directly from current sponsors and donors during focus groups — combined with collaboration from a variety of technical, creative and subject-matter experts both internally and externally.

New features of Unbound.org

Unbound Marketing Director Erin Coleman said this project was and will continue to be a global effort that she hopes will allow Unbound’s various audiences to more easily connect. With the redesign, potential sponsors can more easily find and choose an individual to sponsor, while current sponsors will have a more streamlined way to receive correspondence from, and send a quick note to, their sponsored friends.

Specifically, the new Unbound.org features:

  • • An overall aesthetically pleasing and clean-looking design, with a more intuitive navigation that allows all users to find the answers to their questions quickly
  • • Tools that allow new sponsors to immediately create an online account
  • • Upgrades to personalization features within sponsor accounts, including autopay management and the ability to change their digital communication preferences
  • • Enhancements to correspondence options for sponsors and sponsored friends
  • • Testimonials from individuals who have been impacted by the organization
  • • A more visible News and Stories section that will include compelling storytelling about the direct impact of Unbound’s work

“In short, we hope the improved Unbound.org will offer visitors a window into the beauty, welcome, hope and inspiration of the Unbound world in a more streamlined and easy-to-use way,” Coleman said.

In addition to the many front-end user experience improvements, the new website also boasts a more scalable technology architecture. It was built in a newer, more modern programming language, on the latest version of Sitecore, an enterprise-class content management system.

As many as eight web developers, including full-time Unbound and contract web developers, worked on the project. According to Unbound Chief Technology Officer John Dougherty, not only will the new site be easier to maintain, but it will also be easier to support going forward.

“It will be much easier to navigate and quicker to find what you’re looking for,” Dougherty said. “The new website sports many new features and enhancements that our sponsor and donor base will appreciate so much.”


We hope the improved Unbound.org will offer visitors a window into the beauty, welcome, hope and inspiration of the Unbound world in a more streamlined and easy-to-use way.

— Erin Coleman, Unbound Marketing Director

A collaborative project involving the entire Unbound community

This is the first time in almost 10 years that Unbound.org has received such an extensive overhaul. Lead Systems Analyst Ashley McEniry called it “one of the most collaborative projects” she’s been a part of at Unbound thus far.

“The website is generally thought of as a marketing tool, but the fact is that every single department has a stake in it,” said McEniry, who took the lead on wrangling cross-departmental tasks and coordinating with outside partners. “The website is an example of ‘it takes a village’ because, without everyone’s help, it just wouldn’t be the best it could be.

“Imagine developers writing content or marketers trying to find solutions to technical challenges. Each team has a skill set they bring because they are the best at it. As I like to say, ‘Teamwork makes the dream work.’”

The team effort required to deliver this enhanced website, according to Steve McClain, director of growth and revenue development, began with the organization’s sponsors and donors.

“Rather than assume what people needed, we intentionally sought their input and perspectives so that our efforts would yield a better website for our community,” McClain said. “They were generous with their feedback and suggestions. The unique skills of our Unbound employees in key areas of technology, operations and communications combined to interpret those needs and help make the improved web experience a reality.”

A future of continuous improvement

Vice President of Marketing and Communication Kristina Thompson said that while her team is excited about the launch of the new Unbound.org, enhancements to the website will continue. The April launch was but Phase 1 of the website redesign project; efforts to complete Phase 2 are already underway.

One enhancement among many coming in Phase 2 of the project will include a feature dubbed a “guided path to sponsorship.” A concept developed from the feedback received from current sponsors, the “guided path to sponsorship” feature will integrate a series of questions for sponsors during the online sponsorship selection process that will help them narrow down their choice of a sponsored friend.

“We understand that our work on the website is never done,” Thompson said. “We will continue testing and learning from our visitors and their interactions with our website so that we can keep improving upon the experiences we are delivering.”

Unbound welcomes feedback from its supporters and website visitors and constantly seeks to understand how the organization can help sponsors better connect with their sponsored friends. To share your feedback, contact Unbound.