Unbound
1 Elmwood Avenue
Kansas City KS 66103
When you sponsor a child, young adult or elder through Unbound, you empower a family to work toward a better future.


Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 384-6500
Fax 913- 384-2211
Mission Statement
Unbound's mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world. We provide personal attention and direct benefits to children, youth, aging, and their families so they may live with dignity, achieve their desired potential and participate fully in society. We invite people of goodwill to live in daily solidarity with the world's poor through one-to-one sponsorship. We build community by fostering relationships of mutual respect, understanding, and support that are culturally diverse, empowering and without religious or other prejudice. Grounded in the Gospel call to serve the poor, Unbound is a lay Catholic organization working with persons of all faith traditions to create a worldwide community of compassion and service.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Scott Wasserman
Board Chair Mr. David Herbison
Board Chair Company Affiliation Banking and Financial Services
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1981
Former Names
Christian Foundation for Children
Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Visit unbound.org to choose a child, youth or elder to sponsor. Your monthly contribution — made by credit card, automatic bank withdrawal or check — will have an immediate impact. It will help with needs like education for children, microloans for families starting small businesses, and food and medical care for elders. You may also donate on a recurring or one-time basis to support efforts for education, health, homes, microfunding and disaster response. Unbound welcomes volunteers and offers several options at our Kansas City headquarters and in communities across the country. Volunteers can help out at Unbound presentations in their communities, promote us on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or lend a hand in the letters department at our Kansas City headquarters. Visit unbound.org or call 913-384-6500 for more information.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
Unbound's mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized of the world. We provide personal attention and direct benefits to children, youth, aging, and their families so they may live with dignity, achieve their desired potential and participate fully in society. We invite people of goodwill to live in daily solidarity with the world's poor through one-to-one sponsorship. We build community by fostering relationships of mutual respect, understanding, and support that are culturally diverse, empowering and without religious or other prejudice. Grounded in the Gospel call to serve the poor, Unbound is a lay Catholic organization working with persons of all faith traditions to create a worldwide community of compassion and service.
Background Statement

Unbound works to address the problem of global poverty by providing personal attention and direct benefits to children, youth, elders and their families so they may live with dignity, achieve their desired potential and participate fully in society.

Working in Latin America, Asia and Africa, Unbound brings people together to challenge poverty in new and innovative ways.

The vision of Unbound, formerly Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, began in 1981 with Bob, Bud and Jim Hentzen, their sister Nadine Pearce and their friend Jerry Tolle. Bob and Jerry were former missionaries who witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of poverty while working in Latin America. They met hard-working families struggling heroically to make a better life for their children.

The founders envisioned a program that would invite people to partner with these families to support and encourage them. Guided and inspired by their Catholic faith, the founders created a highly personalized sponsorship program. The goal was to empower families and connect the world with their struggles. The founders’ commitment to these principles and their passionate and dedicated example continue to inspire us today.

Impact Statement
With the support of 260,000-plus sponsors, in 2017 Unbound brought opportunity to more than 310,000 children, families, youth and elders in Latin America, Asia and Africa through benefits they selected to address their unique situations and needs. Unbound also provided scholarships to more than 10,472 youth pursuing secondary, university or vocational education in 2017. Unbound provided rewarding sponsor experiences, resulting in 92 percent retention rate at the end of 2017.
 
Unbound is also currently piloting Agents of Change grants in six countries. The purpose of the Agents of Change grants is to encourage Unbound small groups to find ways to positively impact their local communities, embodying the Unbound program worldview characteristic that, which says, “Sponsored families are agents of positive change in their local communities.”

Unbound’s goals for 2018 include:
  • Acquire 33,000 new sponsorships. By partnering with Unbound, families will be able to meet such needs as education, food and housing, and develop livelihoods that allow them to become self-sufficient while improving their communities.
  • Continue to expand and implement methods to measure and report accomplishments of families at local and global levels.
  • Implement improved onboarding and educational experiences for new sponsors with the aim of increasing retention rates during the first 18 months of sponsorship.
  • Continue building ambassador network, engaging and inspiring sponsors to share Unbound in their communities.
  • Support efforts in Kansas City to help children and families through partnerships with Operation Breakthrough, Cristo Rey High School and The Learning Club.
Needs Statement
  1. Expand our program to more families in need by identifying more people of goodwill who will commit to sponsoring a child, youth or elder by providing financial support and offering encouragement through letter writing.
  2. Donors who will contribute to and fully fund scholarships through direct donations for education -- helping youth in developing countries complete their schooling. 
  3. Increased engagement from sponsors who will help Unbound promote sponsorship needs and donation opportunities, as well as raise overall brand awareness. 
  4. Volunteers in the Kansas City office to assist in multiple ways, but specifically to help process and deliver more than 1.5 million letters from sponsored children and elders to their sponsors. 
  5. Four new presenters who are committed to serving families working to overcome poverty and who are able to effectively communicate Unbound's mission with potential sponsors. Bilingual presenters are especially needed.
Service Categories
Children's and Youth Services
Youth Development Programs
Scholarships & Student Financial Aid
Areas of Service
International
Geographic Area Served Narrative The Unbound sponsorship program helps families in Latin America, Asia and Africa overcome poverty by connecting them with individual sponsors. Participating families utilize financial assistance to help achieve their personal life goals through education, assistance with basic needs, and leadership and economic development programs. Sponsorship requires active participation from families as they take a central role in selecting benefits for their children and building stronger communities.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Unbound recently achieved two important milestones. In 2017, we received record revenue of more than $136 million from our sponsors and donors, more than any other year in the history of Unbound (formerly CFCA). In 2018, thanks to our generous community of supporters, we reached $2 billion in total revenue since our founding in 1981, as we continue to send resources where they are needed most. We are grateful for the consistent monthly commitment of our generous sponsors who made both of these milestones possible.
 
We continue to face the challenge of finding and connecting more sponsors with more families in need. There are more than 26,000 children, youth and elders waiting to be sponsored, in addition to more than 300,000 sponsored members that Unbound currently supports. Each new and existing sponsor provides resources and encouragement to sponsored members and their families to achieve their full potential and work toward self-sufficiency.
Programs
Description

The Unbound sponsorship program helps families in Latin America, Asia and Africa overcome poverty by connecting them with individual sponsors. Participating families utilize financial assistance to help achieve their personal life goals through education, assistance with basic needs, and leadership and economic development programs (e.g. financial literacy, youth programs and skill development for parents). Sponsorship requires active participation from families as they take a central role in selecting benefits for their children and building stronger communities. Sponsors — through letters, concern and a monthly financial contribution — experience a true exchange of cultures, understanding and love. Sponsors who travel on Unbound awareness trips may meet their sponsored friends, learn about their lives and see how contributions are used.

Program Budget 106400000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens, Families
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Sponsored members partner with Unbound to make program and benefit decisions that are unique to their situations and develop their potential over the course of their time in the program, sometimes 18 years or more. Outcomes vary by location and may include educational attainment, leadership, improved health and nutrition status, dignified housing, skill development and increased income through livelihood opportunities for families. Through Unbound’s sponsorship program, families have more choices in their lives and are empowered over time to break the cycle of poverty.

Long-Term Success

Unbound seeks to build a worldwide community of compassion made up of self-sufficient, empowered families where all people live with dignity and have the ability and opportunity to achieve their potential.

Program Success Monitored By

Program and financial audits of projects are conducted at least every other year to ensure financial resources provide intended benefits and sponsored members are empowered to direct their development. Unbound collects educational attendance and performance data and documents final education levels achieved by sponsored members leaving the program. Projects conduct evaluations in local contexts to determine outcomes for sponsored members and families. Methods include analysis of journals to document goal achievement, focus groups on best practices of leaders in mothers groups and surveys to improve personalization of program benefits. Organization-wide program evaluations focus on four key domains: education, economic status, community participation and personal agency. A mixed-methods longitudinal evaluation is being conducted over six years to understand how families’ economic situations change over time with participation in Unbound. A global evaluation measuring the empowerment of mothers of Unbound sponsored children was conducted in 2017. And an evaluation exploring the outcomes of former Unbound sponsored children was expanded into a third country.

Examples of Program Success

In 2017, more than 310,000 sponsored members and their families used sponsorship assistance to address their unique situations and needs. Families used assistance for education, food, housing and other needs, and to develop livelihoods that allow them to become more self-sufficient and better their communities. Evaluations in recent years show the impact. In Trichy, India, 74 percent of mothers of sponsored children reported having felt an improved economic status within their family since gaining access to mothers groups loans. Mothers of sponsored children in Unbound around the world have higher levels of empowerment than mothers outside of Unbound. Thirty percent of mothers of sponsored children are highly involved in community decision-making processes compared to 16 percent of mothers who are not involved in Unbound. Sponsorship helps children achieve education levels that prepare them to compete for jobs and be educated community members and leaders. At a global level, 75 percent of former sponsored members achieved education levels comparative to or better than national averages for their age group, at the point of leaving the program. 

Description The Unbound service-scholarship program helps dynamic, talented older students who, because of economic circumstances, are struggling to continue their educations. The program is founded on principles of perseverance, leadership and service to the community. Scholarships are used for secondary and post-secondary tuition, vocational training, transportation, school supplies and books. Recipients are selected by local program staffs based on economic need, commitment to completing their education, demonstrated leadership potential and interest in community service. Recipients perform service projects as a requirement of the program. Scholarships are intended as supplemental assistance, and families contribute what they can toward the student's education. The scholarship program complements the Unbound sponsorship program and has allowed thousands of students in communities around the world to see their dreams become reality.
Program Budget 3600000.00
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

Money is available to support students pursuing their educations. Students are in school and doing well. Scholars are graduating from the program and finding jobs, helping to support their families. Many are making a difference by working in their home communities.

Long-Term Success

Students are able to complete their educations, follow their chosen career paths and be of service to the larger community.

Program Success Monitored By

Scholars are required to maintain good grades and perform service projects in their communities. Local Unbound project staffs monitor students to make sure they are fulfilling program requirements, and projects provide annual reports on their scholarship programs. In 2013, Unbound also initiated qualitative evaluation with alumni of the scholarship program, utilizing a group mind-mapping process and individual interviews to explore long-term outcomes.

Examples of Program Success

In 2017, more than 7,900 youth pursuing secondary, university or vocational education received scholarships through Unbound. Scholarships helped with needs such as tuition, transportation, books and supplies. Scholarship recipients also had opportunities to give back through service to their communities, and develop their potential as role models and future leaders of the community.  A 2013 qualitative evaluation of the Unbound sponsorship and scholarship programs conducted in the Philippines found that alumni, on average three years out of the program, were pursuing careers from teaching to nursing and accounting to architectural design. Most were employed on a full-time salary basis. They self-identified the most significant outcomes of the program as education, leadership and spiritual/holistic development. A central theme in the evaluation findings was the significant internal drive toward giving back to their communities. Examples included teaching formation classes for current Unbound sponsored members, preparing supplies for disaster relief, mentoring, and offering computer skills and resources to community youth.

Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mr. Scott Wasserman
Term Start Dec 2013
Experience
Scott Wasserman and his wife, Anabella, sponsored their first child through Unbound soon after they married in 1988. Since then they have sponsored numerous children and adults in various countries. Now that their three daughters are adults, they credit Unbound sponsorship with teaching them to see the image of God in all people, especially the poor.
 
Scott became president and CEO of Unbound in 2013. Prior to accepting this position, he was a guiding presence on the governing board for 15 years, the last 14 as board chair.
 
A graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Kansas, Scott served on the National Review Board advising the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on policies to protect children. He and Anabella are active leaders in their local diocese and parish.
 
Scott works out of Unbound’s Kansas City headquarters, and spends much of his time traveling to visit families served by Unbound around the world.
Senior Staff
Title Director of Finance and Service Center
Experience/Biography

Martin Kraus joined Unbound in 2009 as director of finance. He leads a dedicated team that ensures the transparency, accuracy, timeliness and openness of Unbound's financial information. He also directs Unbound's service center, which handles much of the correspondence from sponsored friends along with other building-related responsibilities at the Kansas City office.

Previously, Martin worked in various financial roles in the accounting, health insurance and transportation industries.

Martin graduated from Rockhurst University with a degree in accounting, and he is a certified public accountant. He belongs to the the American Institute of CPAs and the Missouri Society of CPAs.

Martin is married with three grown children and is enjoying his new life as a grandparent. 
Title Director of International Programs
Experience/Biography

As the director of international programs, Dan Pearson leads the international programs department in its role to monitor the effectiveness and fiscal credibility of Unbound programs overseas. He and the other department members travel extensively to support and evaluate Unbound projects around the world.

Dan has a passion for program evaluation and working with stakeholders to identify goals and measure the impact of the program. He has more than 15 years of experience working with development programs around the world, and has lived and worked in South America, Europe, and Western and South Asia.

Dan has a master’s degree in international affairs from the University of Denver and a master’s in public administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife, Kristina, and their three children.

Title Director of Sponsor Experience
Experience/Biography

As director of sponsor experience, Mary Geisz leads the sponsor experience teams in their role to advance the quality of experience Unbound sponsors and supporters have with the organization, and with their individual sponsorship of a child, youth or elderly friend in the program. Mary is responsible for the structure, staff, programming and operation of the sponsor experience teams.

Mary joined Unbound in 2014 after more than 25 years working in marketing, communications, client experience and project leadership roles, at times coordinating team members based in places like The Netherlands, Australia, India and Malaysia. Having worked on client experience and loyalty initiatives, she brings an informed perspective to her role at Unbound.

Mary is a graduate of Kansas State University and holds an MBA from Rockhurst University. She and her husband, Owen, live in the Kansas City area.

Title Director of U.S. Outreach
Experience/Biography
Steve joined Unbound in June 2018 as the director of U.S. outreach. In this position, he will shepherd Unbound’s marketing and outreach strategy.
 
Steve brings a wealth of knowledge to Unbound, with diverse leadership experiences in financial services, telecommunications and marketing services industries. Steve has both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts from Rockhurst University, and has an MBA from Webster University.
 
Steve has primarily been focused on marketing, sales, customer service and business development. He is passionate about helping teams align toward a shared vision, while driving meaningful improvement in the strategies to achieve their long-term goals.
 
He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife, Mary Beth. They have raised five children together, two of whom are still in college.
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 173
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 30
Retention Rate 88%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 3
Caucasian 119
Hispanic/Latino 54
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 119
Male 62
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Collaborations
Unbound sponsors one of the rooms in Operation Breakthrough's "Green Neighborhood." Each weekday, Operation Breakthrough cares for more than 400 children ranging from 6 weeks in age to 13 years. More than 20 percent of the children are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless — living in battered women's or homeless shelters or transitional living programs in Kansas City. Unbound provides funding for mental health care for the kids and family services to help mothers provide a better life for their children.
 
Unbound is a founding partner of Cristo Rey High School's work study program in Kansas City. Through the program, students can subsidize about half the cost of their education. Unbound provides employment for several Cristo Rey students each semester so they can raise funds toward their tuition and gain invaluable work experience.
 
Unbound staff members volunteer weekly by tutoring children in the Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan. The Learning Club of KCK serves more than 100 children, in first to seventh grades, at five worksites, focusing on homework help and enrichment activities. Unbound and the Learning Club of KCK share the goal of helping children who live in poverty realize their limitless potential through a one-to-one relationship. 
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2018
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2017
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2016
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2015
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2014
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2013
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2012
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2011
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2010
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance - Organization2009
External Assessment and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2018
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2017
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2016
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2015
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2014
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2013
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2012
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2011
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2010
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2009
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2008
Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance2007
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2018
PlatinumGuidestar2018
Top-rated NonprofitGreat Nonprofits2018
BronzeIABC Quill Awards2018
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2017
Top-rated NonprofitGreat Nonprofits2017
Gold, Award of DistinctionNonprofit Connect Philly Awards2017
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2016
A+ CharityCharityWatch2016
3-Star CharityCharity Navigator2015
A+ CharityCharityWatch2015
3-Star CharityCharity Navigator2014
A+ CharityCharityWatch2014
3-Star CharityCharity Navigator2013
A+ CharityCharityWatch2013
3-Star CharityCharity Navigator2012
A+ CharityCharityWatch (formerly American Institute of Philanthropy)2012
A+ CharityAmerican Institute of Philanthropy2011
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2011
A+ CharityAmerican Institute of Philanthropy2010
3-Star CharityCharity Navigator2010
A+ CharityAmerican Institute of Philanthropy2009
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2009
A+ CharityAmerican Institute of Philanthropy2008
4-Star CharityCharity Navigator2008
A+ CharityAmerican Institute of Philanthropy2007
4-star CharityCharity Navigator2007
A+ CharityAmerican Institute of Philanthropy2006
4-star CharityCharity Navigator2006
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. David Herbison
Company Affiliation Banking and Financial Services
Term June 2018 to June 2019
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Alison Avayú Restaurant Owner
Mr. Joe Barker
Ms. Vicki Berger Retired Museum Curator
Mr. Dennis Bernardo Information technology consultant
Ms. Monica Gomez (non-voting)
Mr. William Hansen (non-voting)Secretary and Finance Manager of Unbound
Mr. David Herbison Banking and Financial Services
Ms. Emma Higgins Marketing Manager
Mr. Martin Kraus (non-voting)Treasurer and Director of Finance of Unbound
Mr. Peter Ndungo (non-voting)Project Director
Ms. Cindy Ricks
Rev. Greg Schmitt C.SS.R. (non-voting)
Mr. Rich Swan Attorney, Sales Manager
Mr. Scott Wasserman (non-voting)President and CEO of Unbound
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Audit
Board Development / Board Orientation
Board Governance
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2018
Projected Revenue $135,655,167
Projected Expenses $132,245,183
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990. 
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$133,688,878$127,382,454$830,965
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Federal------
State------
Local------
Unspecified----$0
Individual Contributions----$121,344,903
----$0
$463,382$463,293$378,761
Investment Income, Net of Losses$912,430$680,087$773,001
Membership Dues----$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$111,086$342,141$206,996
Other$105$557$90
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$118,678,342$115,148,019$112,978,583
Administration Expense$4,460,917$4,290,741$3,966,152
Fundraising Expense$4,956,632$5,436,664$5,029,681
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.051.031.01
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%92%93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%4%4%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$53,933,850$45,864,280$41,705,527
Current Assets$13,272,958$13,316,759$12,504,663
Long-Term Liabilities$461,733$480,850$501,084
Current Liabilities$1,416,353$1,303,144$1,294,164
Total Net Assets$52,055,764$44,080,286$39,910,279
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities9.3710.229.66
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets1%1%1%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividual Donor $250,000Individual Donor $339,282Individual Donor $372,955
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividual Donor $152,146Individual Donor $260,000Individual Donor $255,812
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividual Donor $135,000Individual Donor $242,105Individual Donor $130,824
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Other Documents
Impact2018View
Spirit2018View
Living Unbound2018View
Stewardship Report2017View
Organization Name Unbound
Address 1 Elmwood Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66103
Primary Phone (913) 384-6500
Contact Email mail@unbound.org
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Scott Wasserman
Board Chair Mr. David Herbison
Board Chair Company Affiliation Banking and Financial Services
Year of Incorporation 1981
Former Names
Christian Foundation for Children
Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA)