By Clair Paul, outreach coordinator for Unbound
Clair has been with Unbound for more than three years. She enjoys developing relationships with supporters and helping them become ambassadors for Unbound.
Sponsors are one of the best resources that Unbound has. What better way is there to get the word out about our program than to engage the 250,000-plus people who already support our work? I’m proud to be a part of the team that empowers our sponsors to grow our Unbound family.
The Volunteer Outreach Team was created in 2008 and works out of our international headquarters in Kansas City. Our purpose is to better connect with our sponsors and invite them to be more involved with our program.
Originally a team of three, we have grown to more than twice that size in the last few years to better serve the needs of our ambassadors. Our days are spent calling, sending emails, packing boxes of materials, brainstorming ideas, researching and tracking data. It’s not uncommon for the team to have multiple projects going on at once, and we also actively support other teams in the building.
A major function of the team is to recruit sponsors to volunteer at weekend sponsorship events when one of our priests who speak on Unbound’s behalf is in their area. Many of our sponsors find volunteering at a sponsorship event to be an easy, rewarding way to feel more connected to Unbound. Our presenters are so grateful for the help of the volunteers and feel that it is because of their assistance that they are able to sign up so many new sponsors.
(Want to know more about what it’s like to volunteer at a weekend event? Watch this short video!)
Sponsors who travel on Unbound Awareness Trips to meet their sponsored friends have a unique perspective and deeper understanding of Unbound’s work, so we make it a priority to contact them once they return home. Their personal testimony can be a compelling way to invite their friends and family into sponsorship.
We want to support these travelers as much as we can — so we call each of them to follow up on their trip and, upon request, send materials to support their advocacy efforts. We love hearing about the travelers’ wonderful experiences, and encouraging their passion and enthusiasm for our work by helping them develop any ideas they might have to share Unbound in their communities.
One of the main ways sponsors can share Unbound is by hosting a Living Unbound Sunday or information table. We have a limited number of presenters who can share about Unbound on a given weekend, so we depend on our sponsors to help us spread the word.
Since we started our Living Unbound Sunday promotion in the fall of 2014, our ambassadors have scheduled 217 events across the country and found new sponsors for more than 1,100 children. Many of these events take place within our sponsors’ faith communities, while others have shared Unbound at their local farmers markets, in shopping centers, with organizations they belong to or within their homes.
The Volunteer Outreach Team sends thousands of letters and emails to sponsors and follows up with phone calls in the hopes of reaching someone who is interested in sharing Unbound. Team members are always excited to help another sponsor spread the word about Unbound’s work.
The work of the Volunteer Outreach Team is always changing as we find new ways to engage our sponsors and invite them to be Unbound Ambassadors. We are so grateful for all that our sponsors do within their communities, helping us find more people of goodwill to partner with families in need of someone to say, “I believe in you.” It’s rewarding to know that the work I do each day is empowering others to make a difference.
To learn more about becoming an Unbound Ambassador, contact the Outreach Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.875.6564. To stay up to date on ideas to share Unbound with your community, subscribe to the monthly Volunteer Outreach newsletter.