Being loved, wanted and cared for, that’s the heart of what your sponsorship provides.

Our first meeting with Joe and Sami, founders of Upstream International, shattered our expectations for the project and the pair we were to work with. Upon initially learning about the former pastor who started his own missionary organization with his wife and their eight kids, our assumptions were not to meet a pair of tattooed, high energy people who combined an easy laugh and an eye for design. We expected far more...seriousness. And while they are very real about the depth of poverty they see in the communities where they work, the energy and light they carry is contagious.



A striking yet friendly approach welcomes you to Upstream

The Upstream design takes a bolder approach than the typical charitable organization, using a bright color palette and unique layout to engage the visitor and excite them to go further. The imagery shows real people in Haiti, Uganda and Kenya, but rather than focusing on pictures of poverty, there’s joy, passion, hard work and empowerment. Life IS hard here, but there is beauty throughout.

Homepage Screenshot


The homepage was designed to tell the story of the Upstream mission and make a deep connection to the visitor. Each section provides more clarity on how they work and what they do, building trust, and giving the visitor insight into the communities where Upstream serves. 

We designed a visually appealing, yet highly functional format for finding a child to sponsor. Through a feature grid, select categories and the ability to dive deeper into a child’s story, a visitor is encouraged to make a difference and show someone they care.  The backend does some heavy lifting with a sponsorship-based ecommerce system. We built the system to include one-time general donations, recurring payments and managing your own account to provide opportunities for the right level of individual involvement in the Upstream mission. 

Mobile Screenshot 1
Mobile Screenshot 2

Captivate Visitors,
Wherever They Are

Donating to a charity or sponsoring a child is an emotional decision - one that could happen anywhere, anytime.

The mobile experience for Upstream needed to maintain the vibrant energy of the desktop experience while functioning to capture donations quickly and effortlessly.


Donating to a charity or sponsoring a child is an emotional decision. Color choices, layout and animations all needed to strike the right tone as the site was created. Upstream started as a dream and continues to grow exponentially every day.