10 Great Sources for Travel Philanthropy

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How does one get involve with travel philanthropy? There are so many opportunities to exercise philanthropy for a destination. Some will involve travel. Others simply can be done from wherever you are, yet impact destinations far away. In Part III of our three-part series (see Part I and Part II) on travel philanthropy, we look at 10 great sources for philanthropic travel and connecting with community projects.


An online marketplace that connects donors to community-based projects that need support. They are truly global and have hundreds of projects. Easy to navigate website helps you determine where you want to donate, how much and to what cause. GlobalGiving takes 10% for their operations.


A non-profit organization formed by GAP Adventures to support small communities around the world. Planeterra’s global projects include health programs, micro-enterprise development, social programs, education initiatives, environmental conservation, and community infrastructure improvements. All projects have the central goal of helping local people achieve a sustainable way of life. Travelers have the opportunity to visit many of these projects.


A luxury travel company that facilitates personal connections between people and global grassroots projects through travel. They believe that in order to make an informed decision about contributing to development programs worldwide, it is important to learn about and see the impact these programs are having in their communities. The Company will tailor travel programs to your objective. They work with local partners, generally those aimed at supporting women and girls in developing countries.

Elevate Destinations

A full service luxury tour company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that organizes custom travel committed to making a difference in the countries visited. They give a percentage of profits to protect natural resources and community development in destination countries and also offer volunteer and donor trips. A growing share of their business is organizing donor trips for non-profit organizations to give donors a firsthand view of the programs they are supporting.

The Blue Yonder

Set up as a travel company to bring attention to the depleted and neglected River Nila in India and to help raise funds for Nila Foundation to revive the dying river. The Company offers cultural and heritage tours along River Nila and other destinations in India that benefits over 500 local individuals in six destinations.  Explore India through river rafting or a country boat cruise, legend trails, rain forest trekking, camping, walking safari, vehicle safari, music trails, marital arts, folk expressions, or culinary trails.

World Expeditions

A leading adventure travel company that is recognized for its exhilirating itineraries and responsible tourism dedication. Its Community Project Travel aims to improve the living conditions of some the world’s most remote communities.

One Acre Fund

Based in Chicago, this relatively young organization manages microloans to impoverished farmers in East Africa. The goal is for these farmers to permanently lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. A $20 per month investment can support TWO entire families of six in the program for one year.


Their mission is to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. They facilitate loans that individuals can make to entrepreneurs in the developing world. Loans can start with as little as $25 and generally last less than a year.

Travel 4 Charity

This organization partners with World Vision Germany. You can book with them or other travel sites such as Expedia, the commission for the sale will go toward World Vision’s work in Ethiopia.

Travelers’ Philanthropy

A project of Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), Travelers’ Philanthropy helps connect travelers, donors, and responsible travel companies with communities in need around the world. Their list of 22 community projects is worth checking out.

Understandably travel philanthropy benefits both the destination and the travelers, but its BIGGEST value is that it ultimately deepens social consciousness.

photo credit: bronski beat

1 Comment

  1. I work with high end philanthropists and craft custom philanthropic journeys. I spoke at CREST’s Travelers Philanthropy Conference in Tanzania and was a main speaker on the National Center for Family Philanthopy’s recent teleconference on philanthropic travel.

    In researching an article on philanthropic travel with philanthropists, some questions that were posed to vet service providers is 1. What is the background of the person planning your trip? Do they have any philanthropy background? 2. How do they vet the organizations they connect you with? what is their process? 3. How do they match you with the charitable organization on the ground?

    These are questions that are rarely, if ever, asked in these kinds of travel articles.

    It’s not hard to find a needy village, school, clinic in a third world country and it’s also easy to use the words “community based/driven” development but harder to implement an achieve it.

    I think as this arena grows, it is necessary to start asking the harder questions.

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