Digital

Passports with Purpose turns travel bloggers into fundraisers

@SamShankman

Nov 27, 2012 2:32 pm

Skift Take

This is a win-win for the travel blogging world that gives brands a boost, bloggers an altruistic image, and helps build up communities that may not be tied to a Twitter feed.

— Samantha Shankman

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The annual Passports with Purpose fundraiser leverages the social media connections of four Seattle-based travel bloggers to collect funds for charities throughout the world. The organization is about to embark on its fifth year with a goal of raising $100,000 to help Water.org build five drinking water wells in Haiti.

The organization has exceeded its fundraising goals for the past four years and has successfully raised $7,400 for Heifer International, built a school in Cambodia, 25 homes in India, and two libraries in Zambia.

How it works

PwP founders Debbie Dubrow, Beth Whitman, Michelle Duffy, and Pam Mandel work with a network of travel bloggers who endorse prizes provided by sponsors. The organization started with 80 blogger participants in its first year and has grown to 186. Participating bloggers engage with their readers about the purpose of PwP and encourage their audience to enter raffles for each of the prizes.

“Everything we do is word of mouth through social media. Any blogger that participates through social media is considered an active participant,” says Mandel.

She readily admits the individual benefits of their blogging and explains how it encouraged them to give back. “A lot of the time [travel bloggers] spend on the web is about ‘me, me, me, my stuff, my ventures’ and during this one period we suspend all of that. We get to travel and see the world. We are so privileged, so why not would we not do this?”

Prizes in the past have included packages for three nights in Paris, luggage, travel gadgets, and airlines miles. Anyone can enter to win a prize with a $10 donation. Sponsors this year include Expedia, TripIt, HomeAway, and others.

How to participate

In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, the bidding for this year’s 73 prizes begins today at 11:59 pm and will continue until December 11. After the launch, you’ll be able to see a list of prizes here and make donations, too.

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