Travelers Giving Back™ program makes it easy to make a difference

September, 2008


More than ever travelers are willing to give back and support the destinations they are visiting, but their question is always — how? Sustainable Travel International (STI) is launching its Travelers Giving Back™ initiative today to answer that question. Offered in conjunction with philanthropic partner, GlobalGiving, STI’s program connects travel companies and their guests to more than 500 pre-screened grassroots charity projects around the world. 
"There is an increase in the number of conscientious consumers who want to protect and positively impact the destinations they visit," said STI president Brian T. Mullis. "Our new Giving Back program is designed to make this as easy as possible for them, and ensure their contributions are truly going back to the destination."
"GlobalGiving is very pleased to support STI in offering this innovative program," said John Hecklinger, GlobalGiving’s Business Development Director.  "Through this partnership, travelers will now have more options for supporting effective solutions to problems facing communities that they visit."
STI's Travelers Giving Back program allows travel companies to offer a range of services to guests, from gift cards to online donations that benefit pre-screened sustainable charity projects in destinations all over the world.
Gift Cards
• Perfect for events or guest thank you programs.
• 100% biodegradable and 100% tax-deductible (U.S.-based donors only).
• No fees other than nominal printing costs and the card’s value.
Online Donation Engines
• Assemble a list of pre-screened projects featured on a custom or standard online donation engine that meshes seamlessly with any existing Web site.
• Ideal for those who are trying to enhance their Web sites and those who want to brand the charitable component.
• Donations can come from guests, as a percentage of revenue, as a customer levy (e.g., $1 per booking) or as a voluntary opt-in or opt-out program.
Project Evaluation and Outreach Support
• STI assesses a company’s existing giving programs and undertakes the necessary due diligence to ensure that any given project is credible and achieves the desired results. 
• Projects can then be featured on the STI Web site, on its partners’ Web sites, and through its clients’ online donation engines to attract more support.
STI is focused on attracting financial and in-kind support for sustainable development-oriented projects that contribute to the environment and local people, and support community self-reliance.  To ensure the best results possible, each individual project is reviewed and vetted internally or through other credible third-party organizations.
"Our goal is to help travel companies integrate giving back programs into their operational systems," said Peter D. Krahenbuhl, STI vice president, "because we know that is what their guests are looking for right now. It has to be easy and authentic for the company and its customers. That is what STI supports."
For more information, call Sustainable Travel International at 800-276-7764 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              800-276-7764      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit the non-profit organization's Web site.

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