While at the New York Times Travel Show, I stumbled upon an impressive company called GoPhilanthropic. I sat down with Lydia Dean from GoPhilanthropic to learn more:
BrilliantTips: Tell me about GoPhilanthropic.
Lydia Dean: GoPhilanthropic is an innovative socially-conscious travel company committed to providing private tailor-made vacation packages to some of the world’s most inspiring destinations. The difference is that during travel, travelers can contribute to the empowerment of communities by visiting and supporting their social, conservation, and economic development programs. They can spend an afternoon donating a fresh water well, school supplies and books, or meeting candidates for scholarships or micro-loans. People then come away having had meaningful and authentic exchanges with local communities… Basically its travel that makes a difference…
This sounds like an alternative to “voluntourism“?
It’s a great alternative to Voluntourism–which meet the needs of only a small market of people. Not everyone wants to volunteer on their vacation. Elements of Travel Philanthropy can be weaved into anyone’s vacation and can therefore have far-reaching benefits. Also, it is logistically easier for non-profits to get support without having to manage volunteers. Probably one of the biggest misconceptions about Travel Philanthropy is that it involves volunteering time—it does not Travel Philanthropy provides support for and encourages the empowerment of local communities through social, educational, health and environmental initiatives. This is accomplished when travelers learn about, visit and contribute directly to these programs during their trips.
What type of traveler would typically take a trip like this?
This really appeals to the 40 plus crowd who do like their comforts in travel but would like to contribute or give back in some way. It appeals to women in particular…many of our partner non-profits have to do with supporting and empowering women in developing countries.
What would a traveler ultimately take away from his or her travel experience?
A meaningful exchange…plain and simple. They also want to feel as though they didn’t just “take” from their travel…but instead gave a little something of themselves.
I noticed that Go Philanthropic provides carbon offsets for all trips. Can you tell me a bit more about this?
Many travel companies provide the option fro travelers to offset their carbon but few sign up. We decided to simply offset for everyone…because its the right thing to do. This comes out of our profit but we are truly focused on travel that is sustainable… We work with a number of offset programs focused on renewable energy projects both here in the states and around the world.
To learn more about GoPhilanthropic, visit www.gophilanthropic.com.