“Take only photos, leave only footprints and steal only time.” But what about giving something back? The Intrepid Foundation has now given over AU$3 million to charities and community projects around the world. The majority of this money has been raised by travellers, with Intrepid Travel matching* their donations dollar for dollar. Many of these small, grass-roots charities are visited by Intrepid groups, and for some travellers the experience is such a highlight that they’re keen to find inventive ways to fundraise for the organisations when they get home.
Simon Saunders returned from his trip to China eager to help the Xi’an Huiling school for adults with learning difficulties. The school has no government help and relies on donations to support their students. Simon realised all the CDs he was storing could now be sold, since he had copies on his computer and iPod. With the help of an online store he sold enough to donate AU$270 to his chosen Intrepid Foundation project.
Michael and Chantelle had little money to donate to their favourite causes when they travelled a few years ago, but they saw a great opportunity to fundraise at their recent engagement party. They used a “wishing well” to collect over AU$1100 for Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre in Laos and KOTO Training Centre in Vietnam, among other projects they had visited on their travels.
Then there are those who combine sharing their photos with raising money for a good cause. After her trip to Laos, Amy Jennings ran a slide night for her friends in a local Laotian restaurant. Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) had left a big impression on Amy and she managed to raise AU$550 to help with their vital work.
We have also had some Intrepid groups organise raffles and trivia nights to fundraise for the projects they have visited. And while on the road even donating their group’s remaining kitty has helped make a difference to these small charities.
If you have any fun fundraising ideas let us know. We love hearing about your experiences and we’d be thrilled to share your thoughts on great ways that travellers can make a difference!
* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.
* photo by Alexandra Fleming taken at Xi’an Huiling – Intrepid Photography Competition