Passports with Purpose (PwP) is an organization founded by four Seattle travel bloggers in 2008 to engage the travel blogger community in fundraising and finance international humanitarian projects. This is totally grassroots organizing among travel bloggers for social good through focused direct action projects like building a school in Cambodia (2009), building houses for villagers in India (2010), and building two libraries in Zambia (2011).
Passports with Purpose slide presentation at TBEX 2011 Vancouver, Canada.
How Travel Bloggers Participate in PwP
Basically you find a sponsor like a luggage company, camera store, tent manufacturer, backpack maker, a hotel destination or airline to donate an item to be raffled as a PwP prize. A step-by-step guide for travel blogger participation is on the PwP site.
Travel bloggers post on their own websites November 27, 2012 about Passports with Purpose and describe their raffle prize.
The fundraiser begins November 27, 2012 at 11:59pm EST and continues through December 11, 2012 11:59pm EST.
People from around the world donate $10 per raffle ticket and enter for each specific prize they want to win. Last year there were over 100 prizes in the raffle. From a fundraising total of $7,400 in 2008, PwP raised $90,000 in 2011 to fund two library construction projects in Zambia.
The goal this year is to raise $100,000 to build wells in Haiti through the organization Water.org.
Loyalty Traveler and Hyatt Gold Passport as my sponsor
I became involved with Passports with Purpose in 2009 and I have worked three years with Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program as my sponsor. Our relationship started via Twitter in November 2009 with a simple tweet from Loyalty Traveler asking for a PwP sponsor. Hyatt Hotels responded within hours with a prize donation of 50,000 points. I was ready as a travel blogger for the 2009 PwP project to raise funds for a school in Cambodia.
Cambodia and schools were two topics of particular interest that helped me first notice Passports with Purpose. I have worked in public schools for over 20 years; ten years as an elementary classroom teacher and the past ten years mostly as a volunteer.
Cambodia is a country I have never visited. My interest in Cambodia dates back to my graduate work project on international child labor issues at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the early 1990s. One aspect of my research studies focused on sex tourism and the prevalence of child prostitution in Cambodia. I found the research disturbing as I studied the impact of sex tourism on developing nations like Cambodia and the Philippines where many young girls were spending their childhood in brothels rather than schools.
Helping PwP with Hyatt Gold Passport as my sponsor seemed like a good use of my travel blog to help children in tough economic conditions find better opportunities through education. I know my small contribution to the effort has made a real difference for real people I probably will never meet.
Last year Hyatt Gold Passport boosted their PwP prize to 110,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, sufficient for 5 free hotel nights at the top-tier Hyatt Hotel properties worldwide or as many as 22 free nights for category 1 Hyatt Gold Passport hotels.
The chance to win 110,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for a $10 donation to Passports with Purpose is enticing to travelers.
Whether you find a sponsor for a prize valued at $100 or $2,000 is not really the significant issue. There is no disclosure by PwP to the amount of tickets applied to any individual prize. The only disclosures on the PwP website are updates throughout the two weeks on the total funds raised through the raffle prize donations.
So it does not matter whether you procure a prize for a $200 backpack or a $2,000 business class ticket to USA-Europe. All prizes contribute to the good cause of helping people in Haiti have access to clean and safe water.
Got a travel blog?
You can use your travel blog to help build water wells in Haiti.
Please join us for the 2012 Passports with Purpose fundraiser.
Passports with Purpose was founded in 2008 as a project coordinated by four Seattle area travel bloggers Debbie Dubrow, Pam Mandel, Beth Whitman and Michelle Duffy. Meg Paynor serves as PwP’s public relations representative.