While there can be a lot of variety in terms of structure, purpose, and implementation, most philanthropic travel programs fall into three categories. It is helpful to understand these categories and their distinctions so that you can evaluate your organization’s current travel program and its ABC’s (actions, benefits, and challenges). For organizations who have yet to
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If you have an organization with more than four paid staff, this is for you… Planning a donor trip is tough work and usually involves the coordination of the Development staff, Leadership, Program/Field Staff, Partner Organizations, and Board. With so many stakeholders and different people involved, there should be nothing but clarity in terms of responsibility
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Getting clear on roles and responsibilities for a donor travel program can be confusing. Nonprofits range in size and structure, so I developed this list as a reference - not a rule. Every organization is different and this graph may not accurately reflect your own, so take this format as an example of what I’ve seen
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Before diving into the logistics of any nonprofit travel program, we must have clarity on who the right participants are for the trip. I always stress that any trip should be designed around one specific objective, with a clear understanding of the type of people that could help the organization achieve that objective. Whether your objective is
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Alumni travel and donor travel have some essential differences in the type of participants they attract.  I recently met with a colleague from my university days and talked shop over some Portland coffee. He now works at a large university as a major gift officer. We spent quite some time talking about something that is unique
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For success in donor travel, it is important to focus on one main goal. People can only really do one thing well at a time, so we need to be focused in our requests. We know this from marketing 101. Campaigns and emails must have ONE clear ask, not “please make a contribution, and share this
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Asking for the gift on the trip is one of the most effective ways to ensure your donor travel programs are raising money and meeting revenue goals.  To ask for the gift on a donor trip, or not to ask, that is the question. There are a number of reasons why fundraising professionals would argue that you
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Pulling off a successful donor trip is no easy endeavor, even with a trusted travel agency. I know this because I was once searching for the kind of organization I ended up founding: Philanthropy without Borders.  After discovering several critical gaps in the industry of philanthropic travel, I made it my mission to fill these gaps
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 Why nonprofits and donors do donor trips. One of my favorite books of recent years is by the author Simon Sinek - appropriately titled “Start With Why.” The idea: before we determine what we do and how we do it, we must know why we do it. Why is “the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do.” This pertains to your personal why,
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Upcoming Speaking Engagement: 47th Annual Minnesota Gift Planning Association Conference

Upcoming Speaking Engagement: Donor Travel Track at the Educational Travel Consortium

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At Philanthropy without Borders, we help nonprofits clarify their priorities, tell powerful stories, and raise more money so they can continue to tackle the world’s toughest problems. 

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