Posted on | May 7, 2013 | No Comments
Beth and Mara are both currently in Hait, visiting communities where water wells are being built through Water.org. The very wells funded by Passports with Purpose. As such we can’t help but reflect at what made it all possible and plan ahead to make sure PwP 2013 is a success as well.
Each year, there are a few things that must come together to help Passports with Purpose reach our goals. Cupcakes aside, we couldn’t do it without our community of donors, travel bloggers, sponsors and companies who donate all the fabulous prizes.
Did you know that there were over 1,200 individual donors last year? By donating $10 at a time, our community of donors helped Passports with Purpose surpass its goal. What’s important to point out is that the majority of our funds come from those $10 donations! And while we could raise money solely on sponsorship dollars, this is a community fundraiser in which the travel blogging community rallies to make this event hugely successful. And speaking of travel bloggers …
Did you also know that there were 143 travel bloggers who participated by offering a PwP prize, and a hundred more who helped spread the word by hosting a widget on their blog? Not to mention those bloggers who helped out without officially joining. Our donors came from their network of readers, family and friends (who then told their family and friends about PwP, who then told their family and friends, who … you get the picture).
Did you know that we work with travels brands on sponsorship? They help give PwP a boost with a tax-deductible donation that also goes directly to our beneficiary. Some even contributed with a prize (or two), as well.
In the next six months, all the pieces of the PwP community gradually come together again, cupcakes and all.
So although it’s early May and the 2013 fundraiser won’t start until the end of November, we’re actively reaching out to potential sponsors to help jumpstart the fundraiser. Sponsorships are a great way for a brand to reach the travel community.
Care to join our community? Know someone who would be interested in learning more about what PwP does and the power behind our collective voices? Contact us here.
Posted on | April 30, 2013 | No Comments
Next week Passports With Purpose founder Beth Whitman and board member Mara Gorman will be flying to Haiti to see firsthand how the money raised in our 2012 fundraiser is helping the community of Mirebelais, Haiti. We’ll be privileged to attend the inauguration of one of the wells and will also meet with people whose lives will be affected by access to clean water and see the work that Water.org and the community are doing together.
As I’m sure you can imagine, we’re thrilled beyond measure to once again have this kind of opportunity and are very grateful to Expedia for paying for our airfare and lodging and to Water.org for coordinating this visit.
So many different travel bloggers have helped to bring us to this moment. For the past five years a miraculous online community has come together and directed their energies toward a single goal. For that reason we see this as a chance to be your eyes and ears and voices. We are going to observe and listen and ask questions, and we’d like to ask you to share in this process. What would you most like to learn about the community in Haiti? What questions would you like answered? What information can we bring back for you to share with your friends and readers who helped to raise $112,000?
Please share your questions and thoughts about the Water.org project in Mirebelais, Haiti either in the comments below, on the Passports With Purpose Facebook page, or on Twitter using the hashtag #PWPHaiti.
We’re not sure how much access we’ll have to social media or the Internet while we are in Haiti, but when we have the opportunity will be sharing photos and status updates. And when we get back, we’ll be sure to share our story of the people of Mirebelais. We hope you’ll join us.
Posted on | April 24, 2013 | No Comments
Every November and December since 2008 Passports With Purpose has worked with travel bloggers around the world to raise money one $10 donation at a time. We’re currently looking for a charitable beneficiary for our 2013 fundraiser.
What type of charitable project are we looking to support?
We want to support projects that are tangible. In the past we’ve built a school in Cambodia, homes in India, libraries in Zambia, and wells in Haiti. We prefer projects that have a start and end date and that achieve a specific goal.
We want to support projects that impact entire communities. Although we give priority to projects that benefit women and children, what we really look at is the long-term benefit to an entire community. Projects that serve basic human needs in the developing world are given priority because we can accomplish the most there with the money that we raise.
What are our criteria for charitable organizations?
We’re looking for organizations with a proven track record for their previous projects – at least three years. And we want you to be able to communicate with us before, during, and after the project so we can see just how the money we raise is put to use.
We support U.S. based not-for-profit organizations that have no religious affiliation and can accept funds via PayPal.
Posted on | April 16, 2013 | No Comments
Here’s the thing about blogging – it turns on a dime. When I sat down to write this post, a post I had planned and mulled over for some time, the news of what happened at the end of the Boston Marathon came across my social media transom and completely changed what I wanted to say.
I saw blood in the street – but this time it was on a street that I’ve walked down hundreds of times, not a street in a far away place that I’ve never visited. I’ve come out of the subway right there – first as a 20-year-old intern on her way to work in the summer heat, then with a toddler on our way to stroll up Newbury Street to the swan boats, then with my school-age boys to show them the iconic lions in the Public Library.
But is this street I know any different than other streets where humans have suffered and died? Is it different from a street devastated by an earthquake in Haiti? Or a street in a Cambodian village where generations of people were mutilated or killed? The answer of course, is that all of the cost of human suffering is equally high no matter where it happens. That’s the miracle of being human – each of us matters equally in the eyes of those who love and know us.
And it is this fact – this miracle – that gets at the core of many things, including why I travel and why I am honored to accept a position on the board of Passports With Purpose.
After five years of involvement with this fundraiser, of raising money for schools and clinics and villages and wells, of writing posts and sharing on social media and donating some great prizes (thanks to some equally great sponsors) I’m proud to step up and take my turn at helping create a place where travel bloggers can some together and raise money for a cause that reminds us all that people matter and that we can offer genuine benefit to others who may not have had privileges that we have enjoyed.
Because even when you are someone who travels a great deal, it’s too easy to forget that with the freedom to travel come responsibilities:
To bear witness;
To help whenever possible, ideally without leaving the footprint of one’s own ideologies or assumptions;
To recognize that this planet is on loan to all of us, a loan that we must repay to future generations.
I’m humbled to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the founders of this fundraiser, in particular Debbie Dubrow, whose vision and commitment made something out of nothing, created connections where none existed, and ended up with a large community of people who have never met but who are now linked year after year by their service to a common goal.
And so even on a sad day, I’m grateful and full of hope. My gratitude is to have the opportunity to serve a cause I really believe in. And my profound hope is that this fundraiser continues to bring together disparate people – travelers of all stripes – who once a year bring their gaze and that of their many readers to a chosen group of fellow humans. Humans who live on streets like we do, who look at the same sky and moon, who, no matter where they are from or what they have experienced matter equally.
I’m of course thrilled to be working with Beth, Michelle, and Meg. We’ll have exciting news of our doings in weeks to come. But today, let’s all remember the people of Boston and those who suffer there. – Mara
Posted on | March 22, 2013 | No Comments
March 22 is World Water Day. We’re sharing this post from Nicole Wickenhauser of Water.org as part of the World Water Day Blog Carnival at Cloudhead.org where you’ll find inspiring posts from travel bloggers and artists.
Since childhood, Jacque helped her mother collect water from wherever they could scavenge it near their village in the Central Plateau of Haiti. But children like Jacque often got ill with diarrhea from drinking water collected from open and unprotected water sources. Fortunately, when she got older, Jacque’s community built a well.
As she got older, her community built a well. But after only a few years it broke down. No one had the money or know-how to fix it so it was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Today, her community has a new well, funded by the generosity of donors like you. And because of the community training and leadership components of Water.org’s approach, if the new well needs repair, the community will have the knowledge and financial resources to do so.
Jacque and her family now find water with ease. Clean water: To drink, to bathe in, to keep them healthy. Money that used to go towards hospital bills can now be used to send the children to school, or pay for animals. They’re incredibly grateful for the new life this new well has given them.
Jacque is lucky. Amazingly, one in eight people do not have access to safe water. On average, women and girls in developing countries walk 3.7 miles each day to collect water (which is often not safe), carrying vessels that weigh up to 44 pounds. As a result, girls are unable to attend school, women are unable to hold a job, diseases abound, and the cycle of poverty continues. But the opportunities that come with ready access to safe water are amazing. (Here is a great graphic, courtesy of the Voss Foundation, that illustrates the ripple effect of safe water.) Thanks to the support of donors like you, Water.org is working with people in the Central Plateau of Haiti to break this cycle.
March 22 is World Water Day, a day established 20 years ago by the United National General Assembly to focus attention on the importance of freshwater.
This World Water Day, we invite you to celebrate successes of women like Jacque that are taking place all around the world. We invite you to appreciate the role of freshwater in your own life. And in that reflection, to give thanks for your health and the opportunities you have in life because of it. In our thoughts and in our actions, let’s rally together in the name of safe water! (You can donate your voice or check out events happening around the world.)
On behalf of the entire Water.org team and the communities we work in partnership with in Haiti and around the world, thank you for you invaluable support!
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ~ Satoro
Posted on | March 18, 2013 | No Comments
by Beth Whitman
I’m honored to be a co-founder of Passports with Purpose. We began as a loose-knit organization formed when four friends sat around a coffee table discussing ways to pull the travel blogging community together while doing something good in the world.
After just five years, we’re now awaiting our non-profit status and have grown into an organization that includes hundreds of participating travel bloggers who were instrumental in us raising $112,000 during our two-week fundraiser in 2012.
That’s no small feat.
And with any organization, relationship or job, changes are bound to happen. One of our co-founders, Debbie Dubrow, left last year to focus on her family. More recently, Pam Mandel decided to move on. While both Debbie and Pam were integral pieces to our success, we’re confident the organization will continue our yearly growth.
Last week, the remaining board members, Michelle Duffy, Meg Paynor and myself, extended an invitation to Mara Gorman to join our group. Mara spent much time handling our social media last year and we’re delighted that she is now officially part of our team.
So what’s on tap for 2013?
We are full steam ahead! Just as we do each year around this time, we are:
- Taking applications for charities to support. Know of a worthy org you’d like us to take a look at? Have the charity contact us directly or you can shoot us a line to let us know about it.
- Actively seeking sponsorships. While we generally don’t announce our sponsorship levels until we announce our goal and charity, our levels will likely be similar to our 2012 sponsorship packages. We already have a number of returning sponsors and the number that we can accept is limited, so if you’re a company looking to sponsor, please contact us immediately to secure a spot.
- Looking for one more board member. We feel like five is the right number to have and are seeking a motivated individual who isn’t afraid to roll up his or her sleeves, dive in to a lot of work, help us motivate our community of travel bloggers and make 2013 our most successful year yet. Contact us if you’re interested.
- Seeking volunteers. In our early years, we could put in a few months of work at crunch time but we’re now a year-round organization. As such, we need people to help us with tasks such as: Sourcing charities, providing wordpress help and website design, sourcing prizes for the fundraiser, and helping increase the number of participating bloggers. Want to help and have a skill I haven’t mentioned? Let us know, we might be able to find something for you to do.
In short, while we recognize that change is always hard, this won’t be the last time the organization morphs into something we hadn’t expected. Whether the change is about who is sitting on our board or it’s the change that comes about through us supporting a community in need somewhere in the world, change is inevitable.
Will you help us change the world this year?
Posted on | March 5, 2013 | 3 Comments
Let’s start with the hard part: After five years with Passports with Purpose, I’m resigning from the Board of Directors.
The “Why?” is a mix of public and private. There’s work I’m neglecting. My ridiculous music career is weirdly engaging and takes a lot of time. That partially written nonfiction manuscript on my hard drive won’t stop nagging me for attention. And there’s mundane stuff like laundry and the lawn and what’s for dinner and the day job; that gets in the way too.
PwP has grown from a scrappy, wired together with string and bubble gum internet project to a five year old sustainable annual fundraiser. It’s a news maker and a prominent voice in the part of blogland where “travel for good” lives. It’s got big sponsors and big prizes and and is held up by the support of hundreds of participants. I certainly had no idea when we started this that we’d be looking at a six figure global fundraiser.
And that’s awesome. We built that together.
I’m a Version 1 kinda gal. I like string and bubble gum and scrappy little projects. PwP is completely capable of walking on its own now. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a team that Gets Thing Done. But with PwP in in V5 (I can hardly believe that), it’s time for this V1 character to step down.
You have all been part of growing a life changing organization. That’s not hyperbole, there are kids learning to read and families in new homes and communities with clean water because of our work together. But PwP is big now, and it’s self sustaining.
You know what? I like small. (I play the ukulele. Have you seen the ukulele? It’s small.) I’m going to turn my focus to smaller things. If PwP has taught all of us anything, it’s that the smallest act can make a huge difference.
Posted on | December 19, 2012 | 1 Comment
The confetti has settled on our fundraising efforts and we are happy to report that thousands of donors bid on one or more of the 110 fabulous prizes from November 28 to December 11, 2012. Through donations in $10 increments and the participation of more than 200 travel bloggers around the world, we surpassed our fundraising goal for the fourth year in a row, reaching $110,000 to help Water.org build wells in Haiti.
We hope the phrase “$10 increments” catches your eye, because as always we’re awed by the power of community to do great things. It’s the collective network of the travel-blogosphere that makes this fundraiser more than succeed year after year. Without the hard work and readership of all of these wonderful blogs, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.
We drew the winners for the 2012 prizes and have notified them via email on December 18, so make sure you check your inbox. But even if you didn’t win a prize, we hope you feel rewarded by knowing you played a role in helping bring clean water to people who need it so much in Haiti. Each well will serve an average of 370 people in Boucan Carre and Mirebalais; our goal to build five wells is part of Water.org’s 18-month program to build 20 wells, benefitting 20 communities. And just to make sure you understand why we consider everyone who participated to be a winner, we’ll leave you with this thought from Nicole Wickenhauser, senior development manager at Water.org.
“Congratulations and thank you so very much, on behalf of the entire Water.org team, for this amazing accomplishment! I know we’ve said it before, but we’re honored and humbled to be a part of this. You are doing an unspeakable kindness for the five communities in Haiti that will gain clean water for life – a whole new array of opportunities – as a result of this effort.”
Posted on | December 12, 2012 | No Comments
So, how’d we do?
Yes, you read that right, we – YOU- raised one hundred thousand dollars to fund five wells in Haiti with Water.org.
A quick what’s next:
- We’ll send out notifications on December 18th. Stand by for that. If you are a blogger and you hosted a prize, please be a facilitator between your prize sponsor and your winner to make sure everything gets shipped off in a timely manner.
- But wait there’s more! We’ll release the grand totals as soon as we’ve got them. It takes a little while — we have matching funds that come in and last minute donations and … but we’ll let you know to the dollar.
- We’ll take a long nap. And maybe get some coffee and cupcakes.
Now, on a more personal note …
It’s been a bit of a tough year at the virtual PwP headquarters. Debbie Dubrow, our co-founder and a key player in oh, everything we do, stepped away to spend time with her family. We had a painful website migration. We had several days of unpredictable behavior from our site at the launch of this year’s fundraiser, including the dreaded 404.
But we also had an unstoppable freight train of good will behind us. We had the backing of generous sponsors, some of them for the fourth year in a row. We got an unprecedented amount of virtual ink love from our friends in media. The prizes were nothing short of mind-blowing. (If you neglected to bid, you’re kicking yourself now, aren’t you?)
And we had the support of a sprawling community of bloggers. Not just big bloggers with great connections, but new kids, too, who just wanted to help. It’s that “I just want to help” attitude that makes this initiative a success. Not just a success, but also a freaking bumper crop, every single year. Without your involvement, we’re a handful of people with some decent ideas. But with you behind us, we are collectively a force for good. We are change for the better. We are the very best in the spirit of travel.
If you donated to our 2012 fundraiser; blogged, tweeted, pinned, or posted it on Facebook, or helped support or sponsor us in any way – Thank you! Without you, we wouldn’t be able to offer clean water for life to hundreds of people in Haiti.
We raised one hundred thousand dollars to fund five wells. Hey you guys, look at what you did!
Pam, Beth, Michelle, Mara and Meg
Posted on | December 8, 2012 | No Comments
We know. You want to know where the crazy steals are. We’ve published the overall best odds, now here’s another top ten. These are the prizes that would set you back some bank if you headed out to buy them at full retail cost. But you get a shot at this stuff for a mere ten dollar donation to Water.org — and the odds on these listings? They’re good.
- HTC Titan & HTC Titan II (Windows Phone)
- Rancho de los Caballeros, Wickenburg, AZ
- 2013 Kahumoku Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop
- Weekend stay at luxury Pan Pacific Hotel, Seattle
- Three-night stay at Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Nicaragua
- Exclusive Atlanta Experience at Omni CNN Center
- Eurail Travel Prize Pack
- Trip for 1 on Women’s Tour of Ireland in Fall 2013
- 3 Day Big Sky, MT and Yellowstone Family Adventure
- Whitewater Rafting Trip for Two on the Colorado River
You know what to do. You can click these links to get more details about the specific prizes or go right to the donate page and go shopping.keep looking »