Passports with Purpose is an annual Travel Bloggers’ fundraiser. In 2011, with overwhelming support and assistance from the travel blog community, we raised $90,000, over 10% more than our original goal of $80,000, to build two school libraries in rural Zambia.  In past years, we have built a village in India, a school in rural Cambodia, and funded projects for Heifer International. In 2012, we have set our sights even higher, with a goal to raise $100,000 to build five community wells in Haiti with Water.org.

Here’s how the Passports with Purpose fundraiser works:

  • During the fundraiser, individual bloggers procure a prize that will be given away to one lucky donor. They post about Passports with Purpose and the prize on their blog.
  • The Passports with Purpose website hosts a list of all the available prizes.
  • Travelbloggers around the world promote the fundraiser in social media, through press contacts, and among their personal contacts. Travel companies and media can join in by purchasing a sponsorship or donating unsold ad inventory to host Passports with Purpose ads.
  • Donors make a tax deductible donation. For each $10 they donate, they can be entered to win a prize of their choice.
  • After the fundraiser ends, a winner is randomly selected for each prize.

Here are the dates for Passports With Purpose 2012:


  • November 12: Blogger deadline for submitting a prize — have a formal agreement with your PR sponsor and be ready to share it.
  • November 26: Your blog post is ready to go. Submit your links to the PwP catalog form.
  • November 27, 12:01am EST: Blogger posts can go live! We’re ready to take donations!
  • December 11, 11:59pm EST: Donations for prizes close. Note: We’ll still take donations, but you won’t be entered into a drawing after December 11.
  • December 18: We’ll notify prize winners and host bloggers.


In addition to individual donations, a limited number of corporate sponsorships are available. Sponsorships are tax deductible.

Learn more about participating in Passports with Purpose 2012 here.


Passports With Purpose was founded in 2008 by Debbie Dubrow, Pam Mandel, Beth Whitman and Michelle Duffy as a way to build community among travel bloggers and to give back to the places we, as travelers, visit.

In its first year, Passports with Purpose raised $7,400 for Heifer International. In 2009, Passports with Purpose blew past its initial goal (which was to raise $14,000 to build a school in Cambodia) and raised almost $30,000 to add improvements to the basic school. The school, built through our partnership with American Assistance for Cambodia is now complete.  In 2010, with overwhelming support and assistance from the travel blog community, we raised $64,128, over 25% more than our original goal of $50,000 and built an entire village in India.  Construction is now underway. And most recently, in 2011, through our partnerships with the participating bloggers, we raised $90,000 to build two libraries in Zambia through a partnership with Room to Read.

Learn more about the press and accolades Passports with Purpose has received here.

Who we Work With

Each year the Passports with Purpose founders select a charity based on several criteria along with our sense of what would inspire us and the travel bloggers’ community.

Here’s some information about the types of projects we like to fund:

  • We like causes that help people in poverty, especially women and children. (If you want to know why, check out Half the Sky and The Girl Effect).
  • We’re open to working anywhere in the world. Because we place a value on all human lives being of equal value, we especially like countries and causes where our dollars impact many people.
  • We like to set a measurable goal with a tangible outcome. Past projects have included schools, homes and schools — for 2012 we’re funding wells.
  • There must be a transition plan that defines what will happen when our financial support comes to an end — we choose projects that have a sustainablity plan built in.
  • Because participating bloggers represent a wide range of backgrounds and beliefs, we shy away from charities with a strong religious or political affiliation
  • We want to show our donors what they accomplished!  The project should be open to visits — as convenient for the hosts — either during or after construction. We also love to receive photos and stories that we can share as our fund-raising is underway and as construction is underway.

And here are some of the other criteria we consider:

  • How long the charity has been in operation and their track record with the type of project we would be funding.
  • The charity’s programs and finances have been independently evaluated and are highly regarded.
  • A viable timeline for completion.
  • Ability to add to or enhance the program if we raise additional funds.
  • Open communication before, during and after the fundraiser.


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