Help Us Find Our 2014 Charity!

Posted on | May 5, 2014 | No Comments


Are you involved with a charity that does great work in developing countries?

Have you volunteered with an amazing nonprofit organization that could use our help?

Do you otherwise know of an organization that would be a great fit as the charitable beneficiary for Passports with Purpose in 2014?

The deadline to apply to be this year’s charitable beneficiary is May 15, 2014 – less than two weeks away!

Past projects we have supported include building libraries in Zambia, constructing water wells in Haiti and, most recently, building two schools in Mali.

The 2014 fundraiser will take place December 2-19 and will once again be entirely online.  We’ll be in touch soon regarding blogger involvement, including prize procurement, but right now we need to take care of the important task of selecting the organization and project we will support in 2014!

The charitable organization we select:

  • Must have a record of at least three years with previous success;
  • Must be able to provide us with regular updates before, during, and after the execution of the project so that we can verify that the funds are used properly.
  • Must be based in the United States;
  • Must not have a religious affiliation;
  • Must be able to accept donations via PayPal.

Additionally, the projects we choose to fund typically:

  • Are tangible projects that have a start and finish date and provide high impact to an entire community;
  • Directly benefit women and children;
  • Are in developing nations because we can make a larger impact with fewer dollars; and
  • Support basic human needs such as water, food, shelter, and education.

Interested organizations should submit an application no later than May 15, 2014. Questions? Let us know and we’re happy to answer them!

Traveling with a Purpose – New York Travel Festival

Posted on | April 22, 2014 | No Comments

The PwP team is excited to be a part of the New York Travel Festival, an event for tech-savvy, immersive travelers taking place April 26-27, 2014. Our very own Michelle Duffy will be speaking on a panel on Saturday, April 26 at 2pm called “Traveling with a Purpose.”

Michelle will be joined by folks from The Cultureist’s Culture Collection, MCW, and Learning AFAR.

For more details, visit New York Travel Festival at


Visit us at the Women in Travel Summit

Posted on | March 3, 2014 | No Comments

WITSWill you be at the Women in Travel Summit in Chicago later this month? If so, keep an eye out for the Passports with Purpose table to learn more about how you can get involved with the 2014 fundraiser.  After raising $84,000 for buildOn to construct two schools in Mali last fall, we are excited to kick things off for this year!

The Women in Travel Summit is the first conference of its kind – bringing together female travel bloggers and brands at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago March 14-16. Three content tracks target the traveler, the writer and the entrepreneur and social events like a mentor breakfast and networking power hour provide plenty of opportunities to connect with fellow bloggers and travel brands. Our very own Katie Aune will be speaking at the conference about volunteering abroad and will be staffing the PwP table throughout the weekend. If you’re there, be sure to stop by and say hello!

For more information about the Women in Travel Summit, visit

Calling charities: Applications for Passports with Purpose 2014 are open

Posted on | February 24, 2014 | No Comments

Two students in the libraryTwo schools in Mali.Five wells in Haiti. Two libraries in Zambia. A village in India. A school in Cambodia.

And of course, the most important thing: Hundreds of lives impacted.

The entire Passports With Purpose team is so happy to have worked with our bloggers and sponsors to raise money for all of these projects over the past six years. But we’ve never been ones to spend a lot of time looking back. In fact, we’re eagerly looking forward and asking the following question:

Who will our 2014 charitable beneficiary be?

We’ve already chosen dates for our 2014 fundraiser, which will take place from December 2 until December 19. It will take place entirely online – learn more about exactly how it works.

Here’s what we look for in our charitable projects:

  • Tangible projects that have a start and finish date and provide high impact to an entire community.
  • Projects that directly benefit women and children .
  • Projects in developing nations because we can make a larger impact with fewer dollars.
  • Projects that support basic human needs such as water, food, shelter, and education have been a hallmark of our efforts since 2008.

Additionally, we require some things of the charities we work with. They must have a record of at least three years with previous success. They must be able to provide us with regular updates before, during, and after the execution of the project so that we can verify that the funds are used properly. And they must be based in the United States, not have a religious affiliation, and accept donations via PayPal.

If you’ve got a project that you think would be a good fit, please submit an application. All applications are due by May 15, 2014.

Got questions? Please feel free to let us know.

Choosing a charitable project is a real labor of love for our team – we look forward to seeing how you’d like to change the world.


You funded two schools in Mali!

Posted on | December 10, 2013 | No Comments

Mali smileWe love this day here at Passports With Purpose virtual HQ because are hearts are so full of amazement at the generosity of our donors and sponsors. Thanks to you, we raised more than $84,000, which means buildOn will be able to construct two schools and two adult literacy programs in southern Mali.

Let’s just bask in that for a moment shall we?

We will be drawing and notifying our winners on December 16; good luck to everyone who entered. And although the time is over when your ten dollars entered you to win a prize, you can still make a cash donation. One hundred percent of the money you give will go to buildOn toward the construction of a third school. Donations are tax deductible.

A huge round of thanks to everyone who made this fundraiser possible – to all our wonderful travel bloggers, all of our sponsors including the dozens of companies that donated prizes, and our donors. It’s because of you that we are able to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of families.

It seems appropriate to end with a quote from Nelson Mandela, who cared so deeply about the lives of children on his native continent: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Photo courtesy of buildOn

We believe that the best way to “show” is to “do.”

Posted on | December 6, 2013 | No Comments

PwP sponsor, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide, shares this message. With four days left in the fundraiser, check out these prizes here.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides publishes illustrated guidebooks for travelers who not only want to see a place, but also to understand its history, art and culture. The desire to learn, to discover more, underpins every guidebook we make. And so when we heard about Passports with Purpose and their campaign with buildOn to build three new schools in Mali, we knew we needed to become a sponsor.  Mali_CTA_2

Over the past four years, Passports with Purpose has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars for those in need – providing livestock to families, clean drinking water in Haiti, and libraries in Zambia, among other projects. We are inspired by the overwhelming support, generosity and drive of the travel blogging community that, year after year, makes the fund-raising efforts of Passports with Purpose a success, and we are proud to join in.

For twenty years, the motto of DK Eyewitness Travel Guides has been to show travelers the world, and we believe that the best way to “show” is to “do.” We hope you’ll join us this year as we do more together.

To donate to Passports with Purpose, visit here.

Best odds at the pricier end of our catalogue

Posted on | December 5, 2013 | No Comments

So you’ve seen what our best odds prizes are – the ones that you’ve got the best chance of winning. Well here’s another list. These are things you wouldn’t run out to the mall and buy, but for just a bit more than your morning latte you can bid on them with a great chance to win. What are you waiting for?

  1. One Vail Resorts Epic Season Pass
  2. Three nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island Australia
  3. Luxury stay in Niagara Falls
  4. Two-night stay for two at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess – Arizona
  5. Seven-night stay in a Global Resort Home in Kissimmee – Florida
  6. Wimdu accommodation voucher
  7. Two-night stay at Keswick Hall at Monticello Charlottesville – Virginia
  8. Two-night getaway for four at any Great Wolf Lodge
  9. Angkor Trails – 9-Day Small Group Tour
  10. Three-night stay at the Connemara Language and Cultural Center – Ireland

Click the prizes to get more specific details or go right to the donate page. But either way – know that you win no matter what. Because $10 at a time you’re helping us build schools in Mali. 

Ten bucks + Best odds = New schools in Mali

Posted on | December 4, 2013 | No Comments

We’re just over halfway through our fundraiser — and about a third of the way to our fundraising goals.


Sitting here at our virtual PwP headquarters, we assume that all those of you who have held off on donating are just waiting for us to tell you what prizes have the best odds of winning. Well wait no more!

This is no Island of Misfit Toys – all of these prizes are all equally fabulous. The only difference is that for the moment you have a slightly better chance of winning them. And we don’t mind saying that we hope you change the odds because there’s nothing we love more than a nice surprise like that.

Check the list, make your choice, and press the giant DONATE button. Let’s do this thing!

Travel — stays, vouchers, deals gift card

One-night voucher from Country Inn & Suites by Carlson

Two-night Stay at the Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort – Atlanta

One-night Stay at Ocean Edge Resort

Two-night stay at the Rosen Centre Hotel Orlando

Three-night stay at The Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort – Florida

Gear — clothing, bags

Osprey Poco Plus Custom Fit Child Carrier

Men’s Escape Long Sleeve Crew Stripe Sweater

The Emperor 85L internal frame backpack by Guerrilla Packs

Coronet LS Half Zip sweater

Other stuff surprise package

A Hamper from Bourbon Country

Globejotting writing course

Mall of America Family Fun Pack

ToursByLocals gift certificate

Blackjack photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

#GivingTuesday’s #UNselfie

Posted on | December 3, 2013 | No Comments



Are you part of #GivingTuesday? It’s global day of giving for everyone! Passports with Purpose is proud to be a Giving Tuesday partner. Thank you to everyone who continues to help us reach our goal of raising $115,000 for schools and education in Mali with buildOn. We’re well on our way with almost $30,000 raised and we could use your help by donating now and helping spread the word.



The Transformative Power of Travel

Posted on | December 1, 2013 | 2 Comments

Today we’re honored to have a guest post by Jim Ziolkowski, founder & CEO of buildOn and author of L.A. Times Best Seller Walk in Their Shoes.

When I was twenty-four, I entered GE’s Financial Management Program, a fast-track position that all but guaranteed a lucrative career in corporate finance. But fifteen months later I quit.

Before joining GE I had hitchhiked around the world and spend most of my time in developing countries. What I saw lit a fire within that could never be put out. While travelling through India and Nepal, I had seen cities and villages mired in extreme poverty. When I was in New Delhi, I saw the beggars and the street children, destitute and hungry, without any hope for a better life. When I was in a village in Nepal, I saw families living in mud huts without running water or electricity. The more I traveled in regions of poverty, the more clearly I saw that those conditions were directly related to rampant illiteracy and the general lack of education. While trekking up into the Solo Khumbu region in Nepal, I passed through a village where they were celebrating the opening of school that they had built. It was a two day celebration- they never went home! So now I’d seen more than the injustice of extreme poverty, I had also witnessed the courage, determination and faith these communities had for education.

buildOn Founder, and Author of best-selling Walk in Their Shoes, Jim Ziolkowski in Mali, West Africa.

buildOn Founder, and Author of best-selling Walk in Their Shoes, Jim Ziolkowski in Mali, West Africa.

Instead of just witnessing something amazing, I wanted to somehow act on these experiences. But I chickened out and joined GE instead. It took me over a year to muster the courage to leave the corporate world and start buildOn – a nonprofit organization that is breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. Right now, buildOn is partnering with rural villages to construct a new school every four days in countries like Malawi, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal, Senegal, and of course Mali.

Travel changed my life forever, and now Passports with Purpose is using travel to transform the lives of hundreds of individuals in Mali, West Africa. Because of your efforts three of the economically poorest villages on the planet will be able to construct schools for their children. Additionally, these schools will be used for buildOn’s adult literacy programs which are also being funded by your efforts.

I want to thank you for partnering with buildOn and for harnessing the power of travel for good. Thank you for helping us to break the cycle.

Jim’s new book Walk in Their Shoes is on shelves now. To read more about his life-changing travels from Nepal to Malawi, from Russia to South Africa, download this free excerpt or pick up the book at

To help PwP raise $115,000 for buildOn, visit the Passports with Purpose PRIZE CATALOGUE PAGE and donate before December 9 at 11:59pm EST.  THANK YOU!

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