In this day and age when awareness of world issues and global needs are increasing, there has been a rise recently in philanthropic travel. This can also be applied to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Simply put people or organizations (CSR) want to give back through travel. The common problem people are facing when it comes to this is that it can seem overwhelming. People with good intentions, genuinely want to make a difference. However, they don't know where to start or if their efforts will really have an impact.
Philanthropic travel was once considered to be reserved for the super rich, missionaries or members of voluntary organizations such as the Peace Corps has changed to becoming a social norm. More and more people want to get involved and do something for causes that matter to them. They rather want to have a hands-on experienced in giving back by traveling to the areas in need than just donating cash.
Sadly just because you care, you know how to take the next step. People who want to help can get confused on exactly how, where, what input is required personally, the amount and the level of commitment they need to make.
There are several ways one can embark on a Philanthropic journey but to provide some clarity here are two examples:
- Donor Travel: Committed philanthropist or CSR groups who want to witness their donations at work can do so by traveling to the destinations to see their investments at work in real life situations. This is becoming a profound movement, and it brings people closer to the issues and communities they are helping. It can help deepen the sustainable investment and strength the connection between the traveling donor and communities.
- Private Travel: This is for travelers who have a little more to combine their vacation and make a side trip to visit the area where their investment is made for the community. It can involve CSR groups, families or individuals who want to pass on their voluntary work, just observe the project developing with the community they are helping. It can be challenging because each individual or members of a group are different and might have different goals for their trip.
Philanthropic or CSR Travel is gaining popularity because people are getting more eager to reconnect with humanity. In a world that has become highly competitive, commercial and electronically driven, people have been finding the need to finding themselves again. One of the favorite ways to do this is reconnecting with humanity and their own sense of meaning.
Vacations can be more than just recreational. It can be made meaningful with service and humility with philanthropic travel. It offers a restoration of humanity and a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Of course with any travel that involves traveling out of your comfort zone, it comes with challenges. Some of the main obstacles to overcome include:
Choosing the many volunteer organizations.
Most philanthropic projects are in underdeveloped parts of a developing nation which probably won't have creature comforts such as a western toilet or even a toilet with a flush, electricity, running water or hot showers and cultural practices.