“Take only memories. Leave only footprints.” – Chief Seattle
“The sentiment of leaving just footprints is good, but it isn’t the complete story…” says World Nomads General Manager and Footprints co-founder Chris Noble “…we also have to give back.”
Noble says he’s always believed in the philosophy of giving back, leaving the world a better place. But after seeing the devastation the Asian tsunami of 2004 wreaked on places his team had visited and loved they felt compelled to act.
“Governments and large agencies were injecting huge amounts of cash into the economies affected by the tsunami, but we also realised long-term change required sustained action.” He said.
His team at World Nomads developed the technology that would allow travellers to make a micro-donation at the point-of-sale on ecommerce websites. They simply add $2 to $10 to their purchase and have it go directly to a project nominated by the business.
“As travellers, we believe we all have a duty to give back to the places we explore. It’s been amazing to see that 1,000,000 other travellers have shared the same belief and that’s the power of travel to change lives” says Noble.
The one-millionth donation was received in May 2015.
“It’s an achievement we’re very proud of.” Says Alicia Crosariol, Partnerships Manager at Footprints.
“It’s made a difference in a concrete, tangible way.” She says. “The money has gone to small scale projects, from teacher training in Nepal with the Australian Himalayan Foundation, to working to protect sea turtle nests with ATTA member SEE Turtles, all projects have directly changed communities and people’s lives for the better.”
Crosariol says it’s also a great way for travel businesses to make a start in the corporate social responsibility environment.
“They choose a project that resonates with their business, integrate the Footprints API into their purchase path, and the technology does the rest for them. There’s no administration time or cost once integrated. 100% of the funds raised go to the charity partners.” She added.
The Footprints Network is actively seeking other travel companies to join the network.
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