Airbnb and its Hosts knew that their communities were home to incredible changemakers. Here’s how the company began to invest globally in community-led change.
Put communities in the center of corporate philanthropy.
Hosts on Airbnb open their doors to travelers from around the world—and welcome them into their communities. As part of the company’s commitment to serving its community, Airbnb wanted to give to where their Hosts call home. Moreover, they wanted to give Hosts the opportunity to make the choices impacting their communities. It’d be no small task with communities spread around the world.
Airbnb and GlobalGiving co-designed the Airbnb Community Fund.
Together with GlobalGiving, the Airbnb team dreamed up what became the Airbnb Community Fund. GlobalGiving supported with strategy and program design, providing guidance in areas such as nonprofit communication, grantee absorptive capacity, and flexible funding best practices.
Rather than require organizations to apply, Airbnb sourced grant candidates in partnership with GlobalGiving. First, Airbnb’s Host Advisory Board reviewed 500 of GlobalGiving’s trusted nonprofit partners. They chose those working in three strategic areas: COVID-19 relief, economic empowerment, and education.
Next, members of Airbnb Host Clubs reviewed the organizations’ work and voted for those they felt were most impactful in their community.
Together, they chose an impressive final roster of nonprofits to support—ultimately awarding grants to organizations in more than 40 countries and six continents.
Finally, each organization signed a simple grant agreement. Each received a grant of $10,000 or more, with zero required reporting or strings attached.
In the inaugural round of funding, GlobalGiving sent millions in unrestricted grants to nonprofits around the world.
Thanks to Airbnb’s request for GlobalGiving to award unrestricted grants, 171 community-led nonprofits received flexible funding. Here’s how three grant partners invested in communities’ most pressing needs:
1. For refugees supported by Echo100plus, Airbnb’s grant arrived at a pivotal time.
“The past 18 months had been full of uncertainties, [but] we kept afloat and explored ever new pathways when COVID tried to cut us off from the refugee community we serve in Greece,” Catharina Kahane, co-founder of Echo100plus, said. “Now that the situation is slowly improving, the Airbnb grant is coming at the right moment to reboot our educational and international activities. We are incredibly honored and grateful for this!”
2. Entrepreneurs du Monde, which provides sustainable energy in West Africa, Haiti, and Asia, trained micro-entrepreneurs for more resilient communities.
“The Airbnb Community Fund’s contribution will allow our organization to connect 100 more vulnerable rural families to solar energy provided by innovative micro-grids,” Corinne Doncque, a fundraising officer at Entrepreneurs du Monde, said.
3. Grant partner The Freedom Story invested in scholarships, mentorship programs, and resources to end child trafficking in Thailand.
“We cannot express our gratitude enough for the partnership with the Airbnb Community Fund. It has helped families across Chiang Rai to find greater freedom and stability,” Chris Morgan, their operations officer, said. “We look forward to continuing to support at-risk families together.”
Through the Airbnb Community Fund, the company commits to giving a total of $100 million over 10 years to more organizations like Echo100plus, Entrepreneurs du Monde, and The Freedom Story whose work supports communities around the world.
Refugees, rural micro-entrepreneurs, and children at risk of trafficking are among those supported in year one of the Airbnb Community Fund. Airbnb’s future investments in community-led change will allow even more local organizations to strengthen their support of communities.
Discover GlobalGiving’s community-led grantmaking solutions.
Prevent Child Trafficking Through Education by The Freedom Story, an Airbnb Community Fund grantee