For nearly as long as WanderTours has been offering tours, we’ve been donating to organizations located in the countries where our tours run.
The donations have all been made on behalf of our tour groups but they come directly from WanderTours.
I am so excited to announce that we (myself and a small board of directors), have just received word that we’ve been granted non-profit 501(c)(3) status for the WanderWorld Foundation. The WWF will be the non-profit arm of WanderTours and Wanderlust and Lipstick.
With the establishment of the WanderWorld Foundation, our goal is to make donating to charities we support abroad not only easier for our tour participants but also tax-deductible!
Over the past six years, we’ve donated to charities where our tour groups can visit the program so that we can learn about their work first-hand and so that we’re able to talk directly to those who oversee and also benefit from those programs.
When we visit these charities, our tour participants are usually so moved by the experience that they have a desire to make additional donations but often times don’t have enough cash in-country to do so.
Now, when someone on one of our tours visits a charity and likes what they see, they can return home, make a donation via the WanderWorld Foundation, and designate that their funds go directly to RENEW (minus PayPal and/or wire transfer fees). Neither I nor our board members take any salary from our work with the WWF and all costs (mailing, non-profit status filing fees, etc.) come out of our own pockets. That means that most funds will go directly to the charity of choice from the donor and, if none is designated, into a general fund to be distributed at the board’s discretion.
Helping Women and Children
Our overall goal is to raise funds for causes that help women and children. We identify organizations that have a long-term plan to make a difference in their quality of life and help them improve their economic standing in their community. In other words, to provide these women and children with some independence and confidence.
To date, we’ve donated to:
- Amnesty International’s Women Not Witches program which supports women of domestic violence in Papua New Guinea
- RENEW Bhutan, an organization that helps women and children of domestic violence in Bhutan
- Lifestart Foundation in Vietnam which helps families in Vietnam
- Sambhali Trust in India which helps women and children in Rajasthan, India
- OneDegreeForward in Cambodia helping orphans in Cambodia
- WEAVE which supports refugee hill tribe women in Northern Thailand
- Nunneries in Myanmar and Bhutan
This month we’re visiting ROLE Foundation in Bali. This organization provides skills and education for women and children to help them break out of poverty.
While initially the funds raised will come directly through WanderTours and our tour participants, our goal is to hold on and/or offline fundraising events for these (and other) designated charities and to broaden our reach in terms of donors.
We can accept donations PayPal, check and cash. The funds, minus any financial transaction fees, go directly to the organization of our Board’s choice if not specifically designated by the donor.
We are in the process of working on a website and should have that up and running in the coming months.
For now, we’re simply thrilled to have been granted non-profit status in the U.S. as this helps us move forward with the work we hope to accomplish in the coming years.