Fundraising Ideas

Year Round Fundraising with Airbnb Experiences

It’s important that your organization’s fundraising efforts don’t begin and end with a single fundraising campaign. As you know, that is not likely to pay the bills. For most nonprofits, year round fundraising is important to keep a steady flow of donations and revenue. Airbnb now offers a great program to help nonprofits do just that!

I love Airbnb. Whenever I travel for more than two or three nights, I always stay in an Airbnb. Airbnb offers travelers a more authentic, local experience, and it makes it much easier to get my morning chai right. I am also an Airbnb host…but what does this have to do with year round fundraising?

Year Round Fundraising with Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb also offers Airbnb Experiences where locals can share their passion and expert talents with travelers. In Italy, there are experiences to taste real parmigiano reggiano and in Guadalajara, you can learn about the history of the Mariachis. Airbnb has now created a unique year round fundraising venue for nonprofit organizations with their Social Impact Experiences. Hosting an experience allows organizations to introduce and engage new supporters to your cause while raising money through online registrations. Your approved experience and organization is presented to thousands of Airbnb users, creating a great opportunity for publicity and branding for your nonprofit. And better yet, Airbnb doesn’t charge their usual platform fees for verified nonprofits.

Why is it important to host year round fundraising opportunities? Well, you can probably guess several reasons for this. Sure, year end giving, kicked off by #GivingTuesday is the biggest giving season of the year, but your non-profit expenses aren’t confined to such a small time period. Engaging new supporters and bringing in funds throughout the year is key to a nonprofits’ overall success.

What exactly makes an Airbnb experience?

Airbnb Experiences share these characteristics:

  • Airbnb is all about making real connections. Therefore, they require that their Experiences must be led by a knowledgeable and passionate host who shares their unique perspective.
  • Participants should be actively involved or immersed in the activity
  • Experiences give travelers access to a special place, perspective or activity that they couldn’t easily find on their own

“When you host an experience, you’re giving guests your perspective on a city, craft, cause, or culture. – Airbnb

Year Round Fundraising Ideas for Airbnb Social Impact Experiences

What is it that your organization excels at doing? Who is served through your mission? Obviously, it’s important to think about your mission and find the experience that best aligns with your organization.

The Experience’s host is key to a successful experience. It doesn’t have to be just one person, but each experience must have a dedicated host that is knowledgeable and passionate about your cause. Most experiences happen at least once a week and many are offered 2-3 times a week. The frequency with which you are able to host experiences will likely depend on your volunteer host power, so considering enlisting Board Members, staff, those who have benefited from your mission, active peer to peer volunteers and others to help out.

Year Round Fundraising with Airbnb can include animals

Some ideas for Airbnb social impact experiments include –

  • Animal experiences – People love animals and Airbnb has a whole section of experiences dedicated to them. Dog walks, goat yoga, animal sanctuary or animal shelter tours are all great ideas.
  • Music experiences – Attending shows and concerts are always popular, but what about a special screening or chance to see a dress rehearsal? Experiences that offer unique opportunities to hear music are sure to succeed.
  • Food and drink experiences – People love tastings and cooking classes with local chefs. Garden or market tours and summer farm to table dinners teach visitors about local food culture. Beer and wine tastings with local vintners or brewers are other ideas.
  • Street or neighborhood tours – Do you have a funky or historic part of town that you can showcase? Or does a Board Member live in an historic homestead? Travelers want to see the unknown, off the beaten track part of your town or city.
  • Art experiences – Can you show off the local art scene or district to visitors? Maybe the local art magnet school or artist’s co-op is special? Many visitors will enjoy actively participating in a painting or other art workshop where they create something to take home as a souvenir.
  • Craft experiences – Soap and lotion making workshops, working with essential oils from a local farm or producer, building birdhouses or special holiday crafts are unique ideas that can be used for year round fundraising efforts.
  • Sporty experiences – Biking along a local river or trail, or trying out surfing or paddle boarding are unforgettable experiences that guests will rave about to their friends. How about playing soccer or basketball with local champions or at risk kids? These can all be great sports fundraising ideas.
  • Religious or meditative experiences – tour a local synagogue, learn about the architecture or stain glass windows of an historic church, meditate on a mountaintop, or practice yoga with a local guru. Just make sure that everyone has the chance to be included – as this is a requirement.
  • Dancing experiences – Dance classes with local expert dancers can make for a great experience – tango, salsa, ballroom, you name it.

How Do Social Impact Experiences Work?

  1. Find volunteers who will assist with or host the experience.
  2. Verify your nonprofit with TechSoup Validation Services, so that Airbnb will waive the fees.
  3. Setup the experience online. Think about what you want to do, how often you want to do it, how many people can attend (limited to 10),and what you want to charge. Setting up and hosting experiences online is easy to do, but you’re still going to need help to make the experiences happen.
  4. Promote the experience to your constituents. Locals can enjoy experiences just like travelers.

Conclusions on Year Round Fundraising

To fund your mission, virtually every nonprofit needs to engage in year round fundraising. Why not try engaging new supporters and really introducing your mission and passion, by hosting Social Impact Experiences on Airbnb?

Let’s get started

Note: Airbnb links in this blog are affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you sign up with Airbnb. I appreciate your support.-lisa


Lisa Bennett

About Lisa Bennett

Lisa is the Sales Director at DoJiggy. She joined DoJiggy in 2006 and loves her job. Prior to working with DoJiggy, she worked at several non-profits and managed special event fundraising.
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