Monday, September 22, 2008

TripAdvisor To Give Away $1 Million

NEWTON, Mass. — TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel community, launched the "More than Footprints" philanthropic initiative, in which TripAdvisor will donate $1 million to five travel-related nonprofits. Accordingly, TripAdvisor will divide the $1 million between the nonprofits democratically, through online voting. Voting is open at through Nov. 9. This "democratic philanthropy" not only fits the TripAdvisor ethos, it also empowers people to have a direct impact on corporate giving at a time when the economic downturn might make individual donations difficult. By simply voting online in the "More than Footprints" initiative, people can leave a lasting impression on the world.

TripAdvisor believes people can leave more than footprints behind when traveling – by making a difference in the places they visit.

The five travel-related nonprofits TripAdvisor selected to participate in the "More than Footprints" initiative are:

• Conservation International – Eco-tourism
• Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Emergency relief
• National Geographic Society – Exploring and sustaining authentic places
• The Nature Conservancy – Environmental protection
• Save the Children – Aiding children around the world

After voting ends, each nonprofit will get a portion of the $1 million donation, based on the percentage of total votes it receives. Although each person may vote only once, they can build extra support for the cause they choose by referring friends to cast their own votes. Each participating nonprofit is guaranteed to receive at least $50,000 from TripAdvisor. Results will be announced on Nov. 12.

"We're a community of travelers around the world, and we wanted to do something that could really make a positive difference in people's lives," said Steve Kaufer, founder and CEO, TripAdvisor. "It's also an election year, so voting is on everyone's mind. We know that people want their voices to be heard, and we hope they’ll raise those voices collectively to help us support nonprofits addressing global problems."

TripAdvisor Media Network attracts more than 32 million monthly visitors across 12 travel brands. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors.

TripAdvisor emphasizes the power of the voice, and that's what the company is doing with this innovative approach to philanthropy. Individuals play a role in choosing the non-profits they feel are most deserving, but all five non-profits will benefit.

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