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In Time For World Responsible Tourism Day and Footprints donations reach half million dollar milestone

eTN Staff Writer  Nov 12, 2008

On World Responsible Tourism Day,’s social responsibility program, Footprints, has announced that it has now raised $500,000 from more than 180,000 micro donations since its inception. Despite the economic slowdown, the generosity of people is increasing.

Footprints is an 'opt-in' donation program that allows its online customers to make micro-donations (starting from $2) to a selected list of participating projects that help alleviate specific poverty-related problems across the world.

World Nomads community relations manager, Christy McCarthy, said the program’s philosophy is to ‘get involved and make a difference.’

“When you travel to far-out places, you can often receive generous and gracious hospitality from local people, even when they experience severe shortages of basic needs such as food, water, housing, health, and safety,” said Christy. “We believe there is a moral obligation to give back to the communities in which we travel, and we believe that is an ongoing responsibility, not just today.”

Footprints has funded 34 projects in 18 countries, changing the lives of thousands of people living in poverty, often with seemingly tiny contributions that have disproportionately positive impact in local and often remote communities.

"The contributions, while often small, are growing and today we have a 90 percent 'strike rate' from World Nomads customers," said Christy. "It's said that people are becoming "charity fatigued," but we've seen no evidence of that whatsoever with 'Footprints.' The fact that we ensure 100 percent of monies raised goes directly to the projects, provides people with lots of peace-of-mind. Very few social responsibility programs can make that claim."

Examples of recent projects include the building of a primary school in Pha Ao Village, Cambodia in conjunction with Oxfam, which was provided AUD$24,154 by 9,187 people, as well as funding the Children’s Safe Home Program, in Rajbari, Bangladesh, in conjunction with Save the Children Australia, to the tune of AUD$28,963 by 11,381 contributors.

Footprints raises funds on behalf of other organizations and does not run any projects directly. Footprints does not fund projects with any significant 'administration' overhead so that they have a real effect in the communities for which they are intended.

A full list of projects currently underway is available at . and Footprints donations reach half million dollar milestone
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