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Your experience has the potential to not only bring in additional revenue for your nonprofit, but to also truly transform the lives of your guests. This is a chance to expose them to a new perspective they otherwise wouldn’t know, all the while participating in an enjoyable recreational activity.

Surf with Purpose in Cape Town does this by turning surfing lessons into a transformative experience for guests.

The sponsoring organization is Waves for Change, a nonprofit providing surf therapy to young people affected by violence and abuse. The staff knew from the beginning that they didn’t want guests to participate in the nonprofit’s core activity of surf therapy classes for underprivileged youth because that could distract instructors and reduce the effectiveness of the therapy.

So they decided to offer a twist on their core activity—surf classes exclusively for travelers at times when there were no youth classes. After class, guests are taken to the township for lunch, where they learn firsthand about the challenges facing the community.

Tim, the director of Waves for Change, explains the thinking behind their decision:

“We wanted to go for something high energy, not too short but also not too long. Doing things together is a great way to break the ice and start conversation. Surfing for us is the ideal way to break the barriers that sometimes exist when people first meet each other.”

And he has some tips that could apply to any Airbnb experience:

“Try to find simple ice-breaking activities, that don’t feel too staged. And ask for A LOT of feedback from your guests. The more open they are with you, the better.”

By the end of the Surf with Purpose experience, guests have had a fun time learning how to surf and they’ve seen the world from a new angle by connecting more deeply with the local community.