As you create your Social Impact experience, consider the following best practices we’ve seen in established and successful Social Impact experiences around the world:
Make it eye-catching.
Don’t limit yourself to the normal day-to-day programming of your nonprofit. Instead, ask yourself how your experience will interest and engage travelers.
Put yourself in your guests’ shoes—if you were visiting a new city and looking for ways to spend your time, what activities would catch your attention? And which of those activities would you be willing to pay for?
To stay connected to your organization’s cause, consider new activities that could be relevant to its mission and also fun for guests. For example, guests on the experience Hike Runyon Canyon with a Rescue Dog get to spend time with rescue animals while taking in beautiful hilltop views of the city.
Aim for the iconic.
Most people have a mental bucket list of things they want to do and uniquely local souvenirs they’d like to pick up while visiting a particular city. The more you can help them check those items off their list, the more likely they are to be attracted to your offering.
There are many ways to weave iconic places, food, and activities into your experience. For example, the experience Cookies for a Cause adds a San Francisco twist to cookie making by decorating the cookies in the likeness of the Golden Gate Bridge.
If you don’t list upcoming dates, guests may never see your experience in search results. And if your experience is infrequent, then it’s much less likely to get the attention of prospective guests.
To attract steady bookings, consider offering your experience on a weekly or biweekly basis. One way to make this manageable is to leverage your community so that several people can share the work of hosting, allowing you to offer the experience more often without overworking a particular person.
Share your passions.
Don’t limit yourself to your organization’s core activities. Your experience doesn’t have to tie directly into the organization’s work—be creative and follow your passions and those of your community members! For example, Brush and Ink (Japanese Calligraphy) in Tokyo builds on the founder’s love for calligraphy to benefit an organization that helps underprivileged children in Vietnam. The two aren’t directly related, and that’s OK.