Today is #GivingTuesday, which follows on the heels of the consumer buying frenzy that is Cyber Monday. Although there isn’t just one day a year to focus on philanthropy and generosity, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season with donation matches and opportunities.
There’s an online hotel room brokerage called Hotels for Hope that I stumbled across, and their hotel booking platform called RoomFunding is set up to generate a $2 charitable donation for every actualized hotel room night booked. For every room night that you book, $1 is donated from the hotel which is matched with $1 from Hotels for Hope.
I checked out the RoomFunding website, and selected a RoomFunding project. I clicked on “Book Rooms” and then went about searching for a hotel room. I chose the random date of December 19, 2016 for San Francisco.
The Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport returned a rate of $151.
I switched over to Hyatt’s official website and did the same search. The rate came back at $144.
Thinking it was a fluke that the Hotels for Hope site’s rate was so much higher I looked at other properties. All showed a higher rate by several dollars.
Trying San Diego for the same dates, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina came back at $99.20.
While Sheraton had it right on their website for just $94.
I searched other cities, other dates, and every single time the lowest rate offered by the Hotels for Hope site was higher than the rate offered by the hotel chain websites directly. I was disappointed as I had hoped the rates would be the same. The idea behind the program is stellar, and if people don’t mind paying a little bit more there is still an opportunity there though I’d rather see the onus on the booking platform and hotel.
Perhaps geared more towards companies than individuals, I read an article that specifically said that RoomFunding is “designed to help organizations fulfill their corporate social responsibility goals by booking hotel room nights”. Meeting planners can use RoomFunding to book events too, but I would personally prefer to work directly with the hotel.
Today for #givingtuesday you can also reserve a Trump Hotels suite at 30% off (of which $10 gets donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital), use your US Bank Flexperks Visa to get 3x points on charitable contributions, or book a Kimpton hotel room at 30% off ($5 gets donated to The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention to LGBT youth).
You can get some warm fuzzy feelings today by donating to give bowls of food to neglected animals.
Companies get into the spirit of #givingtuesday as well, and as an example Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is donating 10,000 first aid kits to the Red Cross.
There are tons of ideas out there, and if you are looking for inspiration the #givingtuesday website even has a search function to let you find opportunities near you.