Huge Difference, No Extra Cost

by Sonja van den Bosch

Huge Difference, No Extra Cost

Summer. The promise of long, warm evenings. Lazy days spent at the beach or invigorating walks through rainforests. Family time. A holiday perhaps? If you are planning time away, look no further than The driving force behind TravelGiver, a socially conscious business, is Kimi Anderson, one of Twinlife Marketing’s passionate Consultants.

We feel privileged to have business-savvy, strategic marketers in our team, who care about the world and want to do good.

One-stop-travel shop for the traveller who wants to give back
Founded in 2013, TravelGiver has helped hundreds of people help others by donating up to 8% of their booking to grass-roots community projects worldwide at no additional cost.

Kimi’s passion for philanthropy stems from her childhood – adopted from Vietnam into an extremely giving family, as part of Operation Baby Lift, who raised her awareness to help others. At an early age, Kimi learned that everyone has the opportunity to make someone else’s life better, and doing so, also makes you a better person.

tg-logo1TravelGiver was born when Kimi combined her knowledge gained in the corporate travel-industry and her love of travelling. A few years ago, she became involved in a project in Cambodia that houses and schools 30 children. To raise funds for this, her mother started to write a book on NGO projects, non-government organisations in Cambodia and the work they were doing. To help, Kimi thought she would do some online research for her mom and this is when she discovered how hard it is to find information in one place on these initiatives, who to contact for more information, which ones can be visited and what she could do to help. There were no peer reviews and knowing how to help was all too difficult.

Kimi started TravelGiver to make giving easy with 4 very clear objectives in mind:

• Use technology to enrich people’s lives. iPhones have more computing power than NASA did when they landed on the moon and yet we use them for Angry Birds and Candy Crush;
• Raise awareness of the amazing projects out there – give them a voice and help them raise funds;
• Provide a forum for people to research projects and destinations, share their experiences and contribute to human change;
• Develop a business model that is sustainable, can change the lives of many and can provide a stable future for her family.

It is not about perfection, it is about continual self-correctionkimi-fam_edit
The best advice Kimi received in the early days was “it is not about perfection, it is about continual self-correction”. One of her challenges was that she had a vision and a website. She realised her online platform was never going to be perfect and after getting it out to market, is constantly evolving based on market feedback.

No additional cost for travellers
Another challenge has been changing consumer behaviour. Just getting people to start at TravelGiver when booking their trips has been a lot harder than expected. Consumers are used to being asked to contribute more if they want to support a cause but with TravelGiver there is no additional cost. The business model is based on affiliate marketing and the site automatically donates 50% of the referral fee to the chosen NGO.

Although TravelGiver has won a number of awards, Kimi states her biggest win was when the first donations were made to a community project. The continuous positive feedback from customers who use the site also rank as one of the biggest achievements.

300 Worthy causes in 50 countries
Looking forward, Kimi is excited about growing the TravelGiver business model. TravelGiver already has over 300 worthy causes in 50 countries and has also launched a Corporate Program. The new Corporate Program caters for businesses that book their own travel online. It allows employees to give easily while they travel and companies receive free promotional exposure on the TravelGiver website and to the TravelGiver tribe – a growing community of socially conscious travellers.

Social Media Marketing
Even though Kimi had a background in marketing, when it came to marketing her own product, with very little money, the task was much more daunting than she ever expected. Being an online business with limited resources, social media was the obvious choice for marketing.

Guilt free Christmas shoppingeshopgiver-logo
Kimi has also launched the eshopgiver site, a virtual mall for the socially conscious shopper. With Christmas just around the corner, why not pop onto this site, where you will be able to donate up to 25% of your purchases to community projects around the world at no extra cost.

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Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

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