Lonely Planet Writer

Airbnb hosts can now easily donate some of their earnings to people in need

Accommodation giant Airbnb has now created a simple way for hosts to donate a percentage of their earnings to charities that help connect people with temporary housing.

Airbnb has worked with displaced people since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Photo by Airbnb

The new Donations feature allows hosts to choose a percentage of their earnings to donate, all of which will go straight to three non-profits via Airbnb’s Open Homes Programme; the Make-A-Wish foundation, All Hands and Hearts and International Rescue Committee. The hosts then receive regular updates on the impact of their money.

Since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Airbnb has run an Open Homes programme which links people in need of housing with hosts in the local community. Working in tandem with the three non-profits mentioned above, so far it has helped more than 25,000 people who have been affected by natural disasters, the refugee crisis or a medical emergency.

How it will look to Airbnb hosts. Photo by Airbnb

The Donations feature is available now for hosts in the USA and the company estimates that if all US hosts donated just 1%, the programme could help two million people next year. If an Airbnb Open Home is unavailable for a person in need, the donations will go to finding housing. The company say hosts around the world will have access to the donations feature later this year.

“Many hosts in our community are eager to help when a crisis hits, but aren’t always able to open their homes. We developed this donations tool to give them an easy, straightforward way to make an impact,” said Airbnb’s Co-founder Joe Gebbia in a statement.

To learn more about the Open Home programme and how to donate your space or your funds, click here.