CSR Travel

CSR Travel: We’re infusing every business trip with Corporate Social Responsibility, Free

We’re doing a series of posts that dive into what we’re up to at Leave A Trace. Hopefully they’ll be an interesting look under the hood of our efforts to grow our charitable impact. If you have any topics you’d like to see addressed, leave a note in the comments.

Last week I talked about how our Chrome Extension is helping excited customers remember us when they need to. This week I’m talking about how Leave A Trace is partnering with businesses and charities to help them grow their impact.

“Can I use it for my work travel?”

Leave A Trace was initially conceived of with personal travel in mind. We built the product with the idea that people would value the opportunity to make one extra click while planning a vacation in exchange for a donation being made.

One day someone asked me, “Can I use it for my work travel?”

I thought for a moment, and then assured them that they could. Nothing about what we built was specific to leisure travel at all. But that conversation got the wheels turning. What could we do to make Leave A Trace more than just functional for business travel? How could we make it a no-brainer for organizations?

Developing the Leave A Trace business offering

While neither Yannick, nor I, nor anyone else involved at Leave A Trace has much experience with enterprise sales, we knew enough to know that it was hard—far harder than getting a consumer to change their behavior.

But it’s also a big opportunity.

Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming business critical. Employees want to work for companies with both a mission and a conscience, and consumers want to buy from companies that behave responsibly. We knew that Leave A Trace could help businesses be more responsible.

We spent hours brainstorming, reading, and speaking to business leaders about their travel needs. Based on that work, we have a few insights to share:

  1. A lot of businesses have no sophisticated travel booking platform and instead just have their employees book directly with travel companies, then reimburse them. Larger businesses, however, typically are using a platform to both access discounts they’ve been able to negotiate through scale, and track their purchases through a dedicated procurement departments.
  2. Businesses want their charitable efforts to be focused, rather than spread across several causes
  3. Businesses have trouble talking about the work they do to help their communities without seeming self promotional.

These insights formed the foundation for deciding who to target and what to offer.

Who we are targeting

We knew going in that we only wanted to work with companies who share our commitment to being good citizens in their communities.

Then, our research let us narrow the target a little bit further to organizations who aren’t already using corporate booking platforms.

We know that, at this point, we can’t offer sophisticated reporting or negotiate better rates for our customers. But that’s okay! We can’t be a no-brainer for organizations who want those things, but for the rest we’re in great shape. And there are tons of those.

A note: If a company travels frequently, then partnering with us will make a bigger impact, but every single trip makes a difference, so we don’t need to rule out companies who rarely travel.

What we are offering

Based on the research, we’re offering our partners two major benefits:

  1. Have every trip generate meaningful donations to the charity of their choice
  2. Get articles written about their efforts to give back

And, partners get access to those benefits while maintaining access to the best travel deals on the internet, and without paying a cent.

Partnering with us is a free and easy way to maximize your impact and build your brand.

How this works for charities

A quick note on charities, because we’re trying to build partnerships with them too. Basically, everything works exactly the same. And when you’re selecting which charity to donate your commissions to, we’ll be more than happy if you pick yourself.

Also, you’ll be able to share a link with your donors, and if they use it to book their trips, it will get counted towards your total.

Who we’re working with so far

We’ve been talking to many socially-minded companies over the past few weeks. We’re humbled and excited to see how many of them are passionate about using Leave a Trace. We don’t have any finalized names to announce (yet) but we’re really close.

We’ll be announcing a partnership with a gap year program soon. We’re also in discussions with a travel company, a construction company, and a couple of different charities.

There’s a long way to go as we look to partner with many more organizations, but we’re excited about what we’re offering.

What’s next

Now, we try to spread the word. If you’re reading this, it’s at least starting to work. If you’ve got any questions, suggestions, or comments, I’d love to hear them. Reach me at luc@leaveatrace.co.

If you liked this post, please share it!

Leaveatrace.co is a non-profit booking site. It allows customers to book travel and make purchases through many reputable partners, while donating money to charity at no additional cost. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Check us out to learn more.

Interested in planning your next adventure? Want more stories like this? Join our mailing list below.

If you want to remember to use Leave A Trace next time you travel download our chrome extension so you never forget.

about the author


Luc is an enthusiastic traveler who loves to surf, ski and play golf. Chasing those pursuits has taken him all around the world, most recently to Japan. Despite a love for activities, Luc thinks the best way to see a new place is just to wander on foot. He went to Williams College before working as a consultant at Bain & Company. He’s now working on a variety of projects, first and foremost, trying to make everyone’s adventures just a little bit more charitable. Reach him at luc@leaveatrace.co.

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