Airbnb launches Donations tool for hosts

US: Airbnb has launched its Donations tool in order to help hosts in the United States choose whether they want to donate a percentage of their income to philanthropic organisations supporting housing needs. 

The tool will help the San Francisco-based firm with its objective to help relocate 100,000 people in need of temporary affordable housing by 2022.

Airbnb says that the entirety of contributions from the Donations tool will be donated to reliable non-profit partner organisations that help displaced communities find housing, such as Hands and Hearts, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps.

Hosts that opt in to the scheme will have the option of which percentage they want to have automatically deducted from their salary each month. They will also receive regular email updates as well as a yearly donations report to highlight the difference they have made.

Airbnb reported that if every host in the United States donated one per cent of their earnings, its partners could help find temporary housing for two million people in 2019.

Airbnb co-founder and chief product officer, Joe Gebbia, said: “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.

“We hope that through the company’s contributions, the Open Homes programme, and our hosts’ generous donations, we can extend belonging to those who are facing their darkest hour,” he added.

The latest Airbnb tool will follow up on the company’s Open Homes programme, which allows hosts to open their homes for free to anyone affected by conflict, disaster, or critical illness. The initiative is said to have supported over 25,000 people in finding temporary housing since its launch.

All Hands and Heart co-founder Petra Nemcova said: “Airbnb has been a long time supporter of All Hands and Hearts, offering housing solutions for our teams and volunteers in the wake of devastating disasters. We’re grateful for the Airbnb community’s support, and hopeful that with Airbnb hosts’ donations, we’ll be able to help more individuals, families, and communities rebuild their homes, schools, and lives.”