To ensure long term success, AltruVistas provides comprehensive support services affiliated with our grants:
• The recipient community will have entrepreneurial mentoring from our advisory board.
• Each grantee will be matched with a paid AltruFellow. The AltruFellows program will fund a professional to live and work with the community to ensure that the accounting, booking, cybernetic and marketing capacity of the project is operational and then entrusted into the care of trained locals attached to the project. Additionally the fellow will help educate and support the locals to understand Western “norms” in the travel industry (re. customer service, cleanliness, etcetera) to mitigate the potential culture clash that often occurs between traditional cultures and foreign visitors.
• AltruVistas will ensure that the grantees will have their site supported by international tourism associations like the ATTA, ETC, STI and TIES. All membership-based tourism organizations that support alternative travel-to-travel service providers and others will be made aware of their service or product.
In the tourism industry, there are companies that have attached Foundations or that actively “give back.” We will seek to partner with these organizations as appropriate. We will also invite established travel-related businesses to contribute a small percentage of their profits to support community-based tourism initiatives through our Funds & Fellows program.
We are currently finalizing the initial applicant pool for our first recipients. In 2017, we will have a global, community-based poll to create the list of the final projects to fund annually. We will then have major contributors and Board advisors vote on the final recipients. The recipients then will be awarded at our AltruVistas Funds & Fellows Annual Gala event, slated for September, 2017.
The AltruVistas Funds & Fellows program is designed to support communities in taking advantage of the booming global tourism industry. Communities will create their own eco-lodges, agro-tourism projects, craft stores, ecotourism services (surfing, kayaking, etc.), vocational training centers to sell and train members (restaurants, pottery centers, weaving coops, etc.) and guiding companies. For example, in Cusco Peru there is only one indigenous owned trekking company; there should be more!
It is our intention that each year this will grow and evolve. As the income base of the program increases, so will the awards. We hope to always keep all administration costs at industry-standard lows in relation to overhead costs.
Grantees will have reporting requirements to inform us how the grant has impacted their community, what economic and social benefits gained, number of community members engaged, etc. All annual reports provide measurable impact. Each grantee will have up to 5 years of guidance that will be reflected in the annual reporting.
We hope that the AltruFunds program will become a replicable model that other travel companies will employ as a way to a/ support destination communities, b/ support ethical tourism, and c/ give back for a better world through true partnership along the tourism routes.