10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond




The holidays are a festive time to spend with family and friends, but they’re also a perfect opportunity to focus on gratitude and giving. Not sure where to start? Check out some of Airbnb’s philanthropic programs, and find inspiration in what your fellow hosts are already doing to help make the world a better place.

1. Open your space to those in need
Thousands of generous hosts around the world have joined our Open Homes program, which lets hosts like you offer their spaces to people in need of temporary housing. Whether it’s helping guests who travel for medical treatment, refugees who are settling into a new city, natural disaster survivors, or relief workers who need a place to stay, you can make a difference. Volunteer your space

2. Give a little every time you host
In the spirit of Giving Tuesday—a global day of charitable giving that falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S.—consider joining our new Donations program, which lets you contribute a portion of your bookings year-round to nonprofits that partner with Open Homes.

How it works: You decide what percentage you want to have automatically deducted from each payout to donate, and 100% of your donation goes to nonprofits who use the funds to help people in need find temporary housing. Right now this program is only offered in the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Japan,
New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, but our team is working to expand the program to more countries soon, so stay tuned. Start donating


3. Be the guest—for a good cause
Support nonprofit organizations by participating in one of 700+ Social Impact Experiences around the world. You can discover a parrot sanctuary in Hawaii, sign up for a mosaic workshop in Washington, D.C., take a feminist walking tour of London, join a sunrise canoe trip in Mexico City, and more. We waive our 20% service fee for nonprofit hosts, so 100% of what you spend on the experience will go directly to that nonprofit organization. Sign up for a Social Impact Experience

4. Help spread the word
If you know a nonprofit that could benefit from hosting a Social Impact Experience, refer them here to learn more about the program.

5. Team up with other hosts to make a difference
Get to know other hosts in your community by joining a host club and volunteering as a group throughout the year. Here’s what some host clubs have done recently as part of Week for Good, Airbnb’s annual volunteer initiative, when hosts, employees, and nonprofits come together to serve communities:

  • In Seville, Spain, a host club met with a federation that brings migrants and local entities together for developmental aid and equality programs.
  • A host club in Cape Town worked with a local organization to come up with a six-month action plan to drive diversity and inclusion in their Airbnb community.
  • As part of World Cleanup Day 2019, a host club in Naples, Italy, cleaned up the historical city center as their first volunteering activity.

6. Put the earth first
From cleaning up beaches to refurbishing furniture, hosts around the world are doing their part to protect the environment:

  • Decorate with refurbished items: “I like to pick up furniture from the street or from the local garage sale and repair it.” —Delphine, Paris
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle: Bryan in Feltham, U.K., is involved with Freecycle, “an online system for keeping stuff out of landfill by giving it a second home/life.”
  • Ditch the plastic: Hosts Perrine and Maxime from Plouézec, France, make their own reusable products, like beeswax-lined paper for storage instead of using plastic wrap. Celine from Saumur, France, buys in bulk and carries cloth bags, reusable containers, and jars to the market.
  • Pick up trash: Leticia from Cancún, Mexico, cleans up beaches, as does Elena from Palamós, Spain, who says: “As a rule, every time I go to one of our beaches, I take at least five pieces of [trash] that I find: plastic, cigarette butts, etc.”


7. Help out your community
Get inspired by these hosts who work to make their communities stronger and more vibrant:

  • Help schools: “We have donated books for their library and snacks for the children.” —MariaEsperanza, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Preserve local history: Linda and Richard volunteer with the San Antonio Conservation Society and help preserve historic buildings, places, and customs related to the history of Texas.
  • Sign up with a local organization: Till and Jutta from Stuttgart, Germany, volunteer with their local wine, fruit, and horticulture association board.

8. Be an animal activist
These hosts lend a hand to our furry and feathered friends:

  • Support animal rescue groups: Federico from Ronchi dei Legionari, Italy, volunteers in a shelter. German hosts Sybille and Harry from Hamburg and Ralf from Inzell help shelters by donating used items like towels and sheets.
  • Fight for their rights: Alexandra from Lincoln, Canada, helps run a group that promotes animal rights in Spain and finds new homes for abandoned dogs.
  • Help endangered species: “I help look after one of New Zealand’s rarest birds for the Department of Conservation: our critically endangered Fairy Tern (population 35), with education to the public, nest monitoring, and trapping of nasty predators.” —Ria, Northland, New Zealand


9. Offer on-the-ground support
From providing basic necessities to building schools, these hosts are making an impact:

  • Hand out donated items: Yuni and Erick from Havana, Cuba, visit poverty-stricken neighborhoods with Airbnb guests who have brought clothes, shoes, medicine, toys, and basic necessities to distribute.
  • Help fight hunger: Ana and Juan volunteer with the Food Bank of Barcelona and help organize an annual campaign to collect food at Christmas.
  • Pick up a hammer: Marco from Liguria, Italy, built a nursery school and helps at a hospital in Africa.

10. Help children and the elderly
Check out how these hosts offer their skills, services, and time:

  • Teach someone how to read and write: “There are so many children that don't have the opportunity to develop their language skills, so we help with all the parts that are necessary.” —Clara from Pensacola, Florida
  • Spend time with kids in need: “We visit as often as we can, take all the kids a toy, make sure they get a trip to the cinema and a good dinner, as well as make a small donation to their upkeep.” —Gordon from London, who spends time at an orphanage for children with HIV in Caracas, Venezuela
  • Give someone a ride: “I visit the sick and the elderly every week and provide travel services for non-mobile people.” —Monika, Vienna


We hope these stories inspire you to get involved in your own communities this holiday season and beyond—bring your guests along, too!

Labels (1)
9 Replies

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Airbnb super ideas.

Not much to add but a furry.aviary-image-1527349407242.jpeg


Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

This is such a lovely addition to this thread @Mike-And-Helen0. 🙂 I hope he is keeping warm with the cold weather we are having now. 


I hope you have a lovely weekend Helen. 







I'm currently on maternity leave. I look forward to catching up when I return. In the meantime, please contact another member of the Community Manager team: Personal Update

Looking to contact our Support Team, for details...take a look at the Community Help Guides

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Athens, Greece
Level 3

Thanks for sharing inspiration!!!

There are so many interesting ways to help each other!!!

I live in a small village  near the sea 50 klm away from Athens. 

Our neighbours are very few...so everybody helps the other when in need.

Our planet is suffocating... and we are suffocating with it....lets all try to survive...


Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Level 3

So yes, I make contributions to several organisations.  There are some good suggestions here.   Points 1 -6 provide links to direct donating or joining up with groups.  Point 6-10 don't.  Is Airbnb suggesting we write about these "good works" in our hosting blurb?

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Florence, AL
Level 2

We work in areas related to our church and Seniors programs. We have housed many non profit groups. I wrote about our serving  traveling missionaries singers and homeless in our profile in the beginning.  Don't know whether it is there now or not.

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

United Kingdom
Level 2

I live in a small ski village in Andorra, in case you are not familiar with the country it is not in the EU, it's an associate (for banking reasons I think), not in the Schengen Agreement and 400sq kms in total.  It is a little 'capitalist' haven and the best I can do is help my guests to recycle as much as possible and leave the appropriate bags for them to do so.  I would love to donate to a local charity in Andorra, but having a hard time finding one...  However, all old ski gear is donated to our local priest who will distribute it with great equality, from the rubbish collectors in great gear that no longer fits to other members of the outdoor workforce who need a warm set of working gear.  We have a great organisation called 'Soldeu Locals' and there you can advertise free or inexpensive items that are looking for a new home.  It seems to work!

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Coutures, France
Level 1

I Host my Airbnb organically both inside and out.  I encourage guests to use Environmental products, buy less packaging, insist that they use a compost bin and of next year, offer brief tips on how they too can save money whilst saving the environment by changing a few simple steps in their own home.  I use all the old cleaning methods that my mother used and passed on to me, window cleaning, cookers, surfaces, toilets - all without buying chemicals.  Next spring, I will open my outdoor organic toilet, known as, 'The room with a view!' 

I will also be encouraging guests to pay more attention to the environment that surrounds them - sit under the stars, listen to the night calls of the owls, Nightingale, watch the bats + Go deep into the woods and surround yourself with the sounds and smells of what she offers besides the peace and calmness of the mind.

I believe more Hosts should take action and encourage their guests to do so too.

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Silver Spring, MD
Level 1

Wonderful and generous ideas! Thank you for the shout out to Arts on the Block. We are grateful!

Re: 10 ways to give back during the holidays and beyond

Anton Valley, Panama
Level 2

Wonderful Ideas.  As owners of Cabanas Potosi, El Valle de Anton, Panama we already do most of the items listed in this article.  Because we are members of the local Lions Club we help in our community all the time.  We also help our community recycling program, spaying program, local schools and in our community church.  The last week in January we are hosting, with other other Airbnbs, an organization of dentists from Canada who are coming to our community to give free dental care to the people of who cannot afford this service.  It is always rewarding to help others in need , when you can, and become appreciated and respected within your communities.