5 Trusted Ways to Help the People of Nepal

By Jared Alster
April 30, 2015

As travelers and citizens of the world, we are all still in shock and deeply saddened over the devastating earthquake and loss of life in Kathmandu and surrounding villages in Nepal. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting Nepal, you know that the Nepalese are a diverse people, and among the friendliest that you’ll encounter anywhere in the world.

During this very difficult time, there are many organizations accepting donations and aid, but how do you know which ones are to be trusted? The travel community has come together and some of the leading guided tour operators offer easy and trustworthy online donations through their own non-profit entities or those of close partners.  We’ve done some research and here are five of our favorites:

  1. The Intrepid Foundation

The Intrepid Foundation is the non-profit arm of Intrepid Travel, an Australian-based adventure tour operator and one of the largest in the world. Intrepid has already matched $100,000 in public donations for Nepal, which means that $200,000 has gone direct to earthquake victims. Intrepid Travel pays for 100% of the foundation’s administrative costs, so you can be assured that your money has a real impact on the ground.

  1. Planeterra Foundation

Planeterra is a non-profit foundation supported by G Adventures, a Toronto-based adventure travel company with close ties to the people of Nepal. In just a few days, Planeterra and G have raised over $170,000 from donors in more than 35 countries, with $25,000 coming directly from G Adventures. G also covers 100% of Planeterra’s administrative costs so give generously, knowing that your donation is making a real difference.

  1. GeoEx

GeoEx is supporting the Nepal relief efforts through their partnership with the Marin Community Foundation. Based in San Francisco, GeoEx has a long history of taking travelers to the far corners of the world, including Nepal and the Himalayan region. Over 70 individual donors have already contributed to the fundraising efforts.

  1. REI Adventures

REI Adventures, based in Seattle, WA, is partnering with Mercy Corp, a 501(c)3 charity and a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. REI has donated $50,000 to the efforts and all donations go straight to Mercy Corp’s team already in Nepal.

  1. Tourism Cares 

While not technically a group tour operator, Tourism Cares is a not-for-profit organization that preserves and enhances the travel experience for future generations by protecting and restoring valuable destinations. Tourism Cares has set up a ‘Nepal Recovery Fund’ with 100% of funds going to programs to aid in Nepal’s recovery, specifically assisting their vital tourism industry.

If you'd prefer to choose your own organization, a good place to start is Charity Navigator's list of top-rated charities that support Nepal's recovery efforts.

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By Gavin Delany
May 1, 2015 at 6:03 PM
Another great organization helping out directly on the ground is www.readglobal.org. They are run by our friends at Myths and Mountains. From Dr. Neubauer, their president, "We have been amazed by the community of READ Libraries. We have 59 centers in Nepal and many of those that are not damaged are reaching out to others with ambulance service, blood banks, tents, fundraising, surveys to simply see what is happening, battery charging using solar panels on the library centers - just a true family network. If you have people who want to donate, we would be thrilled - www.readglobal.org. READ works in rural areas, so this is critical now."
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