Airbnb launches nonprofit Airbnb.org to house people in need throughout coronavirus pandemic, emergencies
8th December 2020

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Airbnb is offering people in need a place to stay with its new nonprofit, Airbnb.org.

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The community-based vacation rental service announced the philanthropic initiative on Monday, focusing on connecting “people with places to stay in times of crisis.”

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To successfully provide shelter and critical supplies to those in need, Airbnb.org is partnering with Airbnb hosts, government agencies and longstanding nonprofit organizations, including IFRC, CORE, International Rescue Committee, CARE, Mercy Corps, HIAS and other local firms that serve temporary stays.

“Airbnb.org is a testament to our community’s generosity and the power of an idea that started with one host eight years ago and has transformed into a movement of compassion and hospitality,” said Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia in a statement.

Housing will also be provided to partner volunteers who work with Airbnb.org. Essential workers are said to be included in these complimentary stays, though details are not clear at this time.

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As a start, Airbnb.org will focus on providing temporary stays for people who have been adversely impacted by natural disasters or the coronavirus pandemic. Supporting refugee programs are on Airbnb.org’s list of goals as well.

Recipients will stay in a free or discounted accommodation provided by an Airbnb host. Participating hosts will receive a badge that identifies their profiles as an Airbnb.org member.

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As an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Airbnb.org will run on private donations, which will go directly toward funding these stays.

Gebbia and Airbnb’s two other co-founders, Brian Chesky and Nate Blecharczyk, are committing $6 million to kickstart the effort. Moreover, 400,000 shares of Airbnb stock is going to be pledged to the charitable initiative.

As of Monday, Airbnb submitted an S-1/A filing that estimates that shares of its initial public offering could range between $56 and $60. If those estimates pan out, Airbnb.org could potentially have up to $24 million pledged toward its operations.

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Organizers of Airbnb.org took inspiration from an Airbnb host named Shell who provided stays to people in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. From that moment on, more than 100,000 Airbnb hosts have voluntarily opened up their listings and housed 75,000 people in need across the world through Airbnb’s initial Open Homes and Frontline Stays programs, which will now be known as Airbnb.org going forward.

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