An Update on the Ukrainian Relief Effort at TripActions (and How You Can Participate)

After countless hours of time committed by employees, volunteers, and partners, the effort built to drive relief to Ukraine through the TripActions Group and its network is coming into focus.

The journey started with the visceral need that many at TripActions felt to provide support. As builders of a travel company, the initial idea seemed simple: Send a team to the border of Ukraine and book flights for travelers. The end result turned into a product unique to TripActions that balances humanity with technology and gets people to where it matters most.

To start the campaign, last month TripActions launched a dedicated web page that drove aid for displaced Ukrainians on three levels:

  • Direct donations to charitable organizations
  • Customer contributions of individual TripActions Rewards to UNHCR
  • Internal donations from TripActions Group employees

So far, the employees in the TripActions Group and many of the company’s customers have raised tens of thousands of dollars through these efforts. And as more donations roll in, the company is taking further steps to refine and streamline the process of transforming the funds into direct humanitarian support.

Direct Support For Refugees

Central to the effort at TripActions has been the need to work with the right partners, in order to drive aid as directly as possible. And throughout the process of exploring partners to handle donations, it was important to the team that the right relationships were in place.

TripActions started with the concept of using internal donations to book direct travel for refugees fleeing Ukraine. To make that happen in reality, however, the team needed to find a partner that could ensure the right processes were in place to protect and support the refugees as the team facilitated aid.

To facilitate this process, Reed & Mackay—part of the TripActions Group—partnered with Opora, a broker connecting host families to those looking for sponsored transit out of Eastern Europe. Reed & Mackay, which has offices across the UK and Europe, provides arrangements for eligible Ukrainian refugees traveling to the UK. In partnership, a TripActions Group volunteer team supports the booking process with Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian language assistance.

As of early April, this linkage is formally in place as a channel for allocating funds raised internally from the TripActions Group. And as of today, refugees are receiving travel arrangements and making the journey out of danger and into the safer environments of host families across Europe.

Enhanced Coordination For Refugee Travel Bookings

TripActions has now streamlined a new process for customers to donate funds to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR.

TripActions has partnered with Benevity, a company that facilitates corporate charitable donation and grant management technology. Now, TripActions is able to generate receipts for donations and balance books across donors, facilitators, and charities, which creates a low-complexity vehicle for quickly driving bulk donations.

This process is also gathering steam.

“It took me literally 10 seconds to open the email, clearly understand the call to action, one click to open TripActions and one click to donate my rewards points,” said Toby Carrington, EVP of Global Operations at Seismic, in a LinkedIn post. “Great email call to action, simple path, excellent execution and I know because I trust the brand and company that this money is going to be useful by those impacted in Ukraine.”

Those willing to donate any unused TripActions rewards credits need only to log into their rewards account, click the donation banner, and allocate any portion of their funds. The team has also added clear messaging on the TripActions app homepage (pictured above), with the goal of creating further visibility around the charitable effort and the ease to donate.

A Commitment to Making a Difference

So far, the prevailing theme for the Ukrainian effort at TripActions has been one of compassion, efficiency, and action. To connect the dots between customers, processors, and charities, new workflows were developed to simplify the process for donors and create easy reporting for all parties involved. That work extended to the process of booking travel for refugees using internal funds, giving Reed & Mackay agents direct access to travelers in need.

As the relief effort managed by the TripActions Group grows, this culture of innovation to drive efficiency will continue to govern the process. Already, a small team at TripActions meets daily to fine-tune the process and pivot based on changing refugee needs. And as the situation matures, TripActions will continue to steward donations and adapt to provide the best, most impactful solutions.

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