For the first time ever, timeshare owners will be able to donate just their weekly usage to charity without giving up ownership of their properties.
It's an all new program created by Donate for a Cause, the same nonprofit that pioneered traditional timeshare donation 10 years ago, a model that has helped them raise more than $3.5 million for a number of other charities.
"Until now, the rule of thumb for timeshare usage has been to use it or lose it," says Jim Tarpey, founder of Donate for a Cause. "Our new program will give owners and donors much more flexibility."
To get the new venture off the ground, Donate for a Cause (DFC) partnered with Make–A-Wish, an organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. The two charities agreed to run a pilot in Hawaii where hundreds of timeshare weeks go unused each year. It's also where Make–A-Wish has their greatest need—approximately 800 children wish to go there every year with their families.
Besides helping kids, the new program will also help timeshare owners as Donate for a Cause will issue tax receipts for the usage."If a timeshare owner wants to make a huge difference in the life of a child with a life-threatening medical condition, this is a great way to do it," Hunt says.
DFC is seeking timeshare owners with Hawaii weeks as well as those with points at Wyndham, Hilton, Disney and Diamond, since those developments have multiple locations in Hawaii and their point systems allow owners to come from any of their other locations nationwide. To reach these owners, Make-A-Wish and DFC are promoting the program on their websites. DFC also plans to run print ads in various publications.