PLATINUM2023

RISE Travel Institute A NJ Nonprofit Corporation

Cultivating a global community of mindful travelers

aka RISE Travel Institute   |   Edgewater, NJ   |  http://www.risetravelinstitute.org

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Mission

RISE Travel Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire responsible, impactful, sustainable, and ethical travel through education. Our online curriculum consists of a cohort-based Flagship Certificate Program, thematic short courses on sustainability and anti-oppression in travel, and place-based conscious travel short courses. These programs are designed to encourage travelers and travel professionals to think deeply and critically about sustainability and justice issues related to travel and tourism using a systems approach and decolonial principles. We envision a world where travel is a force for positive transformation for travelers, our planet, and communities around the world.

Ruling year info

2020

Founder and Executive Director

Wing See Vincie Ho Lam

Main address

770 River Road #381

Edgewater, NJ 07020 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

85-1525205

NTEE code info

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Unsustainable tourism practices and over-tourism have been placing strain on local communities, economies and ecosystems around the world. Issues such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, tourism leakage, increased cost of living for the locals, exploitation of local resources, disregard for cultural heritage, modern slavery, animal cruelty, ecosystem disruption, and environmental damage make sustainable travel education a necessity to protect and rebuild travel destinations. Sustainable travel education equips travelers with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to understand the systems that give rise to these issues, and experience travel in a way that respects and creates enduring positive impact on the community, economy, animals, and environment of the places they visit.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Certificate in Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel

RISE Travel Institute's Flagship Certificate Program in Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel is a 10-week online program for seasoned and emerging tourism professionals as well as travelers who are on the conscious travel journey. Taught by industry experts and academics, the curriculum delves into various facets of sustainable travel through structured and well-researched content. Topics include a holistic definition of sustainability, the understanding of power, privilege, equity and accessibility in tourism, decolonization of travel through indigenous tourism, animal and wildlife protection, climate change and environmental justice, ethical travel photography, the power dynamics in voluntourism, and much more. Our approach involves adopting a systems-thinking perspective to address the intersection of social justice, community development, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability within the context of travel.

Population(s) Served

Participants who have earned the Certificate of Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel and have completed the program's capstone project will be eligible to join a RISE Experiential Journey (EJ). The EJ provides an opportunity for the travelers to put their knowledge acquired from our courses into practice, experience mindful travel, and get involved with sustainable community projects. RISE partners with local tourism businesses and nonprofit organisations that adhere to the highest ethics and sustainability standards to ensure that our visits are beneficial to local communities and ecosystems.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
Students
Economically disadvantaged people

RISE is committed to diversity and inclusion. In order to make our programming accessible to all, full-time university students with a demonstrated financial need can apply for a tuition grant for the Certificate in Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel program and/or a scholarship to a RISE Experiential Journey that would allow them to take our courses and join our EJ's for free.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups
Students

A place-based course from the Conscious Travel Series will be a collaboration between RISE Travel Institute and a value-aligned individual, company, or organization from a particular place (country, region, city...). The partner has to be local if not Indigenous. The course will be a 1-2 hour long, pre-recorded short course hosted on RISE’s online Learning Management System. The content will include a deep dive into the history of the destination and its Indigenous culture, the social, economic, political and/or environmental issues local communities and ecosystems face nowadays, and stories of the resilience of the locals amidst challenges. At the end of the course, travelers will be provided with some examples of how to travel mindfully at the destination. The course will also showcase some sustainable development initiatives, conservation efforts, and community empowerment projects that travelers can support.

Population(s) Served
Students
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Victims and oppressed people
Students
Economically disadvantaged people
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Victims and oppressed people

Where we work

Awards

UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge, Tourism Education Category, Finalist 2022

UNWTO

Affiliations & memberships

UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of program graduates

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Certificate in Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Certificate in Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of organizational partners

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of curricula designed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Certificate in Sustainability and Anti-Oppression in Travel

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The overarching goals of RISE Travel Institute include:
1. To inspire behavioral change that leads to sustainable travel
2. To create a more equitable and sustainable world
3. To grow a global community of mindful travelers
4. To support diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility
5. To become a sustainable nonprofit

The following are our strategies to achieve our overarching organisational goals:

1. To inspire behavioural change that leads to sustainable travel:
- Develop an inspirational, relevant and engaging curriculum. In addition to the Pilot Program launched in 2021 which will be rebranded as our Flagship Program going forward, we'll be adding at least 5 short courses on issues and 8-10 short courses on destinations every year;
- Engage students and the broader community through events;
- Create educational content for our blog and interview thought leaders in the realm of sustainable travel on our podcast.

2. To create a more equitable and sustainable world:
- Offer international and domestic Experiential Journeys where our alumni can put sustainability and anti-oppression theories into practice;
- Prioritize local and fair trade suppliers for goods and services on our Experiential Journeys;
-Empower community-led/Indigenous-led tourism or development projects through educational partnerships on destination courses.

3. To grow a global community of mindful travelers:
- Develop a rigorous editorial calendar with engaging content to grow our followers across all social media platforms;
- Engage our program alumni through networking opportunities or events such as book clubs;
- Formalize partnerships with educational institutions, study abroad providers, student groups and value-aligned companies.

4. To support diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility
- Develop an organisation-wide DEI strategy for curriculum development, content creation, student recruitment, and volunteer recruitment and engagement;
- Raise funds for tuition grants and travel scholarships;
- Introduce a tiered pricing model to make our programs more financially accessible to residents in lower income countries, full-time students, or just anyone who with demonstrated financial needs;
- Support initiatives for social community development and anti-oppression movements;
- Elevate oppressed voices through our curriculum and content creation work

5. To become a sustainable non-profit:
- Grow our donor pool and engage existing donors;
- Develop a grant application strategy;
- Introduce a corporate sponsorship structure;
- Expanding our revenue-generating programs such as destination courses and our Experiential Journeys;
- Use technology to organize and track our finances and donations;
- Determine full-time staffing plan and hire as appropriate;
- Continue to ensure legal compliance.



How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

RISE Travel Institute A NJ Nonprofit Corporation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

RISE Travel Institute A NJ Nonprofit Corporation

Board of directors
as of 09/11/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Wing See Vincie Ho Lam

Mary Pat Champeau

Institute for Humane Education

Hyungjoon Jin

Blue Valley Schools

Manuela Londoño

Marianne Strategies

Wing See Vincie Ho Lam

RISE Travel Institute

Amanda Kendle

The Thoughtful Travelers Podcast

Stephen Hesse

Chuo University

Megan Begley

Colorado Water Trust

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/10/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Asian/Asian American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/10/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.