Stewardship Resources

Sources of Funding

If you are seeking financial support for a project, program, or enterprise in keeping with the DSC mission, the growing directory below may help you get started. This page is just beginning development. Please suggest additions. (And if you want to help fund activities of the Destination Stewardship Center itself, please contact us:

Sections below include Development Banks, Foundations, Donors/Investors, Government, and more to come.

Links to pertinent blog posts on destination philanthropy, retail support and challenges, philanthropic investing, and more.

Development Banks

InterAmerican Development Bank—FOMIN A geotourism initiative provides funding assistance to eligible small businesses in certain Latin American and Caribbean countries. See also Safeguarding Tourism: “Do No Harm” and “Do Good” (pdf) Natasha Ward: presentation on IDB lending for tourism-related programs, including the criteria that define “sustainable” and use of environmental impact assessments in deciding whether to support development projects.

The World Bank Group: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Part of the World Bank, IFC finances private-sector projects in the developing world, including those in sustainable tourism. Through the Global Environment Facility, IFC also funds some small ecotourism projects as part of the biodiversity protection initiative.


Planeterra Foundation The G Adventures foundation seeks to empower destination communities to strengthen their well-being while promoting long-term, environmentally responsible growth.

Tourism Cares U.S.-based group awards grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites around the world.

TreadRight Foundation The Travel Corporation’s Foundation provides assistance for a limited number of places.

Zeitz Foundation Jochen Zeitz’s initiative designates “Long Run Destinations“, a holistic approach to ecological protection balancing conservation, community, cultureand commerce. Rigorous requirements.

More entries to come.

Donors and Investors

Travelers’ Philanthropy. Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). Defines travelers’ philanthropy, gives specifics about company involvement, and how companies and tourists can give back.

Impact Investing. (pdf) Robbie Bovino, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), describes “investments that promise measurable social or environmental benefits, along with a financial return”; which segments of tourism can benefit from impact investing, and examples of how TNC implements this concept.

Destination Philanthropic Funds

Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy Helps with lives and livelihoods in communities where A&K guests travel. Funds community projects involving health, conservation, education, and enterprise.

Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund is sponsored by Travel Oregon, which promotes  tourism businesses that fund constructive nature and culture projects.


TravelStarter TravelStarter is a global crowdfunding platform that enables people to travel by supporting local tourism.

More entries to come.

Business/Corporate Sources

Entries to come.


Despite worldwide contraction in this sector, funding programs can still be found to support geotourism and destination stewardship. In general, sources to explore in your locale are national, state/provincial, or local funding programs for such categories as:

  • Small business development
  • Marketing
  • Economic development
  • Social development and job training
  • Beautification
  • Natural habitat conservation or restoration
  • Historic preservation
  • Indigenous/minority development assistance
  • Public education
  • Landscape conservation
  • Urban improvement

For example: Montana Office of Tourism MOTBD’s Tourism Grant Program awards funds to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy in Tourism Digital Development, Infrastructure, Paid Media Advertising.

Please submit likely sources and links for your country and locale.

International and bilateral aid programs

Entries to come.

These directories are far from complete. Please submit new entries by entering a comment or e-mailing, 50-word maximum.

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