Per the organization’s bylaws, the Foundation is a support organization for Destinations International Association and is exclusively for educational, research, and charitable purposes as intended within the meaning of those terms as used in Section 501(C)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954. These include the following specified purposes:
To analyze and fulfill the educational needs of those who are interested or engaged in the destination organization industry by offering education thru educational conferences, classroom instruction, lectures, panels, meetings, publications and other means.
To study, obtain and distribute data relating to the travel industry or destination organizations; to produce and distribute findings through research reports, journals, books and other publications.
To offer information about the travel industry and the significant role of destination organizations to others in the travel industry, other client industries, government officials, economic development practitioners and the public.
To engage in charitable activities, offer scholarships and other programs for leadership development.
The Foundation believes that we will achieve this mission by becoming one of the centers for thought leadership and knowledge in our industry focusing on the areas of interest and need of the members of Destinations International. The Foundation further believes that they have a responsibility for helping the spread of this knowledge through leadership development, scholarships and events.
The Foundation has four key cornerstones of focus - Research, Education, Advocacy and Leadership Development. Through these core attributes, we develop industry best practices, show latest trends, develop new industry leaders and lay out a roadmap of the future.
Research: We are creating knowledge through research. The Foundation conducts and funds studies to develop a better understanding of industry standards, trends and opportunities, as well as forecasting future threats and opportunities.
Education: We invest in building industry knowledge by developing or funding educational programming throughout the year at multiple occasions and supporting professional development programs.
Advocacy: We work diligently to advocate for and empower destination organizations with facts, best practices and tools to mitigate current threats, and master every issue on the horizon.
Leadership Development: Through scholarships and programs like 30 Under 30 and mentoring programs, we are developing future industry leaders that have a diverse set of backgrounds and perspectives.
Fundraising from our Association membership is the single largest part of the Foundation budget. The Foundation has had a mixed record here – sometimes they have knocked it out of the park and sometimes they have fallen short.
Our members are destination organizations and their employees. Destination organizations are tourism bureaus or convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs). They are a highly motivated group and have made a large volunteer commitment to the two organizations.
Most destination organizations are non-profit 501(c) 6; a few 501(c) 3 and several are government.
There is no tax advantage to this group to donate to the Foundation. They donate out of a sense of responsibility, to be one of the insiders or simply because they were asked and did not want to say no.
In most cases, destination organizations primary funding source is hotel tax revenue. This often brings a level of public scrutiny that makes donations to a Foundation problematic. We have created creative ways to address this (selling our research for example) but there are limits to this strategy. The organizations often have other non-governmental funding which is often limited.
The member support comes in four areas:
Sponsorship and ticket purchases to our annual event - the Spirit of Hospitality Award and Reception, this year held on February 12th, 2019. What makes this work is it is attached to a trade show for our members (Destination Showcase), two board meetings and a program committee meeting. The event is budgeted to gross $275,000 and net $145,000 (90% from membership). Last year we had a member task force who exceeded the sponsorship goal. This event needs to grow over the next three years.
An annual auction at our Annual Convention in July in which travel packages and other prizes are solicited from our members. This is currently budgeted to bring in $155,000. There is also a golf outing that has a very small profit margin but has a solid core audience.
The Advocacy Summit – this is more of an event that underscores our thought leadership in the industry but needs to bring in around $175,000 in sponsorship and registrations (about a 50%/45% split) against $145,000 in expenses. There is a fair amount of corporate money on the sponsorship side but about a quarter to a third is member based. Registrations are 95% membership.
Finally, the biggest portion is the Annual Investment Campaign. The target is to bring in $500,000+ (though we currently have a lower budgeted number). There is a member task force around the Annual Investment Campaign (this year’s committee got to 62% of their goal of $495,000). The members, mostly board members, can be very helpful but they need a lot of inspiration, nudging, more nudging and some handholding. We also need to get to a larger base of our members donating. In addition, the Executive Director needs to know who they should be calling to nail donations down. This effort has been complicated by a large membership dues increase on the Association side. We have lowered the requested investment amount and made strides in differentiating the Foundation and its work from that of the Association – but there is some burn out by our members on cutting checks. In 2019, we will lay out a three-year plan built around initiatives in the areas of Diversity & Inclusion, Global Development, Industry Research & Advocacy, and Member Scholarships.
Please note that we have Association staff that will be pursuing corporate support for the Foundation including from our Association corporate members and other nonmember corporations. This is not part of the Development Manager’s job but there will be interaction with this staff.
We are a lean staff but have marketing support and other Foundation related staff (research and advocacy) that can offer a hand.
The Foundation budget is between $1.2 million and $1.5 million. We have about 600 destination organizations as members, primarily in the United States and Canada.
The Destinations International Foundation Development Manager is primarily responsible for creating, administering, and implementing the organization's short and long-term development plan for fundraising among Destinations International Association membership. These include, but are not limited to, the following.
Plan and manage fund-raising campaigns and activities
Manage fund-raising campaigns and activities
Recruit and train volunteer fund-raising leadership
Identify and cultivate prospective donors
Forecast and evaluate the potential of fund-raising campaigns and activities
Produce solicitation materials and train volunteer solicitors for fund-raising campaigns
This entails developing and implementing a growth strategy for the future, organizing outreach efforts, and managing relationships with the organization's new and existing donors. The role requires working closely with other departments in the Foundation and Association including finance on budget and billing and marketing staff to develop communication and engagement strategies. The Development Manager is under the direct supervision of the Foundation’s Executive Director and is expected to work closely with Foundation and Association executive and volunteer leadership to ensure that the Foundation's key goals are carried out. The goal for this role is to raise $750,000 and grow it to $1,500,000 by 2021.
Skills such as leadership, communication, time management, and teamwork are needed. A bachelor's degree is preferred. 5 years of nonprofit work, experience is needed. 5 years of experience in fundraising is needed. Knowledge of the organization's area of work with destination organizations and the travel industry is preferred. Some travel may be required up to 15%.
Simpleview CRM is preferred
Social media platforms
About Destinations International
As the global trade association for official destination organizations and convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs), Destinations International is about serving destination marketing professionals first and foremost. Together with our members and partners, Destinations International represents a powerful forward-thinking, collaborative association; exchanging bold ideas, connecting innovative people, and elevating tourism to its highest potential. Destinations International’s membership includes over 600 official destination organizations with more than 5,000 professional members in over 15 countries. Membership is open to all official destination organizations recognized by their respective governments from the smallest town to the largest country, including convention and visitor bureaus, regional tourism boards, state tourism offices and provincial tourism offices and national tourism boards. Destinations International strives to make our members and their destinations successful. As the world's largest and most reliable resource for destination organizations, we inform, connect, inspire and educate our members with the goal to drive destination economic impact, job creation, community sustainability and quality of life through travel.