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At only 19 years old, Megan Maloney founded Charity Pro Travel, an international travel site that donates 50 percent of the commission to charities and organizations around the globe.
The idea began as an “aha moment” at age 11 when, after losing family members to cancer, Megan went to her father with the thought of raising money for cancer research through travel. At the time, a simple proof of concept showed that it wasn’t going to work, so they put the idea on the shelf until recently when she partnered with now-CEO Keith Hudson, a family friend and father of pop star Katy Perry.
TravelPulse had a chance to ask Megan about Charity Pro Travel:
You’re 19 years old. It’s awesome that you started a site where you can help raise money for charities and organizations, but have you met with some obstacles getting this started? What were they?
Absolutely the first was finding a travel partner/booking engine.
We originally tested the concept in 2008 with a small independent travel partner that developed our site. However, when we went to re-launch this past year, we realized that all those little guys were gone. The big four travel giants pretty much control the entire industry, so after a month of research, we decided to play with the big dogs.
On a Saturday afternoon, we submitted a proposal to a generic email at Priceline and within the hour, we got a phone call from the VP of the Priceline Partner Network. Priceline loved the concept; we had a conference call on Monday and a contract on Friday. It doesn’t get any better than to be powered by Priceline.
The biggest obstacle was putting all of our ideas together and then establishing the right team to execute. My passion is all about making a difference, but our vision was to take it even further. We really wanted to develop something that sets us apart from everyone else. We have developed a Charity Partner Fundraising Program that is second to none.
There has never been an easier way for a charity or organization to raise funds all year long, it is simply one of a kind. We also feature a revolutionary Loyalty Rewards Program for our members, there is nothing like it. It has taken a year since we signed the deal with Priceline to bring it all to fruition, but the wait has been well worth it.