Go Erin Go® FAQs

Big thanks to everyone who has written me over the last year — I appreciate your comments and questions!

Since a number of questions come up fairly frequently, I thought I’d create an FAQ. Here’re the 5 most frequently asked queries:

How can you afford to travel for 2 years?

I’m a normal working professional that saved my money to buy a house. (i.e. I’m not rich and I didn’t inherit money). Instead of buying a house, I decided to take the 20% down payment and spend it traveling for 2 years.

On the road, I live pretty inexpensively. I like to take local transportation whenever possible and I don’t have extravagant taste. I’m happy with basic accommodation as long as it’s cheap, in a safe area and has a Wifi connection.

When I return from my trip in early 2013, I’ll need to go back to work, re-booting my consulting practice. At the end, I’ll have had a 2-year sabbatical and the memories of a lifetime!

How can I have an Adventure Philanthropist life too?

The short answer is anyone can have an adventure philanthropist life if they make travel and giving a priority. It’s the decisions – big and small – that you make every day that support this life.

For instance, I left my corporate job and started a consulting career so I could have a more flexible travel schedule. This was a big decision. A smaller decision was to set aside a certain number of days each month and a budget to donate to causes I care about. Both decisions are core to an adventure philanthropist perspective.

I’m also a proponent of what I call LivingMini. In this section of the web site, I talk about how I’ve downsized my life so that I have more money to give to charity and to travel. Personally, I’d much rather spend money on experiences instead of “stuff” – So I shopped less, but played more.

How can I volunteer overseas?

First, determine what is spiking your curiosity:

  • Is it seeing a new place and culture?
  • Or a particular issue such as marine conservation or poverty alleviation?
  • Or a preferred activity like teaching in schools or building houses?

Once you decide which direction to go in, it will be easier to choose the best volunteer option.

I always think it’s good to go with an established volunteer program that can offer you an engaging, enriching experience as well as help on the logistical side, like pre-arranged accommodations, airport pick ups, and fellow volunteers.

And be prepared to pay to volunteer. Nonprofits invest a great deal of time, knowledge, and valuable resources in providing a worthwhile volunteer experience. It’s important that volunteers understand there are real costs associated and be willing to pay for this cultural experience.

Last, be sure and “chat” with someone who has been a participant in a volunteer program before signing up. That will give you a chance to ask targeted questions and better assess if the opportunity is right for you.

So where are you volunteering during your next holiday?!

Do you take donations on your site?

No. I personally donated all the funds for the GoErinGo! Fund and specifically don’t solicit donations on my site.

One of the objectives of www.GoErinGo.com is to encourage “participatory philanthropy.” I want others to enjoy and participate in the act of giving, so I’ve removed some of the barriers to giving (like giving your own money). By allowing readers to have input on how much and where my money is donated I’m hoping to foster an affinity for philanthropy.

I’m always looking for great causes to support. If you have a favorite charity, I would love to hear about it!

How can I donate overseas?

Since I have a donor-advised fund, the way I give internationally is through intermediaries like GlobalGiving.org, UniversalGiving.org, Give2Asia.org and Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), a British intermediary.

There are several advantages to using intermediaries, including providing:

  • Patriot Act protection (ensuring that your donation is not going to fund terrorist activities)
  • U.S. charitable tax deduction
  • Screening of international nonprofits (in terms of financial transparency and effective programming)
  • Ability to give small amounts (as low as $25 / $50)

Intermediaries also allow you to give to international organizations that focus on an interest area. For example, if you want to support women’s advancement, check out the GlobalFundforWomen.org. If you’d like to support social entrepreneurship, Ashoka.org is one alternative.


This entry was posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 and is filed under Media & FAQs.

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