Airbnb Teams Up With Malala Fund

Photo Credit: Susan Walsh/AP/Shutterstock
July 16, 2018
Updated 4mo ago

By: Madison Alworth

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia says his company's partnership with the Malala Fund will champion what he calls "21st century philanthropy."

The home-rental company announced plans this week to dedicate a number of employees to improving the online donation tool and overall efficiency of the Malala Fund, the education nonprofit founded by activist and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai.

Gebbia's team has been tasked with strengthening the fund's brand identity and methods of storytelling.

"I put a team together inside of the company of our best storytellers, our best branding experts, our best designers, and we really went heads down on this to figure out how we could tell her story in a new context," he explained.

For Gebbia, this is a logical step in his company's commitment to the fund.

"Companies not only [give] checks to help organizations, but their time, their resources, and their talents to go out and solve for problems in the world," he said in an interview with Cheddar.

Gebbia has served on the Malala Fund’s Leadership Council since 2015. After realizing the fund was strapped for resources, he conceived an idea to donate serviceーinstead of money.

"At Airbnb, we are experts at internet product," said Gebbia. "And as we were talking to Malala and looking at her organization, we discovered that there might be an overlap of the needs of the Malala Fund."

The goal? Upgrading the overall user experience. In a press release announcing the tie-up, Airbnb product lead Lenny Rachitsky said the company was looking to make donating to such nonprofits "as easy as humanly possible.” For inspiration, Rachitsky reviewed the company's own booking modelーhe hopes to eventually model the Malala Fund's online portal on Airbnb's system.

Mechanics aside, the fund's chief goal remains clear: greater access to education for girls around the globe.

For the full segment, click here.