How Megan Maloney turned tragedy into goodwill with charity pro travel
When 11-year-old Megan Maloney lost three family members to cancer in the span of 12 months, she promised herself she would find a way to support those battling the devastating disease
During one of the many emotional talks that helped them mourn their losses, Megan asked her father, Brad, if the travel business he was developing could help. They shared an "A-HA!" moment that sparked the genesis of Charity Pro Travel, a revolutionary online travel site and fundraising platform that is changing the way people book their holidays.
The fast success of charity pro travel
The soft launch of Charity Pro Travel in 2008 saw Megan and Brad donate the proceeds of their initial sales to Stand Up To Cancer. These donations by a little girl and her father caught the media's attention, leading to national television appearances and front page features in the Los Angeles Times. Although Megan was helping people in need, she and her father decided to pause the business and reexplore it once Megan had the chance to grow up and attend college.
Revisiting the business in a new landscape of travel and technology
In 2018, Megan was fresh out of college with a degree in business and marketing and was excited to breathe new life into Charity Pro Travel. However, the landscape of technology and travel had changed since 2008. Large corporations controlled the industry, and they faced many challenges while trying to break into the market.
Instead of setting themselves up as direct competitors, they emailed a cold call partnership proposal to travel industry leader Priceline. Within hours, the VP of the Priceline Partner Network reached out to Brad and Megan with an official agreement to power their travel website.
Building the perfect team
The Maloneys put together a team of experienced industry superstars to help the site reach its maximum potential. They partnered with tech expert Steve Hollaway to execute the technical side, Keith Hudson, father of pop star Katy Perry, to serve as co-CEO, and added philanthropist Bruce Cramer as Chief Operating Officer. Finally, former VP of Priceline and online travel pioneer Rick Schneider came out of retirement to sign on as the Chief Strategy Officer.
Charity pro travel: How does it work?
Each time you book a hotel, airfare, rental car, or vacation package, Charity Pro Travel donates up to 50% of its commission to your favorite charity. Their Charity Partner Program is one-of-a-kind, where charities can register their organization for free and start raising funds right away. Once shared with friends, family, employees, volunteers, and their donor base, Charity Pro Travel sends the organization a check every time travel is completed.
“It’s as easy as 1,2,3. Choose your favorite charity, book your lowest-priced travel, you take the vacation, we make the donation,” Megan said. “We work hand-in-hand with the charities, with onboarding, social media marketing, and development, while Priceline is actually managing the travel.”
Watering the charitable roots
Megan's original passion was to help people through philanthropy, and through the success of Charity Pro Travel, she has been able to watch it grow. She has worked with well-known charities like The Trevor Project, The Ronald McDonald House, Shriners Hospital for Children, Susan G Komen, Direct Relief, STOMP Out Bullying, Special Olympics, World Vision, and more. In addition, she founded her own charity that helps give back in several unique ways.
The charity pros
Founded in 2019, The Charity Pros partners with local and national events and fundraisers to support children's cause programs for Health, Child Protection, Poverty, Education, and Equality. They also volunteer to support other non-profit organizations and children's programs. The Charity Pros also has corporate partnerships like Amazon Smile, Charity Pro Travel, and many others.
Megan's Wish is a program with the purpose of providing an educational scholarship or grant the wishes of children with terminal or life-threatening conditions. Megan recently added more to the program to help children who lost their parent or guardian who was a front-line health worker or first responder due to complications from COVID-19.
The music pros
Launching in 2022, The Music Pro's Charity Travel Network works with popular musicians to donate 100% of all revenue to an artist's favorite charities through travel booking. Each musician has their own webpage that includes their list of charities alongside tour schedules, music news, photos, and videos. When the customer books travel through The Music Pro's Charity Travel Network, they can pick one of the artist's favorite charities to receive a donation.
Changing lives, one adventure at a time
Megan Maloney is only a few steps into the wonderful and exciting adventure that lies in front of her. Not everyone gets to live their true passion, but through Charity Pro Travel and her other charities, Megan is fulfilling the promise she made to herself each and every day. Megan has truly taken a tragedy and turned it into goodwill for all.
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