Airbnb has launched a non-profit, airbnb.org, that connects people to places to stay in times of crisis.
The platform was due to launch its IPO this month, with rumours favouring Friday.
Airbnb.org will allow hosts on Airbnb to provide free and discounted stays to people impacted by emergencies, including natural disasters and the Covid-19 pandemic.
To ensure community donations go further towards helping house people in times of crisis, Airbnb has pledged 400,000 shares of Airbnb stock to support the organization’s emergency response, natural disaster response and refugee programmes.
Airbnb co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk are committing $6m to support partners and impacted communities. In addition, Airbnb will continue to provide ongoing operational support for Airbnb.org.
“Airbnb.org is a testament to our community’s generosity and the power of an idea that started with one host eight years ago and has transformed into a movement of compassion and hospitality,” said Gebbia.
“Founding and supporting Airbnb.org allows us to double down on our efforts to help communities in need across the world in coordination with our partners, including the IFRC and CORE, to further amplify the generosity of our host community.”
Airbnb.org’s initial commitments include $2m to support expanded partnerships with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE).
Over the next two years, Airbnb.org will commit $1m to cover stays for IFRC staff and volunteers supporting communities worldwide hit by COVID-19 and other humanitarian disasters. CORE will utilise Airbnb.org’s $1m contribution to fund stays for frontline workers administering free COVID-19 tests, conducting contact tracing, providing flu shots and coordinating quarantine support resources in 10 cities across the US with the opportunity to launch in new cities as hotspots arise. When a vaccine becomes available, CORE will also use Airbnb.org funding to house relief workers traveling to vaccine distribution centers.