13Feb
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Volunteer tourism has grown exponentially over the last several decades. Studies have shown that as of 2008, nearly two million individuals have reported going on a vacation that involves some aspect of volunteer work. Though the majority of these travelers have typically been young adults, usually between the ages of 20 to 25, a shift has occurred as older volunteers have also shown a greater interest in philanthropic recreation. Both demographics are vital to the longevity and continued success of the organizations for which they volunteer.

Charities located in Asia, Africa, and Latin America call upon the largest number of those who choose to do volunteer tourism. Given that these organizations are founded in areas whose populations suffer from poverty, disease, and few educational opportunities, they have a profound need for able-bodied individuals who can quickly integrate themselves and provide assistance wherever it is required. The impact that volunteers make upon these charities is swift and direct; however, some may find that their brief excursion is not enough to satisfy their desire to help. This may lead them to pursue other avenues in which to provide aid, including taking MBA courses to either become a part of a particular charity or, should they discover a yet unfulfilled need, begin one themselves.

Though starting a non-profit organization make initially seem like a Herculean task, many individuals are so deeply affected by what they experience while volunteering that they have no other choice. Such was the case when Blake Mycoskie visited Argentina in 2006 and noticed that many of the local children were wearing no shoes. Without shoes, these children become highly susceptible to injury due to lack of footwear protection or even diseases that can be contracted through cuts in the skin. Moreover, some schools require footwear to attend. Therefore, both the well-being and education of these children were being compromised. The same year, Mycoskie decided to sell his software company and invest that money into TOMS Shoes.

Mycoskie already had a background in business; however, many individuals with a passion for helping others do not. Rather than allowing this to become a deterrent for creating a non-profit organization, an individual needs only to acquire those skills to then successfully launch their charity. Though by definition the primary goal of a non-profit organization is to generate aid and not revenue, it is still very much a business that requires the expertise of a trained professional to run it. TOMS Shoes has sold over one million pairs of shoes since its inception six years ago. This impressive achievement is due in large part to the effective business model that Mycoskie built. No matter where your passion lies, TOMS Shoes serves as an excellent example of how philanthropic desire can be channeled to create a resounding impact on those in need. Setting up a charity requires more than just a wish to help, yet a solid business background can make that wish into a reality. By taking MBA courses and gaining the knowledge required to successfully run a non-profit organization, you too can change the world.

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