that it is giving grants to five community organizations that were
nominated and chosen by its employees as recipients of the company’s
Community Grant Program. Part of an overall community relations
initiative, the grant program is designed to empower employees by letting
them decide how Expedia can support the communities in which the company
operates. “In the eight years since Expedia first went online, the organization has
grown exponentially, but we’ve still retained and fostered the community
spirit of a small company,” said Marj Charlier, Director of Community
Relations, Expedia. “Our goal is to give back to the community and support
charities that our employees care about.”
Employees nominated the organizations by gathering documentation related
to the organization’s eligibility and submitting a proposal to colleagues.
The process is designed to encourage employees to have a voice in which
causes the company supports. According to a recent Cone/ Roper Corporate
Citizenship Study, 76 percent of those polled cited a company’s
“commitment to causes” as a key factor in deciding where to work.
Expedia’s program further encourages employee involvement by requiring the
nominating employee to be actively involved with the charity being
considered. This fall, 30 Expedia employees nominated 29 different
organizations, and 255 employees cast ballots for the winners.
The five local charities selected for the community grants are Habitat for
Humanity, Feed Washington, Fred Hutchinson Climb to Fight Breast Cancer,
Planned Parenthood of Western Washington, and Second Chance Ranch. Each of
the Puget Sound nonprofit organizations receives $5,000 grants.
In addition to the Community Grant Program, Expedia’s corporate giving
program consists of supplier-requested grants, local event sponsorships,
and a travel-related sponsorship that is currently in development.
Expedia’s community relations program also supports employee charitable
giving and volunteering with numerous projects throughout the year.
Recently, Expedia employees joined with employees of other IAC Travel
companies and its parent, IAC/InterActiveCorp, to create a hurricane
relief fund, which donated more than $22,000, and clothing and bedding to
victims in Florida and the Caribbean.
Expedia plans to expand its community relations programs to other IAC
Travel corporate locations in Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and San
Jose next year.