Frequently asked questions
As an owner, you are in full control of dates available, the rates and the donation portion. You decide if you want to donate ALL of the rent or donate HALF of the rent. The system gives you maximum flexibility. You can generate extra income by posting off-season weeks and keeping half the rent (and we cover all of your cleaning costs, etc).
1) Make sure it is "rentable" (good availability at a good rate). We feature listings that we believe to be attractive to charitably minded renters that are looking for a good value. We're not talking about bargain basement, but a discount of at least 25% off your regular rate makes it more attractive to potential renters.
2) Promote Geronimo! We also reward owners and managers that go the extra mile by promoting Geronimo (decals, facebook, twitter, email blasts, website link, etc). Once you have your listing(s) completed and approved, be sure to like us on facebook and then post a nice message to your facebook timeline.
Let us know if you feel you have a listing that should be promoted!
Yes. When you list your property, you have the option of entering an amount (up to $300) to cover your cleaning fees, and we'll charge the renter that amount. We'll send this amount to you after the renter completes the vacation.
We recommend that you:
- Create a nice listing. Upload several photos and list all features
- Post a spare week or two now and offer an attractive rate
- Add "last minute" cancellations later based on availability
- Promote your listing to your regular renters and to friends and neighbors
- "Like" us on facebook and share us with your facebook friends
- Tell charities that contact you to visit getStarted.TravelPledge.com (where they can promote your property)
All listings are free for owners and you never pay us any commissions. You can donate either all of the rent or half of the rent. This is a setting within your account. This is a great way for you to generate revenue during your off season.
You bet. Geronimo is perfect for you.
If you have ever donated (or considered donating) some time at your rental to support a silent auction, you'll LOVE Geronimo. Geronimo gives you far more control because you set the exact dates, and you set the price that the renter needs to pay to book your place, and you keep half the rent (optional)!
Big advantages vs "old school" silent auctions: 1) No more haggling over blackout dates with winning bidders, 2) No more crazy low winning bids!
Tip- Watch our owner video.
Post your property and then ask the charity event organizer to use your property at their event and promote it to their donors. We'll give them an admin account and create all the promotional materials for them. It's all automated!
Here's a sample answer when a charity asks you for help:
|"We have posted four weeks at this property to Geronimo.com for use by charities. You should contact Geronimo.com (Charity Helpers, LLC) about getting them to create a private label site and give you full access as an "admin" so you can use our vacation at your next auction event! Visit Getstarted.TravelPledge.com to get started!"
Following the renter's successful stay at your property, we'll send you a check that covers any rent due to you along with any taxes, cleaning fees or other fees that you specify when you list your property. For international owners, we'll make electronic payment through Paypal.
Payments to non-profits are sent following the rental as well.
Definitely. Create your free listing now. When your listing is complete, you will see an easy way to “turn over” the listing to your manager. It is important to note (and tell your manager) that we pay all of the management company fees (before we make the donation) on every Geronimo rental to ensure that the manager has plenty of motivation to help you rent weeks on Geronimo.
Example: You donate a $2,000 week at your vacation rental. You indicate that you have a property manager that receives 25% of your rent. we'll send $500 (along with any money due to you and a detailed report) to your management company after the renters complete their stay. The remainder of the rent will be donated charitably per your donation settings This way we ensure that your manager is paid FIRST. Property managers LOVE Geronimo.
No. There is no written contract for owners. However, when you create a listing, you'll be asked to agree to our terms and conditions, and these terms and conditions spell out your relationship with Charity Helpers LLC and detail how we'll help you convert a spare week at your vacation rental into a big donation. You will also be provided with a standard short term rental agreement between you and the renter. We provide you with several options for donation settings.
You (the owner) are in full control of where the donation goes. You have two basic decisions to make.
- How much do you want to donate (half or all)?
- Where should the donation go?
When you decide 2) where the donation goes, you have a few options. Namely:
- 100% of the donation goes to your favorite non-profit
- 75% goes to your non profit, 25% to the renter's non-profit
- 100% goes to the renter's non-profit
If you like Geronimo, please "like" us and "share us" on our facebook fan page. Tweet about us, send emails to friends, send the URL of your listing to people that have rented in the past, and if you know leaders of non-profits, encourage them to contact us to learn more.
Tell your friends at the next cocktail party. Sit on a Geronimo beach towel on your next vacation.
Click here for a bunch of great ideas.
We'd suggest that you consult with your tax advisor, but we located an unfortunate IRS ruling specifically geared to target donations of time at vacation rentals. In Revenue Ruling 89-51, the IRS ruled that the right to use a vacation home for one week, donated by the owner of the home to a charitable fundraising auction and sold for fair rental value, constitutes the "right to use property” and is not a deductible contribution.
The theory is that allowing the use of an otherwise vacant property does not result in a direct, incremental cost to the owner. Also consider the example where you rented your vacation rental home and donated the proceeds to charity; You would need to show the REVENUE that you received for the rental and then deduct the DONATION, so it would effectively cancel out. Without showing any "phantom" revenue, a tax deduction is not allowed.
Please review our more detailed Tax Deduction Implications page here, and again, consult your tax advisor for his / her guidance.
Yes. When you list your property, it's easy to specify the amount of your damage deposit, or damage waiver. The damage deposit is released back to the renter AFTER you check things out to confirm that there is no damage. You may also make a partial claim against the deposit if there is any sort of problem.
The damage deposit is automatically refunded back to the renter 10 days after their stay if you take no action.
Alternatively, if you specify a damage waiver (not deposit) if you handle things that way. If so, we'll collect that for you and send it to you within your payment.
We have a whole page dedicated to this topic. See all details and tax implications here. Always a good idea to consult your tax advisor, but since you're typically earning rental income on periods that you post, we believe that these are clearly not personal use, but rather rental weeks.
It depends if the vacation is booked at a fundraising event (these are non-refundable) or on one of our websites (these are refundable)
For online bookings (we are all about being fair to vacationers and to owners and non-profits. Our refund policy discourages vacationers from renting before they are 100% sure, and it provides a way for renters to recoup a portion of the rent that depends on how much time remains prior to the rental. Renters may request a refund for any reason based on how far in advance it is.
AT LEAST 45 DAYS IN ADVANCE - Renter cancels at least 45 days before your first night, then renter receives 75% of the rent back.
14-44 DAYS IN ADVANCE - Renter cancels 14-44 days before first night, then renter receives 50% of the rent back.
NO REFUNDS INSIDE 13 DAYS BEFORE FIRST NIGHT'S STAY
Any funds not returned to the renter per the policy above will be divided between owner and non-profit based on your settings.
You are in full control. We want to show your property to as many potential renters as makes sense given your donation settings. You have three options within your donation settings. Namely:
If you choose: "I want my rental property donation to benefit a single non-profit.", Then your property listing will be promoted and visible only to renters that support the non-profit you select. Your listing will appear on the overall Geronimo.com site as well as on the private label site that we provide for your selected non-profit.
If you choose: "I'll choose a charity that will be the primary recipient of my donation and allow the vacationer to control 25%", Then your property listing will be promoted and visible to all renters no matter which non-profit they want to help (since a portion goes to their favorite).
- If you choose: "I don't want to choose a charity. Allow the vacationer to control 100% of the donation" (often used by owners who want to collect 50% of the rental proceeds), Then your property listing will be promoted and visible to all renters no matter which non-profit they want to help.
Supporters of over a million non-profits can easily promote your property by simply sending out a link to promote a vacation at your property. We have also built hundreds of private label websites for non-profit groups such as Susan Komen Foundation and Press On to Cure Childhood Cancer. These non-profits are promoting their fundraising websites to their donors. Your listing will automatically appear on all of these websites and (new) the non-profits can use a vacation at your home in a silent auction event. You can easily set your silent auction settings (on/off, minimum bid) within your property's settings.
We do national advertising. In particular, we are running national radio spots on CNBC, Fox Talk, MSNBC, Fox News, Bloomberg and many more. We are also running pay per click ads (google and facebook) and doing a lot of local grass roots promotions within key vacation destinations. You may even see the Geronimo logo on a beach towel!
On our homepage, we feature certain properties that we think are of particular interest and each time you donate a period of time, your listing will appear at the TOP of our browse listings page.
We hope that you will also get active helping us spreading the word about Geronimo!
Reach an entirely new group of potential renters! We have over a million non profits in our database and we've built private label websites for hundreds of these non profits. Some or all of these private label sites feature your property depending on your donation settings.
Your home is marketed to supporters of all non-profits in our system. For example, if a renter goes to our site and searches specifically for homes that will help his/her favorite non-profit, your rental will be promoted, since you're allowing the renter to decide where the rental proceeds will go. Many vacation home owners use this option to book last minute cancelations and off season weeks and to build their base of "regular" renters... all at the same time!
Through Geronimo.com and our growiing network of private label TravelPledge sites, renters find a vacation that is priced right and benefits their favorite cause. Who wouldn't jump at that? This is a powerful promotional tool.
Yes. Please encourage the Executive Director of your favorite non-profit leader to spend 15 minutes on TravelPledge.com, we'll gather the necessary items that we'll use to build them a private label site.
The non-profit will be assigned a unique URL (eg- yournonprofit.TravelPledge.com)... as part of our growing network of private label sites. We'll provide them with a fully functional fundraising site within 48 hours of submission of their information.
In addition, their admin account will give them access to your property and others to use at their next silent auction fundraising event. Again, we automate everything for them and give them all the tools to promote your listing.
Yes, we will offer “closed listings” that are only visible to supporters of a single cause. For example, as an owner, you may want to post a house that is ONLY available for rent by other families at your child's school. Geronimo will make this possible by providing you with a privacy code that must be entered by potential renters. Currently these listings are ONLY available to those renters searching for the same non profit (part of your local donor community).
You can see all of the instructions for "whitelisting" our domain and for specific geronimo email addresses here
Yes, working with our partner JustGive.org, we will ensure that your donation makes it to any valid non-profit that wish to help. You may suggest a new non- profit by contacting us at any time.
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You can see all of the instructions for whitelisting our domain and for specific geronimo email addresses here
Once you have booked your vacation, you will receive a confirmation email with contact information for the Owner/Manager of your rental. You may contact them directly to arrange for a key pickup and to receive any additional information about your vacation rental.
Additionally, the Owner/Manager contact information is listed on this site in multiple places when you log in. On the Your Account page, you'll see your recent rentals with the contact info listed (email and phone), as well as on the "Your Rentals" page.
Geronimo.com and (TravelPledge.com) can not answer questions about keys, etc, however if you are unable to reach the Owner/Manager, please let us know and we'll be sure to help you contact them.
You simply browse vacations, find one and book it. You can select a favorite charity (that will benefit) if the owner asks you to choose one. If you do'nt see a perfect vacation for your schedule, click the "request donation" link to request donations from owners that have not posted when you'd like to go on vacation. Once you find the vacation that is perfect for you, book it and you'll receive complete details on who to contact to get keys and all other relevant information. Go on vacation, have fun and be charitable... it's that simple.
During the purchase process, you'll be asked to agree to our basic terms and conditions. These terms and conditions spell out your relationship with the property owner/manager, with CharityHelpers LLC, and how we'll convert your vacation rental into a donation to your favorite non-profit.
1) For vacations purchased at a fundraising event. These reservations are NON-REFUNDABLE.
2) For vacations booked on a TravelPledge website - These reservations may be cancelled (by you) per the terms below. You may cancel and request a refund for any reason. If you cancel:
AT LEAST 45 DAYS IN ADVANCE, you'll receive 75% of the rent back.
14-44 DAYS IN ADVANCE, you'll receive 50% of the rent back.
NO REFUNDS INSIDE 13 DAYS BEFORE YOUR FIRST NIGHT'S STAY
Any forfeited rent as the result of a cancellation will be divided between the owner/manager and charity per the donation settings for the selected period.
We hope that you'll like our idea enough to tell others you know about Geronimo. We greatly appreciate it when you:
- Click on our “like” links or “recommends”links to help promote us to your facebook friends
- Use a twitter account to tweet about Geronimo.com, follow us
- If you know leaders of non-profits, encourage them to contact us to learn more.
- Tell your friends at the next cocktail party.
- Put a Geronimo decal on your vehicle
- If you know business owners, encourage them to become a promotional partner.
Get creative and we can get the word out fast!
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If you sell one of our fun experiences at your fundraising event, then that purchase is non-refundable. In most cases the certificate you receive will be transferable so that the winning bidder can give it to a friend and they can use it and go have fun!
Most of the generous business owners that provide fun experiences require us to set a "minimum bid". The minimum prices that they feel their experience can be purchased for a fundraising event.
The "minimum bid" amount is NOT what you pay to us; it's merely the minimum that the provider thinks the experience should sell for (to maintain their price integrity).
While it's common for auction attendees to be bargain hunters, it is our philosophy your auction should be about raising money... and keep in mind that your organization will make between 40% and 90% of the winning bid in all cases (even if the experience sells for the minimum bid!). Compare that to old school consignment!
We've created a PDF on this important topic since we hear many non-profit leaders do not like to use consignment items. Please view our PDF showing the dramatic differences between our program (selecting experiences on your TravelPledge site) versus consignment. Send this pdf to all of your friends in the industry and/ or post it to your social media networks!.. thanks.
Yes.. for sure! Create your account by entering in your non-profit information and giving us the building blocks of a TravelPledge website and we'll give you access to choose from $MILLIONS in donated experiences (Golf, Vacations, Cruises, Lessons, etc). You can easily select experiences and sell them at your fundraising events!
Get started- go to TravelPledge.com and enter your information.
With the goal of covering our costs (merchant fees, website design, hosting, marketing and promotion, and staff), and maximize the donations to great causes, we simply collect a small portion of the gross donation amount . We are very proud to be one of the most efficient fundraising solutions for non-profits.
You can raise money several ways with our program(s). You can promote and sell experiences (vacations, golf, lessons, cruises and more) at your fundraising events and on your custom branded (TravelPledge) website that we'll provide for you.
Raise MORE than you have before! One of the key benefits of our program is that you'll raise a much bigger percentage when experiences are sold at reasonable prices. If you've every done "consignment" you probably know all about how the vast majority of the money often goes to the consignment company (and we've worked hard to fix that!). See how much BETTER our program is... click here.
- We have already gathered $Millions in fun experiences that you can convert into donations.
- We help you with easy ways to promote your TravelPledge website including a predesigned flyer.
- You don't have to do any regular maintenance on your website
...so we estimate that this program will take no more than 1.5 hours / month (primarily just promoting your TravelPledge website).
It depends on how the experience is purchased (either at a fundraising event or on your custom branded website)
AT EVENT- If you sell an experience at one of your fundrasing events (silent auction for example), then the purchase is non-refundable. Since you are collecting the money at your event, you tell us what items sold and we then show you an invoice to cover any costs for those items.
ON YOUR TRAVELPLEDGE WEBSITE- If a supporter purchases a fun experience on your TravelPledge website, you'll receive a check in the mail automatically that covers your portion of the proceeds. We typically mail checks to charities twice a month. For any vacation rentals, you'll receive a check shortly after the renters' vacation(s). We wait to send you your payment until after the vacation because there is a chance that the renter may need to cancel the reservation and this is allowed on reservations booked on your TravelPledge website. We will also provide you with detailed reports showing the name of the supporter, the amount of the donation, etc.
We have a simple one page agreement that simply confirms that you plan to promote your private label website. From time to time, we'll send you tips and suggestions for optimizing your results and we'll ask you to provide your feedback.
Simple! We have created a special "self service" website that lets you build your own private label fundraising website. Visit TravelPledge.com to create your site.
Your non-profit will have its own unique web address that you can promote to your donors. Your TravelPledge website will include $ Millions in donated vacations and other fun experiences that your supporters can purchase to raise money for your organization.
We do all the (hard) work gathering fun experiences that are donated by generous business, building your custom website and ensuring that you receive your donations. You simply promote your private label site. Simple as that. Your TravelPledge website will become your most efficient fundraiser.
You'll log in with your email address and password to a special non-profit administator area so you can view/ edit your non-profit details and make any changes to your photos, links, description, video, etc etc.
You may also log in directly at http://getstarted.travelpledge.com/selfserve/login
Yes and we encourage it. With your password controled non-profit interface, you can easily add and promote partners and special incentives that encourage owners to add property listings and vacationers to rent properties that support your cause.
For example, if a local restaurant gives you 10 free dinners for two, you may offer a free dinner for two to all vacationers that book a property on your site ("while supplies last"). Your local business partner is automatically promoted to all of your supporters and should be quite pleased with the exposure he/she receives.
Essentially, if you can get the word out to your donors, you should do very well with a TravelPledge website. Suggestions for promotion include:
- Like our facebook page and post on your wall about your TravelPledge site and specific experiences
- Print a promotional flyer (we provide this automatically in your admin area free of charge) and distribute it
- e-mails to donors, newsletters
- Tweet about us on twitter
- While we have $ Millions in experiences already waiting for your donors, it never hurts to ask supporters to donate an experience
You should follow the instructions listed by your email provider for "whitelisting" Geronimo. This will ensure that our emails are not blocked or re-routed to your junk folder. You can see all of the instructions for whitelisting our domain and for whitelisting specific geronimo email addresses here
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Can we ever! In fact some property managers have a new response to silent auction inquiries:
YOUR NEW RESPONSE TO SILENT AUCTION REQUESTS: "I do all of that (charitable giving) on Geronimo.com now. My owners have selected specific weeks and rates and in some cases specific charities that they want to help. You can go to Geronmo.com to 'claim' any of the vacations that I post for charities. Geronimo will even create promotional flyers for you and allow you to book the vacation right at your event!"
We make it easy for you to
1) support existing silent (and live) auctions that you already support by giving the charity manager and easy way to print flyers, book the week and get you the $$$ as well as cover all owner costs and get the owner 50% of the rent (if you like).
2) promote your properties at countless other silent auctions. Post off season weeks at reasonable rates and we handle the rest. Log in and set your minimum bids now.
In addition, Geronimo is a great way for you to use a promotional week that might be given to you by each of your owners. You get the benefit of the tremendous exposure , the promotion of your company, and you're paid your commission when the property rents! Your listings are automatically promoted to well to do donors of charites all over the US (a list that grows every day). In essence, we can become your charitable arm and put extra money in your pocket too.
Probably! We are fully integrated with many PMS solutions as well as with the RAZOR-Cloud (switch) solution. If you use Barefoot or Instant Software or Razor, we can easily import and promote your properties for you. Setup is very easy.
We will feature property managers that are very active on our site and those that raise the most money for charity. Your logo, a paragraph and a link to your website will appear on every listing that you post on Geronimo. We also feature select listings on our homepage. We have many new features coming out to focus on our property manager partners including complete software integration so that you can "set it and forget it" (never need to manage donations.. it's automated!).
Zero. Free listings and no commissions to pay us. You and your owners make some extra $$$ as well.
Yes. You receive your full commission payment immediately after traveler has checked out. At time of booking, we will send you a booking confirmation stating that we have received full payment. We mail you a check (with full details) as soon as the renter checks out. We will automatically collect the necessary payments to cover the damage deposit and cleaning as well (per the preferences in the listing that you set up). Since a lot of our bookings are for last minute inventory this is the best way to facilitate payments.
We provide you with a login. Our simple property manager interface allows you to manage all of your Geronimo listings, create new listings and easily manage donations We are also integrating with many software platforms (examples - Barefoot, Instant Software, VRM, Live Rez, etc) and we have developed a complete "set it and forget it" inteface so you never need to log in and manage donations. It's all automated based on your preferences!
Many charities are already promoting all of the homes (with available donated weeks) to their donors and advocates through their existing channels and through white label websites that we create for them. In addition, we promote the Geronimo brand through paid advertising (national radio and google PPC) and our facebook fans help to spread the word about all new listings. We also feature listings of particular interest on our homepage. Your listings will include your logo, a paragraph about your management company and a link to your own website. Listings are free.
We have over a million charities in our database ranging from small PTA organizations to huge groups like The Amercian Cancer Society, the Red Cross and Susan Komen Foundation. Any of the non-profits in our database can benefit from this program (all based on your selection/ preferences).
Go to our homepage and type in any 501(c)3 and you see a sampling or click "search" to do an advanced search by state. You (and the owner) are in full control of donation preferences. You can restrict the benefit to one non-profit or make it available to many. In any case, you retain full control. We are also able to add new non-profits with a valid 501c3 status as well as non-profits based in other countries.
Yes. You (and the owner) are in full control with Geronimo! Let the renter choose the charity or select a specific charity.. up to you.
We are all about being fair. Our policy discourages vacationers from renting before they are 100% sure, and it provides a way for renters to recoup a portion of the rent based on how far in advance they cancel. Renters may request a refund for any reason. You will receive an email notice if a reservation is cancelled and it will show up on your admin interface as such.
AT LEAST 45 DAYS IN ADVANCE - Renter cancels at least 45 days before your first night, then renter receives 75% of the rent back. (The rest will go to the non-profit)
14-44 DAYS IN ADVANCE - Renter cancels 14-44 days before your first night, and renter receives 50% of the rent back. (The rest will go to the non-profit)
NO REFUNDS INSIDE 13 DAYS BEFORE YOUR FIRST NIGHT'S STAY
Yes. We feature homes that we believe are highly desirable because they have good availability at attractive rates. We also feature attractive deals on our browse listings page. We always list the property that has had the most recent donation made at the top of our Browse Listings page so each time you make a donation, your listing moves to the top! We'll also promote your properties in our newsletters to our database of renters.
"What's not to like?" - You will fill vacant time at your properties and generate revenue (for you and for your owners) while helping charities raise money, while you receive your full commission on every reservation.
It's risk-free and it'll help fill in the gaps in your rental calendar. If you have last minute availability throughout the year or weeks that sit vacant in the shoulder season and off-season, then Geronimo is perfect...and you're helping charities. It's a win-win.
You can see all of the instructions for whitelisting our domain and for specific geronimo email addresses here
If you use property management software (like Barefoot or Instant Software) chances are we can have you up and running in less than 15 minutes.
We can import your properties directly and turn on a automated filters to control the inventory that we display to renters. We tend to focus on last minute availability and on shoulder/off season. We handle everything and our software is top notch.
If you don't use property management software, then creating a listing takes as little as 10 minutes and we give you all the tools to donate a spare week anytime you like. Geronimo is automated, convenient and reliable.
If you use property management software like Barefoot and Instant Software, we'll automatically update our site with any changes you make at your end. If you do not use an integrated solution, then you can easily log into your Geronimo account and manage your listings.
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In order to get access to your experience, the non-profit(s) must agree to promote your business to their member base. We provide all that they need including professionally designed flyers and automated connectivity to electronic promotional tools. Some live auctions will even run a video or slide show to promote your business and they may put photos and your logo in their event program. This is a great way to reach an affluent audience!
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