United Airlines launches crowdsourcing platform to donate miles to charity

Today, United Airlines announced the launch of Miles on a Mission, a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform that gives customers a simple, easy way to donate miles to non-profit organizations and charities in need of air travel.

The company has selected 12 launch partners and MileagePlus members can now visit airline’s website to make contributions to organizations like the Transplant Life Foundation, OperationUSA and Waves for Water.

Each launch partner has 28 days to crowdsource miles from MileagePlus members, with the goal of reaching at least 250,000 miles. New partners will be added to the program as each launch partner reaches its goal.

United is donating two million miles to kick off the Miles on a Mission program, matching the first 50 thousand miles raised for each campaign.

“We want to make a difference in the communities where our customers and employees live, work and fly,” said Sharon Grant, vice president and chief community engagement officer at United Airlines. “Miles on a Mission not only allows us to connect with even more organizations than before but also gives our customers a new way to use their miles in a way that supports the charities and causes that mean the most to them.”

Non-profit organizations with current live campaigns include:

• OperationUSA: An international disaster relief organization with a live campaign development agency that helps communities around the world overcome the effects of disaster, disease, violence and endemic poverty abroad.

• Holocaust Museum Houston: An organization that is looking to fund travel for teachers to provide further education and classroom resources concerning the Holocaust and Human Rights.

• NJ LEEP: A college access and success program serving first-generation and low-income students from the greater Newark, NJ area. The organization helps students build academic and social-emotional skills, develop the habits necessary for lasting success, and gain exposure to professional role models.

• Swim Across America: An organization that hosts swimming events across the world to raise money for cancer research and clinical trials at major research institutions to supplement government funded research projects.

• Watts of Love: A non-profit that provides solar technology and education to the 1 billion people living without electricity. They offer clean and sustainable forms of energy as an alternative to dangerous forms of energy.

• Waves for Water: An organization that provides access to clean water for communities by creating portable water filter systems, digging/renovating wells and constructing rainwater harvesting and storing solutions.

• The Transplant Life Foundation: The nation’s leading advocacy group for those in the donation and transplantation world, including transplant recipients, living donors and donor families. Transplant Life Foundation strives each day to enhance and improve the lives of its members through its education programs, social networking platforms, TransplantNATION magazine and Transplant Games of America.

• Off-The-Grid Missions: An organization dedicated to providing the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing with access to life-saving resources, especially in high-risk and remote regions around the world.

• Miles4Migrants: Dedicated to using donated frequent flyer miles, points and money to reunite and relocate individuals and families around the world separated by war, persecution, and disaster.

• Animal Lighthouse Rescue: Dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and finding of loving homes for satos, or stray dogs in Puerto Rico, through their local partner, no-kill shelter El Faro de los Animales, and a team of staff, volunteers, and foster families in NY.

• Adaptive Cycling Foundation: An organization that supplies, manufactures and adapts bicycles for injured service members, first responders or heroes as a means for recovery and rehabilitation, both mentally and physically, from injuries and traumas.

The Miles on a Mission platform went live on Friday, October 25, and one of the inaugural non-profits, Veterans Community Project, has already reached its crowdsourcing goals. A new campaign will launch on the platform within the coming days.

“The Adaptive Cycling Foundation is very excited and honored to be included in United’s Miles on a Mission campaign, continuing our alliance with United of giving back,” said Scott Moro, Adaptive Cycling Foundation’s mechanic and founder. “We create One of a Kind Bicycles for One of a Kind Heroes, Heroes that have already paid enough. The United Miles from the Miles on a Mission campaign helps us to provide zero cost travel to individually fit and consult with these Hero Veteran and Active Duty Service Members and First Responders. It’s exciting, motivating, and we are honored to be involved in United’s continuing mission of giving back.”

Eligible charities can apply for the opportunity to launch a 28-day campaign to raise miles for their organization through MileagePlus member donations. Approved charities will work with United to reach goals of raising between 250,000 and 5 million miles.