Millennium Pulls Plug On Massivegood

The Millennium Foundation For Innovative Finance For Health pulled the plug on Massivegood, a fundraising project meant to collect charitable donations from travelers when they book travel services. "The board does not see sufficient enough returns for such a micro-philanthropy initiative in today's economic climate," according to a Millennium Foundation statement. "Local and 'green' causes often took precedence for travel industry partners over the global health causes championed by the foundation." Millennium added that it is searching for a third party to license the donation technology developed by Amadeus. Let's hope they find one, because it's a good cause and it would be a shame if the unusual collaboration between GDS operators that helped make the program a reality is wasted. [more]"

According to Tnooz, which last week reported the Massivegood termination, "the GDSs have been asked in the past few weeks to remove the donation functionality integrated in their respective booking tools and publicity materials are being removed from the corporate social responsibility pages of partners."

Tnooz also quoted an Amadeus official as saying that the technology the company developed to facilitate traveler donations "has proved to function well. We will continue to work with existing and new partners to give this technology the best possible use."

Massivegood donation opportunities became available in leisure travel channels in March 2010. That required coordination between Amadeus and its rivals, Sabre and Travelport. The project also gained support from American Express Business Travel, BCD Travel, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and several other travel industry players.

By June of last year, Millennium launched the program for corporate travel amidst a global roll-out.

In January 2011, Millennium's then managing director Bernard Salome told BTN that Massivegood had at that point collected about $300,000, well short of the $1 billion goal.

While it didn't take off as envisioned on a global basis, Massivegood was not a failure everywhere. Millennium noted that the program in Spain "achieved an impressive 2.5 percent online donation rate" among bookings through travel agents.