Giving Back

A Spark of Inspiration For Giving Back

by Stephanie Denzer

Two best friends sharing smiles. All photos courtesy of Spark Ventures. 

Richard Johnson started Spark Ventures, a nonprofit organization with international partnerships in Zambia and Nicaraga,to give impoverished children access to education, healthcare, and fun activities. Spark's trips are nontraditional — staff and volunteer travelers do more than just build houses. 

At Spark Ventures we recognize that traditional giving comes with a number of challenges — asking people to participate in a perpetual cycle of giving can only do so much. Instead, it is time to start making philanthropic dollars travel further. That is why Spark is pioneering a philanthropic venture model to break the mold, investing dollars in emerging market social enterprises. The returns from these investments are funneled into local endowments managed by local NGOs, like our current social impact partners in Zambia and Nicaragua, that provide high-impact programming in education, health and nutrition. Every dollar provides sustainability and longevity for the programs they go to support. Charitable giving is given a business-savvy facelift.


For a more in-depth article on what the org is all about read Giving Back: Spark on a Children's Crusade, Fathom's interview with CEO Richard Johnson.


Take a look at what you'll find on a Spark Ventures trip here.


One Kid, One World, One Incredible Trip
The Kenya Diaries Parts One, Two, and Three
Keeping Haiti in Mind

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.