A letter from co-founder Casey Fenton

Dear CouchSurfers,

After Wednesday’s big announcement, I wanted to send you a personalmessage explaining what it means for CouchSurfing to have become a BCorporation, and how this will affect our global community.

Our goal isn’t to make CouchSurfing different. Our goal is to make CouchSurfing even better at what it already does. We tried hard for many years to be certified as a 501c(3) non-profit, but ultimately the US government didn’t accept that hosting and surfing are charitable activities. We needed to evolve to meet that reality, and B Corp is amodel that accomplishes the same support for our mission that we wanted from non-profit status. The core of who we are will never change. As we look into our future, I want to make three commitments to you:

  • The CouchSurfing features that you use today will continue to be free. If you’re worried that we are going to start charging you tobe a part of the CouchSurfing community, don’t. We want a world where everyone can explore and connect, regardless of their financial situation.
  • CouchSurfing’s top priority will always be to make this world a better place. We are as committed as ever to our mission, vision, and guiding principles. These will always come before any other concerns, including generating revenue. In fact, that’s the reason why we decided to become a B Corporation in the first place: B Corporations meet high standards of social responsibility towards the community, their employees, the environment and the world.
  • Just because we’re not a non-profit doesn’t mean we’reactually “for” profit. CouchSurfing is not for sale, and money is no tour goal. We recognize that the community is what makes this movementreal and supporting it is what our organization is here for. Everyone on our staff is a CouchSurfing member, and we want to keep it that way.

I am personally committed to moving CouchSurfing closer and closer to our vision, without compromising the great way that we all experience our community today. I want to help as many people as I can be a part of our dream of a world where people appreciate each other’s differences —and have fun while doing it! I know that we can get there together.

If you’d like to share your thoughts or concerns about this moment in our history, you can reach me directly at casey.fenton@couchsurfing.org. I look forward to hearing from you and will do my best to reply as soonas possible. If you’d like more information about this new conversion, please check out my blog and these videos.

Thank you so much for being part of this adventure!

 

 

 

Casey Fenton

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