Frequently Asked Questions
Following is a list of our frequently asked questions. Please keep in mind that challenge-specific questions, such as gear and packing or training, will be answered in your Trip Planner, specific to the challenge you participate in.
- What are adventure challenges?
- Why use an adventure challenge as a way to fundraise?
- Why participate?
- How do I communicate to friends, family, and sponsors that an adventure challenge is not a vacation?
- What should I expect?
- Who participates in an adventure challenge?
- How fit do I need to be?
- How do I physically prepare for the challenge?
- What gear do I need?
- What will the accommodations be like?
- Who organizes the challenge?
- Is the challenge bonded and insured?
- Can I organize a challenge for a private group?
- Privacy – How is my personal information handled by Adventure for Charity?
- What is the minimum age to participate in a challenge?
- Can I bring my family members?
- Which charity can I support?
- Can I raise money for multiple charities?
- Do I need travel insurance?
- Can I make my own flight arrangements to join the trip in-country?
- What else do I need to know about organizing my own transportation to and from Phoenix to join the group?
- If I have made my own travel arrangements and I am delayed, will I be protected?
- Can I extend my stay after the challenge?
- Is it safe to book or pay online at adventureforcharity.com?
- How is the challenge funded?
- Can I raise money for two charities at the same time?
- What portion of the proceeds goes to the charity?
- What is included in the price?
- What is not included in the price?
- Why is my registration fee not tax-deductible?
- How much sponsorship do I have to raise?
- Why do the registration costs and sponsorship levels vary for different challenges?
- What happens if I can’t raise the minimum sponsorship?
- How are the cancellation charges applied?
ABOUT ADVENTURE CHALLENGES
Adventure challenges are multi-day adventures in various disciplines, including hiking, trekking, cycling, mountain biking, or water sports. They are experiences of a lifetime that:
- Bring people together to support important causes and help nonprofits fundraise.
- Challenge the participants’ physical abilities, creativity, and dedication.
- Take place in incredible locations around the globe.
- Encourage participants to earn their spots by working hard before and during the challenge.
- Prior to the trip, they fundraise on behalf of their charity and prepare physically for the challenge.
- During the trip, which is not a vacation, they are challenged to hike, trek, pedal, or swim (whatever the challenge entails) to earn it – to earn the sponsorship for this trip and to “earn it” on behalf of the charity.
- Reward participants with experiences of a lifetime, physical achievement, and the accomplishment of supporting a great cause. They got outside, had fun, and did a lot of good.
An adventure challenge:
- Is a new way to fundraise as a complement or alternative to existing campaigns.
- Offers a unique way to engage a charity’s donor base.
- Acts as a differentiator for the charity or the company that participates.
- Provides increased exposure and awareness of the organization.
- Results in significant proceeds and return on effort invested.
Are you kidding? Yes, you are challenged before (preparation and fundraising), during (you earn it; it’s not a vacation), and after the challenge (sponsor follow-up and thank-you), yet the payoff is priceless:
- Visit some of the most amazing places on earth.
- Support or improve your health and active lifestyle.
- Raise funds and support an important cause.
- Develop bonds with other cool people.
It is often said that one person can make a difference in the world. And if you, as one person, are the catalyst to rally people and organizations to support your endeavor, imagine what you, as a group, can do in this adventure challenge.
It’s simple. Have them try one!
Joking aside, none of our challenges can be considered a vacation. They are earned. And they begin long before you depart for the trip. You spend months preparing, training, and fundraising before undertaking a demanding physical challenge. These elements of the challenge take time, effort, and dedication.
You train to improve your physical condition. You raise thousands of dollars for charity. You undertake a physically demanding challenge. You could trek or cycle for six to eight hours each day and for several days in a row, sometimes with only basic facilities and sometimes at high altitudes. You face natural elements, such as wind or wildly changing temperatures. Does this sound like an all-inclusive resort vacation?
We don’t want to talk you out of this. It is an experience of a lifetime in an amazing part of the world that you are sponsored to participate in. It is earned!
With all of this said, if you are not up to fundraising, we have a self-funding option to pay the full cost of the challenge yourself.
5. What should I expect?
This is a very open-ended question. So that we do not cover items that may not address your question, please call or email us so we can answer specific questions.
If your question is related to international travel to more remote locations than you may be used to, here are our thoughts.
Some countries we visit are considered “developing nations.” This means the infrastructure may be more limited; roads may be rougher and facilities more basic. We maintain the highest standards of hygiene and safety possible in wilderness settings. However, if you are a five-star resort traveler, adventure challenges may not be for you. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie or an extreme adventure seeker to go on a challenge with us. If you are willing to be open, flexible, and respectful of other ways and traditions, adventure challenges offer a rewarding experience of a lifetime.
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6. Who participates in an adventure challenge?
Participants include anyone over 18 who is capable of undertaking the challenge, is passionate about a cause, wants to make a difference in the world, and wants to have an experience of a lifetime.
We’ve had people in their 60s and 70s participate in events with us. Possibilities are many.
You need to be relatively fit or willing to improve your fitness to prepare for the challenge. And don’t worry, we will help!
People with a sense of adventure, willingness to roll up their sleeves (i.e. fundraising or earning it during the challenge), and a positive attitude are the most successful.
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7. How fit do I need to be?
The very nature of adventure challenges means a certain level of fitness is required. The challenges are demanding, so participants earn the sponsorship funds.
Being fit is part of the challenge.
There is no need to be an ultra-marathon runner, mountaineer, or Ironman triathlete. We have challenges with various levels of difficulty and fitness.
Plus, we have tips to help you prepare for the challenge.
You will be challenged at whatever trip level you participate in. We recommend you spend two to three months, at least, before your trip getting fit and building up stamina. The more prepared you are, the more you will enjoy the challenge. Plus, the more you are outside, explore, and experience the outdoors, the healthier and happier you may become.
Only you can judge how fit you are and what you are capable of. Reach for the sky, yet keep grounded. Push yourself, yet remain sensible. And always check with your doctor before undertaking any physical challenge.
8. How do I physically prepare for a challenge?
Detailed preparation tips will be available in the Trip Planner you will receive after you sign up for a specific challenge.
For general training information, please visit the Training Tips section under Challenge Preparation.
9. What gear do I need?
See our section on Gear and Packing under Challenge Preparation.
10. What will the accommodations be like?
The accommodations vary and may involve tents on a mountainside, a guest house, a lodge, or a hotel. Normal accommodations are two people (same sex) per room. Detailed information related to accommodations is provided in the full day-by-day itinerary for each challenge. We strive to work with local partners to bring a positive impact to the communities in which we operate. Please let us know of any questions related to this topic during the registration process or by contacting our offices.
11. Who organizes the challenge?
The adventure challenges are organized by AFC and its premier adventure travel partners, trip leaders, and on-the-ground teams. We are located in the Phoenix metro area in Arizona, near desirable travel destinations year-round. We organize challenges almost anywhere in the world. Learn more in the About Us section of our site.
12. Is the challenge bonded and insured?
AFC has in force a comprehensive general liability insurance policy in excess of industry standards. AFC also requires its contractors to maintain their own comprehensive general liability insurance policies and comprehensive automobile liability insurance covering all owned, non-owned, and hired vehicles with a minimum limit of one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) or such greater and to specifically name AFC as additionally insured on their policies. AFC’s contractors are also required to maintain worker’s compensation insurance that meets or exceeds the statutory limits. Please contact us directly for more information.
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13. Can I organize a challenge for a private group?
Many challenges comprise clubs, corporate teams, or groups of friends and family members participating in their own private challenge. Please refer to the Private Groups section of our website for more information.
Administration and Logistics
1. Privacy – How is my personal information handled by Adventure for Charity?
We take privacy seriously. Information you provide during the registration process is used solely for challenge execution. Examples include (but are not limited to): your name, dietary requirements, allergies, and medical conditions. These may inform the transportation partners, lodging partners, and guides/trip leaders as needed. Information gathered during the challenge, such as quotes, photos, or videos, may sometimes be used for marketing and PR purposes. Challenge participants receive addition information and “opt-out” options in the AFC Guest Forms.
2. What is the minimum age to participate in a challenge?
The minimum age requirement is 18 years old, in suitable physical condition, to undertake the challenge as described in the itinerary. You must also be fully aware of the possible risks inherent in adventure travel and not take them lightly. Our professional guides, who are certified wilderness first responders, do what they can to mitigate any potential risks. However, adventure travel is an inherently risky activity. Young adults who are 16–17 years old may also participate in certain challenges with parental consent, when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The registration for participants who are under 18 years of age is completed by parents or legal guardians. The parent or legal guardian also executes the liability waiver and other relevant documents on behalf of the minor participant.
3. Can I bring my family members?
As participants who have earned the sponsorship for the challenge and can mentally and physically participate, family members can absolutely join you! The more, the merrier, and sharing such an experience with family makes it even more meaningful.
The participation of family members as guests depends on a specific challenge. Often, this may not be possible due to location, itineraries, or the nature of the challenge, plus your need for good rest and the benefit of getting to know the other challenge participants. In such cases, you may extend your stay upon challenge conclusion, at which point your family can join you for a vacation, full of stories from the adventure you just completed.
With this said, there are cases when spouses or guests come along on charity challenge cycling trips. There is an additional fee for the trip, and their participation is pending on type of charity trip and lodging.
4. Which charity can I support?
As long as it is a charity registered in the U.S., and it is a charity/nonprofit organization in good standing (the status of which is easily verified on Guidestar), you can raise money for any organization.
If you are participating in a customized challenge for a specific charity/organization, you are supporting only that organization.
- Passion: Fundraising takes dedication and conviction. If you speak with passion about a cause and what you are doing, you are more likely to succeed. Pick a cause you care about.
- Focus: While many people pride themselves on being great at multitasking, research shows our brains are not well-wired for multitasking. We simply become less effective. And you want to be as successful as you can, right? We recommend that you focus on one cause at a time. Then come back for another challenge in a new destination with a new cause!
If a cause you greatly care about is not listed on our site, please let us know. We are happy to contact the organization and introduce them to the benefit adventure challenges.
You can also start your own private group for a cause you and your friends or family greatly care about.
5. Can I raise money for multiple charities?
6. Do I need travel insurance?
It is strongly advised that you have travel insurance (insurance above and beyond your standard health insurance) that will cover the adventurous nature of the challenge.
Due to the possibility of itinerary changes or trip cancellations, we strongly recommend you also purchase travel insurance that includes the cost of the airline tickets, many of which are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Some companies that provide such policies include:
7. Can I make my own flight arrangements to join the trip in-country?
For challenges outside of the U.S., the prices quoted include round-trip international flights from either Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York, Houston, or Miami to the challenge destination (depending on the challenge location). Most of our participants travel with flights arranged by AFC and/or our on-the-ground partners. We assume this is the case when you book with us, unless you notify us otherwise during registration. Please let us know as soon as possible if you intend to arrange your own travel. If your request to arrange your own flights is received after your registration has been processed, and deposits have been paid to the airline, or if your request impacts the overall group rate we have negotiated, the amount we can refund you will be reduced accordingly.
While we cannot control the choice you make, we advise against making your own travel arrangements due to costs and group logistics. Should you choose to do so, please let us know your flight schedule immediately so we can arrange for you to be met in-country and for any other necessary services, such as an additional night’s accommodation.
You will always have to pay the deposit at the time of making a reservation.
If you have self-funded your participation (see challenge funding options), AFC will invoice you the balance of the challenge costs, minus the cost of the flights and respective taxes.
If you are fundraising, you will have to raise the same level of sponsorship, and once we receive the balance of your costs from your charity, we will refund the cost of the flights and respective taxes directly to you.
If you choose to book your own flights, you must confirm with the AFC office before paying for them; otherwise, you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance). If you are joining the challenge locally (i.e. the country the trip takes place in), our responsibility does not commence until the appointed time at the designated meeting point. If you fail to arrive there at the appointed time, AFC will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by you to meet up with the group.
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8. What else do I need to know about organizing my own transportation to and from Phoenix to join a Phoenix outbound group?
AFC will send you recommendations for flights, rental cars, shuttles to host hotel in Phoenix or Scottsdale, and ideas on interesting local attractions.
9.If I have made my own travel arrangements and am delayed, will I be protected?
Whether for domestic or international trips, AFC cannot be held responsible for any delays for flights not booked by us. On flights booked with us (challenges outside of the U.S.), you will be protected and booked on the next flight. If, however, you book your own flights, you will not be protected and may have to purchase a new ticket.
10. Can I extend my stay after the challenge?
AFC works hard to secure the most cost-effective package. The biggest single expense on international challenges is the international flight. To keep these costs low, AFC and our on-the-ground partners have an exclusive arrangement with several airlines. The tickets we book, however, are non-transferrable, non-refundable, and non-changeable. In certain circumstances, the airline may permit a change to the return date, but this is at their discretion. If we can change your return date, there will be a flat, non-refundable fee of $100. If the change results in a more expensive ticket, you will have to pay the difference. You cannot amend the outbound date, only the return date.
Your request to extend must be submitted in writing. Please send a check to AFC in the amount of $100 or pay online. You must give a preferred return date, as well as two other dates, in case the first request is not available. If you request a change and then do not wish to take the requested return flight, the administration fee of $100 will still apply.
A note about insurance: If you extend your stay and change your travel arrangements, you will also need to make sure your personal travel insurance is extended to cover you for the full duration. Please also submit this request in writing to AFC, and we will make the necessary arrangements on your behalf. If an additional premium is required, you will be notified. We will not charge an additional administration fee.
Note: PLEASE think carefully and decide exactly what you want/need before requesting a change of return date. Once we request a change, if the seat is available, the airline will change the details immediately. If you change your mind once the new arrangements have been made, you may have lost your original seat with the main group. Or worse, significant airline fees or ticket price increases may apply.
1. Is it safe to book or pay online at adventureforcharity.com?
Yes. Our website and payment processing system have the latest security features available. Your personal information is kept secure through encrypted transmission. We use SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. We do not share your information with other parties, except for challenge information needed by our on-the-ground partners, guides, and trip leaders.
2. How is the challenge funded?
There are three ways in which you can fund an adventure challenge:
- Minimum sponsorship
3. Can I raise money for two or more charities at the same time?
No. You may only raise money for one charity (nonprofit), registered in the U.S., at a time. In our custom challenges, all participants in the group raise money for one organization.
If you participate in one of our open challenges (in which participants raise money for various charities), you still fundraise for one charity at a time. You can come back for another challenge, and we hope you do, to raise money for another cause.
Regardless of the payment option you choose, we send an authorization request to your chosen charity, so they confirm they are happy for you to fundraise on their behalf and in their name. All information displayed in your online fundraising profile, social media, and any emails will be for your one chosen charity. In addition, if you are using the minimum sponsorship or combo option, we will invoice your charity for the balance of your costs, and this cannot be split between two separate charities.
4. What portion of the proceeds goes to the charity?
The portion of proceeds going to the charity depends on the funds raised. In most cases a, minimum of 51 percent of the proceeds goes to the charity. Often, it is more, because all proceeds above the minimum sponsorship go to the charity.
5. What is included in the price?
Please see the following list for general ideas. Specific inclusions will be listed in your Trip Planner and based on the challenge you participate in. The price includes the following:
- International in-group flights.
- All accommodations during the challenge (usually two beds per room, same sex).
- All necessary camping and cooking gear (if camping).
- Three meals a day (unless otherwise stated), drinking water, and snacks on challenge days.
- Entrance fees to national parks or other places of interest visited in the itinerary.
- Internal road and air transfers.
- All ground staff, including an English speaking guide, drivers, cooks, and porters.
- Full back-up support, including first-aid qualified staff and first-aid supplies.
- Activity and challenge specific equipment, such as bikes, tents, or rafts.
- A donation toward AFC’s local community projects, where applicable.
- A very cool AFC T-shirt!
6. What is not included in the price?
- Regional transportation to the challenge meeting location (e.g., Phoenix or Las Vegas for Grand Canyon).
- Personal spending money.
- Personal medicine and vaccinations.
- Activities outside of the challenge itinerary.
- Excess luggage charges, airport or airplane Wi-Fi, and other surcharges.
- All other items of personal nature: room service charges, drinks, laundry, phone calls, etc.
- Discretionary tips for your adventure challenge crew. The trip leader will collect the recommended amount for this towards the end of the challenge and distribute it among the team.
In many countries, it is customary to tip service personnel (hotel, restaurant, rest stop staff, etc.). To make this process easier, AFC’s trip leader will collect a small amount to use to tip these people, without you having to remember each time. The trip leader can do this in front of the group and/or give the tips to one of the group members to give out, as appropriate.
7. Why is my registration fee not tax deductible?
The registration fee is not tax deductible, because you are receiving a benefit (participation in an amazing adventure challenge), the value of which far exceeds the amount of the registration fee. This is in accordance with the U.S. tax law.
8. How much sponsorship do I have to raise?
Please see the challenge payment/funding answers above.
The minimum sponsorship amount is indicated on each of the itineraries. The maximum is up to you and the positive impact you want to make for your favorite cause.
All fundraising proceeds are sent directly to the charity as you collect it. The online platform does this automatically.
Unless you have covered the cost of your challenge (self-funding option), at least 80 percent of the minimum sponsorship MUST be sent to the charity eight weeks before departure.
If you do not achieve this, you risk losing your place in the challenge. The balance (i.e., the remaining 20 percent) must be sent to the charity within four weeks of returning from your challenge. To save your place in the challenge, your credit will be charged for the remaining amount.
9. Why do the registration costs and sponsorship levels vary for different challenges?
10. What happens if I can’t raise the minimum sponsorship?
Meeting the minimum fundraising goal (sponsorship) is a fundamental part of the challenge. If you do not raise the funds for the charity, the charity cannot pay the balance of your challenge costs; therefore, you may not be able to participate.
To avoid this situation, we charge your credit card for the difference between the amount fundraised and the minimum sponsorship amount. This is communicated during the registration process and in the Challenge Participation Agreement.
11. How are cancellation charges applied?
All cancellations must be made in writing via email.
- 91 or more days prior
- 100 percent of the registration fee paid to AFC (minus permits and other advanced costs) is refundable.
- Funds raised for the charity are donations and are NOT refundable.
- Grand Canyon trips are subject to a $250 cancellation fee.
- 61 to 90 days prior
- 50 percent of the registration fee paid to AFC is refundable and total amount up to 25 percent of the trip cost is due.
- 31 to 60 days prior
- 25 percent of the registration fee paid to AFC is refundable, and up to 25 percent of the trip cost may be due to AFC based on the nature of the challenge. This will be communicated in the trip Guest Forms.
- 0 to 30 days prior
- Registration fee is NOT refundable, and up to 50 percent of the trip cost may be due to AFC based on the nature of the challenge. This will be communicated in the trip Guest Forms.
To transfer your trip to another date, the above cancellation fees will apply.
Every attempt will be made to adhere to each trip’s published routes and itinerary; however, safety issues, weather, or other extenuating circumstances beyond our control may cause unexpected changes. Should these changes affect a guest’s travel plans, AFC is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by guests (e.g., non-refundable air tickets, rental cars, hotel reservations, visa fees, gear, medical expenses, etc.).
Trip Cancellation and Trip Minimums
Each adventure challenge requires a minimum number of participants for departure. AFC and the client (charity/company) reserve the right to cancel scheduled trips that do not meet minimum sign-up requirements. If a cancellation is necessary, AFC will notify the client and the guests no fewer than 45 days prior to the departure date of their trip. If a trip cancellation occurs, the options are as follows:
- Guests may select another departure date for an equivalent trip at no additional charge.
- AFC will operate the trip for an additional charge per guest, based on the number of guests signed up 30 days prior to the departure date of the trip.
- AFC will provide a full refund of any money paid to AFC, with funds raised and submitted to the charity being considered a donation and thus non-refundable.
AFC reserves the right to revise or cancel all or a portion of a trip for force majeure (e.g., terrorism, war, fire, flood, or other natural disaster) or any other circumstances beyond our control. If a trip is cancelled due to force majeure, AFC will strive to offer an alternative trip for the same departure and return dates with an itinerary that offers experiences similar to the original trip. If AFC offers an alternative trip in place of the original trip, guests may join the alternative trip or select another departure date for the original trip at no additional charge.
If a guest cancels altogether, cancellation fees will apply as outlined above. If AFC’s cancellation occurs and AFC offers no alternative trip, full or partial refunds will be at AFC’s sole discretion.
If cancellation occurs by AFC, AFC is not responsible for additional expenses incurred by guests in preparing for the trip (e.g., non-refundable air tickets, rental cars, hotel reservations, visa fees, gear, medical expenses, etc.).
Most participants complete the challenge they undertake. However, if you must cut your challenge short due to illness or for any other reason, we are sorry, but there is no refund of National Park fees, flights, accommodations, or challenge costs.
Any additional accommodation fees, transfer fees, flight costs, and accommodation costs are your responsibility. Please take a credit card to cover any such unexpected costs.
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