Donating Airline Miles vs. Donate Airline Tickets
Do you have a favored local charity? Do they have a travel budget? Your donation of frequent flyer award tickets could save them money, which could then be used for other purposes.
Notice that I referenced your donation of award tickets, not miles. While you can donate miles to the airlines’ designated charity partners, you generally cannot transfer miles to non-profits not already on the airlines’ lists of supported organizations (just as you cannot readily transfer your miles to another individual’s account).
What you can do, however, is deal directly with the charity and redeem your miles for tickets issued in the name of people traveling on behalf of the organization, either aid-givers or aid-receivers.
This will require a fair amount of coordination between yourself and the charity to determine who will be traveling, when they’ll be traveling, and where. And you’ll have to arrange to get the tickets into the hands of those actually traveling. It’s definitely a more labor-intensive process.
But it’s also likely to be more fulfilling than the relatively anonymous donation procedure through the airlines.
And really, shouldn’t giving also be rewarding?