Warm Showers

Warm Showers
Type of business501(c)(3) organization non-profit organization
Area servedGlobal
OwnerWarmshowers.org Foundation (as on the website); WARMSHOWERS ORG (as filed in the IRS form)
Founder(s)Terry Zmrhal
Geoff Cashmen
Key peopleTahverlee Anglen (Corporate Cause Agency), management services
Seth Portner, former executive director
Lance Bickford, Chairperson
Chris Russo, former Director
Cyril Wendl, former Director
Russel Workman, former Director
Stephanie Verwys, Director
Jack Turner, Director
Bruce Squire, Director
Donna Price, Director
Rich Hoeg, Director
Lance Bickford, Director
Remi Laurant, Director
ProductsHomestay
ServicesSocial networking service, Communication
URLwww.warmshowers.org
Users153,088 members, including 93,542 hosts (As of 25 April 2020)
Launched1993; 28 years ago (1993)

Warm Showers (WS) is a non-profit hospitality exchange service for people engaging in bicycle touring. The platform is a gift economy — hosts are not supposed to charge for lodging and are not bound. The platform is accessible via a mobile app and a website based on Drupal software. The website is hosted by Skvare, LLC, a web hosting service. The company is a Colorado 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

The platform has been described as a "cyclists’ support network whose members may offer free amenities and services such as meals and lodging". Rough Guides recommends Warm Showers as means to improve security of solo female cyclists. Warm Showers helps bicycle travelers to balance the self-reliance of camping and hotels with opportunities for social encounters. Warm Showers has a positive effect on rural communities, both socially and economically. Many users of the platform cycle for health reasons or to reduce their carbon footprint and to be environmentally friendly. The organization received donations of $100,641 in 2015, $84,009 in 2016, $115,324 in 2017, $128,626 in 2018 and $111,089 in 2019.

History

A Canadian couple, Terry Zmrhal and Geoff Cashmen, founded Warm Showers in 1993. They created a database from the existing members of biking-hospitality organizations.

In 1996, Roger Gravel became responsible for the platform.

In 2005, Randy Fay created the website based on the existing database.

On November 15, 2009, the platform became open-source software. It has had 15 contributors and 7 releases since then.

On January 22, 2012, open source development of the mobile app for Android started and has had 11 contributors.

Randy Fay is listed as the developer with the most commits for both, website and Android app.

On October 7, 2012, open source development of the mobile app for iOS started and has had 2 contributors.

In 2016, Seth Portner was its executive director, its board chair was Cyril Wendl, its treasurer was Len Bulmer and board members were Russel Workman, Stephanie Verwys, and Ken Francis.

In 2017, Seth Portner was its executive director, its board chair was Len Bulmer and board members were Cyril Wendl, Russel Workman, Stephanie Verwys, Ken Francis, Jack Turner, and Bruce Squire.

In 2018, Seth Portner was its executive director, Tahverlee Anglen provided management services, its board chair was Len Bulmer and board members were Stephanie Verwys, Ken Francis, Bruce Squire, Donna Price, Rich Hoeg, Lance Bickford, Remi Laurant, Stephanie Kavrakis.

In 2019, Tahverlee Anglen provided management services, its board chair was Len Bulmer and board members were Stephanie Verwys, Ken Francis, Bruce Squire, Donna Price, Rich Hoeg, Lance Bickford, Remi Laurant, and Stephanie Kavrakis.

Membership statistics

Date Members Ref
April 2009 7,500 members
August 2014 50,000 members
April 2017 89,000; including 39,000 hosts
April 2018 85,000 members
April 2021 161,000 members; including 104,000 hosts in 161 countries

Homestay requests

Warm Showers grants trustworthy teams of scientists access to its anonymized data for publication of insights to the benefit of humanity. In 2015, an analysis of 97,915 homestay requests from BeWelcome and 285,444 homestay requests from Warm Showers showed general regularity — the less time is spent on writing a homestay request, the lower is the probability of success. Since both networks are shaped by altruism, low-effort communication, aka 'copy and paste requests', evidently sends the wrong signal.


This page was last updated at 2021-11-06 13:08 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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