We are often asked why somebody should pay to volunteer abroad. Before volunteering ourselves we also had those questions. Once we experienced our first volunteering abroad trip, the question was answered quickly:
The social projects on Volunteer World are usually Non for Profit Organisations (NPO). Therefore, they hardly earn enough money to cover their fees. This is also the main reason, why they need your help. They cannot afford to do all the work by themself as they cannot pay salaries for social workers.
Fees come up because a Volunteer Program causes expenses for the social project that runs the program and someone has to cover those fees.
What expenses does the social project have?
There are basically two main types of expenses:
1. Fees associated with a volunteer program
The social project is coordinating, organising and processing your stay. Therefore they need to have a proper administration of application and recruitment. In addition they help and guide you once you are on site. In exchange, they might provide accommodation, food, drink and airport pickup. All those fees need to be covered.
2. General Expenses
Those expenses come up in order to run the social project and can be, e.g. office-items, salaries of local staff, insurances, trainings, telecommunication, office rent, transportation etc.
Therefore, fees can vary but they exist. However, all those fees are charged locally and can be associated directly with the project. Those fees help the Social Project to operate and to do good in their community. We make sure social projects mention their social impact so you know what the local contribution of this project is.
Social projects need help with IT, Business Administration and Fund Raising as well. Volunteer World helps them to have a better IT infrastructure and a easy to use website. But your contribution is the key that really makes the social impact effective!
Why do fees vary?
Not all social projects are operating in the same way. Some are not for profit, some are for profit and others might be supported by the government, so called governmental organisations.
The difference in the fees is totally up to what is offered. Have a close look at what the social project charges for. You can also ask the project itself, what the fees are charged for.