ifre logo
ifre review

Allocation of program fee

Allocation of program fee

Dear volunteers,

IFRE offers the most affordable and financially honest and transparent volunteer experience in the industry. No other organization to date has shown this level of transparency or told you so clearly exactly where your money is going, and this has allowed us to gain the trust of thousands of volunteers who have volunteered abroad safely and affordably with our life-changing programs.

Our pricing model divides the volunteer fees into two parts:

Application Fee - $299

Volunteers pay a reasonable application fee of $299 to IFRE. We operate as a non-profit organization, and this fee is needed to sustain us so we can continue offering our meaningful programs at affordable prices in 20 countries around the world. This fee is allocated to cover the basic operating costs of our organization, including advertisement, rent, staff salaries, utilities, taxes, and other operational expenses.

Weekly Program Fees

In order to run our volunteer abroad programs in 20 countries around the world, there are some basic costs that must be covered. As a result, the weekly program fee you pay is broken into three parts.

The first of these is the cost of your accommodations and food. We pay this portion of the fee directly to our host families, or your project if you are staying at on-site accommodations.

The second cost that must be covered is paying our local staff and in-country coordinator. These individuals offer you individualized support and guidance throughout the entire duration of your volunteer project abroad, and the service they provide to you is key to making sure you have the best experience possible.

The third cost covered by your weekly program fee is a donation that is made directly to your project. The projects international volunteers work to support are often poor and struggling financially to continue their important and much-need humanitarian work. Your donation goes a long way to helping them continue to run.

There is no rigid proportion of how the volunteer abroad program fee is allocated, as it varies with location, project and other factors. But the following is a generalized allocation of fees that is normally done:

  • Host Families (60%-80%)
  • Project Donation (10% - 20%)
  • Local Country Office Expenses/Staffs (10-30%)
Do you really pay directly to host families and projects?

Absolutely. We highly value the support offered by our welcoming host families, and the hard work performed by the projects you are volunteering at. Ordinarily you will pay the fee to your in-country coordinator who later distribute the funds to your host family and project. However, you are welcome to pay the fee directly to them yourself if it makes you feel more comfortable.

If you are concerned or interested in learning about the exact allocation of your volunteer abroad program fee, check in with your in-country coordinator and they will be happy to provide this information to you.

Why is part of the fee paid to local staff?

Many volunteers ask why the fee is paid to local staff. While the host families and the project are extremely deserving of as much money as possible, no one works for free. Our local staff and coordinators are there to watch over you, manage the running of the programs in-country, and make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Our coordinators are dedicated humanitarians who work hard to ensure our volunteer abroad projects are run effectively, and they care very deeply about the same causes that you do. They are performing a valuable service to you and your project and deserve to be compensated for their efforts.   

Hopefully this in-depth explanation has helped you to understand how and where your program fee is allocated. We sincerely appreciate your desire to travel abroad and make the world a better place!


Top destinations