Why do I need to pay to volunteer?
A lot of beginners to the volunteering abroad world wonder why they should have to pay when they are contributing their valuable time to help others. It may seem ironic to you that there is a cost associated with spending your time and energy on a cause you are passionate about.
These prospective volunteers fail to realize that the money they pay to participate in a volunteer program is vital to the organization to effectively run these projects in the first place.
So, why should you pay to volunteer abroad? The reasons are quite numerous, actually. To begin with, you need to understand that while a volunteer organization may be a non-profit, it is still a company that has overhead costs and employee’s salaries that need to be paid.
Most volunteer organizations receive absolutely no funding from the government or any other outside sources. They are completely dependent on the program fees you pay in order to operate. In addition to their own operation costs, there are the costs of the projects themselves to consider.
Hosting international volunteers is not a cheap endeavor to undertake. They need to be picked up at the airport, housed in safe and secure locations, and fed healthy meals throughout the duration of their stay. On-site supervision and staff is needed not only to support the important causes the projects were designed to help, but also to manage the volunteers and make sure they are having the best possible volunteer abroad experience.
Most of the projects are struggling financially, which is why they need the help of international volunteers in the first place. Part of your program fee is a donation directly to the project and goes to support the vital cause that has inspired you to volunteer with them in the first place.
Keep all these things in mind, and please do not think an organization is trying to cheat you out of money or overcharging for their programs. While there may be some companies out there who are trying to scam you, most organizations simply need your program fee in order to sustain their projects and help communities in need.