Prospective volunteers often have a question that looms large in their minds: “Why should I pay to volunteer? After all it’s my time that I’m donating.”
Believe me, there are many good reasons.
The program organization must find the volunteer opportunities that are well organized and suitable for their volunteers. They must use their professional staff to contact local hosting organizations, travel to the sites and investigate the program plans. Among their considerations are volunteer housing, medical care, food, transportation, insurance and security. They must investigate the effectiveness of the program and whether it is indeed helpful to the people served. They must determine the needs of the local in-country hosting organization and see that they are satisfied. All of this takes time and financial resources.
One can work directly with a local in-country organization but it takes a lot of time and very careful investigation. This is also usually best done when one is in the country where the organization is located and thus requires travel to the site.
Many organizations in the U.S. are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations where all program fees are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers. Be certain to check with the organization and with your accountant. In countries outside the U.S. check with the organization to see if their fees are tax-deductible in their home country.