27 Oct 3 Volunteer Tips from Give a Day Global
Your travel choices make a difference! Volunteering abroad can be a unique off-the-beaten path travel experience and your service can make a tangible difference to local causes and communities. But not all volunteering is created equal. To find the right volunteering opportunity, make sure you keep these tips in mind.
- Know where your money is going. If you are scheduling your volunteering with a third party organizer (such as a volunteer coordinator), very likely they partner with on-the-ground nonprofit organizations. Find out how much money goes it go to the organization on the ground, how much to the third party, and how much to other costs such as food an accommodations. Financial contributions can have a huge positive impact, just know where it is going and how it makes a difference.
- Research the on-the-ground organization. Many third party volunteering organizations have reviews from their volunteers, but it is important to also get critical information about the nonprofit organization with boots on the ground where you will be volunteering. Look for third-party organizations that will be fully transparent with you and share information about the local organization, so you can independently research their programs and reputation. Research is key to evaluating effectiveness, and will also help you to get a sense if the local nonprofit is the one setting the priorities for what is needed in their community.
- Be very wary about volunteering at orphanages. They can be very difficult to vet properly and in many countries orphanages are fueled by tourist dollars and many are wrought with fraud and child trafficking. It is not uncommon for children in orphanages to have parents and for few to be actual “orphans.” If you want to volunteer to help children, look instead for after school programs, free or low-cost day cares and preschools, soup kitchens and nutrition programs, and community centers. These organizations can support keeping families together, even during hard times.
We hope these 3 volunteer tips were helpful! To get started on your volunteering adventure, check out our international volunteer opportunities by visiting our Volunteer page.