Why Pay to Volunteer?
Prospective volunteers are often surprised to find that volunteering can be an expensive undertaking and that most international volunteer programs, including VIP, charge a fee for participation.
Many costs are incurred even before your departure. These typically include pre-departure workshops and orientation, selection and screening of projects and accommodations, arranging for meals and local transportation, as well as ongoing program monitoring and 24/7 emergency support. To provide a consistently high quality program, it is necessary to employ staff, maintain a proper infrastructure and cover administrative costs including program development, rent, computers, insurance and communications.
VIP is operated by "not for profit" organizations in both your home country and in your host country. This means that no individual or group owns the organization. There are no shareholders or annual dividends or profits to be paid to anyone. Programs are fully funded by participant fees and host project organizations are never asked to contribute to or absorb the direct costs associated with receiving a volunteer.
VIP strives to provide a supportive environment that will permit you to gain valuable experience while doing good work and making a difference in some of the most deprived communities in the world. This means assisting you with your preparations for the program and then providing the local knowledge, expertise and ongoing support that is needed once you are in your host community.
Your placement in one of VIP's programs can provide you with personal rewards that go far beyond the donation of your time and money to a particular project. The general consensus of returning volunteers is that they received much more than they contributed:
There are many resources online and in print to help you create fundraising plans appropriate in your country. Some partial scholarships may also be available. Contact the VIP office in your home country to inquire.