Our use of Money
“Why should I pay to volunteer?… if I want to volunteer in my community I just go and do it!”
Volunteering abroad is a bit different to volunteering in the community where you live. In your own community, you are likely to know the people you would be volunteering with; how and where can your time can make a difference and who to contact if you want to be involved.
If you travel abroad on your own it might be cheaper to volunteer, providing you find a place where your skills can be useful. But that’s not a given and if you find it; how do you know it’s safe? Where will you stay while you are volunteering? There is where our work comes useful…
We spend time and money researching places where your input is most needed and making sure you can conduct your voluntary work minimizing the risks and staying safe. Furthermore, for being an organisation dedicated to the protection of tropical forest, the benefits of volunteering with us are twofold.
- You can join our projects certain that your skills will be put to good use and developed further with all risks to your safety minimised and…
- You will be helping a developing country on their endeavour to protect their valuable forests for the benefits to mankind.
For being passionate about forest conservation, we also strive to ensure that your travel does not have harmful impact on the environment or the local communities with whom you will be interacting.
Where does my money go?
We are a social enterprise, which means our business model is that of running a commercial operation for the benefits of society.
We do not depend on charitable money and donations or grant applications from governments and foundations. We depend on our customers’ payment for the services we provide. This money also goes to support forest conservation projects. Furthermore our profits are invested in research further programmes and support other projects.
We are different from other volunteering organisations in which we do not rent premises abroad or own volunteering camps. Your will receive accommodation and food services from local service providers. We work in partnership with local conservation/research organisations that need extra man power to conduct their work. This is why, we have a more efficient operation in which over 50% of your fee is dedicated to the direct costs of your project, allowing us deliver value for money to you. In this way, not only you are contributing with your work, but also your fees will be contributing to the local economy of the area where you stay, guaranteeing that you get the best possible value for money. We also have a policy of not creating extra costs for he organisations we work with in developing countries. And also make sure that the volunteers/ interns add extra capacity to the organisation’s work, without being a substitute for any of the local employees. In this way we conduct a socially responsible business that makes a contribution to the communities where we work not affecting local social development.
Average of all projects
There is a lot more than meets the eye, that takes place behind the scenes to make your project possible.
- We have the obvious direct costs of the services you receive such as: food, accommodation and transport provided. But we also have other direct costs such as
- Administration and logistics: booking of the services you receive, information provided and risk management, to make sure you stay safe and your placement goes smoothly.
- Support the project you work, with equipment and tools, when necesary.
- Coordinating a work plan tailored to your personal requirements. We take extra care to make sure that the partner organisation where you will be putting your time, creates a work plan that will be instructive, challenging and rewarding for you personally, according to your level of education, technical background and skills.
- Other direct costs: we make sure that we do not make our partner organisation incur in expenses due to your stay, so we also cover costs related to your work with regards to species licenses, protected areas access permit and employment of personnel only needed to service your project/stay i.e translation during your session if required as well as house keeping where necessary .
Indirect project costs
- Recruitment and communications. Cost of interviewing candidates and all communication related.
- Web development: To be able to take our projects to you (our audience) we require to keep our website up to date and therefore support the people and systems that make that possible.
- We also incur in communications costs. This being in person, through talks and information events as well as written/ printed materials.
- This includes the running of our organisations, such as office and salary of the people that make our work possible.
- Taxes and insurances
- Cost of researching our proposed projects before they are brought to you.