How to Volunteer

How to Volunteer

Finding volunteer opportunities can be one of the biggest challenges when trying to figure out how to volunteer. There are a number of organizations you can go through that offer complete packages – with airport transfers, all meals included and support along the way. This can be a great option, if you’re interested in paying 3-4 times the amount to volunteer than you would if you volunteered through the organisation yourself.

Working directly with a volunteering organization will save you money and ensure that every cent you spend is going towards their projects and your expenses while you are there, rather than paying for some office in England to provide correspondence with you!

The first step is choosing where to volunteer
We've already created a page to help you figured out where to volunteer. There are so many options it can be overwhelming, but that's half the fun – you can choose somewhere that really suits the experience you want and the skills you have. 

Here at Generous Nomads we believe that you shouldn’t have to pay for the luxury of volunteering – your time should be valuable enough. Organizations that really need help are not going to turn you away because you don’t want to pay them a ton of money; if they need help they simply need help!

How much does volunteering cost?
This will depend largely on where you choose to go and what kind of work you’re doing. If you choose to volunteer somewhere with a lot cost of living like India you could be spending as little as $5 on your living expenses. If you choose to volunteer somewhere relatively expensive, like the Seychelles, then expect to be paying a decent amount because this is an expensive, resort area.

If you want to find out how much volunteering should cost, you can always approach locals on Couchsurfing.com and ask what they think programs in the area would cost. While Couchsurfing is designed to be a place to Couchsurf, the members are friendly and generally a great resource for up-to-date information about specific cities or countries.

When you choose to volunteer abroad, you can either decide to find somewhere on the road or pre-organize something in advance. Generally, lower income cities will have a lot more last minute volunteer opportunities available than more wealthy cities. For your first volunteering experience, especially if it is somewhere you haven’t been before, I suggest that you make plans in advance so that you know you will definitely get to volunteer.
 

Most organizations have emails or contact phone numbers – get in touch with them directly and ask what they expect of volunteers and what their availability is like during your intended visit. Ask what a day will entail – some volunteering opportunities are for a few hours a day, while others are much more demanding and require a full day’s commitment Monday through to Friday. Make sure you’re aware of the experience you’re signing up for before you go, so that there are no surprises.
 

If you’re thinking about volunteering – you should. It is one of the most rewarding things you can do. There are so many great reasons to volunteer,  check out Generous Nomad’s list of reasons to volunteer.

If you're interested in another great volunteering resource, check out Free Volunteer Work Abroad