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About Us

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is a volunteer travel company focused on providing affordable volunteer travel experiences that are high quality, safe, and responsible. Established in July 2007, IVHQ has grown to become the world’s leading volunteer travel company, working in 30+ countries around the world and placing thousands of volunteers abroad every year.

We aim to increase education and heighten global awareness and understanding through the skills and expertise taken by volunteers to their host communities, and through the experiences and lessons that volunteers take back to their own countries and cultures.

Volunteer abroad with IVHQ as a group


Our mission is to change the face of volunteer travel.

We believe in a future where any traveler, anywhere in the world is empowered to make a meaningful difference in the community they are visiting and we take pride in making this happen.

We’ve been shaking up the travel sector since 2007 and we’re just getting started.


As a values-led organization there is a lot that we stand for, but four values in particular sit above all others and make us tick:

  • Being Responsible
  • Constantly Innovating
  • Providing a Trusted Service
  • Striving for Awesome

Being responsible in everything we do is a fundamental value at IVHQ. We know how to create and run responsible volunteer travel programs and we prioritize community needs and the protection of children. Our programs are designed to deliver sustainable value for partners, for communities and for the environment, and we talk openly about the issues and challenges of responsible and sustainable tourism.

We believe in always doing the right thing and having a long-term mindset. If we receive feedback about how we can do things differently or better we'll take it seriously - continuous improvement is important to us. We also support volunteers to develop realistic expectations about what they’ll achieve on our programs and we're committed to high standards of safety and risk management.

Innovation has always been central to our success as an organization. We’ve challenged the status quo and changed the face of volunteer travel by making it affordable and accessible to everyone. We know that to keep our fees low and remain a positive partner in communities around the world, we have to constantly innovate, be smarter about how we serve communities and volunteers, and take a fresh approach to addressing the issues that are important to our sector.

Since the beginning, we’ve been an entrepreneurial young start-up that’s proudly youthful, non-corporate and tech-focused. We understand that every volunteer dollar is hard-earned and we work tirelessly to deliver value.

Being trusted is important to IVHQ. We think globally and we demonstrate respect for all volunteers, communities and everyone we interact with. We are honest, open and transparent about how we operate and volunteers can count on us to keep them informed, to keep them safe and to always follow through when we make a commitment.

We’re not afraid to work hard for our volunteers and we're fiercely loyal to them, our partners and every community we operate in.

Always striving to be awesome is something that truly sets IVHQ apart. For us, being awesome means being passionate about volunteer travel, the communities we work with and the individual volunteers we interact with every day. We’re a company made up of real people with diverse ideas and personalities and we never forget that our volunteers are similarly unique.

For us, being awesome also means being youthful, ambitious, tenacious and ensuring that we use our size and scale to have a significant global impact. We believe that staying nimble helps us to adapt and respond to volunteer and community needs in the best possible way.

Volunteer in Bali teaching with International Volunteer HQ


  • We make safe, quality and responsible international volunteer travel genuinely affordable
  • Our volunteers provide assistance to the achievement of long term community goals in countries all over the world
  • Our programs grow cross-cultural awareness and understanding, and foster global citizenship
  • We provide cultural immersion experiences, achieved by living and working with local people, communities, organizations and families

International Volunteer HQ provides affordable volunteer programs by partnering with organizations based in each of our program countries. We believe this is the best approach to international volunteering because:

  • Local organizations are in the best position to see where volunteers are genuinely needed. The staff in these organizations are locals, they have been raised in the area and know it inside and out. They can speak the local language, they know the local people and are in the best position to provide guidance, advice, supervision and support to volunteers.
  • Partnering with local organizations reduces the costs associated with hosting volunteers, making programs more affordable. This means more people are enabled to volunteer and that enables greater social outcomes to be achieved.

One of the major strengths of IVHQ is our careful selection process in choosing our partner organizations and the high quality volunteer programs that we offer through these partners. Every program that IVHQ offers has been personally inspected by IVHQ. We have experienced the programs first-hand, we have assessed the local teams and we have provided comprehensive IVHQ training to all of our local teams.

See the IVHQ Approach to learn why IVHQ has become the world's leading volunteer travel company and how we are different from other companies out there.

Volunteer teacher in Tanzania with International Volunteer HQ

Visit the History of IVHQ to follow the journey and growth of International Volunteer HQ.