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How volunteering abroad with International Volunteer HQ is so affordable compared to other volunteer organizations.

How is volunteering abroad with IVHQ so affordable?

Volunteering abroad with International Volunteer HQ is one of the most budget-friendly ways to travel. We regularly review our Program Fees to ensure they remain affordable, accessible and inclusive so we can maximize the impact we can deliver as a collective.

Even though IVHQ’s volunteer abroad programs are fully-hosted experiences that include accommodation, meals, airport pickup, 24/7 in-country support and much more, our Program Fees start at just $180 for 1 week.

Other volunteer abroad providers charge a lot more. So how is IVHQ able to offer high quality, fully-hosted experiences at such an affordable price?

International Volunteer HQ is so affordable because programs are run by local people, keeping costs down

1. Our programs are run by local people, keeping costs down

Unlike other volunteer abroad organizations who employ westerners to run their programs, IVHQ collaborates with local people who live in the communities we support. We believe locals are in the best position to see where volunteers are genuinely needed and can make the greatest impact. This reduces the cost of hosting volunteers and supports long-term employment for local people.

Discover our locally-led approach
International Volunteer HQ is so affordable because accessibility to volunteering has always been our mission

2. Accessibility to volunteering has always been our mission

From the start, we’ve been committed to minimizing costs and maximizing value. In fact, the lack of affordable, accessible international volunteer options is what motivated our founder Dan Radcliffe to establish IVHQ in 2007. We understand that every dollar is hard-earned and we believe that everyone should get the chance to give back by volunteering abroad.

Learn more about our values
International Volunteer HQ is so affordable because our accommodation options support cultural immersion and interaction

3. Our affordable accommodation options support cultural immersion and interaction

Accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and is included in every IVHQ program as part of your fully-hosted experience. Most of our volunteers choose to stay in our volunteer houses alongside other IVHQers or in homestays with local families. This is more affordable than hotels, offers a more authentic cultural experience, and enables volunteers to form life-long bonds.

Learn more about accommodation
International Volunteer HQ is so affordable because our scale keeps our Program Fees low

4. Our high volume of volunteers keeps your Program Fees low

As the world’s largest global volunteer abroad organization, IVHQ supports thousands of volunteers a year. This scale allows us to spread the cost of running our programs across more volunteers, keeping our fees low while ensuring the quality of our programs remains high.

See what makes IVHQ different
International Volunteer HQ is so affordable because we’re the only B Corp certified global volunteer travel organization

5. We’re the only B Corp certified global volunteer travel organization

As a certified B Corporation, we are committed to operating as an ethical, sustainable organization and ensuring our programs are accessible to as many people as possible from a wide variety of backgrounds. We achieve this by keeping the costs of volunteering as low as possible. Our impact on volunteers, local teams and the environment is regularly independently audited to keep us accountable to this.

Learn about our B Corp Certification

Why are IVHQ’s fees cheaper than other volunteer abroad organizations?

“You get what you pay for” does not apply to volunteer abroad providers. While you’ll find no shortage of organizations out there charging thousands of dollars to participate in volunteer abroad programs, you may end up wondering where your money went. These organizations often charge a premium and don’t show a breakdown of where your fees are going.

If you’re looking for inexpensive volunteer projects abroad that give you the opportunity to contribute to important projects alongside locals and like-minded international volunteers, you’ve found yourself the most affordable and trusted volunteer travel provider right here! With IVHQ, you don't have to compromise on anything and you can save thousands of dollars in Program Fees.

Where do your Registration Fee and Program Fee go?

All IVHQ program fees are invested directly into the local economy, supporting local employment and giving you an authentic insight into the culture and community. It’s a powerful experience that has a lot more meaning than the traditional resort vacation – plus it comes without the hefty price tag.

Our transparent Registration Fee + Program Fee pricing structure gives you a breakdown of exactly where your money is going and demonstrates how we’re able to offer volunteer programs that are both affordable and ethical. This makes budgeting easy, as you are working with a fixed price and you are told upfront what’s included in your fully-hosted volunteer program.

  • Your Registration Fee of $299 goes to IVHQ. This covers the cost of securing your place on your chosen program and matching you with a Program Manager who will provide you with dedicated support from start to finish. It also gives you access to IVHQ’s pre-departure tools, guides and training that help get you ready.

  • Your Program Fee goes to the local team where you are volunteering and is fed directly into the local economy, supporting community initiatives and long-term employment for local people. This fee covers the cost of hosting you on your IVHQ program, including your accommodation, meals, airport pickup, orientation, 24/7 support and more.

How International Volunteer HQ is so affordable compared to other volunteer abroad organizations.

How does IVHQ offer value for money?

1. We can help you find a volunteer program that meets your budget and travel goals

We know that everyone has different preferences when it comes to travel – that’s why our team of Volunteer Travel Experts are on-hand to help you select a volunteer adventure that ticks all the boxes, including price, accommodation, dietary requirements and more.

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2. Choose from over 50 affordable destinations, starting at $180 for one week

Our programs are popular with students, teens, families, solo travelers and retirees alike – all of whom are on completely different budgets! That’s why we offer such a huge range of low cost programs available year-round and located in some of the most affordable destinations in the world. If you do want a little more luxury, many programs offer accommodation upgrades to private rooms and even local hotels.

Explore the cheapest destinations

3. Your Program Manager can help you plan your dream itinerary on a budget

Your Registration Fee covers the cost of matching you with a Program Manager, who will provide you with ongoing dedicated support in the lead up, during and after your volunteer adventure. They can help you plan your dream itinerary on a budget, with convenient and affordable add-on tours, as well as getting you well prepared to volunteer abroad with our range of pre-departure tools.

See what your Registration Fee covers

4. Your entire in-country experience is organized for you and is fully-hosted

Your Program Fee covers the cost of organizing your entire in-country experience. Our knowledgeable local teams carefully select the best value accommodation, meals, airport transfer and most impactful volunteer placements. Your in-country orientation and 24/7 local support is also included in this price. When you add up the costs that you would normally pay for these services on vacation, IVHQ programs come out extremely affordable in comparison.

See what your Program Fee covers

5. It’s free to make changes to your booking at a later date

We make it easy to change your travel plans should you need to – or if you simply change your mind! Our flexible booking policy enables you to make changes to your start date, program or destination for free, up to 14 days before you’re due to start.

Learn more about flexible booking

6. We help you find the most affordable flights and travel insurance

We know how time consuming (and downright confusing) it can be to find the best value flights and travel insurance – and it’s more important than ever to ensure you select trusted and reliable providers. That’s why we’ve partnered with one of the world’s leading flights booking sites to give our volunteers access to discounted fares, as well as this trusted insurance provider who offers specialized volunteer travel insurance.

Find out more about travel insurance

7. You get exclusive access to discounted add-on tours and activities

Once you’ve registered for an IVHQ program, you’ll gain exclusive access to affordable and convenient add-on tours and activities so you can make the most of your trip. Our local teams know the best providers to go with and can book these tours for you at a local’s price, making sure you don’t get ripped off!

Why pay to volunteer abroad with International Volunteer HQ

Why pay to volunteer abroad?

We don't expect people to pay to volunteer, but we do need you to cover the cost of hosting yourself while abroad. That's why we charge a Program Fee. Each volunteer needs a bed, food and support from our local teams to keep you safe and help you make the most of your time. The communities we support can't afford to pay these hosting costs. When volunteers cover the cost of hosting themselves, it enables local communities to benefit from their help without costing them money.

Your Registration Fee goes to IVHQ, which helps us to do a number of things that benefit volunteers, employees, local teams and the wider community. These are benefits that are not possible through ‘free’ volunteering. Here are a few examples:

  • Providing unrivalled safety and support to volunteers and local teams
  • Regularly auditing programs to ensure they are running sustainably and meet long-term goals
  • Ensuring programs support employment opportunities for local people
  • Implementing a Child Protection Policy across all programs
  • Actively seeking feedback to improve programs and processes
  • Training local staff on best practice volunteer management
  • Offering pre-departure volunteer training, guides and tools
  • Ensuring volunteer programs have enough hands on deck to achieve long-term goals (these numbers are capped when a program reaches capacity)
  • Opening new volunteer programs in countries and communities where help is needed
  • Investing more money into local communities to support local employment opportunities

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”My experience with IVHQ was faultless! It was so easy to apply and the advice was so helpful before I left for my placement. The placement itself was amazing, I met some lovely friends and had some unforgettable experiences! If you’re thinking of volunteering, IVHQ is amazing, the prices are affordable and so worth it for everything they provide, they have such a range of programs so there’s something for everyone!”