I touched base in my post 7 Opportunities to make a Difference in this World while traveling about my own experience of volunteering for a month in Tanzania as well as a few volunteering opportunities I came across that I found intriguing and wanted to share. For those of you who are just reading for the first time about volunteering while traveling, because maybe that thought never even crossed your mind, I would highly recommend reading this post first as well my other posts that I linked to within that post.
If you are playing with the thought, but are still unsure or hesitant, feel free to contact me with your questions or post them in the comments below and I would be more than happy to answer them the best way that I can.
If you are already inspired and motivated to volunteer somewhere in the world, here are 8 great organizations that you can learn more about and possibly volunteer through. I am including some of the basic costs and financial figures to give you a general overview and comparison between these organizations. Each one has their own pros and cons and different programs, so I am sure there is a fantastic program that will fit your skills and preferences:
Registered in 1998 with the government in Nepal and social welfare council, Rural Community Development Program (RCDP) is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious volunteer organization. Since its inception, RCDP has been running outstanding community based volunteer programs around the world by carrying out many schools and orphanages based volunteer projects that benefits orphans, poor children and backward communities..
The mission of RCDP is to encourage international volunteers to contribute in sustainable community development that benefits the underprivileged and extremely poor. By developing the places and the communities, the volunteers are also developing themselves and learning new perspectives and ideas that will ultimately change their lives. RCDPs program are affordable and of very high quality. Our focus has always been to serve orphans, orphanages, and community projects.
Registration Fee: $269
Least expensive program: Kenya (Maasai program) = 2 weeks: $175 for room, food (3 local foods a day), coordination, and project donation
Most expensive program: Brazil (all programs) = 2 weeks: $620 for room and food (only breakfast in hostel, no launch and dinner), coordination, and project donation
- Internship opportunities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
- Low-cost in-country language programs in several countries
- Fantastic coordinated travel at very reasonable prices in a few select countries
Reviews: Rated 9.1 of 10
After hours and hours of research, inquiries, communication, and QA’s with at least 20+ different volunteering organizations, this is the organization my husband and I chose on our volunteering trip to Tanzania. One of the things that set RCDP apart from other organizations was that they did not require upfront payment of the weekly program fees – instead we did not have to pay those fees until we arrived in Tanzania and met our local coordinator who by the way was fantastic throughout the entire program. At first I was skeptical because RCDP has some of the lowest program fees in the entire industry – but I honestly had a fantastic experience with them and would highly recommend them. Read more reviews here
I have so many tips based on my own experience and plan to write a separate post shortly which I will then refer to here. To assure you never miss another post, subscribe to new blog updates via e-Mail:
Conceptualized in the late 2006, Volunteering Solutions, now nicknamed VolSol, is an international volunteer placement match organization. In simple words, we find the best volunteer work opportunity abroad for you and get you a volunteering placement in the organization and destination you desire. Most of our volunteers are high school students, teenagers, corporate groups and individuals on their summer or career break. As an organization we have a cross cultural set up in all our offices across the world. We have people from different countries, cultures and ethnicities working for us.
Getting to what we do, we send hundreds of international volunteers abroad to work at ground level with NGOs, schools, hospitals, orphanages, HIV/AIDS clinics, women groups and other social welfare organizations across the globe. We have dedicated coordinators at each volunteer destination, coming from different countries. We take care of your volunteer placement, volunteer travel, accommodation, meals and security. If you are an anxious parent, a nervous teenager, first time traveler, or an office goer planning to volunteer abroad, don’t worry! You are safe with us.
Registration Fee: $225
- Internships in India, Nepal, Peru, and Thailand
- Special Summer Programs, which include travel within the program fees
- Interesting programs including sports coaching and wildlife programs, corporate volunteering, and high school & teen volunteering
Reviews: Rated 6.2 of 10
Registered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (U.S.) in 2003, Global Crossroad, LLC is one of the world’s fastest growing international volunteer vacation organizations. Global Crossroad offers numerous and exciting abroad experiences to international volunteers in 19 marvelous countries located throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Volunteer Abroad, TEFL Abroad, Tours and Travels, Internship Abroad, Mini-Venture and Group Seasonal Escapes.
Since 2003, more than 18,000 world-travelers/volunteers have participated in Global Crossroad’s Volunteer Abroad, Mini-Ventures, Adventure Travel, Seasonal Escapes, Teach Abroad, and other customized group programs. Our business has been growing substantially each year (an increase of nearly 300% since 2003) and is a true reflection of our respected and unique volunteer vacation and travel abroad programs. Our philosophy involves more than simply placing a volunteer in a grassroots project. We offer a variety of programs to meet the needs of our clients: individualized placements, travel and adventure, cross-cultural learning experiences, in-country travel arrangements, free-time exploration, and other services as per the special needs of our participants.
Registration Fee: $299
- Internships in a wide variety of countries
- 4-week cultural and educational summer escapes
Reviews: Rated 8.8 of 10
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is a volunteer travel company focused on providing affordable, responsible and high quality volunteer travel experiences. 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.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) aims to provide volunteer travelers with safe, responsible and highly affordable volunteer programs abroad. In addition to providing help and assistance to the countries in which IVHQ offers volunteer programs, IVHQ endeavors to increase education and heighten awareness through not only the skills and expertise taken by volunteers to their host communities and institutions, but also through the experiences and lessons volunteers will in turn take back to their own countries and cultures.
Registration Fee: $279
- In addition to standard volunteering programs that most other organizations offer too, IVHQ also offers volunteering opportunities in areas of elderly care, NGO support, and arts and music
Reviews: Rated 9.3 of 10
Frontier was established in 1989 as a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to safeguarding biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and building sustainable livelihoods for marginalised communities in the world’s poorest countries. Our first projects were in Tanzania, one of the world’s poorest countries.
Frontier has over 300 projects globally, offering unlimited opportunities to volunteer abroad. You could be spending memorable days scuba diving off the brilliant white beaches of Fiji or discovering South Africa on a conservation project with lion cubs! You can learn new skills, gain valuable qualifications and make lifelong friends.
- Paid work opportunities, such as teaching English in Thailand, picking fruit in Australia, teaching English in China, and working on an Outback Ranch in Australia
- Journalism Internships
- Adventure Travel
- Trekking & Eco Trails
Reviews: Rated 9.0 of 10
Rustic Volunteers, a 501 C 3, is one of the leading international volunteer organizations which has been helping to connect volunteers to desperately needed projects worldwide. Our programs last from 1 week to 12 weeks and are available in 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Rustic Volunteers has been offering meaningful volunteer abroad experience to thousands of volunteers. A volunteer trip with Rustic volunteer will change you forever. In our volunteer abroad program, you will discover your purpose while making a dramatic impact on the lives of incredible people who desperately need you!
Registration Fee: $299
Reviews: Rated 9.0 of 10
Cross-Cultural Solutions, also known as CCS, is a nonprofit working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies.
As a leader in the field of international volunteer travel for 20 years, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. In every community in which we work, we have long-standing relationships with local organizations who communicate real-time needs and objectives to the CCS team so that our volunteers can work alongside local people and make a sustainable impact.
Registration Fee: $350 (counts as a deposit towards your program fee)
- Gap Year Options
- High School Volunteering Programs
- Family Volunteering Programs
Reviews: Rated 9.0 of 10
GoEco arranges for hundreds of Israeli and international volunteers each year to participate in ecological and humanitarian programs initiated by its partner organizations around the world. Through careful preliminary on-line interviewing, GoEco connects each volunteer with the most suitable program. GoEco selects the best available programs around the world, updates the availability and timing of projects, validates the quality and reputation of the projects and assists the volunteer in preparing for the trip.
Registration Fee: I have not been able to find any information about an actual registration fee – if any of you have more information on this, I would greatly appreciate it if you can share it with us in the comments below
Programs: GoEco is a little different than the other organizations listed here in that it is partnered with other organizations. I personally am very intrigued by many of their programs and am considering several of them.
If you would like to volunteer but you are not ready to make the leap to do it in another country, VolunteerMatch is a fantastic site to find local opportunities to help make a difference and you can filter it by a specific are you would like to volunteer in.
P.S.: Please note that all of this information up-to-date at the time this post was written. Programs and organizations may have changed since then and I encourage you to do your own research before choosing an organization as this information may be outdated.
Are you planning on volunteering somewhere? Tell us about the project in the comments below. Have you decided which organization you will volunteer through? Or have you volunteered previously? If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences.
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Nici is a mommy of 2, wife, successful Marketing professional, and travel nerd who is passionate about showing you how you can travel and explore the world by sharing her own travel stories and experiences.