How it all started
When looking in to volunteering internationally in the summer of 2008 we found it incredibly difficult to find the information we wanted. Everything we came across seemed to be related to the big organisations that charge a hefty fee of several hundred, or even thousand, dollars for their programs. While we have nothing against them - they are ideal for some people, particularly inexperienced travelers who may want a safety net in place before heading out - they were simply not what we were looking for. We wanted to volunteer with a small organisation, and we wanted it to be as cheap as possible.
Eventually we found some good organisations and sources of information, but by that time they had all been booked up and our adventure had to be put on hold. This experience led us to put up a website with all the information and links we had found, and to continually add to it as we came across new organisations or other practical links. The result is VolunteeringInfo.org.
Our aim is simple; we want to make it as easy as possible for anyone who is considering to volunteer internationally to find all the information they need, as well as a good organisation to volunteer with. We are trying to achieve this in several ways, including:
-> We regularly interview past and current volunteers about their experience in order to provide a realistic view of the different types of volunteer work available, as well as the conditions in various countries, etc.
->We try to get in touch with volunteers of every organisation listed on the website and ask them to write a review of the organisation. That way anyone considering to volunteer with the organisation can get a better idea of what it will be like.
->We have a database of volunteering organisations from around the world and we continually get in touch with new organisations and ask them to enter their details. Our visitors can then browse or search through the database using criteria such as price, country, type of work, etc.
->If we come across any links, books or other useful information, we share them on the site. Our visitors are always encouraged to get in touch if they've found something that they think would be of value to other volunteers.
Unbiased information and keeping it free
We work hard to be as neutral as possible. We want every organisation to get as much attention and space as the other organisations listed on the site, and as such we do not offer any form of preferential treatment. There is no way in which an organisation can pay to receive more attention, coverage or featured positions within the website.
These are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to get in touch through e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by using our online contact form.
Q: Is it free for volunteers to look through your database?
A: Yes! There are no fees for using any part of VolunteeringInfo, including the database.
Q: Is it free to submit an organisation to your database?
A: Indeed it is, and we have absolutely no plans of implementing any form of fee.
Q: How do I get my organisation featured in your "Spotlight"? How much does it cost?
A: The organisations featured in the Spotlight module are chosen based on the amount of attention they've been attracting. If we feel as though an organisation deserves a bit more attention, we will add it to the Spotlight feature list. That said, you're welcome to get in touch if you want your organisation to be put in the spotlight for a bit.
Again, there is no fee involved.
Q: I noticed that you wrote a feature article about an organisation, how were they chosen?
A: We will write, or indeed accept purpose written, feature articles on organisations either upon request or if we feel as though the organisation deserves more attention.
Q: Is it possible to get my organisation listed higher in search results and/or in the browse function?
A: Nope. We do not offer any preferential treatment, and as such we cannot offer to list one organisation higher than another. Our aim is to give every organisation equal footing on the site, regardless of marketing budgets and the like.
That's all for now! We hope you enjoy the site, and don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments or questions.
Thank you for visiting,
Martin Jonsson & Alexandra Rogers