Paying for a volunteer opportunity can be a fair exchange.
Paying for a “volunteer opportunity” masquerading as a business can be a horrible exchange.
If you have a specialized skill like graphic designer, wind turbine engineer, or eye doctor – you know exactly what you bring to the table.
But what if you’re not sure what you can offer as a volunteer? What if you don’t have a specialized skill but you still want to help in some way?
This is where paying for a volunteer exchange comes into play.
Let’s be clear: You’re not buying an experience. Run away from opportunities that charge you thousands of dollars to play with children or hatch turtles eggs. This is a babysitting job; and you are the baby.
No clear initiative or objective of where you’re contributing
Using children as bait
Extremely high program costs.
Appropriate price tag
In partner with a local organization
Appropriate length of time.
The above example is from LoveVolunteer.Org, a volunteer placement program that has clear initiatives and solid vetting processes when it comes to working with children.
*Criminal Background Checks are required for anyone volunteering with children
*Fees and money allocations are clearly designated
*Programs serve sustainable, long-term initiatives
Congratulations, now you have the tools needed to spot a scam…or just an unethical business practice, from a mile away.
Oh, Pro Tip: Avoid a company called GreenHeart Travel. I’ll tell you why over a glass of wine sometime.
Want to contribute to the blog? I love to feature the perspective of other solo female travelers.
I'm a bestselling author, hotel reviewer and pickleball player. I teach women how to travel the world solo without going broke or getting kidnapped.
In 2011, I left Seattle with just $200 in my pocket to travel the world solo. Today, I'm the founder and creator of The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide, the #1 travel guide book series for women - and the author of The One-Way Ticket Plan.