Why pay to volunteer?

Why should you even pay anything to work for free?

With Change Volunteers, you actually don’t pay to work for free. Volunteers pay absolutely nothing for the privilege of volunteering. We believe no one should ever pay to work for free. It is not like a school where a person pays tuition for the experience and knowledge they gain. All the fees a volunteer pays go to support them (their food, housing, supervision etc). Our programs are just as free as volunteering in the volunteer’s own home town. In their hometown, they provide their own food, housing, transportation etc when they volunteer. They need minimal orientation because they know the culture and the area. When a volunteer gos abroad, the orphanage program, for example, doesn’t provide the volunteer any preferential help that it first cannot afford and second does not provide for local citizens who volunteer to do the same work. Local citizens volunteer for free (just like our volunteers volunteer free in their home towns) because they don’t need housing, pickup from the airport, food etc. They live in their homes and just show up to volunteer and do so completely free. The orphanages or communities treat them just like they were local citizens because they don’t have money to spend on volunteers. They are too poor to do that.
“If a community or orphanage were really in need of volunteers, then where would the money come from to pay for the volunteers’ accommodation, food, transportation and supervision?” The orphanages or communities that critically need help have no funds to cover volunteer associated costs. So frequently, volunteers help raise the funds needed for their own support while they volunteer. But high quality, safe, flexible volunteer opportunities don’t have to cost too much! We have brought it down to $3/day
In the U.S where Change Volunteers is based, if a volunteer wanted to come from anywhere (abroad or within the U.S) to volunteer and asked a U.S based nonprofit to pay for their flight, food, housing, transportation etc, the majority of them will say they don’t have the funding to provide that kind of service. Granted, a few may rarely do that. They may actually need volunteer help but just don’t have the funding. Now, one can argue that U.S. nonprofits may not be as impoverished as the orphanages and communities our volunteers go to. The clear question then to be asked is that, is it fair to expect these communities to pay volunteer related expenses? Probably not.