“The world is hugged by the faithful arms of volunteers.” ~Terri Guillemets.
There are many organizations that plan volunteer vacations for travelers. They are numbered in their hundreds and many travelers wonder whether the organization they are going to use is a scam or a fraud.
This is especially true with newer organizations which don’t have a previous track record.
To help out potential volunteers who are going abroad, the volunteer travel companies have formed associations which try to set up standards for volunteer travel companies.
These associations have websites that show a list of credible and weed out the scam volunteer travel organizations according to their standards. The standards set vary from association to association, like for example the amount for the yearly contribution varies; there should be a physical office in a particular country and minimum age of the volunteer travel organization.
Note these associations do warn they are not accountable and liable to the behavior of the volunteer travel organizations.
Here are a couple of associations that help volunteers:
GoAbroad was launched to fill an information void in the area of international student travel. It was conceptualized to provide a one-stop information center for students wishing to travel internationally. The site was created to link prospective travelers with organizations providing international opportunities. It is committed to providing the most comprehensive international education and alternative travel databases. GoAbroad.com utilizes data driven programming to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information. In addition to some of the largest directories of their kind on the internet, it provides extensive additional information within its dynamically constructed travel guides, currency converter, and embassy directories. It is dedicated to providing this information in a clean and less-commercial format.
2. Year out group
The Year Out Group is an association of leading year out organizations that was formed in 1998 to promote the concept and benefits of well-structured year out programs, to promote models of good practice and to help young people and their advisers in selecting suitable and worthwhile projects. The Year Out Group is a not-for-profit organization. The suggestions and guidelines included on their web site have been produced by the Year Out Group and are intended both for people planning a gap year and parents, teachers and other advisers that may have an interest in helping people select a suitable and worthwhile project. The Year Out Group is an association of independent organizations and exists to promote the concept and benefits of well-structured year out programs. It does not however organize or arrange year out programs itself.
3. International Volunteer Program Association
The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an association of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work and internship exchanges. IVPA is an association of volunteer sending organizations but does not organize or run its own volunteer programs. They stand for responsibility in the field of international volunteer abroad programs. Their members are expected to uphold the IVPA's principles and practices as guidelines for good programming as well as meet stringent membership criteria. IVPA can serve as a guide to anyone considering volunteering abroad or developing international service opportunities. This includes but is not limited to prospective volunteers, newly created volunteer sending organizations, corporations, and colleges and universities.
4. Volunteer Match
VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good people and good causes to connect. The organization offers a variety of online services to support a community of nonprofit, volunteer and business leaders committed to civic engagement. Our popular service welcomes millions of visitors a year and has become the preferred internet recruiting tool for more than 75,000 nonprofit organizations.
5. True travellers
True Travellers Society was developed out of frustration with the “volunteer in Asia, volunteer in Africa, volunteer in South or Central America, but first pay us lots of money” organizations. The aim of our organization is to connect people with no or minimal fee meaningful travel and volunteer travel opportunities around the globe. We have created a central location where this information can be shared for free.