GUIDE TO COST SAVINGS _savings

					GUIDE TO COST SAVINGS
                                                                                               Guide to Cost Savings
                                                                                      when Volunteering Overseas


Contents



Index................................................................................................................................................   1

Introduction.............……….…………………………………………………………………………...........................                                                                    .2

Location..........………………………………………………………………………………………………………..............                                                                                 3

Length of Stay ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…                                                                                            3

Program Features..…………………………………………………………………………………………………….........                                                                                       4

Program Overhead...........…………………………………………………………………………………………...........                                                                                5

Fundraising……………..…………….…………………………………………………………………………………………                                                                                              5

Tips for Saving Money...............………………………………………………………………………......................                                                                   8

Conclusion ……………..…………….………………………………………………………………………………………….                                                                                             9
                                          Introduction

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will remember forever!"

Overseas volunteers often speak of life-changing experiences, as they helped those in need,
explored new cultures, and gained new insights.

Volunteering overseas is a rich experience but it is more expensive than volunteering in your
hometown. There’s the cost of accommodations, food, emergency health and evacuation
insurance, pre-departure coordination and training, in-country transportation, and local
expertise to provide orientation and safety.

This guide will give you ideas for saving money without sacrificing quality or the safety of
your journey.
                                           Location

Depending on where you volunteer, the local cost of living can have a big impact on the cost
of your trip. The price of food and accommodations varies widely from country to country, as
does the cost of airfare. Some countries with a low cost of living might have a high cost to fly
there. Be sure to consider the total cost of travel and living expenses if you are seeking to
minimize expenses.




                                        Length of Stay

Program costs such as training, coordination, and transportation, occur only once,
regardless of the length of your stay. So look for programs where the second and additional
weeks can be added for a nominal fee - sometimes for as little as 10% more! The longer you
stay, the cheaper your trip will be per week. Look for value for your money, not just the
cheapest fee.
                                     Program Features

Find out what’s included in the program. Many programs do not include air fare, visa
processing charges, and required vaccinations or immunizations within the program fee.

Some programs include language classes, some include pre departure training, and some
include cultural excursions. If you already speak the native language and are comfortable
exploring a new country on your own, you can save money by signing up with a lower cost
volunteer program which does not offer these features.

If you are hoping to improve a second language, look for a program that includes cultural
immersion experiences, intensive language courses, or home stay accommodations. Fully
immersing yourself in the local community will definitely improve your second language
skills.

You will find that there is a wide range when it comes to program costs. Be sure to compare
apples to apples. Make a list of the program features you are looking for and then develop a
check list. Here are examples of different program features:

                                      Sample                Sample            Sample
                                   Standard Program      Budget Program     Cheap Program

                                   $1600/ 2 weeks        $795/ 2 weeks      $400/ 2 weeks

Pre Departure Coordination                x                     x
Pre Departure Training                    x                     x
Accommodations                            x                     x                    x
Meals                                     x                     x                    x
Health Insurance                          x                     x                    x
Evacuation Insurance                      x                     x                    x
In country transportation                 x
Donations to Country Fund                 x
Local Expertise                           x                     x
Arrival Orientation                       x                     x
Cultural Excursions                       x
Language classes                          x
In country program support                x                     x
                                      Program Overhead

For Profit organizations generally have profit-making divisions that can cover overhead costs
for program administration. Not for Profit organizations cover the entire cost of the program
administration through the program fee itself.

Look at how program fees are allocated to learn if the organization is being run efficiently.
Ask about the allocation percentages to be sure you are not paying excessive amounts for
any part of the fee. A healthy overhead allocation would be:


                              Program Fee Allocation 


                           8% 

                 10% 
                                                                     Volunteer Preparation & Field 
                                                                     Expenses 
                                                                     Administration & Volunteer 
                                                                     Recruitment 
                                                                     Program Development 
            22% 
                                                60% 
                                                                     Free Cultural Exchange & 
                                                                     Awareness Programs




                                         Fundraising

Before you commit to a program, be sure you know how you are going to pay for it. First, find
out whether your hometown country offers tax deductions for some volunteer costs. Second,
develop a fundraising strategy. Here are some fundraising ideas:

1. Create your own online fundraising page

You can create an online fundraising page to spread the word about your volunteer abroad
trip. This page can feature photos and information to encourage family, friends and
colleagues to donate. It can also send out personalized emails to generate support.
Sponsors can donate on the site and these donations can go directly to your trip savings 
account. Some organizations offer an easy pre-made format so volunteers can quickly and
easily create a fundraising page. Offer to send a newsletter to those who help out, after you
have arrived in country

2. Contact your Local Media

Let your entire community know about
the life-changing adventure on which
you are about to embark! Contact your
local weekly and daily newspapers to
help spread the word about your trip,
direct people to your fundraising page,
and encourage donors to contribute. In
doing so, you may be given the
opportunity to share your story with
hundreds of readers. This can not only
help to bring in financial support, but
can also draw much needed public
attention to the international
community you will be working with
during your trip.

3. Create a Letter Writing Campaign

If you prefer a traditional approach, an
effective way to reach a large number
of potential donors is through a letter
writing campaign. This will enable you
to explain why you have chosen to
volunteer abroad, how much it means
to you, what it will mean to the
community you will be serving. You can also describe the amount of money you are seeking
to raise, as well as your fundraising efforts. Here are a few tips to get you started!

   ·   Make sure the letter is limited in length and explains your mission.
   ·   Describe the trip you are about to embark on and the people you will support and
       work in partnership with during your experience. Educate your donors by making sure
       you explain why you need the funds, what the funds will be used for, and where the
       funds will be spent.
   ·   Explain how this journey will positively affect your life and the community you will be
       working with.
   ·   In addition to family and friends, contact local businesses. Many of them look for tax
       deductions and would love to support a great cause! Note that your sponsor’s
       donation is tax-deductible.
   ·   Provide stamped return envelopes with each letter. Remember: you want to make the
       donation process as simple and easy as possible for your sponsor.
   ·   Follow up with thank you cards 24 hours after you receive a donation.
   ·   Send the letter to anyone you can think of. You never know who will support you.
   ·   Offer to deliver a slide presentation to a donor or group of donors upon your return.
   ·   Promise to stay in touch by email or newsletter, and provide updates on your
       activities.

4. Email, Blog, or Twitter Updates

Create a blog, twitter, or email distribution list so you can send out frequent updates about
your fundraising efforts and needs, updates on money raised so far, and details of your
journey before and after you return.

                                               5. Host an Event

                                               Another great fundraising idea is to hold a
                                               fundraising event. Here are some event ideas:

                                                   · Free service in exchange for a
                                               donation: babysit, wash cars, take care of a
                                               pet, host a bake sale, or volunteer to do yard
                                               work.

                                                   · Basketball, softball, baseball or other
                                               sports tournament: Ask your town to provide
                                               the field or gym facilities for this event. Have
                                               local businesses donate prizes for winners
                                               and invite your community to come cheer the
                                               participants on!

                                                  · Battle of the Bands. Ask local
                                               businesses to provide a venue for this. Bands
                                               and venue owners alike will enjoy the
                                               exposure and the community can enjoy a fun
                                               night.

   ·   Dinner: Host a spaghetti dinner at a community center or school gym. Ask friends to
       help you prepare the dinner. Charge a fee for the dinner provided. Invite everyone
       you know!

   ·   Host a Clothing Swap. Invite your friends for an evening of recycling their closets.
       Charge a fee at the door to participate.


6. Promote the Local Community or Organization

   ·   Contact a local in-country community organization where you will be volunteering. Ask
       them if you can deliver a slide presentation or talk about their community when you
       return home. They may be happy to offer some funds in exchange for your efforts to
       promote and educate foreigners about their community and its needs.

7. Apply for Grants or Scholarships

   ·   If you are a student, contact your school’s financial aid department. There may be
       funds available for you to tap into.

   ·   If you are a skilled professional, and have been accepted into a volunteer program,
       you might consider applying for a $500 - $1000 grant from Volunteers for Prosperity
       to offset your travel and cost of living expenses.




                                      Tips for Saving $

   1. Consider getting an International Volunteer Card (IVC). It gives you 1000’s of
      discounts including airfares, 24/7 assistance worldwide, and 3 levels of travel
      insurance. For more information, see
      http://www.volunteercard.com/?r=VFLYFORGOOD

   2. Be sure to research your airplane tickets through discount websites such as
      kayak.com, bookingbuddy.com, flyforgood.com or cheapflights.com. There are lots of
      discount sites. This is a must!
                                        Conclusion

You may be surprised at the number of people who will be touched by your passion and
energy for making the world a better place. Don’t hesitate to show them how they, too, can
participate by donating their time or funds to your efforts. Your commitment to a world-
changing trip is important. Let people support you.

Ryunosuke Satoro once said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” By
joining with others to support communities in need and foster cross-cultural understanding
and friendship, you are helping to unite the world in a community beyond borders.

We wish you a wonderful trip!

				
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