Even though the words "pay" and "volunteer" don't really seem to go together, paying to volunteer is a great way to have an amazing experience and do something worthwhile. If you still want to know more, we've listed a few reasons why we think paying to volunteer is such a good idea.
Many of the local partners and NGOs we work with don't have the marketing budgets and skills to attract international volunteers and without a recruiting organisation like Frontier, there simply wouldn't be the funding and assistance these projects need to survive and flourish. Thanks to us, many local projects can get the global audience and publicity they so desperately need, boosting awareness of their cause.
We rigorously check all our worldwide projects to ensure they're top-notch and suitable for volunteers like you. Each project is hand-picked and thoroughly researched to ensure it's beneficial to the area and it's providing a much-needed and worthwhile service. Whether that's making sure there's accommodation available, or knowing there's an experienced supervisor on hand at all times, we make it our business to check these things out.
We work hard to match you to the right project – to give you the best experience possible, and to get the best input possible for our local partners. By joining Frontier, you'll save time and uncertainty on both sides.
With us you're paying for the safety and security of an established project, and the knowledge that there is comprehensive support both before you leave and once you've arrived. Our travel experts are on hand to answer your questions and offer advice – all have travelled and volunteered themselves, and know what it's like! They can give you tips on everything from what to pack to whom to book your flights through. There is no question too small.
For first time travellers, going it alone can be daunting – not only for themselves, but for their nervous parents back home too! Travelling with us, you're supported every step of the way, and we can help you with arrangements and back-up. What you're paying for is the peace of mind that comes with Frontier's 24/7 support; the knowledge that you'll be picked up from the airport, the comfort of arriving at a project that meets your expectations, and somewhere that has food and accommodation ready for you. To see exactly what is included, see What do I get for my money?
A portion of your fee goes towards the arrangements before you leave. As a not for profit organisation, we rely on volunteers' support to be able to give the best service possible, and to help our projects across the world. For more information, see Where does my money go? All our prices are based on the needs of the local partners and what the volunteers will need in preparation – be it dive equipment for the projects, or TEFL training for the volunteer. These costs are considered and incorporated to make sure both sides get the best deal and the highest quality care.
All this said we do admire people who manage to arrange their travelling and volunteering experiences independently – we know firsthand how hard it is to find a worthwhile project!
Going independently creates the risk of arriving to find that the project you arranged doesn't exist or isn't what you understood it to be. After travelling halfway around the world, wouldn't it be better to be greeted with exactly what you expected?
Many volunteers have arrived at projects to find that the company they have chosen, or the project they have arranged themselves, is unethical in its conduct; the project is unnecessary, or puts a preventable strain on the local community, and has been created just for the company to make some money.
One African family begged to stop being sent volunteers – they had already had their house painted seven times! Some companies have the right idea in sending volunteers, but send them to places that don't need that kind of help.
Why waste time spending weeks in a country trying to hunt down a suitable project when you can have it all pre-arranged through us? This way you can be sure you are making the right impact straight away, from the moment you are picked up from the airport. Close communication with the NGOs and communities we work with mean that we will never send a volunteer who isn't needed.
Many people who have already been on organised projects often choose to go independently if they go again. Because they have the previous experience of volunteering in a different country, it may seem easier and far less intimidating. But the same issues still remain – however experienced you may be, it is still possible to find yourself signing up to projects that don't exist, or wasting time trying to track down an appropriate project. Those risks never change, whereas with an organisation, you know you're in safe hands every time.