GoTanzania research: volunteering employment agencies much more expensive

[November 12, 2014]
GoTanzania collected more than 150 organizations that offer volunteer opportunities in Tanzania. These organizations vary from mini-NGO’s to private initiatives to big internationally operating traveling agencies. GoTanzania created a typology of all these organizations. First, there are organizations that offer work at their own location (schools, orphanages, hospitals, etc.). After that, there are organizations that offer volunteer work in a project setting. Thirdly, there are organizations that mediate and sometimes offer their own projects, which they outline on their website. Lastly, there is a section of big international “volunteering agencies.”

We created a scale, from small to big organizations, and from organizations that are at the source of the project to ‘supermarkets’ offering volunteer work. In practice, many other scales are creates like this as well: from individual to collective, from authentic to constructed, from sober to adventure – but without incorporating the costs of such an adventure. And exactly this is important for this scale: from cheap to expensive.

The comparison shows that the last categories, which are used most frequently by volunteers, are significantly more expensive than the other categories. The graph below shows the results of the investigation done by GoTanzania.

The investigation indicates that when you go abroad in order to volunteer for 2 months, and you arrange this trip with the organization that also directly offers the volunteer work (so you are at the source of the project), it will cost you about €1000.
When you apply for a volunteering job at a big international organization, however, you will pay about €2400.
Note: in both cases, we are only talking about food and housing.

Sometimes a financial contribution for the project itself is asked to be made, but this should never mean that volunteering itself gets significantly more expensive!

The conclusion is: big organizations are asking a lot more money than smaller ones. Money that you, as a volunteer, will not (or hardly) see back in the services provided to you.

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