The VE "No Fee" Philosophy
International volunteers not only donate their time, but they also financially invest in their experience by saving up and paying for their expenses. That's why VE is no fee. And, we want to stay that way.
Volunteering with VE isn't free - it's just no fee. As much as we would love to pay our volunteers, as a small nonprofit organization we can't afford to cover volunteers' direct costs, like room and board, international travel, local transportation, and other incidentals.
Our philosophy as a small nonprofit organization is to stay a no fee volunteer program. But to do that, we count on our volunteers to play their part.
How Much Does It Cost?
Currently, VE estimates that for every volunteer we support, it costs $US 2,500 per volunteer per year to manage our work at its current level. Even if volunteers manage to fundraise only a portion of that amount, it goes a long way to making our programs a success. Every volunteer's personal situation is different, but we believe that that's ok when we come together as a community to do our best.
The More You Fundraise, The More You Benefit!
As a VE volunteer, fundraising with VE is a win-win situation, because the more you fundraise, the more you get to cover your own costs, too! VE Global awards successful volunteer fundraisers - and the more you raise, the more you benefit.
Fundraising for your experience invests you in your international volunteer opportunity even more. That's why we've created an opportunity for volunteers to benefit directly from their fundraising initiatives.
VE Volunteer Fundraising
When you think about an international volunteer program, there are clearly costs involved. To develop and manage a high-quality program that actually achieves our mission of supporting children and youth at risk in Santiago, we have to buy supplies, pay the rent and other bills, and have at least a small staff to run the standing program that selects and trains our volunteers and that supports and builds relationships with local partners in Chile. VE has only two full-time, paid employees: the Executive Director and Program Director. Thankfully, our team of volunteers and interns work very hard to support the work of our small team.
VE Global can run its programs without charging program or application fees, but to keep it this way, we need our volunteers to help. Our volunteers must understand that even though they don't pay a program fee directly, they have an obligation to fundraise so that VE can pay what is necessary to provide ongoing, in-country support and training for the challenging volunteer work they do.
Upon acceptance, the Executive Director and Development and Communications Intern work with each volunteer to establish individual goals for personal fundraising. It doesn't have to be daunting, complex or difficult and is a great way to involve your personal and professional networks in your international experience.
What's VE Global's Overhead? Is VE Transparent?
Everyone always wants to know: What's your nonprofit overhead? How much do you spend on administration? How much goes directly to the kids? Why don't you get all of your services donated for free? How much does VE Global pay in staff salaries? We think these are the wrong questions to ask, thanks to an insightful TedTalk by Dan Pallotta called The Way We Think About Charity Is Dead Wrong.
We encourage everyone in the VE community - from potential volunteer to board member - to watch this video for an interesting perspective on why we aren't asking the right question when we ask about an organization's overhead.
How will VE pay for the transportation and rent incentives if I meet my fundraising goals?
VE will provide the volunteer with a Transantiago Bip! Card with the corresponding amount in Chilean pesos charged to the card for use on the integrated system of buses and metro in Santiago. Rent will be paid directly to the landlord by VE on behalf of the volunteer.
How will VE pay for and what can I cover with the 33% above $2500?
VE will cover any costs that are incurred by the volunteer that can be justified as direct program expenses. These expenses may include local transportation, rent, meals, workshop materials, etc. Wherever possible, VE will directly pay for the expense, but approved expenses can also be reimbursed with appropriate receipts or documentation.