GivingWay FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

This means that we do not charge any membership fees and the ability to search for volunteer opportunities is completely free. Unlike other sites that charge volunteers membership fees in order to contact organizations, we believe this service should be open to all and we invite anyone to browse freely through the volunteering opportunities listed on our platform.

As a marketplace we leave it to each organization to determine if and what it charges from volunteers. Many organizations don’t charge any fees at all from their volunteers, while others may request a registration/commitment fee. Some organizations provide volunteers with accommodation and meals and will typically charge volunteers to cover such costs. In any event, all such fees are requested by and are paid to the local organizations themselves.

To begin with, we really love what we do. We are truly passionate about our work and feel very lucky to be doing stuff with a positive effect on local communities as well as individuals all over the world. We believe that volunteering one's skills abroad can and should be a positive and impactful experience for both local communities and the volunteers themselves - provided this is done in a responsible, ethical and respectful way.

We also believe that by making volunteering accessible and open and by allowing for direct dialog between volunteers and organizations themselves (rather than through middlemen), the chance of genuinely matching skills and needs is maximized.

Nope. While we don't charge any fees for the ability to search for volunteering opportunities, we want to be sustainable and stick around for the long run and will be generating income from supplementary services we intend to offer on our site.

To join the GivingWay network an organization must:

  • Be legally registered
  • Be run by and for local communities (grassroots level)
  • Have a contact person with at least basic English communication skills
  • Not be orphanages or similar residential homes for children (more on that below)

While we wish that only legal, locally-based and ethical organizations join the GivingWay community, we are aware that as a digital marketplace we cannot check all organizations, especially in light of the global spread and remoteness of many organizations, and therefore cannot guarantee that no mistakes will be made. We do, however, reserve the right to examine organizations that do not comply with our requirements and to suspend or cease activity at our discretion. In addition, as we are strongly opposed to the whole concept of “Orphanage Tourism� and the negative effects this has on vulnerable children, we do not wish to have orphanages on our site; if we are notified that a certain organization on the site is an orphanage or can reasonably be suspected of conducting such activities we will take immediate action to handle the issue.

It is our hope that members of the GivingWay community in general comply with our policies but we are not responsible for the activities and conduct of the organizations themselves. We strongly encourage volunteers to do as much research as possible and use their judgement when examining various organizations.

Finally, please bear in mind that reviews from volunteers who were actually on the ground serve as an excellent vetting mechanism and we urge volunteers to make this small effort for the benefit of the GivingWay community. In any event, if you have a concern that any organization on the network does not comply with our policies we urge you to let us know as soon as possible so that we can look into the matter and take appropriate measures if needed.

An "Online Marketplace" is a platform that allows two sides of a virtual market to connect and engage with each other directly. In our case, we provide the infrastructure through which organizations and volunteers can create their own profiles, tell the community who they are, what they are looking for, what skills they possess or require, and so forth - kind of like a giant, two-way billboard.

As a digital platform we aim to provide volunteers and organizations with tools that can help them make more-informed decisions about who they wish to engage with. We encourage organizations and volunteers to provide as much information as possible about themselves and highly recommend that both sides get to know as much as possible about each other before engaging, for example through video calls, by talking with past volunteers, by checking out references and so forth. It is important to understand that as a digital platform, we are not involved in the relationship between volunteers and organizations as well as in any terms and agreements reached among the two sides.

We do not endorse, certify or recommend organizations or volunteers and are not responsible for the conduct of volunteers and organizations both before and during a volunteer engagement.

Yes, we intend to add this feature very soon; organizations will be able to search for and contact volunteers according to their skills and region.

This is why it is important that volunteers provide detailed information about their skills as well as the dates and places they plan on going to.

In most countries it is 18 but minors under 18 accompanied by parents or legal guardians are also welcome on many projects.

Of course not! In fact, many organizations even prefer more experienced volunteers...

There's a bunch of ways

  • By joining our community and enjoying our services.
  • By writing reviews after you volunteer. Reviews are extremely important, both for prospective volunteers considering where to go and for the organizations themselves.
  • By spreading the word. If you believe in what we’re doing here, please go ahead and share our site with your friends and network through your website, blog, or via social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.).
  • By letting us know what you think of our service. We are always keen on hearing positive as well as negative (preferably constructive...) input as we are constantly looking to improve our service for the benefit of all community members.
  • By writing a blog on our site which relates to responsible volunteering and travel. For more information on this you may contact us at contact@givingway.com

First, the GivingWay community is always here to help. If you let us know that an organization is not being responsive we will send the organization notifications to let them know. While we will try to assist you here, it is ultimately up to each organization to manage its communication methods with prospective volunteers.

Keep in mind though that due to Internet connectivity and other issues sometimes responses may take a little longer than expected... they do say that patience is a virtue...

That's exactly what our support team is here for! We love hearing from our community, so feel free to contact us at support@givingway.com with any questions, comments and input, or if you just want to drop us a line. We promise to respond as soon as possible!