About Volunteer Global

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Volunteer Global connects travelers with community-based service groups worldwide through our direct volunteer programs, our Travel Buddy Directory, and our blog, which is regularly updated with news, advice, and stories about traveling and volunteering abroad.

As we continuously expand our services at Volunteer Global, we enjoy and rely on the feedback and expertise of our Board of Advisors who double as our review panel. Our board members are experts in their fields with a broad understanding of their sectors' relationship with international community engagement, with especial consideration for intercultural volunteering and travel standards.

Our Mission

Our mission is to faciliate the matching of qualified, motivated volunteers with worthwhile, community-based organizations and their programs in the most informative, affordable way possible.

Our Goals

Volunteer Global has three goals:

  1. To research trends, news, and statistics within the volunteer travel industry;
  2. To provide a platform for volunteer sending and hosting organizations to promote their work; and,
  3. To provide direct placements for volunteers to work with select locally-based organizations worldwide.

Our Story

Gandoca Beach, Costa Rica - by Sarah Palmer, Volunteer Global

Volunteer Global started as a research project by Sarah Vandenberg in 2005. While pursuing an internship with Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., Sarah began looking into short-term volunteer travel projects to pursue that summer. She created a simple table of volunteer travel groups, comparing them by cost, location, type of work, and more, and then posted it online for others to use.

Since 2005, Volunteer Global has grown and changed dramatically; it's become a network through which volunteer organizations both large and small can market the great work they do. Our research includes hundreds of articles highlighting trends, statistics, and news about the volunteer travel industry.

In 2013 we announced our first pilot programs for volunteers and interns to work with select, community-based organizations in Central America. We now offer options on 5 continents in an ever-growing list of countries!

When you sign up through Volunteer Global, you'll receive support before, during, and after your volunteer service, and you'll work with amazing organizations vetted by our team of volunteer travelers and experts in the field.


Volunteer Global is run by an extremely small staff with a limited budget comprised solely on the following:

  • An optional volunteer donation upon successful registration - this is set at a recommendation of 15%, but is ultimately up to the volunteer as to how much they would like to donate.
  • Our $9 per month or $90 per annual Travel Buddy Connect subscription for organizations who desire additional contact options for prospective volunteers to contact them directly, along with the ability to host videos and pictures on their profile.
  • Donations from supportive visitors and patrons like you!

Our staff are themselves volunteers, offering their time and expertise to connect volunteers with the safest, most affordable opportunities available. Our annual budget goals to pay for website expenses, the limited reimbursements we try to provide our staff, and any funds for marketing or the development of new features, etc. aren't extravagant, but we still need your help to reach them.

For 2015 we have a goal of US  $25,000  to reach by the end of the year to support our programs, staff, and future development. If you are interested in donating to any of the following areas please click on the PayPal donate button below! You may donate anonymously or request that we include your name and/or amount in a future list of donors to be made available on the site. We appreciate private donations as well as those from corporations or other registered entities.

As always, if you have any questions please don't hesitate to write us at info@volunteerglobal.com, and we will be happy to get in touch with you!

Areas in need of funding:

  • Website and operational expenses - To pay for our dedicated server through Bluehost, CloudFlare account, business registration, tax and legal fees associated with an LLC, we are looking to raise $4,000.
  • Volunteer staff reimbursements - To compensate our much-needed volunteer contractors we are looking to raise $2,500 for each of the 7 active members on our staff and Board of Advisors, totalling $17,500.
  • Marketing and Development - To support several starter marketing agendas including Google Adwords, brochures and flyers for our campus chapters to distribute, as well as two or three low-cost on-site partner visits to gauge program effectiveness, safety, and general assessment for improvements, we hope to raise $3,500.

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Once again, we would like to sincerely thank you for your time and support!

~ The Volunteer Global staff