Tax-deductible Volunteer Programs

Did you know that when you serve with Global Volunteers – in any one of our 17 host countries worldwide – you quality for certain tax deductions? It’s true. You benefit by joining one of our tax-deductible volunteer programs if you’re a U.S. taxpayer, because your volunteer program fee and related costs, such as air fare and visa, are tax-deductible.

Why is a Global Volunteers program fee tax-deductible?

Global Volunteers is a 501-C3 tax-exempt corporation under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (see IRS Form 526). Basically, the principle reason these expenses are tax-deductible to U.S. citizens is that, as a taxpayer, you are doing the work of Global Volunteers, a charitable organization.

Tax-deductible volunteer program fees in Mexico

How much do I save as a Global Volunteer?

When combining federal and state income tax savings, the average volunteer will save about 33% of the total cost of the volunteer program. (And that doesn’t even include discounts!) Here’s an example…

Volunteer Program Fee …… $2,595.00
Average Air Fare ……………… $1,500.00
Visa …………………………………. $75.00
Total ……………………………….. $4,170.00

33% tax savings …………….. $1,376.10

Testimonial from 9-time Global Volunteer:

“I was curious, so I prepared my individual taxes this year both with the Global Volunteers charitable deduction and without, and I realized that deducting the program fee, airfare, travel insurance and visa would net me almost $1,500 more than without that deduction. I always heard about the value of the tax deduction, but I really didn’t think seriously about it until I analyzed it this way myself. I’m looking forward to using the refund for my next service program this year. It’s like recycled money!”

– Esther Schak, 9-time Global Volunteer

Tax-deductible volunteer program fees in Romania

Things to Remember about a Tax-deductible Volunteer Vacation

Global Volunteers strictly adheres to IRS requirements that you work, on average, eight hours per day, five days out of seven days to ensure you can claim this tax benefit. Additional travel or vacation either before or after a volunteer program may disqualify all or part of the volunteer program fee (i.e. air fare) from being a charitable deduction. We do not offer tax advice outside of what we know. We state only that all contributions (volunteer program fees) to Global Volunteers and the expenses associated with doing the work of Global Volunteers are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers.

Visit “Money Matters – Explaining Your Service Program Fee” to learn more on this topic.

A “Working Vacation” You’ll Never Forget

Come join us on one of our tax-deductible volunteer programs. A Global Volunteers volunteer vacation is not just an opportunity to travel and immerse yourself in a foreign culture; it’s an opportunity to use your unique skills and interests to help provide children with a horizon they wouldn’t otherwise have. You’ll do real work on this vacation. Good work that will change your worldview. Even your life.

Chat online about tax-deductible volunteer programs

Two Romania volunteering scholarships will be offered to applicants for the March 2018 service program. For the fifth year, a Global Volunteers’ patron has pledged to help fund 2- week volunteers serving on winter teams, to nurture and encourage abandoned children at a time of great need. A fund drive is underway to match the initial scholarship pledge, releasing the full scholarship potential.

Applicants and Donors United in Service

Partial scholarships of $1000 are now available. Learn how to apply or to donate:
800-487-1074, chat online or text 651-222-9565.

Criteria for qualified English-speaking scholarship recipients:

  • Must be available to serve for two weeks beginning on March 3, 2018.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a Romania service program registration for March, including a $USD 350 deposit (refundable if you are not selected to receive a scholarship).
  • Balance for the full program fee is due 90 days before your service program. Preference is given to applicants who pay the full program fee at the time the scholarship period opens.
  • Must collaborate with Global Volunteers on social media promotions, including a community presentation following the program.
  • Must be capable and committed to caring for at-risk children in the Barlad, Romania Children’s Hospital.

Contribute to the Romania Scholarship Fund Today!

Every contribution helps us ensure these teams will be sent with the maximum number of compassionate volunteers. Please help us today.

Donate to the Romania Winter Scholarship Fund

Scholarship awards are made to applicants in the order that completed program registrations, including a $350 deposit, are received. The number of scholarships awarded will be determined by the total funds raised.

Volunteer Opportunities for Couples - in Romania

Some of the babies in Barlad Children’s Hospital. Register to help a Global Volunteers team.

Scholarships Ensure Romanian Babies Receive Additional Care in Winter Months

The needs of children in Barlad’s Children’s Hospital are significant. Our volunteers care for abandoned special-needs babies and toddlers all year around, helping to improve their start in life. Volunteer engagement drops during the winter months, but the children’s needs remain stable. The Romania Winter Scholarships help ensure that volunteers are mobilized in December through March to sustain care during these months.

Some of the children you can help:


The Scholarship Origins and Urgent Need:

This extraordinary opportunity is generously provided by the family of a Romania program alumni devoted to the children’s consistent care throughout the year. Learn more about our Romania service program here! 

Questions? Call 800-487-1074 or submit an application using the form:

Request a program catalog here or by calling 800-487-1074.

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Fundraising to Volunteer Abroad

Many of our volunteers have raised enough money to cover their entire volunteer program fee, and now we want to encourage you in your efforts towards fundraising to volunteer abroad. This post covers the basics of the great fundraising tool that Global Volunteers offers along with creative tips.

1. Use our fundraising tool

We make it easy with your own fundraising page! Once you’ve registered for a volunteer program, we activate your page so that you can personalize it by adding photos and blogs. Then share it with others. Your sponsors can contribute with just a few clicks!

2. Host a theme night

Fundraising to volunteer abroad

Invite friends and family to your place for an evening of fun activities and food – all revolving around the culture of your volunteer location. Then ask for a small donation at the door.

3. Create a payment plan

You’ll be volunteering before you know it if you divide your fundraising goal into more practicable portions.

Fundraising to volunteer abroad

 4. Share your talents

Fundraising to volunteer abroad

Create some simple jewelry or sew a few trendy scarves to sell. Dancing or singing more your thing? Hold a performance to show your creative side.

5. Launch a social media fund board

Ask your Facebook friends to claim a square of any amount between $1 and $100. If every square is claimed, you’ll have raised over $5, 000!

Fundraising to volunteer abroad

6. Have a yard sale

Ask friends and family to clean their basements and attics and donate any old furniture, clothing, etc. to you. Then form a neighborhood yard sale! Be sure that your supporters understand that you’re fundraising to volunteer abroad and that the proceeds will help you make this dream a reality.


For more tips for fundraising to volunteer abroad, chat online with one of our Volunteer Coordinators. We’re ready to assist you, answer questions, and offer guidance. Let your adventure in service begin!

Fundraising to volunteer abroad

It’s not uncommon for volunteers’ life-altering service program experiences to lead to changes in school choices, career aspirations – or even the choice of spouse!  Some of our alumni have taken the next step and established scholarships enabling other volunteers to follow in their footsteps by serving in the same partner communities.

Many donors operate anonymously, but others leverage their advocacy to gain broad interest.  For instance:

  • After learning that the level of care for the disabled and abandoned children her daughter served waned to nearly nothing in the winter months, a mother snapped into action to create the Global Volunteers Romania Winter Scholarship Fund.  To encourage volunteers to serve in Barlad, Romania in the cold months, the fund provides partial scholarships ($1, 000) to ten recipients annually.  In this way, she’s “paid it forward” to ensure that babies are cared for and new volunteers are engaged.
  • A University of Central Missouri Alumna served with Global Volunteers on a USA program and provided an endowment to her Alma Mater for student service scholarships.  In the past six years,  more than 60 students have served with Global Volunteers in Ecuador, India, Costa Rica, Poland, St. Lucia and Cuba with more communities to be served in future years!

Not everyone can contribute this way, but these alumni say the satisfaction of knowing that their influence, through the lives of the student recipients and those they serve, has greatly deepened their own fulfillment.

Would you like to investigate a scholarship program with Global Volunteers? Please call us at 651-407-6100 to discuss your idea!