Where the money goes

Pod Volunteer is a non-profit organisation

Find out more about how Pod Volunteer is run and how we set placement fees in order to minimise costs and maximise benefits

How does Pod Volunteer set its volunteer fee levels?

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Pod Volunteer’s only source of income is volunteer fees so without charging a fee we would not be able to exist. Volunteer fee levels are set to match costs (see below for breakdown) and any surplus monies are distributed to the overseas organisations and charities we work with via the Pod Charity.

We charge a fee to volunteers for all our placements in order to cover the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK. We keep the fees as low as we can but we have to ensure that we can provide the high level of support that we pride ourselves on.

The organisations we work with do not have any budget to cover volunteer costs and are often struggling to fund their work, so it is very important that the cost of supporting volunteers is covered and doesn’t jeopardise their sustainability or limit their ability to carry out their charitable aims.

What does ‘non-profit’ mean?

Non-profit (or not for profit) is generally defined as an organisation thats purpose is not making a profit and that does not distribute any surplus as profit or dividends. This in itself is still not very clear!

In a similar way to a profit making organisation, a non-profit organisation has costs and must generate income in order to pay for those costs. But as a non-profit organisation, it only aims to cover its costs rather than charging the maximum it could to make profit.

Any surplus (money left over after paying all the costs) at the end of the year is retained to keep the organisation running or donated to the causes the organisation is supporting, rather than being paid out to shareholders.

Why does Pod Volunteer run on a non-profit basis?

We have chosen to operate on a non-profit basis as we want to keep volunteer fees as low as we can to ensure that the opportunities we offer are available to as many people as possible and to help provide the projects on the ground with an optimal number of volunteers to help achieve their work.

It gives our volunteers the assurance that we are only charging what we need to cover our costs.

What are Pod Volunteer’s costs?

Volunteer Cost Breakdown Pie Chart

Overseas projects and placement management (68%)

  • Maintaining, monitoring and supporting projects
  • Regular project visits
  • Volunteer accommodation, transport, food etc.
  • Supporting volunteers in-country
  • Donations to projects
  • Credit card fees charged on volunteer payments
  • Project development - sourcing, vetting and setting up new projects

Volunteer recruitment and management (21%)

  • Promotion activities to find volunteers for our projects
  • Website development and maintenance
  • Managing each volunteer application
  • Supporting volunteers before, during and post their placement

Management and governance (5%)

  • Overall management of Pod Volunteer – leadership, organisation, finance, HR, legal, health & safety
  • Ensuring we are compliant with all regulations, including UK and EU laws and requirements

Office, IT, communications (3%)

  • Office equipment, stationary, printing, utilities
  • IT - computers and software
  • Communications - postage, internet, telephone charges

Insurance, legal, professional (2%)

  • Crisis management insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Employers liability insurance
  • Financial payment protection for all monies paid by volunteers to Pod
  • Legal support
  • Membership of professional bodies
  • Accountancy fees
  • Bank charges

Pod Charity (1%)

  • Pod Volunteer covers costs for the Pod Charity to enable it to operate on a minimal cost basis and provide a source of additional grant funding for overseas projects
  • Staff time to run and administer the charity
  • Fundraising
  • Donations to the charity

Reserves (0%)

  • To ensure we are are sustainable and can protect ourselves, our volunteers and projects against unexpected cost increases we maintain a reserve
  • Our policy is to maintain a reserve of 4-6 months of operating costs
  • There has been no addition to reserves since 2019

Please contact us if you have any questions on how we operate and our costs.