Breakdown of Your Fees
RSVP Caribbean is fully funded and operated based on the programme fees of volunteers. As such, every dollar you spend with us is accounted for and the Regional Director has to report to a Board of Directors. Your programme fees cover direct and indirect costs to manage, operate and sustain the programmes and projects, and contribute to the local community. Your programme fee is spent based on the following general categories; all listed percentages are an approximation:
It is important that all programmes and projects are addressing particular needs and over time there are improvements. As such, we spend a lot of time researching programmes and projects to ensure that the work of the volunteers will be beneficial. It is also essential that local partners are involved and so time is spent meeting and planning with partners. From this, the programme and partner plans are developed. The start-up of new destinations involves significant investment in preparation for volunteers and existing destinations require ongoing development and readjustment to ensure all stakeholders are satisfied.
Planning for all aspects of the volunteering experience is costly. There are various systems and procedures which have to be in place and followed to ensure successful operations. This includes, but is not limited to, different systems, partnership alliance, emailing, procurement and others which all influence how the head office, marketing offices and destinations operate. Given all the partners involved – volunteers, staff, host families, drivers, partner agencies and all other stakeholders, there are many internal and external planning, operation and administrative costs which are necessary to effectively and efficiently sustain the company. Each programme, host family, and each element (transport, flight, visa, immigration, among others) is a non-stop 24-hour support system which has to be carefully monitored at all times at different levels of the organization.
Planning for and arranging the entire volunteering process requires considerable input from all staff particularly the Regional Director, Marketing Executives, Programme Development Director, Programme Coordinators and administrative support staff. Through a coordinated system each person is tasked with completing different aspects to prepare for a volunteer’s experience. As such, the head office is adequately staffed to ensure this is done. We have to treat each volunteer as unique and ensure we pay attention to every detail to match your skills, interests and preferences. There is frequent and timely communication with each volunteer before they arrive and full documentation so that your programme and accommodation can be carefully selected. We assist with information on visas, permits, food, language, health, travel and many other matters. We offer 24/7 emergency service for you and your family back home.
There are many costs which directly relate to a volunteer while in-country. This includes but is not limited to accommodation, meals, transportation to and from the airport, daily transportation, cultural events, materials for programme partners, orientation, workshops, meetings, equipment, donations for programme partners, programme audits, 24-hour support and many other expenses. This also includes experienced staff, office operations and community outreach activities. An office in each location is important to providing the necessary support for all our volunteers. A specific portion of a volunteer’s programme fee goes towards a fund that directly supports projects at a community level. This significantly helps in addressing priority needs in a community.
A significant amount of time goes into organizing your programme and preparing your timetable. Once this is done there are weekly, monthly and quarterly monitoring and evaluation reports to ensure that the sustainable development goals are being met. The monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects helps us to clearly see the areas of improvement, what needs to be adjusted, what areas to focus on, best practices and lesson learned. This allows us to adjust our programme and partner plan as necessary to ensure the greatest impact.
The work of RSVP Caribbean has to be promoted across the region and the world. Within the Caribbean persons need to be more aware of the work that is being done and how this impacts the region. Internationally in order to get more volunteers to come to the Caribbean various activities are held. This includes career fairs, information sessions, presentations and meetings. To support these activities, information packs, brochures and various promotional items are developed. Through our team, across the world, we take the time to advise volunteers on why they should volunteer in the Caribbean, with us.
In general your fees also support the following :
- Over twenty (20) long-term volunteer programmes and projects
- Staff in the Caribbean and across the world
- A senior staff member for each destination to ensure proper planning, continuity of programmes and programme impact
- An experienced recruitment, operations and administrative team to manage all aspects of the volunteering experience
- Constant development, review and improvements to policies and procedures for volunteer planning, support and experience, training, health and safety issues and communication and emergency protocols
- Implementation of health and safety procedures
- Emergency funding where necessary
- Staff travel costs for recruitment, training and development
- Accommodation and meals for volunteers
- Orientation and training for volunteers