Where Your Money Goes
The most valuable contribution our volunteers make is the time and effort that they put into their placements - this is something that is truly priceless. Ensuring that all our placements are responsible as well as rewarding, safe and enjoyable takes a good deal of work which is why we charge a placement fee.
With Globalteer doing much of this work, the brilliant projects we work with can save time and money which lets them concentrate fully on the important work of their projects. Which we know is as important to you as it is to us. And it means that you can be confident your trip will be worthwhile for everyone. Like any organisation – charitable or otherwise - Globalteer has to cover many costs to enable us to operate and below you can just what your placement fee helps us to pay for.
We have a small team who work hard to ensure that all volunteers are fully prepared and informed before embarking on their volunteer journey. And of course to make sure that they are well looked after while on their placement. We also employ marketing staff to make as many people aware of our work as possible.
As an ethical organisation, we pay all our staff a good living wage so that we can get – and keep - the best people, as you will see when you visit one of our projects. Most of our staff are based overseas meaning our staff and office costs are considerably lower than organisations with staff and offices in London, New York or Sydney!
Having staff based in Cambodia, Peru and Colombia also enables us to maintain close ties with all of the projects we work with, helping them wherever we can and making sure that our volunteers are being employed in the best and most effective way.
Whilst Globalteer has four Directors (Trustees) running the organisation, as a UK Registered Charity, none of the Directors receive any financial benefit from the charity.
Globalteer rents some basic office space for our teams in Cambodia and Peru. We also have a member of staff in Colombia who works form a home office. So while these costs can be kept low, we still have to cover them. The same goes for things like water and electricity, and even refuse collection. Everything comes at a price.
Awareness and volunteer Recruitment
Without effective marketing no one would know about what we do – and in many cases that would mean no one knowing about the work our projects and partner projects do. It would certainly make it very difficult to find hard working and reliable volunteers. We also think it is important to get the message across about responsible volunteering.
Therefore we advertise what we do so that volunteers come and work with us rather than other less responsible organisations. We are lucky to have staff with lots of experience in marketing which means we can get the biggest impact from of all our advertising at the lowest possible cost.
It may seem obvious but when you are on placement your transfers, hotels, meals, and transportation to and from your project also cost money – much as we would love to get them all for free! We use locally owned and run businesses wherever possible so even the money spent on these essentials is helping to support the local economy and create jobs for the local community.
Some of the less obvious things we have to pay for include international banking charges and currency exchanges just to get the money we raise to the projects that need it; we have to pay accountancy fees; and we have to pay auditors to check our work so that we can keep our charitable status.
But our registered charity status does mean that you can rely on us being fully charitable, fully non-profit and fully transparent.
So when you pay us a volunteer placement fee, it goes towards helping us do all of the above. And while your time and work is invaluable to our projects, on top of everything else, we also make a cash donation to the projects for every volunteer we place. The direct amount granted to the projects varies by project and depends upon the cost to recruit volunteers for that project and who pays the support costs such as accommodation, transport and meals for the volunteers.
In addition to covering our operating costs and the direct costs of each volunteering placement, Globalteer's charitable spending since 2006 has been almost GBP£ 4 million (USD $5.1 million).
A summary of Globalteer’s total expenditure for the last financial year is shown below:
Donations and Grants – This includes a share of volunteer placement fees, grants we have secured for our projects and donations managed by Globalteer that are made by individuals and groups to our projects and partner projects.
Support Costs – This includes volunteer accommodation, volunteer transport, support staff costs, travel costs and some volunteer meals.
Operational Costs – Costs of running Globalteer.
You can read our independently audited accounts here
About being a Registered Charity
Finally, Globalteer is a UK Registered Charity which means that we have to abide by the Charities Commission’s strict rules and regulations which cover, amongst a whole host of things, finances and accounting. The most important aspects are these:
1. We can only spend the money we raise on helping to achieve our approved charitable objectives, so no smart cars, flashy offices or shareholder bonuses for any of our staff or trustees!
2. We cannot make a profit – which means that any money we don’t spend must be reinvested back into the charity and used to help us achieve our charitable objectives.
3. Our annual accounts must be independently audited and made available to the public. You can see ours here, or take a look at the summary chart below.
When you are deciding who to volunteer with, check their status carefully as not all organisations are equal. In addition to the organisation's status, there are many other questions to ask so you can be sure your placement is responsible - read on to make sure you are properly informed!
How we spend monies received
As a UK Charity, Globalteer is transparent about how we spend money received by the charity. Our accounts are independently audited yearly by a UK Charity Accountant. The audited accounts are posted online on the UK Charities Commission website. Globalteer is a non-profit organisation and the Directors of the Charity are volunteers and cannot make any financial advantage from the charity. All monies spent by the charity must be in accordance with our Charitable Objectives.
As a UK charity, we are only allowed to publish and provide financial information that has been independently audited by a UK registered accountant. This is to ensure that the highly regulated charities only provide 100% accurate financial information to donors.
Our accounts are audited each year. The accountant audits all money received from various sources and then audits all money that we spend. For our latest accounts this audit shows us that for every pound or dollar we receive:
11% was used on Operational Costs
29% was used for Support Costs for our Volunteers
60% was used as Donations and Grants
Although not every donation is broken down in exactly the same way, from the accounts you can see that only 11% of all our expenditure is used for operational costs such as banking fees, accounting, rents and the many things that are needed to allow an organisation to operate. The remainder of the money is used to support our volunteers (if the money was received for a volunteer placement) and direct donations and grants to achieve our Charitable Objectives.
Globalteer receives thousands of individual donations each year. It is therefore not viable for us to audit every single individual donation as this would hugely increase our accountancy and administration costs and limit our valuable charitable expenditure. By auditing all expenditure in the way we do, our Operational Costs are kept to a minimum and our Charitable Expenditure is maximised.
Even though not all individual donations are broken down in the same way, you can see that approximately 11% of your donation is used on those inevitable operational costs. If your donation was for a volunteer placement then approximately 29% of that money was used as support costs for volunteers in country and then approximately 60% was used on donations and Grants to support the Charities. If your donation was not for a volunteer placement then a much larger percentage was used for the charitable purposes as there was no need for support costs. If you volunteered at a children’s project then we use your money to support that children’s project, we do not transfer this money to a wildlife or conservation project and vice versa.
Individual payments are not audited one by one to determine their exact percentage breakdown. If you would like a complete breakdown of your individual donation, then we respectfully ask that you pay for this service as a UK Charity Accountant would be required to provide this service. Globalteer is unable to provide individual breakdowns of how donations are spent, as all financial information that we provide must be independently audited.
As a UK Charity, we are committed to keeping our admin fees to a minimum, ensuring that as much money as possible goes towards achieving our charitable objectives and not administration costs.
In our last audited accounts only 11% of all expenditure was spent on operational costs. Since 2006 Globalteer has invested almost GBP £4 million (USD $5.1m) in achieving our charitable objectives.