EcoSwell is a non-profit organization. This means that our main aim is not to make a profit, so we do not distribute any surplus income as profit or dividends. Nonetheless, just as a for-profit organization, we have costs for our operations which we need to cover in order to be able to exist.
Our aim is to cover our own costs as opposed to charging a maximum we could to make a profit, as a business would do. This way we can keep costs down and make our placements more accessible than other programmes out there, whilst still being able to operate. We aim to keep our costs as low as possible but we also have to ensure that we are able to operate in an effective way, in which we can make real and positive change, in a way that keeps us moving forward.
As a small organization, we struggle to fund our work. One of our main sources of continual income comes from our volunteer financial contributions for their placements, so without these donations we would not be able to pay our staff and sustain our organization as a whole. We set our volunteer contributions for our placement volunteers to match the costs of the volunteer expenses whilst in the field with us and to match our operating costs, in both Peru and the UK.
An indicative breakdown of where our volunteer’s financial contributions go (in %) has been presented below:
Our operating costs breakdown
Volunteer financial contributions for the programme will depend on your period of stay with us. The longer you stay with us, the lower the weekly contribution becomes. The table below shows contributions required in relation to the volunteers time with us. Your financial contribution includes/covers the following (for further info on these, click here):
Volunteer financial contribution to the volunteer programme based on period of stay*
*All payments must be made in United States Dollars (USD$) according to the amounts shown in the table above - Exchange rate fluctuations of other currencies are not considered. Taxes, insurance and financial costs (eg: costs of sending money, bank commissions, etc.) and any other extra costs (flights, visas, vaccinations, personal spending money, etc.) are not included. Minimum period of stay is 2 weeks and we only deal with full weeks as shown in the table.
In order to ensure that all volunteer expenses are covered, the final financial contribution amount needs to be paid in USD. We do this in order to avoid exchange rate fluctuations from other currencies which may result in not the right amount being paid.
If volunteers/interns decide they want to stay with us for longer during their stay, they can (with our consent). The additional financial contribution would depend on the amount of time the volunteer/intern initially stayed with us.
Personal insurance, costs of flights to Peru and travel to and from Talara are not covered by the volunteers financial contribution. These will need to be obtained by the volunteer/intern once they have been accepted into our programme. The details and information of the selected insurance will have to be sent and approved by EcoSwell beforehand, as being appropriate for the occasion.
We encourage our candidates to fundraise (as a lot is learned from this experience, it’s fun and it helps us spread the word!) for their placement’s financial contribution. You can access a guide on how to do it here. If you have any questions or need any specific advice, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since we have limited volunteer/intern spaces, if you have been accepted we will need you to secure your placement by depositing a non-refundable 30% of your placement’s total financial contribution within 1 week of being accepted. Full payment will be required 4 weeks prior to your arrival the latest. Any refund of the 70% of the full payment (minus all transaction costs) will only be available if cancellation is confirmed before more than 30 days of confirmed arrival date. No refunds of any kind will be available within 30 days of confirmed arrival date. Payment details will be given by our team during the application process and special considerations may be discussed accordingly.
What’s included - The EcoSwell Experience