FAQs

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Why volunteer with International Nature Volunteers (INV)?

Volunteering with INV offers meaningful placements in nature conservation projects. We are dedicated to connecting quality volunteers with quality projects. Our programs are affordable, and we encourage you to compare our fees with other similar organisations.

Who can volunteer with INV?

Anyone who meets the minimum requirements listed on the project page can apply for a placement. While it is useful to bring skills and knowledge to the project, this is not necessary – actually the most important factor is a willingness to learn, get involved, and enthusiasm for helping the project achieve its aims.

Why are you based in New Zealand?

Our founder, Toby Malcolm, is from New Zealand, and has many years experience working in nature conservation projects here with international volunteers. New Zealand is also a centre of endangered species research and recovery programs.

How can I be sure that INV is a legitimate organisation?

INV has been officially registered in New Zealand since 2012. Our incorporation number in New Zealand is 4129938 and you can view our government incorporation listing by searching for us on the New Zealand Government register.

INV has been featured on conservation-careers.com as well as a local magazine (view article [PDF] / view cover [PDF]).

INV is also listed (or has been previously listed) on a number of websites:
lonelyplanet.com
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
environmentjobs.com
oekojobs.de / eco-jobs.info
goodnet.org
volunteermatch.org
Ecological Society of America Job Board
earthworks-jobs.com
natureslist.org

We also encourage you to give us a call and have a chat over the phone. We enjoy meeting people from all over the world, and are happy to talk with you about our volunteer opportunities.

Where can I find information on the fees for each project?

You will find the fees on the fees page.

Why are your fees lower than other volunteering organisations?

As part of our vision, we are committed to making our volunteering programs as accessible as possible. We do not run expensive marketing campaigns or operate in lavish corporate offices. For that reason our overheads are lower and we can provide an economical way for you to volunteer abroad.

Why are your fees priced in US dollars, not New Zealand dollars since you are a New Zealand organisation?

Although we are based in New Zealand, our volunteer base is international. For the convenience of comparison with other volunteer placement organisations, our fees are priced in US dollars regardless of the country you will be volunteering in. You can easily get an approximate conversion to your home currency by clicking here.

What does my registration fee cover?

All placements are subject to a registration fee of US $140 in addition to the program fee. Registration includes:

  • A confirmed place on the project for the time specified;
  • A letter of placement confirmation;
  • Login access to the INV Volunteer Portal, which contains pre-travel resources, money-saving tips, and other helpful information. For example, you’ll receive a program guide to help you plan and prepare for your placement, information and advice on fundraising, booking the best flight deals, and more;
  • Personal support from the INV team before, during, and after your placement;
  • Eligibility for the INV Photo & Video competitions, and INV Volunteer of the Year Award;
  • A letter of completion at the end of your volunteer service;
  • Free membership to the INV Volunteer Alumni network.

What does my program fee cover?

Depending on the project, the program fee can cover costs such as accommodation, meals while volunteering, orientation, supervision and training, local support, and local project administration costs. A small portion of your program fee also contributes to the INV Grant Fund, which supports the project with financial aid for equipment, special projects, or operating costs.

When do I have to pay the registration and program fees?

You pay your registration fee after your application has been accepted. If your application is successful, we will send you information on how to register and accept the placement for the dates you want.

You program fee is due one month before your arrival to the project. This allows sufficient time for funds to be transferred to the project in preparation for your arrival.

How can I pay my registration and program fees?

You may pay your fees either online with a credit/debit card or by bank transfer. We will provide you with further information on payment details in the relevant stages of the application process (see the application page for more information on the application steps).

What is the application process?

Step 1: Read through the projects page and choose the program that you’d like to apply for.

Step 2: All applicants are required to complete the application form. It is imperative that all necessary information is disclosed in order that your suitability for the program is properly assessed. You will receive an email confirmation when your application is received.

Step 3: Your application will be reviewed within 24 hours. If necessary, we will contact you for further information or for clarification.

Step 4: Notification of decision. You can expect a decision from us within 24 hours of your application (or after further information is requested and received by you).

Step 5: If your application is successful, the next step is for you to register on the program for your requested dates. You will be sent information on how to complete your registration and pay your registration fee (For information, see the fees page).

Step 6: Confirmation of placement. When you register to confirm your placement, you will receive immediate access to the Volunteer Portal which contains your program guide and information to help you prepare for your placement. Within 48 hours of your registration, we will provide you with a letter of placement confirmation.

Step 7: Preparation. We provide ongoing support to prepare you for your placement. We will also collect some further information from you, such as dietary requirements, emergency contact details, and your flight arrival details.

Step 8: Payment of the program fee is due one month before your volunteer placement. This allows us to transfer the funds to the project partner in time for your arrival.

Step 9: Your departure and arrival to the project!

Are all applicants guaranteed to be accepted?

No – Please be aware that not all applicants are considered suitable for our projects. We have a responsibility to our project partners to suitably review applicants for the safety and effective operations of all involved. While your willingness to help is appreciated, it may be that your application is unsuccessful. Having said that, do not be discouraged! Read through the volunteer requirements on the projects page, and if you fulfill those requirements then you have a good chance. After all, we do endeavor to support you in your desire to help out, and even if you are unsuccessful, we can advise on how you may help out in other ways.

How do I access the “Volunteer Portal” on the navigation menu?

Successful candiates will receive a login and password to the INV Volunteer Portal during registration. Simply click the “Volunteer Portal” link in the navigation menu and you will be prompted for your login details. You will then have access to the various resources and materials to support you in your volunteer placement.

Can we give you a donation – Are you a charity?

While we are incorporated in New Zealand, we are not a registered charity. We are incorporated as a volunteer travel organisation. A number of our initiatives are charitable in nature, and we welcome contributions to support these. These include the INV Grant Fund, INV Nature Supporters, and INV Sponsor a Tree.

Why do I see spelling mistakes on this site?

In New Zealand we typically use British English spellings. So if you are used to American English, you might think we are grossly misspelling words such as organisation, specialise, and centre. An exception to this is that we use the American English spelling of program (programme in British English), which seems to be used more and more in New Zealand. If you see other mistakes or grammatical errors, please do let us know.