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Volunteer Forum

Travel Forums System Talk Volunteer Forum

1. Posted by kathidi (Budding Member 51 posts) 8y

I posted the following under General Talk a few weeks ago. Isadora replied and suggested that I post the suggestion here...

"I have had wonderful experiences as a volunteer and am interested in learning about the experiences of other volunteer travelers. I have noticed that this is a topic that comes up often. Is it possible that "Volunteering" would be appropriate as a permanent Forum, such as RTW Travel and Equipment? Are there liability issues related to that? Just putting it out there..."

It seems to me that volunteer vacations and volunteer student travel are becoming more and more popular; lots of people are researching the topic and not coming up with much. When I do see questions on volunteer opportunities, responses are very general.

I have even wondered if a new website would be useful. "Volunteerspoint"?

Thanks for considering the possibilities.

2. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 8y

Volunteering is usually incidental to one's trip, rather than the other way around. So it is best that volunteering related questions be asked in the regional forums where it has more exposure and can generate more response from those who happen know about it. For those who are going to the same place, they might be interested in joining too. And looking at the current traffic (posts/threads) for volunteering, it does not quite justify for a separate forum to be created for it. It will end up as a very quiet forum and also harder to get responses compared to regional forums.

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

One reason I'd be hesitant to add a volunteering forum is that it would absolutely be a spam magnet. As you probably know, a lot of volunteering abroad opportunities are sold (often at pretty decent profits) by companies in for example the UK (just picking one country where margins are often 30%+, this is common place in Western Europe, North America etc.). There'd be a lot of incentive for them to be posting plugs for their companies. There'd also be a lot of volunteer organizations posting. To be honest, I have difficulty with the last group as I'd like to allow them to post here with valid opportunities they offer. But then where would the line be drawn. Is an opportunity for volunteer work where the volunteer pays for accommodation still a good offer? How about if they have to pay for accommodation and pay a fee to the organization? How about if they say one thing and then do another?

At the moment, we just disallow any posting out of the blue promoting anything (personal site, volunteer organization, spam site etc.). This gives us a very easy guideline to follow.

And as Hien mentioned, posts can still be added very easily to country/region specific questions!

4. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

Quoting Sam I Am

One reason I'd be hesitant to add a volunteering forum is that it would absolutely be a spam magnet. As you probably know, a lot of volunteering abroad opportunities are sold (often at pretty decent profits) by companies in for example the UK (just picking one country where margins are often 30%+, this is common place in Western Europe, North America etc.). There'd be a lot of incentive for them to be posting plugs for their companies.

Not so much regarding the possible addition of a forum...

Would it be an idea to allow such companies (and work abroad companies) to be a member of TravellersPoint with rules in place - so they can respond to queries etc, but not post unsolicited advertising?

As in, it would be clear by their member status that they are officially representing that company/organisation. This could help make things a little more transparent when posts are made in reference to organisations, with people knowing if it's a person's experience or an organisation's response - rather than a hidden advert within a post.

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Quoting mojorob

Would it be an idea to allow such companies (and work abroad companies) to be a member of TravellersPoint with rules in place - so they can respond to queries etc, but not post unsolicited advertising?

As in, it would be clear by their member status that they are officially representing that company/organisation. This could help make things a little more transparent when posts are made in reference to organisations, with people knowing if it's a person's experience or an organisation's response - rather than a hidden advert within a post.

Would absolutely be open to something like that. It's not high up on the to do list right now, but we've tinkered with this idea in our heads for a while.