We’re on a mission and we want to do things differently!
Building a sharing community of global volunteers who genuinely want to see the world whilst contributing to the places they visit.
With thousands and thousands of users and 10 million page views every month we thought it was time to write a personal update on Workaway where we’ve come from and where we’re going…
First of all a big thank you to everyone who has made the success of Workaway possible. As well as our current team, we also want thank the the thousands of users who have used Workaway to connect and spread our message on a global scale.
Did you know that we NEVER actively advertise?
Workaway has grown completely organically via word of mouth which only inspires to keep going, knowing that we are really making waves in the travel community.
It always used to amaze us that people would pay thousands of dollars to companies or agents to volunteer in a different country. Often these companies would charge to “arrange” a volunteer stay whilst taking a huge chunk of the profit for themselves and to pay for their advertising whilst giving a very small percentage to the actual place in need. We feel we have made great strides in disrupting this industry. We know that given the right tools and with the power of the internet people are perfectly capable of arranging their own stay, conducting their own checks and organising their own insurance and transport, not only giving the flexibility they need but also making substantial savings to their travel budget.
We believe that you get out of life what you are willing to put into it.
One of the questions that understandably comes up from time to time is why do we charge a membership fee? Why can't we join for free? The answer is that we keep the membership fee to an absolute minimum. (currently around 30USD per year) This fee enables us to contract reliable servers, pays our development team, and also enables us to have staff 24 hours a day 365 days a year available to answer emails and general queries as well as to give both workawayers and hosts advice on how to build an effective profile. It also means that volunteers show commitment and the site is not full of empty profiles.
What we don't want to become is just another web agency. With many copycat sites trying to emulate our success, we can promise that we are never going to charge PER HOST you stay with. Using Workaway you pay a small fee so that you can contact and arrange to stay with as many hosts as you like during your subscription period.
Another great advantage we have is that we have never needed or had to answer to investors or venture capitalists! We don‘t need to provide anyone with a return on their investment. We have no pressure from shareholders which means one important thing: We are free to do what we really care about .. Finding great projects for people to connect with around the world to volunteer at and developing tools to facilitate that.
If you’re still unsure about the site then please first take look at our review page here, where you can see 1000s and 1000s of reviews from volunteers and hosts who have benefited from arranging their own Workaway. Then take a real good look at what you can do within the site, from meeting other like minded volunteers, contacting previous volunteers about hosts, checking out maps to find nearby hosts, downloading a reference letter to use for future job references. You can also download some of our inspiring posters here and who knows that could be you in the next one!
One final point. You may or may not know that we have also formed a foundation and regularly support some of the projects we have visited on our travels by providing finance for local education and materials. Currently we have helped projects in Nepal. Vietnam, Cambodia, Mexico and Morocco. This is something we want to spend more time on both on a personal level and with the communities help. You can read more about it here… We ask our community to also help by sending as information about projects in need of financial help that they find during their travels. We will take a look and even visit the most worthy ones with a view to being able to support these projects on a long term sustainable basis.