What is Fair Trade Volunteering?
FTV has been created and established by leading volunteer organisations and advisors in the travel industry. Over the past few years, the number of volunteering opportunities and the organisations which provide them has grown substantially, and there now exists a whole range of type and quality of placement for the prospective volunteer. Some placements have been established just with the volunteer’s experience in mind, with little or no genuine benefit for the project, others are extremely valuable and worthwhile projects but are not suitable or appropriate for the volunteers working there.
The aim of FTV is to establish a fair balance between all parties involved, to ensure placements are developed to provide genuine benefit to the project and the volunteer which takes part in them. All organisations which are signed up to the FTV Trade Mark meet the five FTV criteria, created to help achieve this balance.
How were the criteria established?
The five criteria have been set with the above objective in mind, creating and maintaining the balance of benefit for volunteer and project. They have been developed in consultation with established volunteering organisations, local project partners and gap year and volunteering advisers.
They are not a black and white set of rules because there are a whole host of different types of project and placement out there, and each one is developed and run differently. It would be impossible to say for example that “every project must receive a cash donation of £XXX” or “volunteers must always commit to a minimum period of XXX” - what is right for one project may be extremely damaging for another. At the same time however, the criteria and assessment process do ensure that projects and volunteers do receive what is right and appropriate for each organisation’s structure.
How does an organisation become associated?
Any organisation which organises structured volunteering placements can apply to become associated with FTV. Interested organisations must send through details of how they meet each criteria, then following a meeting with the head of the organisation and references from project partners and ex volunteers, they are able to use the FTV logo.
FTV members will have a page on their website which explains how they meet each of the criteria and will be able to use the FTV logo in any of their promotional material.
Why is there not a list of associated organisations on this website?
FTV is an independent body whose main objective is to promote best practise for organisations offering volunteer placements. To avoid any notion of it being seen as a “promotional aid” or “marketing tool” for organisations, we do not list member organisations or offer sponsored links. Also there is no fee for organisations to become a member of FTV, provided they meet all of the criteria that is all that is needed.
How is FTV managed and funded?
Expenses for FTV minimal and are currently funded by voluntary contributions from member organisations. Likewise, maintenance of this website, promotion of the standard, assessment of new members and responding to all correspondence is jointly looked after by member organisations.