Do you offer scholarships?
As a small non-profit organisation, we unfortunately do not have any need-based scholarships that we can offer to you, but are happy to offer a few ways that you can make your trip more affordable.
1. Fundraising: By using tools like GoFundMe.com (See our Fundraising Page for details) past participants have been able to raise well over $1,000 and participate on our program for free - they just paid the airfare. Just like your friends who run marathons, bike races, or take up their own cause, you too can fundraise for your program to offset the trip costs. Some even report that it makes the experience more rewarding knowing that they needed to work a bit to make the program a reality.
2. Payment Plans: We're happy to work with you to choose a multiple-payment option that works for you - allowing you to pay $100 or so per month to pay your program costs slowly, over time, on your schedule. You'd just pay your deposit and flight before your program, and can pay the rest when you return, as it fits your schedule.
3. Flight Promotions and Frequent Flyer Miles: With flights being the most expensive part of any travel program, it's worth exploring your options with different flights and airline miles. In the past, participants have used tools like Kayak.com or out recommended travel agent Murray (see our Flight Page for details) to arrive a day early, stay a day later, or even get an overnight stop in Miami or Japan to save hundreds of dollars on flights. Be creative in your searches and ask for other options to save some serious money on your flights and join us for less. Lastly, ask your friends and family if they have airline points they would be willing to donate to your cause! We've had participants simply post on facebook a request and get up to 80,000 points donated almost immediately.
Long story short, if there's a will there's a way, and we want to see you join us on a program. So get creative, think a little bit, and see what you can do to make your trip a reality!
How do Payment Plans work?
Payment plans are set up manually by our staff through PayPal when you request them during your final trip registration. Payment plans are offered at no additional cost or interest rate for participants who need financial assistance and we request that only participants with special financial circumstances use a payment plan. The terms of the payment plan are that 50% of the total trip cost must be paid before the trip starts (your deposit counts towards this amount) and the balance will be paid automatically on a monthly basis for up to 6 months after the trip start date.
In Summary: You'll confirm your spot on the trip with a deposit ASAP, then 4 weeks prior to the trip start date you will request a payment plan during the "Final Payment" part of the registration. We'll create a link to a special payment plan for you, where you can pay using your PayPal account.
Are the trip costs tax-deductible?
We are currently exploring options that would make a portion of trip expenses tax deductible, but at the present moment your trip expenses do not count as a "charitable donation" and are most likely not tax-deductible.
Many of our participants choose to independently fundraise potions of their program costs independently, using tools such as GoFundMe. Because these campaigns are managed independently by the participants to cover their program fees, we are not able to issue tax receipts to your donors.
Disclaimer: As non-professionals in the matters of taxation, we cannot offer specific advice in these areas and this information should not be used as the sole source for making personal tax-related or personal financial decisions. Please consult a professional if you have additional questions.