Why volunteer with us

Reason 1: Charitable Organization

The ACF is a Charity that provides support for orphaned children in Kenya. The ACF will opening a new orphanage in August of 2017. The new orphanage will eventually provide support for 60 children.

Most organizations that offer international volunteer placements in Africa do not actually build, operate, or support an orphanage. The ACF does.

The ACF is a registered NGO with the NGO Board in Kenya.

The ACF is a registered Nonprofit organization with a 501 C 3 status in the U.S.A.

Which means BIG Tax Deductions for volunteers or their parents. Tax deductions are available for tax payers within the United States.

Reason 2: Travel Expenses & Program Fees are Tax Deductible (USA Only)

Although this is not the main reason anyone would want to volunteer overseas with a charity, but it is a nice bonus.

Airplane fare, Program Fee, cost of immunizations, even the items you donate while volunteering are all tax deductible.

Program fees are a donations, which vary depending on the number of weeks of volunteer service.

The following information are referenced from the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526

Titled “Charitable Contributions”

Section: “Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services”

Although you can’t deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be:

  • Unreimbursed,
  • Directly connected with the services,
  • Expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and
  • Not personal, living, or family expenses

Section: “Travel”

Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.

Section:Deductible travel expenses.”

These include:

  • Air, rail, and bus transportation,
  • Out-of-pocket
  • expenses for your car,
  • Taxi fares or other costs of transportation
    between the airport or station and your hotel,
  • Lodging costs, and
  • The cost of meals.

Because these travel expenses aren’t business-related, they aren’t subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. For information on business travel expenses, see Travel in Pub. 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

The following information is referenced from the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 to provide volunteers or their parents with additional information.

Titled “Charitable Contributions”

Section: “Travel”

Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.

Section:Deductible travel expenses.”

These include:

  • Air, rail, and bus transportation,
  • Out-of-pocket
  • expenses for your car,
  • Taxi fares or other costs of transportation
    between the airport or station and your hotel,
  • Lodging costs, and
  • The cost of meals.

Because these travel expenses aren’t business-related, they aren’t subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. For information on business travel expenses, see Travel in Pub. 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

In order to recieve a tax deductible receipt for clothing and household items, you will need to provide an itimized list of the items, the items condition (Excitement, Good, Fair etc.), and the fair market value. For more information on determining fair market value Click Here

According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 Titled:

“Charitable Contributions”

You can’t take a deduction for clothing or household items you donate unless the clothing or household items are in good used condition or better.

Exception. You can take a deduction for a contribution of an item of clothing or a household item that isn’t in good used condition or better if you deduct more than $500 for it and include a qualified appraisal of it with your return.

Household items. Household items include:

  • Furniture and furnishings,
  • Electronics,
  • Appliances,
  • Linens, and
  • Other similar items.
  • Household items don’t include:
  • Food,
  • Paintings, antiques, and other objects of art,
  • Jewelry and gems,

No, unfortunately. According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 Titled: “Charitable Contributions” you can’t deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization.

Reason 3: Not a “Travel Agency or Broker”

As previously mentioned, the ACF is a charity – Not a travel agency or brokerage for international volunteer trips. Agencies or brokers charge an “Administrative Fee” and have a lot of hidden cost you do not see until they have you in too deep to turn back. Or the agencies or brokers will charge extremely high fees to cover their expenses while still making a profit.

Agencies and brokers are for-profit organizations. They do not have any commitments to orphanages, charities, or schools they send volunteers to.Many will not protect their volunteers by providing travel & medical insurance for them and the ones that do, charge very high fees.

Reason 4: Reasonably Low Fees

Unfortunately, it is expensive to host volunteers. Expenses like providing transportation, accommodations, meals, organizing programs, managing logistics, etc. If the ACF covered these cost for our volunteers, we would have to limit the program at 10 volunteers or less per year. In addition, only individual with advanced medical degrees such as medical doctors, dentists, or optometrists could be accepted.

In order to bridge the gap, a program fee is required to cover volunteer’s expenses. Our program fee is very low compared to other international volunteer organizations. Also, travel, medical, and emergency evacuation insurance is provided for each participant volunteering on one of our traditional volunteer programs.

To see our full list of program fees Click here

Reason 5: Customized to maximize your efforts

The ACF started giving people the opportunity to volunteer with our orphanage in 2011. Since then, we learned most volunteers want to help children in Africa and leave their mark on the world. However, many people do not really know how they will accomplish this goal or what they will be doing during their volunteer trip.

This is why we take the time to understand our volunteer’s skills and what their goals are for their trip before they arrive in Kenya or Uganda. This gives us the opportunity to identify areas of need then create project our volunteers can work on. Keep in mind, there is always downtime. Volunteers will not be busy 24/7, but we will try to create meaningful project, set goals to accomplish, and empower our volunteers to utilize their skills for the good of others.