Volunteer in Be The Change


The 'Be the Change' Conference is a week-long intensive course designed to train individuals how to become change agents in communities around the world. This conference is for you if you would like to:

  • Start a non-profit/charity organization
  • Get paid to make a difference in the lives of others.
  • Get a job with a non-profit/charity
  • Start a social enterprise or project
  • Or if you just want to learn more about the field of Social Entrepreneurship and /or International Development
  • Search By Type:

Be The Change was a privilege that will forever impact on my life. Growing up I was often called 'weak' for caring about the needs of underprivileged people. There were certain people who told me I was wasting my life by pursuing a humanitarian focused career. Be The Change brought me to the realization that some people are just ill-informed. The people that once discouraged me are now some of my biggest supporters.

Chris | Be The Change Participant


I suffered with my own mental health issues in my early twenties, in part due to taking drugs. It was only when I attended Be The Change that I reflected back on those years and realized I could channel that pain into a passion and help other people in similar situations. It was at Be The Change that my social enterprise MindFood was born.

Ciearan | Be The Change Participant


Just Choose a Project and Apply!


You have a unique opportunity to engage in an intensive week of inspiring discovery about yourself and how you can help and fit into our global family. Shared accommodation has been organized to ensure volunteer participants well-being and comfort, to maintain safety and security, and to guarantee you get the most out of your time at Be The Change.

Taupo (New Zealand) November 2014

Taupo (New Zealand) November 2014

November 23 - 29, 2014

Facilitators, including Colin Salisbury, live in accommodation with all the Be The Change participants during the course and spend the entire week with the group.

The week starts with a discussion about how each participant wants to contribute to social change. From there, facilitators will take the group through a series of workshops designed to address the skills needed to start a nonprofit organization, development project and /or social enterprise.

The workshops are flexible and the facilitators will focus each workshop on those skills that will most benefit the group as a whole.

Please note, places in this program are strictly limited.



So tell me more about the conference?

Be The Change helps you transform your ideas into action. Whether you want a job where you are living your passion, or if you want to start something new, this program caters for people at both ends of the spectrum.

Be prepared for a week like nothing you have experienced before. You will discover a group of likeminded individuals who will all be in your corner willing you to win. The exciting thing for me is seeing the potential in each person and guiding them towards unleashing their passion on the world.

The workshops are flexible and the facilitators will focus each workshop on those skills that will most benefit the group as a whole.

Colin Salisbury in Action

The workshops include:

  • Purpose: Discover your "Why"
  • Social/Technology: How to attract others to your cause
  • Communications: What is your message and who is your audience?
  • Fundraising: How to raise money for your cause
  • Social Enterprise vs. Nonprofit: Identify your vehicle for change!
  • Skill/Passion Identification: How are you wired?
  • United Nations: Who does what and how can I work there?

After workshops, the afternoon will be a time to rest, or get outside and do some exercise. We choose stunning places around the world to hold our program because we want to ensure there is an abundance of healthy and fun activities to get involved in.

Activities include:

Be The Change Italy
  • Tennis
  • Climbing
  • Hot Pool Swims
  • Morning Exercises

Before workshops each morning, participants will have the option to join in a variety of outdoor and indoor activities. Each meal will be healthy, nutritional and tasty... and often accompanied by wine.

The 'Be the Change' groups are kept small so that each participant gets a great deal of individualized instruction. Plus, participants for Be the Change are always innovative, fascinating and motivated people from all over the world. Many people find their plans and ideas grow exponentially during discussions with the group (at the dinner table or in workshops). You will leave with new friends and you will become part of our 'Be the Change' alumni network.


Why GVN?


Our vision is to connect people with communities in need, with a particular focus on vulnerable women and children. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

We are excited to get your placement under way where you will:

  • Be a part of GVN's efforts to inspire learning, innovation and action to unlock the potential of vulnerable communities around the world. Work with exceptional grassroots projects in community development, conservation and wildlife, personal development, fundraising and physical challenges.
  • Have the 24/7 support of a non profit with 12 years experience in placing 19545 volunteers that will provide you with an affordable and rewarding placement.
  • Volunteer with a world-class organization which is recommended by Bill Gates and CNN.
  • Be a part of progressive non profit that has raised over $2 million to help women and children in need.
  • Have the comfort of knowing that GVN staff have collectively flown over 1 million miles to ensure you get a quality placement.
  • Make a long-term impact in your community of choice - it's not just a vacation.


How GVN works...


The first step is to fill out an application to see if we have a place for you. Then if your application is successful you will be accepted and we will then get to work organizing your placement.

GVN is a registered Charitable Trust, so volunteers finance themselves, or can fundraise online with our unique GVN platform, with US donors receiving tax receipts. The Program Package provides you with all that is listed below, along with personalized support from our expert staff and the knowledge that you'll be working with a reputable and registered charity with over 12 years experience in the field.

At the heart of our work is the communities our volunteers work to support - we ensure that these communities truly benefit from your time in Be The Change and that the Program Package fully supports you financially while you're volunteering.

Program Package

The Program Package also includes a project donation, which supports the work the GVN Foundation does in addressing nutrition, education and healthcare needs, as well as supporting longer-term development approaches, including income generation activities and microfinance.

Your program package includes:

What You Get: Pre-Conference

  • All the support you need from our experienced Be The Change coordinator to help you plan and prepare for this program. This include unlimited phone and email access!
  • An 'optional' pre-conference reading list of articles and books
  • A pre-conference survey formulated to provide the facilitators with insight into the group and workshops designed around participant objectives and projects.

What You Get: During Conference

  • Training: A range of inspirational and skill-development workshops to provide you with the focus and tools you need to develop your idea.
  • Interview: A one-on-one interview/brainstorming session with the Be The Change facilitators to help you formalize your idea and develop a plan of action.
  • Network: The opportunity to be in a supportive environment and connect with like-minded people.
  • Inspiration: Visits to local tourist attractions to provide you with space and inspiration to help shape your idea.
  • Facilitators: Learn from our experienced team of conference facilitators, specialized in areas such as marketing, fundraising and business.
  • Accommodation: Clean and comfortable twin share accommodation.
  • Meals: Three meals daily plus snacks.
  • Airport pickup/drop-off: At beginning and end of conference.
  • USB filled with additional readings and resources.
  • One day highlighting the local area which may include excursions to local cultural locations and/or meeting with area social entrepreneurs or projects.

What You Get: Post-Conference

  • 3, 6 and 12 month follow up to check in and continue to support you.
  • An opportunity to debrief and provide feedback.
  • Free access to GVN Changemakers program which alerts you to future internship/job opportunities at GVN.
  • Access to the GVN Alumni group, a network of over 100 social entrepreneurs around the world.
  • A Certificate of Completion.
  • A personal reference letter on request.
  • Access to the Be The Change Database.
  • An opportunity to network with previous participants.

The program package does not include: Flights, insurance, visas, vaccinations, airport departure tax.

We recommend you allow a weekly budget of US $50 for your other expenses such as personal items, beverages, and entertainment.


Your Program Package

Calculate the price of your individualised program package. Details on longer placements may be available on request.

Select A Project

Then: Select A Length

Your Program Package






What will I be actually doing?

The GVN ’Be The Change’ Course is designed to be flexible and self-determined to allow participants to cater the program to their specific interests and goals. Each day we will have a workshop that will provide you with specific skills that you can then directly apply to your project/idea or goal. Additionally we will be going on day trips with the focus of getting to know each other better. By the end of the course you will have become friends with a diverse an interesting group of individuals from all over the world. Additionally, each day you will have time to discuss ideas and workshop your interests with Colin Salisbury, GVN’s Founder and CEO. This program gives you one on one time with one of the top social entrepreneurs in the industry of international development.

Are we able to do any sightseeing during the program?

We offer our Be The Change program in beautiful locations around the world. During the week long program we will visit sites around the area but there will not be time for individual travel. Many of our participants choose to arrive early or leave late so they may do their own traveling before or after the course.

Are there more expenses once I arrive?

The program fee covers accommodation, meals and transport costs while working. If you arrive early or intend to stay in the country beyond the course dates you will need to have additional money for this time. Other expenses not covered by your fees include: your flights, entry visa (if applicable), travel insurance, departure tax, and any personal spending.

Tell me more about the accommodation?

You will be staying with other participants; the accommodation is modern and has most amenities people will be used to (TV, internet access, washing facilities etc). Most accommodation is in retreat or conference centres. Bedding and 3 meals per day will be provided.

How many participants are there at the GVN Training program at the same time?

The GVN Be The Change Course is limited to under 20 participants at any time to allow for maximum individual attention and productivity.

Read More




About the Facilitators


Be The Change helps you transform your ideas into action. Whether you want a job where you are living your passion, or if you want to start something new, this conference caters for people at both ends of the spectrum.

Be prepared for a week like nothing you have experienced before. You will discover a group of likeminded individuals who will all be in your corner willing you to win. The exciting thing for me is seeing the potential in each person and guiding them towards unleashing their passion on the world.



Colin Salisbury - Master in Development Studies, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ. Founder and President of Global Volunteer Network.

Colin Salisbury As the President of the Global Volunteer Network Colin Salisbury has an intimate understanding of our programs needs. He has extensive development experience both locally and internationally with time spent in Ecuador, Ghana, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines and Thailand. His background in Community Development and achieving a Masters Degree in International Development has enabled him to not only launch the extremely successful Global Volunteer Network but also co-found The GVN Foundation. Colin brings extensive management, business, and development experience to the Foundation.

Many people have a dream or an idea to start a project or a charity but don't know where or how to begin. Salisbury's desire to share with people what he has learnt along the way resulted in the Be the Change programme. This is a program designed to teach the skills and share the know-how, to make the dream a reality. The week long program, led by Salisbury, takes participants through a series of workshops that focus on identifying and developing the skills required to make their ideas or dreams a reality.


Caitie Goddard - BS University of Detroit-Mercy

Caitie Goddard Prior to returning to the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy for her masters degree, Caitie was the Program Development Coordinator for GVN Foundation and Facilitator for Be The Change, a position she held concurrently while studying. Most recently, Caitie spent the summer of 2013 in Kampala, Uganda as a William Davidson Institute Fellow working for Global Alliance for Legal Aid. In 2014 Caitie led 18 students to Yangon, Myanmar to study international economic development, and 2 months in 2014 working for the National Institute of Speech and Hearing based in Kerala, India.

Caitie has served on the Board for the last 2 years on the Board of Alternatives for Girls, a Detroit non-profit as well as telling everyone she knows about the great work of Detroit Cristo Rey High School, a phenomenal school creatively educating some of Detroit's brightest yet underprivileged youth. Caitie is passionate about international development and entrepreneurship, traveling and Spanish gummies.


Eliza Raymond - BA, University of Otago (NZ) and Pontificia Universidad Catolica (Chile) and MA, University of Otago (Taupo Only)

Eliza Raymond Eliza Raymond has ten years of experience studying, volunteering and working in the field of international development. Eliza's Masters Degree focused on good practice in international volunteer programs, and involved researching a variety of different volunteer programs in South America, Africa and Australasia. Following her studies, Eliza ran GVN's volunteer programs in Peru for two years where she also helped administer their partner's humanitarian projects budget. She then returned to New Zealand where she has been working for the GVN Foundation for two years as their Grants Coordinator. Eliza is British/French by nationality but calls Motueka (New Zealand) home. Eliza spends her spare time volunteering at Refugee Services, and recently climbed to Mt Everest Base Camp to help raise US$42,000 for a children's home in Nepal.


Contact Us

Tel: 0800 032 5035 (UK)
Tel: 1800 963 1198 (USA/CAD)
Tel: 1800 203 012 (Australia)
Email: info@volunteer.org.nz
Terms of Service and Privacy

Follow Us
Mailing List

Keep current and up-to-date with volunteer opportunities, stories from the field, news from the GVN office, and the latest from the GVN Foundation.