The Same Compensation for All

The Same Compensation for All

The choice for all members of ATD Fourth World’s full-time Volunteer Corps to have the same compensation is unusual. It dates back to the founding of ATD and is an integrated part of ATD’s financial ethos, one that full time volunteers are commented to. This means that no wage hierarchy exists in ATD. Compensation is calculated equivalent to the minimum wage of the country where the volunteers are assigned, regardless of their seniority or responsibilities.

Volunteer Corps members also pay into and have access to a solidarity fund. This fund is used to support Volunteer Corps members when needed, for example with healthcare, a child’s education or other needs.

In France, for example, full-time volunteers are housed and receive a stipend. If they have dependent children, they also receive additional euros per child (depending on the child’s age). Health insurance is also provided by ATD in countries where the government does not offer universal coverage. This modest but steady income provides volunteers with the freedom necessary to concentrate fully on their work. Keeping the stipend minimal for all reflects the priority to invest ATD’s resources directly into anti-poverty projects, as well as a willingness of volunteers to live modestly.

Administering these stipends is the responsibility of the International Volunteer Corps Association, which manages financial resources, mainly individual donations earmarked for the Volunteer Corps, or grants for salaries made by public or private institutions. There is also an international solidarity fund available to support volunteers with shared or personal expenses (health costs not covered by insurance, training opportunities, etc.)

Supporting a commitment

Hundreds of people who want to strongly support the Volunteer Corps chose to give every month a percentage of their income to the International Volunteer Corps Association. This is known as “wage equalization.”

Some choose to donate 5% or 10% of their income. A few who can afford it choose to donate an even higher percentage. These monthly pledges help guarantee the stability of ATD’s funding. One volunteer notes:

Sometimes people say, “Isn’t it frustrating to live for so many years on such a small salary?” But actually, it’s the opposite. I know several people working for other non-profits who are very frustrated when the priorities and timelines of funders regularly interrupt or even derail projects that are high priorities for people in poverty. Having minimal stipends for all of us, and being able to count on monthly pledges from many of our allies gives all of us immense freedom to base our priorities first of all on what is the most meaningful for people living in the worst situations of poverty.

All donors receive regular news of ATD’s work through correspondence and newsletters.

Would you like to support the work of full-time volunteers?

Make a donation, or better yet, make a monthly pledge of a percentage of your income to ATD. Please mark the donation “for the Volunteer Corps.”