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About money


Where does my money go?

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The contribution you pay towards your 1-week project or 2-week expedition will go towards advance planning (reconnaissance, team recruitment and logistical support), direct field costs (such as your transport, board and lodging, paying the local scientists and helpers such as cooks and porters, and paying your expedition leader), post-expedition work (the expedition report, scientific publications and other means of making the results known to science and the public), towards supporting the research project itself (which without your help could not be long-term and sustainable), and towards administrative and communication backup. On average at least two-thirds of your contribution will benefit the project directly and locally, the rest will go towards administrative back-up, as well as researching and setting up new expeditions. Within six to twelve months after your expedition you will receive an expedition report with full details on how your expedition contribution was spent on running the expedition and supporting its research work. The expedition report will also show you the fruits of your labour by detailing scientific findings, conclusions and resulting actions. You can see examples of expedition reports at www.biosphere-expeditions.org/reports

An easy way to grow your contribution

Many employers, particularly in the USA and Canada, but also elsewhere, will match fund charitable contributions made by their employees, retirees and employees’ spouses. That means you may well be able to increase significantly the contribution you make towards wildlife contribution. More information about this is at www.biosphere-expeditions.org/match-funding.



How much does it cost and when do I pay?

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Contributions vary between expeditions, projects and taster days, so please check the ones you are interested in by looking at our website. To reserve your place on an expedition or project, you need to send us a £300 deposit. To take part in a taster day a contribution of £65/€65/AU$95/$95 is due to reserve your place. It's as easy as that and the quickest way of doing it is online via www.biosphere-expeditions.org/join. For expedition and projects, the balance of your contribution will be due four weeks before the expedition or project starts.

You may be able to reduce the net cost of your expedition

Depending on your country of origin, a portion of your expedition contribution and additional expenses (such as additional food, lodging and transportation) may be tax-deductible. Have a look at www.biosphere-expeditions.org/tax for more details and examples.



Why is the airfare/travel to the assembly point not included?

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All of our experiences have an in-country assembly point, which is usually a local hotel or another easy to find point in an accessible location. We are a conservation organisation, not a travel agency and our team members come from all over the world. Not making travel arrangements for everyone keeps our overheads low, which means more money can go into the projects locally. Also, quite often our team members add their own itineraries, doing some travelling of their own prior to joining or after leaving. Having an assembly point in-country gives you the freedom to do this too, and to hunt around for the best travel deal available to you locally. We also have a number of affiliate travel and flight agencies, in our host countries and internationally, who can help you sort out your travel plans. And by booking through them you will also support our work, as any commission that we make is ploughed back into our projects. See www.biosphere-expeditions.org/affiliates for details and affiliates.


How do you manage to put as much as two-thirds of my expedition contribution back into the project?

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We are a small non-profit research and conservation organisation, not a large scale tourism business, which means that we can keep expensive overhead costs to a minimum. In addition, our partners and sponsors are crucial in reducing overhead and expedition costs further (for example by providing Swarovski Optik binoculars and night sights, Motorola radios and satellite phones, and expedition equipment from Cotswold Outdoor and Globetrotter Ausrüstung) so that we can spend the lion's share of two-thirds or more of your contribution directly on the project in hand. We also do very little advertising and costly marketing, concentrating instead on press, media and research publication work.



Are there any other expenses for me?

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You will have to make your own travel arrangements to and from the assembly point, which is usually in an easy to find and accessible place such as a hotel in a big city. This means that your airfares or other travel to the assembly point are not covered. Additional costs may include passport, visa and airport fees, and money you may have to spend on travel at either end of your experience with us, or your personal gear and preparations. For 2-week expeditions and 1-week projects, but not for taster days, you will also have to purchase appropriate travel insurance. Once you have made it to the assembly point and we’re on our way, we pay for everything apart from the obvious such as personal souvenirs, alcohol, camera and video films etc.



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