Make Your Roadmonkey Experience Tax Deductible

You may be able to deduct up to 50 percent of your total costs


Part of any Roadmonkey experience involves dedicating yourself to a hands-on volunteer project that is separate and distinct, temporally and empirically, from your outdoor adventure challenge.

To honor your interest and commitment to creating sustainable good for communities in need during your vacation time, we've created a way for you to claim a deduction for your volunteer-related costs and expenditures that is innovative, transparent and adheres to the letter and spirit of current IRS regulations. Keep reading for a more detailed explanation.

It's a little involved, but stay with us - it may allow you to deduct 30 to 50 percent of your expedition from your taxes.

How It Works

Roadmonkey volunteer projects are typically funded entirely by Roadmonkey client-volunteers, the people who join our adventure philanthropy expeditions to do good things in the world for themselves and others.

In the past, we've taken a percentage of the expedition fee that each Roadmonkey client-volunteer paid us and donated it to the nonprofit organization that we partnered with (as we always do) to ensure a sustainable volunteer project. Those donated funds came directly from Roadmonkey client fees, and they funded the project's costs.

We wanted to find a way to give you, our Roadmonkey clients - yes, you, the people actually doing the volunteer work! - the tax benefit you deserve for funding your own volunteer projects. Our solution was to create a nonprofit sister organization - the Roadmonkey Foundation - to manage and administer the volunteer projects that are essential components to all Roadmonkey expeditions, worldwide.

So now, we separate the financial and administrative structure of our expeditions into two distinct parts: Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy L3C (aka handles your adventure in nature; and Roadmonkey Foundation (aka - we're building the website now) handles your volunteer project.

(A brief explanation of the L3C mentioned above: Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy is a registered low-profit limited liability company, more commonly known as an L3C, which is legally similar to an LLC except that L3Cs are devoted first and foremost to their social missions.)

Now, when you join a Roadmonkey adventure-philanthropy expedition, we ask you to make two payments - well, really it's one payment and one donation:

1) First, we ask that you pay Roadmonkey L3C for the adventure-related portion of the expedition.

2) Then, we ask you to donate the remainder of the total expedition price - every expedition listed on our website has a price listed - to the Roadmonkey Foundation. Your charitable donation covers the costs associated with creating, managing and fully funding your and your expedition team's sustainable volunteer project.

Every donor to the Roadmonkey Foundation receives a letter confirming the donation amount and its tax deductibility, in accordance with IRS regulations.

How Much Is Deductible?

The amount of your donation is the amount that is tax deductible, in accordance with IRS rules. How much that will be, exactly, depends on the nature of your volunteer project and what percentage of your Roadmonkey expedition, in terms of days, is dedicated to your sustainable volunteer project. (Your international flight costs may also be tax deductible; please consult your accountant or tax advisor.)

For example: Let's say our 8-day Peru expedition costs $2,300/person and includes a 3-day volunteer project that involves building a playground for indigenous Quechua children. Your payment to Roadmonkey L3C may be $1,437.50, or 5/8ths of the total expedition price. Your tax-deductible donation to Roadmonkey Foundation may be $862.50, an amount equal to 3/8ths of the total expedition price.

Another example: A group of friends organizes a custom 10-day Roadmonkey expedition to Tanzania that includes a 5-day volunteer project on Zanzibar. The expedition costs $6,000/person. The tax-deductible donation, given the expenses associated with lodging, food and materials costs on Zanzibar for 5 of those 10 days would likely be about $3,000 per person.

Why Don't Other Travel Companies Offer Tax Deductions?

Well, for one thing, unlike Roadmonkey, most travel companies don't have a social mission embedded into their founding identity and legal structure. But even so, the IRS has clear rules governing what kinds of travel-based volunteer expenses may be claimed as deductions. Its basic rule is: if any part of your volunteer work involves leisure activity, none of it is tax deductible.

Which is why we decided to create separate adventure-travel and volunteer experiences - to keep the volunteer portion of your Roadmonkey trip discrete and distinct from any significant leisure activity.

Who Has the Last World on What Is Tax Deductible?

The IRS, of course! To learn more about which kinds of tax deductions for volunteer work are legal according to the IRS, read IRS Publication 526, and in particular the section titled Contributions You Can Deduct.

Still Got Questions?

We welcome your questions about how your Roadmonkey expedition expenses for volunteer work may be tax deductible. Please call or email us with your specific questions, and we'll respond as promptly as possible.

Roadmonkey Foundation is a registered 501c3 organization, TAX ID 45-4648675.


Upcoming Expeditions

What Our Clients Have to Say About Roadmonkey:

What you are doing has had a huge affect on all of us, internally. Externally, there is a playground where there was none and a bit more hope than there was just a week ago. There are ties forged by the experience that go both ways, and cross oceans, that will never be undone. It's a beautiful thing.
~ John, architect

Thank you for an incredible trip. I was surprised to return from travel to a new land feeling rejuvenated by and indebted to a group of people I traveled with. We Roadmonkeys dug our toes into foreign soil and I got the feeling that, in a little over a week, we were let in on some of the secrets Peru keeps from travelers of convenience.
~ McKenna, hedge fund administrator

I was hoping for a trip through which I would learn about and participate in another culture and be challenged mentally, emotionally and physically in a relatively safe format. The Roadmonkey trip fulfilled and, then, wildly exceeded all my expectations.
~ Chelsea, biochemist

More Testimonials
Visit Blog