Experteering vs. Voluntourism

The World Needs Skilled Volunteers

The United Nations, along with other leading global development organizations have called for people to step up and give their most valuable assets to make the world a better place: their time, brains, and love.

As people go overseas to volunteer in increasing numbers, there is healthy discussion about the best way to volunteer. The two main types of volunteering overseas are "Experteering" and "Voluntourism". This page explains the differences.


Expertise + Volunteering = Experteering.
Donating your professional, business, technical, and/or creative skills with social impact initiatives around the world.
Tourism + Volunteering = Voluntourism.
Visiting as a tourist, and engaging in free work to enhance your touristic experience.


Most Experteering programs do not charge any fees, and in some cases, will cover some of your living costs. Sometimes, you will have to pay a membership or application fee to find projects via membership sites like MovingWorlds or Peace Corps. Voluntourism programs charge you a program fee, which can range from $100 - $1000 per week. In addition to program fees that go to third party providers, you will have to cover your airfare and other travel costs. The program fees typically cover your local accommodation, but not always. This post on shows a typical breakdown of costs for Voluntourism.


For international projects, we recommend MovingWorlds, CUSO International, Peace Corps Response, International Executive Service Corps, and Voluntary Service Overseas. For domestic projects, look at LinkedIn For Good and Catchafire. Because of the ethical implications involved in Voluntourism, do your research to make sure it is a trusted organization. GoOverseas, GoAbroad, and Omprakash offer rating systems and peer reviews.


Experteering projects can be with nonprofits, community groups, schools, universities, social enterprises, startups, foundations, or even small businesses. These programs are almost exclusively with education and/or nonprofit institutions. These can be local or international.

Volunteering our skills is one of the greatest things we can do with our time. However, there is a right and wrong way to engage in volunteering work overseas. For more information, read this article A Better Way to Volunteer Overseas and 8 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Volunteer Experience

Find Experteering Projects on MovingWorlds