International volunteer projects can vary greatly and be for almost any length of time. From a 1 day virtual project to a 2 year field experience, there are countless ways that you can use your skills. Here are a few recent examples:
Volunteer projects can vary greatly by region. Be sure to read our Region Guides to learn more about find the best projects around the world.
- A fashion designer who worked on fair trade designs with a nonprofit empowering local women in Guatemala for 1 week.
- An accountant supported a medical college in Ghana to help it focus on sustainable social and economic development for 3 weeks.
- A retired Federal US Government employee supported a technology social enterprise working on improved child education in Tanzania.
- An architect supported a nonprofit in Panama to build a self-sustaining research facility for 4 months.
- A business strategy professional traveled around the world for a year supporting social enterprises with go-to-market and marketing plans.
- A business development professional supported a startup in Brazil for 18 months to help it create jobs in impoverished areas.
Regardless of the length of time, the common theme is that these projects are skills-based. We use the word "Experteering" to define skilled volunteering overseas.
Time is one of the most important factors in determining the type of project you’ll work on. Here is a table showing the most common types of projects you’ll find based on your availability, regardless of your skills:
Engage with an organization to help teach a specific skill or resource (like training Excel skills, accounting best practices, git methodology, HR best practices, or marketing analytics to name a few). Usually, Experteers are expected to help develop the content and then conduct the training or workshop, with workload estimated at < 10h/week. See sample project here.
Expert Advisor (call)
Support an organization get clarity about a certain area and better understand their needs around it. Have a 30-60min call to share your expertise about a specific skill and/or industry area, in a short one-off initiative. See sample project here. See sample project here.
Support a team with a specific task that has a clear deliverable, like designing a new website, setting up an accounting system, developing a marketing plan, creating an engineering schematic, or other skills-based projects. It can also be an opportunity to immerse yourself around a specific opportunity or challenge area. Give yourself enough time to learn community and cultural contexts, and then propose (and potentially implement) a plan to accelerate impact. Projects can vary greatly on duration and workload, so the scope should be well aligned between the Experteer and the Organization. See sample project here.
Be a coach to help social entrepreneurs develop their leadership skills, by using your skills and experience to support them to overcome their challenges. As a coach, you are not a subject matter expert but you will focus on the social entrepreneur and help them think through ways to grow as a leader and improve their social enterprise. This is usually done with a 30-60 min call per month and email exchanges, over 3-6 months. See sample project here.
Be a mentor to help social entrepreneurs grow their organization, by using your skills and experience to support them to overcome their challenges. As a mentor, you are a subject matter expert in the social entrepreneur’s industry and will help them think through ways to grow and mature their social enterprise. This is usually done with a 30-60 min call per month and email exchanges, over 3-6 months.
Suggest Your Own
Browse organizations on our platform, and then message them directly to suggest a new project that aligns with their mission and your skills.
Not all volunteer projects are created equal. Make sure to find one that fits your skills and availability.