The Experteering Process

From the time you apply to experteer to the month after you return from your trip, we’ll guide you through each stage of your journey — helping you create a bigger impact, and realize your own transformation along the way.

Our process, and the resources needed for each stage, is outlined in greater detail below. We’ve divided the process into 7 stages, taking you from first joining our platform all the way to becoming an alumni:


1. Choose the Right Program for You

In order to be matched with a host organization, you’ll need to apply and be accepted into one of our three Experteering Programs, which you can learn more about below.

We’re here to support you throughout the process, even before you submit your application! If you’re not sure which program is right for you, you can schedule a free 1:1 consultation with a team member here.

1. Full-Access Individual Experteer Program

Get matched to an Experteering project to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. Receive support, training, and join our global community to build confidence and plan the trip of a lifetime. Learn more and apply here.

2. MovingWorlds Corporate Impact Teams

Our professional development program for those looking to grow as leaders, and then return to their organization to make it more innovative and socially responsible. Join a virtual cohort of impact makers, and then go Experteering on your own. Learn more and apply here.

3. MovingWorlds Institute Global Fellowship

Our career change program for those looking to learn more about social enterprise, human- centered design, and career opportunities in the social impact sector. Join an in-person training, stay connected as a virtual cohort for the 6 months of Fellowship, and go Experteering to build your experience. Learn more and apply here.

2. Find a Project

Complete Your Profile

Invest the time to complete your profile. It will help you be discovered by host organizations that have not yet posted projects — seeing your profile may inspire them to assess how your skills can support their work and then recruit you to co-design a custom project together.

For tips, check out our FAQ explaining what factors about you go into the matching process.

Use our Project Search Tool

Our search tool helps you find projects that match your skills and interests. You can apply different filters to narrow the results down to just what you’re looking for. Don’t see the perfect project right away? We recommend that you:

  1. Save projects - saving projects allows you to collect a curated list of projects you are interested in, but not quite ready to apply to yet, right on your dashboard. See how to save a project
  2. Follow host organizations that look interesting but don’t have any current projects so you’ll be the first to know when they publish new projects. See how to follow an organization

Suggest Your Own Project

After browsing, saving, and following projects and organizations, you’ll get a better idea of what’s out there or what’s missing. Don’t be afraid to suggest your own project if you don’t see what you're looking for listed! Our most successful Experteers take a collaborative approach with organizations to co-design projects that align with both parties' objectives. We recommend that you:

  1. Suggest projects to organizations. Check out our e-mail templates for ideas to get you started.
  2. Use our “Organization Search” feature, then send an introductory message to suggest ways you can support the host organization.
  3. Go out on your own and find organizations not on MovingWorlds. Invite them to join by cc’ing support@movingworlds.org so we can help.

3. Get matched

Join a Planning Workshop

For PLUS members only. (You can see how to upgrade to our PLUS program here) Check your email for a list of all the upcoming workshops, including:

  • Experteering 101 - How to craft an effective profile and Experteering Request Form
  • Matchmaking Help Sessions - Join a session with a MovingWorlds team member for help finding a new project

Request an Introduction(s)

When you request an introduction, we recommend sending a simple message where you:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain why you are interested in this project
  • Share how your own skills and experience can benefit the organization
  • Suggest a virtual meeting to discuss the project and learn more about each other

Here's a template you can use when you're ready to start requesting introductions.

Keep in mind that you can request an introduction to ANY project - even if it's not an exact fit. While our organizations have gone through the effort to post a specific project to MovingWorlds, often times they are only posting a fraction of the projects they actually need help with.

As such, if you read about a project and/or organization that is interesting, but not quite the right fit, you can still request an introduction to get the conversation started! Just make sure to be clear about your skills, availability, and what type of project you're hoping for instead.

Respond to Introductions

In addition to making your own introductions, organizations seeking pro-bono support can also request introductions to you. When they do, be sure to respond within 24 hours with clear action steps. When you respond, we recommend you set up a time to talk as soon as you're able to keep the momentum going.

Schedule an Introduction Call

Once both parties are ready to connect directly, MovingWorlds will send an email to both you and the Host Organization. As the Experteer, you are responsible for “project managing” the process forward. Start by emailing with the Host Organization to set up an introductory call.

First: Gather helpful information about the Host Organization (mainly through its website and external resources) including:

  • Mission
  • Line of work and social impact focus
  • Its revenue and impact model
  • Location
  • Articles published about or by the Host Organization
  • Areas of success
  • The team and manager you'll be working with
  • Prepare questions you have about the Host and its functions

Second: Take time to review the opportunity profile and project description. It’s normal to have questions, so write them down and prepare to ask the Host Organization on your call to ensure that you have a clear understanding of:

  • The project details
  • The anticipated outcome of the project and the benefit of the project to the organization's mission
  • Your main point of contact on the ground, and this person’s tentative schedule for the duration of your project
  • The team you'll be working with
  • The time commitment required
  • Which of your skills will be utilized
  • What success looks like

Note: You can refer to your Planning Guide, located inside your resource folder, to guide you through the call. On all of your calls, remember to take notes on everything. If you do decide to Experteer with that particular Host Organization, the information will be valuable for your Experteering Planning Guide further down the road.

Have An Introduction Call

Introduce Yourself

Share information about yourself like your career goals, motivation for going Experteering, and other interests. During this phase, you and the organization representative are getting to know each other- help them picture how you could be an asset to their team!

Get to Know the Host Organization

Learn as much about the Host Organization and its needs as you can – think of it like an informational interview. MovingWorlds has already gathered information on the Host Organization and clarified the project and its initial scope of work, but it is still important for you to fill in the details that you need to determine if it is a good match for you.

Get to Know Each Other

At the center of every engagement is communication. If you can’t communicate clearly, the field engagement won’t work. Use this time to get to know each other and trade stories. You can start off by asking about the motivation for starting the organization, and learning more about the team behind the mission. Remember to ask about cultural differences and communication styles so you can be prepared to maximize your time on-site.

Confirm Your Match

Is it a match? After your virtual meetings, you should have enough information to determine if the project is a good match for you. As soon as you make a decision, send an email to our Matching Team (match@movingworlds.org) to let us know whether you have decided to commit to working together or not.

Below are some helpful templates to communicate your intention with the Host Organization:

If the Host Organization/ Project IS a Good Fit

Congratulations! Let the Host Organization know by sending the representative an email similar to this e-mail template. Remember to CC match@movingworlds.org in your email.

If the Host Organization/ Project is NOT a Good Fit

Write to the Host Organization, thank them for their time and inform them why you felt it wasn’t a good match. Please be honest so that the organization can improve and our Matching Team can better support them in future searches. Also remember to email our matching team to let us know the match didn’t work and why so we can help you find a better match. You can use this e-mail template to get you started..

Not Sure if the Project is a Good Fit?

That's OK! Plan another call to ask more questions and discuss it further. Here is a template to request more information. In your second call, learn more about the following:

  • The specific project and expected outcomes and deliverables
  • Share more about yours skills and interests
  • Learn more about the project timelines
  • Ask about working conditions, hours, and benefits

Note: Your Planning Guide, found inside of your resource folder, is a good place to get ideas for helpful questions to ask and things to consider for the follow-up call.

4. Plan Your Trip

Start Your Planning Guide

Once both you and the host organization representative confirm it’s a Match, our system will invite you both to work on the MovingWorlds Experteering Planning Guide together.

Please note that if you are participating in a premium program (such as the MovingWorlds Institute or a project sponsored by a company/foundation) you will receive additional information on next steps via email as well as separate content guides.

Learn Best Practices

Take the on-demand MovingWorlds Experteering Best Practices training, which will be shared with you once you become a member.

In addition, you can connect with other Experteers, alumni, and MovingWorlds staff on our Community platform. Here you can learn first-hand from others who are currently in the field or have recently returned, work through challenges in real time. Our Matching Team is also available on the forum to respond to any questions you have!

Work Through Your Planning Checklist

Our system will invite you to view a planning checklist once you are matched. Everything listed on the checklist is important, and takes time to complete, so we recommend starting early! Be particularly conscious of your start date on this checklist.

Start working through this checklist, and turn to the MovingWorlds community and our FAQs for help.

In addition, you can review our region guides for extra contextual information about the part of the world you’ll be Experteering in.

Complete Your Planning Guide

Work through the Experteering Planning Guide together with your host organization until it’s complete. Once you inform MovingWorlds that you’ve confirmed the Match, both you and your host will be sent an Experteering Planning Guide that is specifically created just for you and your host organization.

Once complete, sign and submit it to MovingWorlds via email at match@movingworlds.org to formally confirm the match and start your Experteering Engagement!

Please note: it is suggested that the Experteer Planning Guide is completed BEFORE the Experteer has booked travel arrangements to the Host Organization location.

Arrange Your Travel

The Planning Checklist referenced above provides recommendations for arranging your travel.

Once you complete this, please update your dashboard with your travel details so we have current information and can support you in case of emergency.

5. Grow Your Skills

Cross Cultural Leadership

Once you join, you will receive access to the MovingWorlds Global Leadership Guidebook and invitations to monthly webinars with Industry Leaders.

In addition, you'll have access the MovingWorlds online Community forum to develop cross cultural leadership skills, gain exposure to different sectors, and explore current trends and challenges in the social impact space around the world.

Note: Specific content access will depend on the program you choose. You can compare content access across programs here.

Explore Social Enterprise Best Practices

Once you join, you will receive access to the MovingWorlds Guide to Social Enterprises.

Through monthly webinars and ongoing dialogue on the community forum, you will learn about the social impact ecosystem, the role that social enterprises play in global development, and the specific challenges they face as they scale.

Build Your Network

Engage with current and past Experteers on the Community forum and MovingWorlds LinkedIn group. Better yet, take your interactions into real life and join an in-person meetup with other Experteers! Don’t see one in your city? Plan an event and we'll help you get it posted on the Community calendar.

Human Centered Design Best Practices

Access case studies and monthly webinars to enhance your human-centered design (HCD) skills. See how your peers are putting their HCD skills into practice with in-the-field updates and get real-time advice on your own HCD initiatives by starting a discussion on the Community forum.

Professional Guidance

Take advantage of our social impact job board and join regular accountability groups to accelerate your social impact career.

In addition, MovingWorlds Institute Fellows will have dedicated work and career coaching sessions.

MovingWorlds will be building a career guidance community soon. Sign up here for updates..

6. Go Experteering & Make a Real Impact

Remember the Training

Remember your training, and strive to use best-practices every day of your engagement.

Once matched, you will receive supplemental materials to help you make lasting change in the field. In addition, you can seek advice freely on the community forum and share your own experiences to help future Experteers be more effective on the ground.

Utilize Human-Centered Design Principles

In addition to the supplemental guides given to you for your Experteering project, use these additional resources to effectively integrate human-centered design best practices:

Work on your Sustainability Plan

Remember the MovingWorlds Experteering Manifesto and Values. Success is something that is measured one year after you leave.

From the time you start planning your project, continue to reference your Experteering Planning Guide, and invest time in the project sustainability section.

Ask for Support From Your Network

When you’re volunteering overseas, there are many ways that your network, family, and/or friends can support your impact. But don’t jump at your first idea. Like everything related to your Experteering project, this should be done in partnership with your local organization so as to not distract local resources, create dependencies, erode dignity, and to ensure sustainability.

In addition to your own network, the MovingWorlds community is here for you, too. Make sure to take advantage of conversations in the Community forum related to human-centered design.

Transfer Skills

Perhaps more than any other contribution you will make, transfering skills and insights to the local team is one of the best things you can do while Experteering.

7. Return Home and Sustain the Change

Impact Assessment

We’ll send you a survey when you get back. PLEASE complete this - it helps us improve and better support Experteers, like you, and the Host Organizations you work with. And who knows, your input could be included in our next thought-leadership piece (with attribution, of course!) and shape the future of the social impact landscape.

Project Capstone & Share Your Story

When you start your project, MovingWorlds will send you a guide that you can use to document your learnings as you go. This is optional, but we find that Experteers who use it end up with rich notes and memories. Our guide will then make recommendations on how to translate your experience and publicize your project in ways that will catalyze your career. We’ll invite you to share your story on our blog as well.

Reflect & Reintegrate Successfully

Reverse culture shock is a thing. Our guide will help you work through it. Process your experience upon your return by connecting with other Experteers, alumni, and MovingWorlds staff on the Community forum. Get and give advice on your reflection and re-integration process as you navigate this exciting next chapter of your life!

Join Our Alumni Community

Once a MovingWorlds Experteer, always a MovingWorlds member. Your project may have ended, but your experience with MovingWorlds and experteering doesn’t have to. Upon completion of your project, you will be invited to join our alumni network of changemakers. Continue to learn and grow while building your network through conversations, meetups, and more!