Experteers can help you address major challenges, seize opportunities, and further your social impact reach. This guide helps you understand where to find an Experteer, and best practices for hosting them.
Free is not always good. Hosting a volunteer merely because they are free can actually harm your organization. The first thing you need to ensure is that you actually have a clear need for a volunteer. Read this guide we published in Stanford Social Innovation Review for help.
Time is one of the most important factors in determining the type of project you should post. Here are the most common types of projects::
Trainer (1-4 Weeks) Bring in a short-term volunteer to help develop the skills and know-how of your team (like training your team on management best practices, Excel skills, accounting best practices, git methodology, HR best practices, or marketing analytics to name a few).
Doer (1-12 Weeks) Engage a pro bono volunteer to accomplish a specific task or deliverable, like designing a new website, setting up an accounting system, developing a marketing plan, creating an engineering schematic, or other skills-based project.
Consultant (3–24 weeks) Find help to identify your biggest challenges to growth, and get the support and guidance to overcome them.
Team Member (6+ months) Find a core team-member for a specific length of time, like a contractor.
To help identify the biggest gaps in your organization, and to screen if a volunteer is the right solution, use our skills gap assessment (en Espanol aqui).
In order to have a successful volunteer, you must have a well defined project.
How do you know if your project is well defined? If you can answer YES to at least 5 of the following 6 questions, you have a project that is ready for a skilled volunteer:
Need help with this? Take our skills gap assessment (en Espanol aqui).
When you are posting a project to host a professional volunteer (aka Experteer) the more defined and informative the project is, the better the Experteer and the outcome of the project. In addition to being specific about your project by following the scoping tips above, also include:
1. STORY: What is the story of your organization. How did it come to exist, and how does it make an impact.
2. PICTURES: Experteers want to have a sense of what they are walking into, have a visual understanding of you the Host Organization and its impact. Experteers are more attracted to those opportunities. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Be sure to share links to pictures about your organization, its location, its team, the people it benefits, and the work itself.
3. TEAM INFORMATION: One of the most exciting parts about Experteering is the opportunity to meet new people. Be ready to share more information about the other people on your team who the Experteer might work with.
4. LOCAL INFORMATION: Experteers are looking for unique, immersive experiences. Be prepared to share interesting information about your organization, the city it works in, and about your country.
5. CULTURAL NUANCES: As an Experteer walks into a host organization, they are walking into a new world. Be prepared to provide information about specific cultural nuances that you believe might impact the Experteer’s work.
Sometimes, when you request volunteers, you might get more applications than you have room to host. If one specific project has received multiple applications from Experteers, here are some tips to follow to help you choose which one will be best for your organization:
Make sure to speak with your candidates before making a decision. A resume might match a position, however the ability for the host organization and the Experteer to communicate well is the most important part of working together.
Ensure that Experteer’s skills align with your needs. Although we do see original project deliverables changed slightly to fit an Experteer’s background, do not try and force-fit your needs to their skills, or their skills to your needs, if the gap is too wide.
Trying to prioritize your internal needs? Take our skills gap assessment, available in both English and in Spanish.
Stay grounded, and make a decision based on the best person for your specific project, not on the person with the most impressive CV. When you have multiple candidates, don’t only consider the person with the most experience, but rather the person whose skills will best support the specific deliverables you have outlined.
It is critical that you spend ample time planning in partnership with your Experteer before they commit to Experteering. When you plan, make sure to:
Hosting an Experteer from another country is an exciting opportunity. Not only will your organization benefit from the Experteer’s time, but it will also be a unique opportunity for your team to network with someone from a different culture. This Host Preparation Checklist will make sure that you are fully prepared to host your Experteer. In addition, here are some other tips
Experteers often come from locations with different cultural differences. To prepare to work effectively across cultures, we recommend:
If you are looking for an Experteer, it’s likely you are working on scaling your social impact organization. The following resources are some of our favorites that not only help you work well with people from diverse backgrounds, but also to help you and your organization accomplish its mission: