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Hosting Skilled Volunteers

Best practices for hosting volunteers from around the world.

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. Before searching for volunteers, it is important to ensure that your organization is a good fit for volunteers. In order to Host an Experteer and benefit from their skills, you must commit to:

Dedicated Person


A representative of your organization must commit time to scoping, planning, and hosting an Experteer.

Social Impact


Your organization must have a mission that benefits people and/or our planet (social impact mission).

Clear Outcomes


You should have a project that has a clear goal and deliverable that helps accelerate your social mission.

Benefits


In exchange for receiving support, you should provide local benefits.

SCOPING A PROJECT

In order to have a successful volunteer, you must have a well defined project. When determining a project that you want a skilled volunteer to work on, first consider these 6 things:

INTENT EXAMPLES
1. Project Outcome Create a specific, measurable goal that you want as a result of hosting a volunteer.

A good marketing campaign

The design of a marketing campaign to help our social enterprise reach small businesses in the most remote areas of Northern India.

2. Project Impact Understand, and be able to explain, how the project will accelerate your mission and help your beneficiaries. If possible quantify the impact.

It will help economic development

The marketing campaign will help 50 small business owners learn how they can increase their livelihoods by selling affordable, clean water.

3. Set a Time Frame Consider the length of time needed to complete the work, and also the amount of time needed to transfer knowledge to you and your team to sustain it when the Experteer is finished.

We need to kick-off right away

We would like to finish this by June. We think it will take about 2 weeks of research, 2 weeks of work, and then 2 weeks of iterating with the team and transferring knowledge.

4. Skills Needed List the two to three necessary skills needed from the Experteer. Be clear as to which skills are required, and which are optional.

Marketing (too little)

or 

Web design, branding, marketing, online marketing, design, printing, operations, and leadership (too much)

Required: Strategic marketing

Optional: Basic design skills

5. Stakeholders Consider the different stakeholders in this project, like other team members, partners, customers, and/or beneficiaries. Can you explain how this project will affect all the members, and if the Experteer will need to spend time with these different stakeholders.

Just me

The leadership team, the project team, local small business owners, and our sales partners.

6. Benefits While the allure of an exciting project in a new environment is usually enough motivation for an Experteer, you’ll have a better chance of finding a great match if you can provide local benefits like a free place to live, local tours, and inviting the Experteer over for dinner and events.

A GREAT local experience

As this project is essential for faster growth, we will provide free accommodations. You will have a spare room in the house of the organization's manager, and we will also cover the costs of in-country travel to the remote areas.

POSTING AN OPPORTUNITY

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.

Post an Opportunity on MovingWorlds

MovingWorlds helps you find skilled volunteers. If you are looking for a different volunteer, consider these organizations:

Virtual Volunteers Long-term Contractors Un-skilled volunteers

Bankers Without Borders

Devex

Idealist or 

Escape the City

SELECTING AN EXPERTEER

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:

  • COMMUNICATE

    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.

  • SKILL ALIGNMENT

    Ensure that Experteer’s skills align with your needs. Do not try and force-fit your needs to their skills, or their skills to your needs.

  • ORGANIZATION FIT

    Make a decision based on the best person for the 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, however also consider the a person who fits the position in other ways too.


Follow Our 5-Step Process

PLANNING TO HOST EXPERTEERS

The only thing more important than a properly scoped project is the planning process that you do in partnership with your Experteer. At MovingWorlds.org, we recommend this 5-step process.

TIP INTENT
PLAN TOGETHER Work together to further scope and plan your project. Both the host organization and the Experteer bring different expertise that need to be aligned.
OVER COMMUNICATE More communication between you and the Experteer leads to a better clarified project, which creates a stronger outcome and better experience
USE EXPERTEERING PLANNING GUIDE Complete all sections of the MovingWorlds Experteering Planning Guide and sign to make a formal partnership
DEDICATE TIME The more time you spend on planning the project the more successful and sustainable the project will be

Download the MovingWorlds Experteering Planning Guide

HOSTING AN EXPERTEER

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 difference culture. This Host Preparation Checklist will make sure that you are fully prepared to host your Experteer. In addition, here are some other tips

TIP INTENT
PROVIDE AN ORIENTATION Share information about your city, country, culture, organization, beneficiaries, and work team.
PLAN FOR THE LONG TERM Set success as something that happens after the Experteer leaves – up to a year after that.
SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS Refer to your Planning Guide and confirm project objectives for working hours & location, communication preferences, and project delivery.
OFFER AND ACCEPT FEEDBACK Have scheduled, periodic feedback sessions to share ways you can work better together.
BE A HOST Invite and engage your Experteer in local food, experiences, and/or activities.
BE ETHICAL Make sure to abide by ethical practices within your organization and while interacting with and hosting an Experteer.

Download MovingWorlds' Host Preparation Checklist

Additional Resources

If you are looking for an Experteer, it’s likely you are working on growing 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 social enterprise accomplish its mission:

  • READ THIS ARTICLE: Skilled-Volunteering 101: Is Your Organization Ready to Engage?

    This handbook helps organizations answer questions related to their readiness to engage skills-based volunteers and think about the characteristics of good skills-based volunteering project. It gives examples of successful engagements and talks about resources available for organizations to use to assess their readiness.

  • WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO: What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

    In this video Roselinde Torres describes 25 years of observing truly great leaders at work, and shares the three simple but crucial questions that would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.

  • TAKE THIS ONLINE COURSE: Project Management: Essential Tools and Techniques

    Volunteer management is essentially good project management. This simple, fast, and FREE course provides a good introduction to project management and includes supplementary materials such as ready to use template and tools. In this course you will discover how to efficiently lead projects by learning tools and techniques to manage scope, time and resources.

  • READ THIS BOOK: Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding--And How We Can Improve the World Even More.

    In this book, Charles Kenny who shows how the spread of cheap technologies, such as vaccines and bed nets, and ideas, such as political rights, has transformed the world. He also shows that by understanding this transformation, we can make the world an even better place to live.