About

FAQs

What type of projects does Team4Tech support?

Team4Tech works with innovative non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who are already doing high impact, sustainable work in education and have a vision for how technology (or technology volunteers) can help them increase their effectiveness. We hope that each of our projects will benefit at least 1,000 students and teachers per year for the first 3-5 years, with potential to scale over time. As part of the Team4Tech application process, our NGO partners must be able to define clear educational objectives for the project and identify relevant impact assessment metrics that they will track as part of ongoing program evaluation.

Are Team4Tech projects one-time engagements?

We hope not. Our goal is to develop long-term partnerships with the NGOs we support, where we can work together for at least 3-5 years to integrate sustainable technology solutions. We typically provide a start-up matching grant along with the first team, and then send teams of volunteers about once per year for 3-5 years to scale project impact and continue professional development of NGO staff and teachers. NGOs may be matched with different companies and volunteers over the course of the project. Ongoing engagement is contingent upon the continued commitment to the project and effective evaluation from our NGO partners.

Who volunteers for Team4Tech projects?

Team4Tech offers projects for individuals and companies interested in using their technology expertise to further education technology projects around the world. Our volunteers come from all job functions in high tech – engineering, sales, marketing, finance, legal, and human resources. The most important qualifications are adaptability, team orientation and a desire to help others. Individuals can apply online at http://www.team4tech.org/volunteer. Corporate partners typically run their own internal selection process involving an application and interview to select the team from a field of interested employee applicants.

What impact has Team4Tech had?

In 2014, Team4Tech deployed over 65 volunteers from tech companies including Box, Coursera, Computer Sciences Corporation, Facebook, Google, Intel, Intuit, and VMware on seven projects in Vietnam, India, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Cambodia, benefitting over 10,000 students and teachers. The scope of work on each project is customized to meet the teaching and learning objectives of the partner NGO. As an example, see our Kenya Case Study detailing how that project contributed to an improvement in early literacy outcomes.

Is Team4Tech a nonprofit?

Yes. Team4Tech Foundation is a for-purpose social enterprise with a sustainable business model. It is a public charity, as described by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and our (EIN) is: 46-1135641. In most cases, contributions by US citizens to support projects sponsored by Team4Tech are tax deductible, and under certain circumstances, volunteers may deduct volunteer participation contributions as well as reasonable out-of-pocket expenses including transportation to and from implementation sites.
 
Contributions of cash, securities, and other properties to implement technology supporting education are wholly tax-deductible within the United States. Please note that contributions are tax deductible only upon completion of giving, and that your payment(s) towards a volunteer Team4Tech deployment may be tax deductible only after you have volunteered on the project. Team4Tech recommends you consult your personal tax advisor on all issues concerning tax deductibility.

 

 

How do we initiate a corporate engagement with Team4Tech?

Please contact info@team4tech.org to initiate a conversation on Team4Tech custom programs, and ways to pilot and scale a program at your company.

What services does Team4Tech provide high tech companies?

Team4Tech creates custom service learning programs for tech companies seeking an easy and affordable way to provide employees with a professional development experience that leverages their technology and business skills to expand global education opportunities. Our project training is designed to develop key skills for 21st century leaders – critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, collaboration, and global mindset. Bring to life your company values and CSR goals, and support HR recruiting, retention, and staff development objectives, with Team4Tech’s turn-key, immersive, short-term (10-14 days) service learning experience for employees.

What does the corporate partner provide?

You agree to lend us your employees and fund their project costs — and Team4Tech handles the screening, training and project management, and connects your team with a vetted global organization that needs their skills. This model, developed by our founders, has proven itself in more than 80 projects around the world, from solar-powered schools in Zambia to rural orphanages in Vietnam.

What are the corporate benefits of Team4Tech?

Team4Tech provides professional development for employee volunteers through an immersive service learning experience and customized training to develop 21st century leadership skills. The program can be customized to align with CSR initiatives, and employee recruitment, retention, engagement and development initiatives. Team4Tech can also match your team with projects that can benefit from your product donations, if this is of interest. Please see more compelling reasons and statistics enumerated in the blog post, “10 ways service learning pays.”

How can my NGO apply?

Interested NGOs should complete the Team4Tech project application. Questions about the application process can be addressed to info@team4tech.org.

What types of projects are preferred for a Team4Tech engagement?

Team4Tech works to expand access to quality education and economic opportunity. We typically support education projects for pre-primary through secondary levels, as well as vocational training programs for small and micro entrepreneurs.

What does Team4Tech expect in terms of NGO effort and responsiveness?

Team4Tech works intensively with our NGO clients to create and implement a project that can successfully and sustainably improve teaching and learning. To enable a successful relationship, we need a contact person at the NGO client who can dedicate 10-15 hours per week to the project and who can respond to all Team4Tech inquiries within 48 hours. The NGO is responsible for assisting Team4Tech with on-the-ground logistics (Team4Tech covers all of the volunteer costs) and is responsible for ongoing project maintenance and evaluation.

What does the NGO receive from a partnership with Team4Tech?

Team4Tech works with our NGO clients to define and staff a project with technology volunteers who can help meet the NGO’s educational objectives. Specifically, Team4Tech will help scope and refine the project to ensure objectives can be met during the two-week, in-field timeframe. Team4Tech serves as project manager and liaison for the technical volunteers, overseeing their preparation, logistics, and training. NGOs may also be eligible for an initial matching grant of up to $15,000 and successive teams from the same or different technology companies.

What can the Team4Tech grant be used for?

To qualify for a matching grant, the NGO must be a certified nonprofit and nongovernmental organization in its respective country. Team4Tech may make an initial matching grant of up to $15,000 to our NGO clients at the start of a project for the purchase of necessary hardware, software and peripherals. For example, grant funds can be used to purchase:

  • Hardware: computers, networking equipment, storage drives
  • Software: purchases, licenses
  • Peripherals: headsets, speakers, microphones, projectors, whiteboards
  • Supporting infrastructure: classroom furniture (tables, desks, chairs), security cabinets
  • Recurring costs for the length of the 3-5 year partnership: Internet subscriptions, electricity expenses

NGO clients are expected to match the funding with cash or in-kind investments to demonstrate support for the project. 

What countries does Team4Tech work in?

Currently, Team4Tech has led projects in Brazil, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa. Team4Tech is open to projects from any country, as long as the local conditions are aligned with volunteer safety and security needs. Priority is given to projects that reach underserved populations and targeted countries that meet specific interests of partner corporations.

Is our project required to utilize technology and/or technology volunteers as part of an education solution?

Yes, Team4Tech works with projects that utilize technology and/or technology volunteers to promote learning and access to economic opportunities. The focus is on primary and secondary education, but programs around teaching entrepreneurship are also considered. At this time, programs to promote access to health, water, food, and infrastructure would not be considered.

Who pays for the housing, meals, and transportation of the volunteers on-site?

Team4Tech covers all volunteer expenses in the field including housing, meals, and transportation. Team4Tech will work with the NGO to identify and arrange appropriate and reasonably priced accommodations and logistics for the team. Local standards, rather than tourist standards, are sought for this immersive service learning experience.

How many volunteers support each project?

The number of volunteer members per team depends on the needs of the given project, but it normally ranges between 5 and 15 participants per project.

How do I apply to be a volunteer?

Individuals can apply online at www.team4tech.org/applications/volunteer. Corporate partners typically run their own internal selection process involving an application and interview to select the team from a field of interested employee applicants.

What are the benefits of being a Team4Tech volunteer?

Volunteers benefit from 21st century leadership professional development (focused on critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, extreme collaboration, and global insights), visibility and recognition from their company, as well as human-centered design training, cultural exposure, and the opportunity to give back using professional and technical expertise. Our alumni volunteers often describe the experience as “life changing” and “inspirational”.

How much does it cost and are scholarships available?

The cost of participation varies per project - please contact us to learn more. Program costs do not cover airfare. A limited number of partial scholarships are available for individual volunteers. In addition, individual volunteers can use our Fundly platform (www.fundly.com/team4tech) to raise support from coworkers, family and friends.

What is my participation donation used for?

The project cost per volunteer is used to cover the following expenses:

  • In-country expenses including accommodations, meals, local transportation, and project implementation supplies.
  • Start-up matching grants of up to $15,000 for our NGO partners so that they can purchase the necessary hardware, software and peripherals needed to get their technology implementation up and running.
  • Team4Tech project management expenses including salary costs for those who are finding, vetting and developing potential projects; working with partners including NGOs, company partners, and volunteers; researching technology solutions and assessment tools; developing our leadership training curriculum, plus the typical lean start-up expenses of IT, phone, etc. When possible, we leverage donated office space, volunteer expertise, and pro bono support to keep costs as low as possible.

Additionally, donations support our scholarship fund that assists qualified volunteers who are not able to pay the full cost per project and/or alumni volunteers who participate as team coaches.

Can I raise funds to support my costs? How?

Yes! Fundraising is encouraged. Team4Tech has arranged with Fundly.com (www.fundly.com/team4tech) to provide volunteers with an easy-to-use platform to collect donations from co-workers, friends, and family that are tax deductible to the donor and are automatically credited to Team4Tech toward your project tuition. Other volunteers have leveraged matching contributions from their employers to help fund their project expenses.

Is project tuition tax deductible? What about airfare?

Yes, in general, tuition and airfare that you pay are fully tax deductible. Donations made through your Fundly site are tax deductible to the donor. Team4Tech will provide documentation for tax purposes. Team4Tech recommends you consult your personal tax advisor on all issues concerning tax deductibility.

How is the project tuition paid?

For corporations, a corporate billing process will be used.
For individuals, volunteers may pay by check or online using a credit card through our Stripe donation system, or through Fundly donations that are credited toward tuition. If using Fundly, prior to departure, individual participants will make a final donation of the difference between the funds raised by donations and your tuition cost. Donations in excess of the tuition amount cannot be refunded.

How is airfare purchased?

Corporate program participants use the airfare purchase process required by their company.
Individual volunteers may use the travel agency or online booking tool (e.g., Orbitz, Kayak, ITA Matrix) of your choice. Be sure to clearly understand the required arrival and departure airport and dates specific for your project before buying your ticket. Consider using award travel to help reduce costs. If Fundly funds will be used to pay for your travel, you may be requested to use Team4Tech’s travel service provider.

Are scholarships available?

Need-based scholarships may be available for individual applicants. The scholarship recipients agree to provide additional volunteer support to Team4Tech, during and after their project is over. The additional support is decided on a case-by-case basis for each scholarship recipients. Returning alumni may be eligible for special scholarships in exchange for additional management and leadership contributions in the planning and project implementation.

What are the selection criteria for Team4Tech teams? Who selects the team?

Team members are chosen based on multiple factors as ascertained in both their written application and interview. Factors considered include interest in education (as demonstrated by previous work or volunteer experience), team orientation, adaptability and flexibility, communication skills (including presentations, blogging, and social media use), technical capability, teaching experience, local language skill, ability to work across cultures, and referral by alumni.
For individuals, Team4Tech staff will evaluate and select the team members to build out the skill sets and expertise balance required by the project. For corporate projects, the company, in collaboration with Team4Tech, may have additional criteria, application processes, and volunteer selection procedures.

Do I need to speak the local language?

Speaking the local language is helpful but not required. If you speak the local language, please include this information in your application as this can provide an additional benefit for the program delivery.

What is the physical and working environment like on a project?

Conditions vary by project but are often physically strenuous. Team4Tech projects typically include long workdays. Most of the work is indoors. There may be long periods of standing while teaching or helping in classrooms. Sometimes teams need to transport computer equipment, travel long distances in vehicles, and work in hot, dusty, muddy, rainy, or humid environments. Buildings may not have entry ramps, stair handrails or elevators. In spite of occasionally challenging working environments, we also have opportunities to work near some wonderful and extraordinary places (Cape of Good Hope, the Taj Mahal, Ngorogoro Crater, Angkor Watt, Kilimanjaro).

What are the project accommodations like?

Team4Tech projects strive for local immersion as much as possible, to help us understand the local conditions. We use lodgings that usually require a shared room, are consistent with local standards, and typically not tourist class or business class accommodations. We use local partners to help select clean, safe and secure accommodations. Facilities range from dorms to local hotels. Rooms may or may not have amenities such as air conditioning, in-suite toilets, or wifi. Bed nets for mosquito protection will be provided by the accommodation when needed. You will receive specific information about the accommodations for your project in the Team4Tech Project Guide.

What is the food like? What if I have food sensitivities?

Team4Tech project teams take advantage of the opportunity to eat the local diet where it can be assumed to be safe and healthy. The places for eating vary from orphanage cafeterias, local restaurants, accommodations with kitchens where volunteers can cook, hotel restaurants, box lunches, to modern hotels, depending on the project. Persons with food sensitivities and allergies should make their needs known to theTeam4Tech project manager and each local food provider during the trip. Choices maybe limited but we will help you communicate your needs so you can take advantage of appropriate local choices.

Do I need to get vaccinations?

Vaccination requirements vary by destination. The need for anti-malarial medication, typhoid, yellow fever, DPT, hepatitis, typhus, etc. is not uncommon. Team4Tech strongly recommends using a health care provider to get specific recommendations based on your travel plans and your medical history. We recommend using a travel clinic, who will have ready access to the latest information about the specific requirements for the area you will be visiting and routinely stock the needed vaccinations. Start this process early to allow for time needed between or after vaccinations.

What is the appropriate clothing?

Clothing varies by project location and time of year. Team4Tech provides a project guide with specific clothing recommendations for your project. In many countries and rural areas where we work, dress is more conservative. Since volunteers will be teaching and interacting with teachers and students, team members should follow simple guidelines to maintain a professional appearance. Generally, for ladies, slacks, longer dresses, modest necklines and closed toes shoes are best. For men, dark pants or khakis, collared shirts and closed toes shoes are recommended. Specific information will be provided in the training. A key guideline is to honor the culture in which we work by dressing in a culturally appropriate way.

How do I prepare? How much time is needed for preparation?

Preparations begin with a team kick-off meeting about eight weeks before the project. Participants residing near San Francisco, California attend in person, and others attend by teleconference. In the weeks leading up to the project, the team has weekly teleconferences. In addition to scoping and preparation for project deliverables, these meetings are used to inform the team about logistics, working in a developing country environment, the project host, the project content, location, and culture. The team receives information about travel preparations such as safety, security and vaccinations. The training will include briefings on 21st century education methods and the technology aspects of the project. Team members will work individually and collaboratively to prepare for the project, including developing technology implementation plans and lesson plans. Work outside of the preparation meetings is required, and team members typically report spending about 30 to 60 hours of preparation time over the two to three months prior to the project.

Can I use part of the project period for a personal trip and come back to the project?

Team4Tech projects require a full-time commitment for the duration of the project, including evenings and weekends. Any personal travel must be scheduled to occur before, or preferably, after the conclusion of the project. Note that personal travel may affect the tax deductibility of the flight costs. Please ask your tax professional for details.

Who buys the tech equipment and computers for the project?

The in-country NGO is responsible for selecting and purchasing all needed equipment. Team4Tech volunteers may be involved as advisors to help guide the purchasing decisions. Team4Tech provides the NGO with a one-time matching grant of up to $15,000 to help with equipment costs.

Are the projects in safe and secure locations?

Team4Tech selects project locations, partners, accommodations, and local transportation that we believe are reasonably safe and secure. Because our project locations are frequently outside of areas typically traveled by tourists, we provide a safety and security briefing for each team. To help keep our teams safe, we require volunteers to follow certain safety and security procedures including traveling as a group, using only approved transportation, not leaving valuables in hotel rooms, and others requirements explained in the security briefing. We advise all U.S. team members to enroll in the US State Department STEP program that provides current local security and safety information.

Why is a volunteer background check required?

Team4Tech projects frequently involve interaction with children and work in school environments. Background checks are for the safety of the children and fellow volunteers.

What are the passport requirements?

It is the volunteer’s responsibility to have a valid passport allowing you to leave your home country and travel to the project country. If you do not have a passport, you should initiate the application process immediately. Since the application time can be lengthy, those accepted to a project and with less than two months prior to the trip, should consider requesting expedited service (at a fee) if available. In general, to initiate travel or to obtain a visa, your passport expiration date should be at least 6 months after your planned travel dates, and your passport should have least 3 blank pages. Passport application processes vary widely by country. US travelers please visit the U.S. passport page for details.

What are the visa requirements?

A visa is official permission to travel into another country and is documented in your passport. Visa requirements vary by destination. In some cases, no visa is required. In other cases, a visa may be obtained at the arrival airport. However, some countries require you to submit your passport and application paperwork to their embassy for approval prior to your arrival. Generally Team4Tech volunteers travel on business visas. The requirements for obtaining a visa vary widely depending on your home country and the destination country. Check the foreign embassy website of the destination country for specific requirements. It is important to start the visa process early and to follow the requirements carefully so you may obtain you visa before the trip. Team4Tech will provide guidance but it is your responsibility to apply, pay for and obtain any needed visas. Team4Tech will provide certain documentation when required, such as letters of invitation and letters of guarantee.