Frequently Asked Questions
How was Team4Tech founded?
Team4Tech was founded in 2013 by Julie Clugage and Lila Ibrahim. They had each individually witnessed the transformative power of education in expanding opportunities for underserved students early in their careers – Julie through her work at a school in rural Guatemala, and Lila through her work at the orphanage in Lebanon where her father was raised. They founded Team4Tech in 2013 with the mission of advancing the quality of education for underserved learners around the world through technology solutions and capacity building.
How does a project work?
Project teams are typically selected through a competitive application process with a corporate partner. About 8 weeks before project implementation, the project team begins to understand the cultural context, the nonprofit’s goals and technology challenges, and learn about the leadership capabilities they will develop through the project. The whole team meets weekly as well as in small groups to research and prototype solutions using a design thinking process. Then the project team spends 1-2 weeks onsite, immersed with the nonprofit where they often encounter new information or unexpected challenges that require them to iterate their solutions as they are implementing. Projects include training teachers and staff on new skills such as digital literacy, integrating educational software into teaching and learning to improve core subject skills, and using project-based learning techniques and maker learning to develop creative problem solving and collaboration skills. Technology implementations can range from initially bringing classroom tablets or teacher laptops to a school or educational nonprofit, to identifying educational software aligned to the curriculum, to configuring servers that allow offline access to educational resources in areas that have limited connectivity. As the teachers and students progress in their use of technology for teaching and learning, more advanced implementations can include coding, making, or robotics.
How does Team4Tech measure impact?
Team4Tech works with each nonprofit to determine monitoring and evaluation metrics. Our goal is to have nonprofits improve educational outcomes for their students with technology as they progress along our technology solutions roadmap. We also measure the number of learners we have impacted. As of October 2019, we have reached 60,000+ learners since 2013 and have the goal of reaching 100,000 by 2023.
What are the benefits for corporate partners?
Team4Tech partners with companies to engage employees with global social impact projects that offer immersive leadership development. Through Team4Tech projects, teams of employees partner with nonprofits in an authentic service learning experience to build key leadership capabilities. Employees come back inspired with a renewed sense of purpose in their work and often state that their experience helped bring their company’s values to life. And through the projects, companies are able to benefit from the increase in employee engagement while making a meaningful and sustainable social impact.
How do Team4Tech projects align with my corporate social impact strategy?
Team4Tech works with corporate partners to choose from a robust pipeline of nonprofit partners and projects located in different regions of the world. For an additional fee, projects can be customized in a variety of ways to meet a company’s needs, including working with a corporate foundation’s nonprofit grantees, targeting nonprofit partners in specific regions, increasing the number of volunteers, or aligning to a particular customer or product focus.
How does Team4Tech select corporate volunteers to participate in a Team4Tech project?
Team4Tech works with corporate partners to create selection criteria which align with their goals. For example, some companies aim to select early career managers in order to provide them with a leadership development opportunity while others offer the Team4Tech pro bono opportunity to a broader group in order to encourage interaction between employees across functions and geographies. We provide an online volunteer application process and interview employees to make recommendations on participant selection that align with corporate goals and create a diverse team that can achieve the nonprofit’s project goals.
How do corporate partners measure impact?
We help corporate partners measure impact through volunteer surveys and nonprofit impact metrics tracking. For an additional fee, Team4Tech can customize volunteer metrics to align to your organization’s Learning and Development goals.
How does Team4Tech select nonprofits partners for projects?
Team4Tech selects nonprofit partners who have a track record of success, as well as strong management teams, financial sustainability, and buy-in from the local community. The nonprofit must be able to: effectively use technology to build capacity, measure impact, and plan for sustainability and scale. Our projects act as a catalyst for the nonprofit as we work with them to build capacity for 3-5 years until they are ready to scale programs on their own.
How does Team4Tech ensure a project’s sustainability?
Team4Tech works with each nonprofit to build plans for sustainable support. For example, a project team will often train a staff member to act as an IT leader, so they can help maintain the technology and support the rest of the staff and students. Team4Tech also works with nonprofits to support their scaling plans in different ways, such as train-the-trainer workshops or digitizing curriculum content to enable them to reach multiple schools.
How does Team4Tech measure nonprofit impact?
Team4Tech works with each nonprofit to determine monitoring and evaluation metrics. Our goal is to have nonprofits improve educational outcomes for their students with technology as they progress along our technology solutions roadmap. We also measure the number of learners we have impacted. Check out our Impact Report for the latest information.
How does Team4Tech select nonprofit partners?
Team4Tech selects nonprofit partners who have a track record of success working with learners from underserved communities, as well as strong management teams and buy-in from the local community. The nonprofit partners must be able to effectively use technology to advance their education goals, measure impact, as well as plan for sustainability and scale. We use a rubric and scorecard to initially screen interested nonprofits and then follow up with interviews to ensure they can effectively leverage our grants and services to amplify their work to make a significant and sustainable impact. We typically act as a catalyst for the nonprofit and work with them to build capacity for 3-5 years until they are ready to scale on their own.
What types of projects are preferred for a Team4Tech engagement?
Team4Tech works to expand access to quality education and economic opportunity by leveraging technology volunteers and solutions. We typically support education projects for pre-primary through secondary levels, as well as vocational training programs for small and micro-entrepreneurs. Read “What We Do” for more project examples.
Do projects required to utilize technology and/or technology volunteers as part of an education solution?
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, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. Our volunteers span from different business units including marketing, human resources, software development, hardware development etc., so volunteers don’t have to be technical to participate in a Team4Tech project. Some example projects are providing teacher training on productivity tools, edtech software, and maker mindset, setting up IT infrastructure, translating curriculum to digital format, and staff capacity training. Read “What We Do” for more project examples.
Team4Tech Offerings and Grant Details
What does the nonprofit receive from a partnership with Team4Tech?
Team4Tech works with our nonprofit partners to define and staff a project with technology volunteers who can help meet the nonprofit’s educational objectives. Team4Tech matches nonprofits with high tech professionals and companies that can provide the needed technical expertise to carry out the nonprofit’s proposed education project. Specifically, Team4Tech will help scope and refine the project to ensure objectives can be delivered. Team4Tech serves as project manager and liaison for the technical volunteers, overseeing their preparation, logistics, and training. Additionally, Team4Tech volunteers work with the nonprofit to identify solutions/options, criteria for success, and execution of project deliverables. Nonprofits who work with Team4Tech for on-site and virtual projects may also be eligible for a matching grant of up to $15,000 that can be used to purchase hardware, software, and other materials necessary for the project’s success.
What can the Team4Tech grant be used for?
Team4Tech can provide up to USD 15,000 to help support the purchase of necessary technology infrastructure for project implementation. Things that can be included as part of the Team4Tech grant include:
- Software: purchases, licenses (provided the nonprofit can demonstrate they have the willingness and ability to continue paying for the software subscription if proven effective at delivering outcomes).
- Peripherals: headsets, speakers, microphones, projectors, whiteboards.
- Supporting infrastructure: classroom furniture (tables, desks, chairs), security cabinets.
- Training expenses: venue rental, catering, transportation for participants.
- Teacher stipend: to compensate for training, including accommodation, transportation and food.
- Staff travel expenses for the project: including accommodation, transportation and food.
- Salary for an IT technician or teachers: to provide ongoing technical support for the project.
- Consultant services: to implement the project.
- In-kind value of donated equipment: hardware, software, peripherals, and/or supporting infrastructure.
- Recurring technology costs: internet subscriptions and electricity expenses.
- Other incremental costs associated with project implementation.
Things that cannot be included in the Team4Tech grant and/or NPO match are:
- Purchasing hardware/software for staff that does not provide direct benefit to teachers and students.
- NPO staff salary: for managing and planning the Team4Tech project.
What can be counted towards the nonprofit's match?
NPO clients are expected to match the funding with cash or in-kind investments to demonstrate support for the project and ensure sustainability. To demonstrate the project sustainability, we ask our NPO partners to list out in-kind, monetary donations as a form of a match to the grant we provide. Things that can be included as part of the NPO match are the same as what is listed that can be counted towards Team4Tech’s grant listed above.
How many volunteers support each project?
The number of volunteer members per team depends on the needs of the given projects, but it normally ranges between:
- 8 – 10 volunteers for on-site projects
- 10 – 15 volunteers for virtual projects
- 5 – 20 volunteers for short term projects
Nonprofit Expression of Interest Form
Does the application have to be filled in English?
Yes, the application needs to be filled out in English.
Does the nonprofit point person need to speak English?
Yes, the nonprofit point person needs to speak English because he/she will work with Team4Tech’s Program Director to define the project scope and logistics, and support the volunteers. For on-site projects, your teachers, staff, and students don’t have to speak English where we can work with or hire translators to help with translating workshops. For virtual and short-term projects, since all the work is done virtually, we ask that your teachers and staff who will be participating in the virtual training speak English.
Is it required for a nonprofit to have an IT staff if the proposed scope of work is not that technical?
If your nonprofit doesn’t have a technical staff member and your proposed project scope for Team4Tech project is not technical, you are not required to have a nonprofit IT staff. However, if your project scope is technical, e.g. installing servers, managing student devices, digitizing content etc., we ask that you have a nonprofit IT staff member to ensure long term sustainability and continuous IT maintenance.
Is it required for a nonprofit to submit financial documents?
We highly encourage nonprofit organizations that are applying for on-site and virtual projects to submit some type of financial documents to help Team4Tech understand your finances and sustainability. Ideally, it would be your most recent audited financials, but income statement, balance sheet, and/or statement of cash flows also works.
What does "Team4Tech workshop attendees (adults)" refer to?
We would like to know how many direct teachers, staff, and/or entrepreneurs will receive training from Team4Tech’s volunteers. Please provide an estimated number here.
What does "other teachers or staff to be trained by workshop attendees (e.g. peer teachers or staff trained after the workshop)" refer to?
Team4Tech practices the train-the-trainer model. Therefore, we hope your nonprofit will continue training other teachers or staff after receiving training from Team4Tech’s volunteers. Please estimate the number of teachers, staff, and/or entrepreneurs that will be trained by your teachers, staff, or entrepreneurs who participated in a Team4Tech training after the project.
What does Team4Tech expect in terms of nonprofit partner effort and responsiveness?
Team4Tech works intensively with our nonprofit partners 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 nonprofit who can dedicate 1 – 2 hours per week to the project for project preparation, design, and implementation. For continuous monitoring and evaluation, we ask that the nonprofit dedicates 1 hour per month for 12 months after the project is completed to complete a 6-months and 1-year impact report. For on-site projects, the nonprofit is also responsible for assisting Team4Tech with on-the-ground logistics (Team4Tech covers all of the volunteer costs).
For on-site projects, who pays for the housing, meals, and transportation of the volunteers?
For on-site projects, Team4Tech and our corporate partner covers all volunteer expenses in the field including housing, meals, and transportation. However, Team4Tech will work with the nonprofit to identify and arrange for appropriate and reasonably priced accommodations and logistics for the team. Local standards, rather than tourist standards, are sought for this immersive service learning experience.
What countries does Team4Tech work in?
Currently, Team4Tech has led projects in 18 countries, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Paraguay, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, USA, and Vietnam. Team4Tech is open to projects from any country, especially for virtual and short-term projects. For on-site projects, local conditions need to be aligned with volunteer safety and security needs. Priority may be given to targeted countries that meet the specific interests of corporate partners.
Application & Selection Process
How do I apply to be a volunteer?
Individuals can apply online at 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 are the benefits of being a Team4Tech volunteer?
Volunteers benefit from leadership professional development curriculum that is focused on five leadership capabilities (customer-centric innovation, diversity, equity, and inclusion, communication and collaboration, decision-making amidst ambiguity, and growth mindset), 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. The experience is often described as “life-changing” and “inspirational” by our alumni volunteers.
How many volunteers get selected per project?
The number of volunteer members per team depends on the needs of the given projects, but it normally ranges between:
- 8 – 10 volunteers for on-site projects
- 10 – 15 volunteers for virtual projects
- 5 – 20 volunteers for short term projects
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. The primary selection criteria are:
- Mindset – willingness to learn and grow from the experience
- Skillset – appropriate skills to match project needs
- Knowledge Sharing – willingness to share the experience and learning with the broader community.
For corporate projects, the company, in collaboration with Team4Tech, may have additional criteria, application processes, and volunteer selection procedures.
Do I need to have technical skills to apply?
No. We are looking to form a diverse team with different skill sets, from different business units, positions, geographies, and backgrounds. Most volunteers learn about the tool/solution to be delivered to the nonprofit during the eight weeks of preparation. Most Team4Tech projects have a wide range of project scopes that accommodate different skill sets and employees from different business units.
Do I need to have prior volunteer experience?
While it is not mandatory to have prior volunteer or service-learning experience, the ideal participant will have demonstrated a commitment to community service and/or participated in previous employee engagement programs.
Do I need my manager’s approval to apply for the project?
Yes. Interested employees should seek approval from their manager to apply for the project, and should take into account critical business priorities in conjunction with their application. The program is a unique leadership development opportunity that is supported by senior leadership. Managers will accommodate their employees’ participation as much as possible.
Can I apply again if I've already been on a Team4Tech project?
Depending on the company policy, you may be allowed to apply again to another Team4Tech project after participating in a previous one.
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 other 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.
Do I need to speak the local language?
Speaking the local language is helpful but not required.
Why is a volunteer background check required (for most projects)?
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 is the physical and working environment like on-site?
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 in classrooms. Sometimes teams need to help transport and lift computer equipment, travel long distances in vehicles, 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?
Team4Tech projects strive for local immersion as much as possible, to help better understand the local conditions. We use lodgings that usually require a shared room, are consistent with local standards, and typically, are not tourist or business class accommodations. Instead, we use local partners to help select clean, safe, and secure accommodations. Facilities may 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 will the food be 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 on the application, interview with the Team4Tech program director, and each local food provider during the trip. Choices may be limited but we will help you communicate your needs so you can take advantage of what is within the constraints of the available choices.
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, the dress is more conservative. Since volunteers will be teaching and interacting with teachers and students, team members should follow some simple guidelines to maintain a professional appearance. Generally, for ladies, slacks, longer dresses, modest necklines, and closed-toed shoes are best. For men, dark pants or khakis, collared shirts, and closed-toed 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.
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 other personal travel must be scheduled to occur before, or preferably, after the conclusion of the project. Note that personal travel may affect the deductibility of flight costs. Please check with your corporate point person for more details.
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, which 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 the time needed between or after vaccinations.
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, volunteer candidates 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 travel 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 at least 2 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 tourist or 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 your visa before the trip. Team4Tech will provide guidance but it is your responsibility to apply, pay for, and obtain any necessary visas. Team4Tech will provide certain documentation when required, such as letters of invitation, and accommodation confirmation letter.
How do I prepare? How much time is needed for preparation?
Preparations begin with a team kick-off meeting over teleconference eight weeks before the project. In the weeks leading up to the implementation of the project, the team has weekly full team and sub-team teleconferences. In addition to scoping and preparation for project deliverables, these meetings are used to inform the team about logistics, understanding the local context, nonprofit partner, location, and culture. The team also receives information about travel preparations such as safety, security, and vaccinations. The training will include discussions on coursework related to the five leadership development capabilities (customer-centric innovation, diversity, equity, and inclusion, communication and collaboration, decision making amidst ambiguity, and growth mindset). Team members will work individually and collaboratively for detailed planning and preparations 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 approximately 4 – 5 hours per week over the two months of preparation.
What is the time commitment for virtual projects?
Virtual projects begin with a team kick-off meeting over teleconference, followed by weekly full team calls for 10 weeks. During these 10 weeks, the team has weekly full team and sub-team teleconferences. In addition to scoping, preparing, and delivering the project deliverables, these meetings are used to inform the team about the local context, nonprofit partner, location, and culture. The training will include discussions on coursework related to the five leadership development capabilities (customer-centric innovation, diversity, equity, and inclusion, communication and collaboration, decision-making amidst ambiguity, and growth mindset). The time commitment for a Team4Tech virtual project is approximately 2 – 5 hours per week.
What are the benefits of participating in a virtual Team4Tech project?
Virtual projects are great opportunities to work with a diverse team, allows volunteers who aren’t able to travel to still make an impact, and provides a valuable leadership development opportunity. Through interactive discussions, collaborating on a final deliverable, and listening to guest speakers, you can grow your cultural understanding, build a stronger network, and make a difference to a high impact nonprofit organization and their beneficiaries.
What is the time commitment for short-term projects?
Short term projects begin with a team kick-off meeting over teleconference, followed by a mid-point check-in and a final presentation call over the course of 4 – 6 weeks. The time commitment for a Team4Tech short term project is approximately 1 – 2 hours per week and doesn’t include leadership development curriculum.
What are the benefits of participating in a short-term Team4Tech project?
Nonprofit organizations highly value pro bono skilled volunteers to further their mission. A short-term Team4Tech project enables volunteers to make an impact for underserved communities with a well scoped, time-bound project deliverable under 4 – 6 weeks.
How can I share my experience after the project?
Volunteers will attend a storytelling workshop and be expected to deliver their personal narrative to their teams to share their experience and leadership insights.
Are there any ongoing expectations after the project?
Volunteers are expected to be ambassadors for the program and are invited to be part of the wider Team4Tech alumni community. With the strong friendships developed during this project, volunteers are also encouraged to stay connected with their teammates after the project concludes. Any continued engagement with the nonprofit organization, teachers, and staff is purely voluntary. Team4Tech will invite project alumni to optional calls with the nonprofit partner at six months and one-year post-project milestones so that the nonprofit partner can share project updates and report on impact.
Project Selection and Sustainability
How are projects selected?
Projects are scoped based on the alignment of goals with employees’ skills, the nonprofit’s scale of impact, and sustainability. Team4Tech identifies high-impact nonprofit partners, scopes and manages projects, and monitors impact for the duration of the project.
How does Team4Tech ensure that the project outputs and outcomes are sustainable?
Team4Tech works closely with the nonprofit partners to ensure they have well-defined metrics to measure the project’s impact on teaching and learning. To assist nonprofit partners, Team4Tech has developed a Monitoring and Evaluation Toolkit. In addition, Team4Tech develops long-term partnerships (usually 3-5 years) with nonprofit partners, collaborating with them to integrate sustainable technology solutions. Team4Tech typically provides a start-up matching grant and sends annual teams of volunteers to deepen and scale project impact. Team4Tech’s nonprofit partners may be matched with different companies and volunteers over the course of the full collaboration. Ongoing engagement is contingent upon a continued commitment to the project and effective evaluation from the nonprofit partners.
For on-site and virtual projects, who buys the tech equipment and computers for the project?
The in-country nonprofit organization is responsible for selecting and purchasing all necessary equipment. Team4Tech volunteers may be involved as advisors to help guide purchasing decisions. Through Team4Tech’s Education Impact Fund, Team4Tech provides the nonprofit with a grant of up to USD15,000 to help with equipment costs.