Frequently asked questions
What is the Afterschool Expert Hub?
The Afterschool Expert Hub is a service brought to you by the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) and powered by Catalyst:Ed. It connects education organizations with vetted experts for projects and training programs. We often hear from members looking for expert help across a range of areas, from strategic planning and governance to fundraising and workshop facilitation. They currently rely on informal recommendations from their personal and professional networks. However, this process often takes too long, requires a lot of effort and rarely sources the best or most cost-effective expert options. At the same time, we also know there are many expert professionals who bring deep expertise and experiences in areas relevant to the out-of-school time (OST) community, and are looking for ways to access project opportunities more widely.
The Afterschool Expert Hub is designed to meet these needs. It will offer clients a quick, reliable and affordable way to connect with experts to enable organizational learning and development and address critical short-term needs. The Expert Hub will also provide expert professionals with an easy way to learn about rewarding short-term opportunities with our member organizations and demonstrate their knowledge and skills. More generally, we see the Expert Hub playing a critical role in improving program quality and connecting and growing the field of afterschool and expanded learning programs and providers.
What is Catalyst:Ed?
Catalyst:Ed is a mission-driven service that enables education organization to tap into the best available expertise to solve problems and facilitate learning. We bring expertise in creating and managing expert networks and have a track record of success in matching short-term projects. The Catalyst:Ed team brings deep experience in education, including in OST, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the National AfterSchool Association to bring this important service to our members.
Why should organizations consider using the Afterschool Expert Hub?
The Afterschool Expert Hub is a quick and reliable way to find experts for your organization’s short-term project and training/professional development needs. It’s more than a database of experts: you get help scoping out your projects, expert options matched to your needs and information and tools to help you decide with whom to work.
Who can list a project on the Afterschool Expert Hub?
All afterschool, OST or expanded learning program providers and partners may list projects on the Afterschool Expert Hub. Our services are appropriate for organizations of all sizes and at all phases of development.
What kind of projects can be posted on the Afterschool Expert Hub?
We list all kinds of projects, both big ("Scoped Projects") and small ("Micro-Projects"). They range from brief phone consultations or document reviews to longer engagements in strategic planning or fundraising. You can browse some of our popular projects here. Projects are typically short-term with a tangible end goal. They generally require specialized skills and are central to the organization’s work.
How does it work?
Whenever you need expert help for a project or training/workshop, reach out to us using our project templates. We will schedule a needs assessment call with you to understand your needs better. We then develop a project scope and share it with our expert network. Interested experts respond with proposals. You decide whom to interview and whom to work with. Post-project, we conduct evaluations on both sides to capture feedback and lessons. To learn more about how our process works, visit our How it Works page. If you are unsure of where your needs fit, you may also schedule a free needs assessment call here or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does it cost to list a project?
There is no cost to organizations to list a project and review expert options on the Afterschool Expert Hub. Once a project is listed, experts respond with their own budgets for doing the work, and the listing organization will decide with whom to work.
Who are the experts in the Afterschool Expert Hub?
Our network comprises of expert professionals who bring deep experience and expertise working on issues relevant to the afterschool and OST community.
Can we browse the database of experts?
Not at this time, since we have promised to maintain the privacy of our professionals. However, organizations that post a project can review the resumes, proposals and budgets submitted by professionals who bid for the project.
How much do projects cost and how long do they take to complete?
Projects vary greatly in terms of cost and timing depending on factors such as the nature of the project, the level of skills and experience required and time sensitivity of deliverables. We have matched projects ranging from $250 for a 2-hour phone consultation to over $50,000 for a multi-month engagement.
How are project prices determined?
Experts set their own prices for projects based on work required to achieve the deliverables. Organizations review the bids and decide with whom they want to work and at what price.
Do bids need to be accepted as they are or is there room for negotiation?
Organizations can ask for further details from our experts or propose a revised bid (different bid price, timeframe, etc.). However, it is up to the expert whether or not to accept the revised bid.
What happens once a bid is accepted?
Once a bid is accepted, we provide the organization and expert with access to our technology platform where they can load all project related documents, list and track project deliverables and milestones and manage payments.
How does payment work?
Organizations pay experts through the Afterschool Expert Hub. Payment can be made via check or bank transfer.
What happens if an organization is not satisfied with the work?
Meeting member expectations is core to our mission. Email us at email@example.com if you are dissatisfied for any reason, and we will work with you to ensure a successful outcome.
How does the post-project evaluation process work?
Once a project is complete, we ask both parties to review their experiences on the project. We also ask both parties to review their experiences with the Afterschool Expert Hub, so we can get better at serving our users.
How should I respond if an expert who connected with me through the Afterschool Expert Hub asks me to contract with them without informing the Afterschool Expert Hub?
We rely on our users adhering to our terms to continue offering our services at an affordable cost. Working with an expert that you connected with through the Afterschool Expert Hub and not informing us would be a breach of the trust we place in our users. It would also nullify our ability to hold experts accountable for their work on a project. If you know of an organization or expert circumventing us after being connected by us, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are the experts in the Afterschool Expert Hub? Would I be a good fit?
The network comprises of expert professionals who bring deep experience and expertise working on issues relevant to the afterschool and OST community. If that describes you, we encourage you to apply using this form.
What are the benefits of being included in the Afterschool Expert Hub network?
The Afterschool Expert Hub can connect you to organizations that are looking to tap into your expertise for short-term, mission-critical projects and training opportunities. Here's what you gain:
- Broaden your network: We serve OST organizations nationally, opening up more opportunities for you.
- Optimize your impact: We can match you with projects that best leverage your skills and use your capacity.
- Minimize time spent on business development: We collect and curate opportunities and notify you about projects available in your area of expertise, so you can focus on what you do best.
- Maintain flexibility: You get to choose which projects to work on based on your interest and availability.
Learn more about the benefits of the Expert Hub, visit our Experts page.
Is my information publicly accessible?
No. We take your privacy very seriously. Your profile will not be available to anyone unless you apply for a project. If you do apply for a project, we will share your profile information with the organization that posted the project.
I just received an email from the Afterschool Expert Hub confirming that I've been added to the network. What's next?
Congratulations! We will alert you via email as soon as projects that meet your skills and experiences are posted on our website.
What's the process to bid on a project?
To bid on a project, fill up and submit the project bid form. You will find a link to the form in the email alerting you to the project. To learn more about the bidding process, visit our Experts page.
What is the typical hourly rate charged by experts?
The hourly rate charged by experts varies widely depending on skill areas, nature and years of experience, availability and interest in a project. Every project is different, and you should determine a rate that’s right for you.
How will I know if I am selected for a project or not?
Once an organization has made its decision, we will communicate the decision via email to all experts who bid on a project.
Is there a cost to be a part of the expert network?
There is no cost to be a part of the network. We cover our costs by charging 10% of the final accepted bid value for projects matched through the network.
I work for a firm/vendor that provides services to organizations on a contract basis. Can I apply for projects through the Afterschool Expert Hub?
Yes, you may. You may apply as an individual or on behalf of the firm. The firm level application is best if you are applying on behalf of a mid- to large-sized firm with multiple areas of expertise. That way, even as we “tag” you with your individual areas of expertise in our system, we also have a sense of the additional capabilities that your firm may bring to support work that you may do on projects. E.g., a consultant with solid strategic planning expertise may work with a firm that also brings technology expertise (even though she herself may not have those skills). On the other hand, if you primarily work as an independent consultant or with a smaller boutique consulting firm, the individual level application would be a better fit. Either way, you must commit to being a part of the team on any project that you bid on.
Have additional questions? Please feel free to reach us at email@example.com or give us a call at (504) 534-8225.