Elisa Morales
Elisa Morales


My Master's Paper focused on how voluntourism marketing materials and the industry’s use of representations of identity and culture influence host communities.

The case study analysis portion of my paper was based on the observational analysis on the online images of ten different voluntourism organizations, but my research extended beyond the scope of the case to include general marketing practices of those working in the social impact sector i.e., nonprofits, b-corps, NGOs, etc.

 I developed two tools to conduct my analysis, and I designed them in such a way that they are relevant to any organization working in the social impact sector. The “Image Analysis Framework” focuses on five representational conventions: exoticization, exclusion, cultural appropriation, disempowerment, and dependency. The “Scale for Measuring Harmful Representations” gauges the extent of harm caused by existing marketing materials that utilize these five representational conventions.

The findings from this research and the tools introduced can help organizations eliminate harmful practices and create representations that portray host communities in a just and dignified manner.

I had the opportunity to share some of my research and recommendations with NGO Storytelling. You can read the interview and learn a little bit about my findings here.


Free Body Project

Free Body Project seeks to be the central network of resources for the individuals and organizations working at the intersection of dance and social justice. The organization supports dance as a global resource for healing, empowerment and development through movement, engagement, and film.

  • Researched and presented business structure opportunities for the organization

  • Created a business plan for organizational growth and funding opportunities

  • Worked with Founder to create and implement overall organizational strategy and strategic management plan


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  • Conducted in-depth analyses to provide management with strategic growth, HR management, and financial recommendations

  • Researched and presented business structure alternatives, created formal business plan with 5-year expansion proposal

  • Produced social impact portfolio focused on monitoring and evaluation data along with the story of the company

  • Built a strategic plan with overview of company goals, list of initiatives and actionable steps for all responsible parties with timeline and indicators to measure performance and outcomes which has since been implemented

For more information regarding my background experience, please refer to my LinkedIn