Exactly 2 years ago, on December 5th 2015, to commemorate International Volunteer’s Day, ConnectFor Mumbai was launched. ConnectFor had started of as an idea to connect people that had the impetus to do good with non profit organisations already doing great work!
My journey as one of ConnectFor’s founders has been incredible. Initially, I think I was so drawn to the idea of a start-up, the social sector and just about creating a service that was one-of-a-kind from scratch. We started out with the vision in 2015 to create a #WinWinForACause and to make volunteering more accessible.
Today, 2 years later we realise the tremendous potential for a program like ConnectFor. The social sector in India is growing and there are millions thousands of organisations that are working at the grass root level to solve issues like illiteracy, lack of education, gender inequality etc. In order to become an aware citizen, contribute back to society and help these grass root organisations one needs to spend some time in understanding the work they do. Philanthropy in India is growing, and personally I believe the first step in becoming a philanthropist is giving back your time. For me the importance of volunteering is being validated on a daily basis.
Whether one is a student, a corporate, a homemaker, a retired individual, a designer or a doctor, ConnectFor has connected each of these volunteers to an organisation where they have given their time and skill to create value. In the last 2 years we have created a community of volunteers who gone above and beyond to contribute back to society. We have seen volunteers who have built websites (which would have costed NGO’s lakhs of rupees), who have painted NGO centres who have dedicated their mornings teaching children. We have seen success stories of corporate volunteers funding a specially abled child’s education after volunteering at their centre for one day. Some of our other corporate partners have volunteered to skill the underprivileged youth and then offered them a job. The power of volunteering goes far beyond spending a few hours at an NGO, and the impact of a few hours is multifold on the NGO and the volunteer.
ConnectFor currently works with over 120 NGOs in Mumbai, and has a community of 5000+ volunteers. Cumulatively, these volunteers have given more than 13,000 hours of volunteering, and saved NGOs more than INR 30,00,000 in value saving. These numbers are incredibly significant; it shows that skill and time has measurable value, and that together as a resource each of us has the potential to do something at this very moment in time.
On ConnectFor’s 2 year anniversary, 05 December 2017, ConnectFor is launching its Bangalore chapter, and taking one step further in its mission to demonstrate the value of human resource for non-profit organisations, and getting closer to realizing our vision of developing the culture of volunteering across India, encouraging both individuals, groups and organisations to realise how to best use time and skill to add significant value to the space.
Our journey at ConnectFor has been one of growth, but it has also been one of incredible optimism. Every day we see a reaffirmation of the goodness and potential of people. 2 years, 2 cities later, we are excited to see what’s coming up ahead!
Maniti Modi is one of the founders of ConnectFor, and it’s essential building block!