You just donated to a charity! However, you wish that you could do more!
Have you heard about volunteering?
Do any of your friends or family members volunteer?
Why not be the first to volunteer and set an example for others?
Here’s how you can start volunteering for various social causes.
What is an NGO?
An NGO or Non-governmental organization is a not for profit entity that works towards social development and social change. NGOs work for various social causes such as nutrition for expecting mothers from lower-income families, girl child education, poverty alleviation, skill development for underprivileged youth, environmental conservation, animal welfare etc.
Who is a Volunteer?
A Volunteer is an individual who gives his/her time, skills and energy to engage in an unpaid activity that supports an NGO. A volunteer will not expect any payment and can be of any gender or age and can be pursuing any occupation.
Why do NGOs need Volunteers?
NGOs raise funds from various sources to manage their operations. These sources include individual philanthropists, corporate donations, financial aid from philanthropic foundations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Tata Trusts etc.
The NGO utilizes most of the funds raised on the implementation of their development projects and activities. Hence, fewer funds are available to spend on specialized functions such as marketing, communications, information technology, human resources management etc. To manage these critical functions, NGOs often seek the support of Volunteers.
Volunteers can support NGO in activities such as building websites, designing creatives for social media platforms, preparing annual reports and many more. Volunteer support can help NGOs to save both cost and time.
How to find volunteering opportunities?
Google search can help you find out about the NGOs that work near you. You can visit the website of an NGO and find out the volunteering opportunities available. Or, visit an online volunteering platform like ConnectFor and sign up for available volunteering activities.
Given, the current pandemic situation, most of the volunteering opportunities are virtual. You might be able to volunteer with an NGO in a different state or country altogether!
How to choose volunteering opportunities?
- Select an NGO working with social causes that interest you
- What are the social causes that are close to your heart? Are you interested in girl child education or environmental conservation? Select an NGO that works in the areas that interests you, understand the volunteering opportunities available and if they match your skills.
- Research the NGO well. Please understand the programs and the social cause of the NGO before signing up for any opportunities. You can go through their annual reports, social media posts to get a clear idea of their functioning and transparency. Online volunteering platforms like ConnectFor conduct due diligence before onboarding their NGO partners.
- Choose volunteering opportunities based on your interests and skills. You can choose a volunteering opportunity based on your interests and skills sets. What are your strengths? For example, if you are good with writing and designing, then you can support an NGO in preparing its monthly/quarterly newsletter. Or, if you are good at editing videos then you could help an NGO edit its promotional clips for fundraising.
- Complete the volunteering activity within the prescribed deadline. The volunteering opportunities might have prescribed deadlines. Please ensure that you complete the chosen volunteering activity on time. While signing up for volunteering activities, you could check whether you have the time and skills to complete it.
How has ConnectFor supported NGOs to save time and money?
Till date, ConnectFor has worked with more 25,000 volunteers who have clocked in more than 69,000 volunteer hours. The NGO partners have thus saved around Rs. 2,49,72,000 of administrative and human resources expenses.
Now that you know how to start volunteering, do visit our website: https://www.connectfor.org/virtualvolunteering/
Find out about the current volunteering opportunities and sign up!
— Blog by Padmapriya N, Volunteer, ConnectFor.