When you walk on the sands of time, you leave a footprint behind. And when you do any sort of volunteering, you leave your impact behind. How does one measure the impact? Can a smile be measured? Can a heartfelt blessing from an elderly person be measured?
These are the intangibles which we can never hope to quantify and yet,there is a way to measure the impact of the volunteering we do. Let us say that there are two identical twins Ram and Shaam. Both of them decide to devote their weekends to volunteering. Ram volunteers at an old age home and Shaam volunteers at the local NGO which shelters homeless youth.
Ram spends the day playing carom and chess with a group of senior citizens. Shaam notices that the youth want to learn some skills so that they can earn a livelihood. He contacts his boss and arranges for his team members to teach graphic designing skills to the interested youth in this center. The classes are held every weekend on Saturday and Sunday. The NGO donates the space. And with the help of one of his team members, Shaam ends up teaching Graphic design skills to 12 impressionable youth for a period of 3 months. His boss is very impressed with the dedication and skills displayed by the learners here and offers internships to four of Shaam’s students.
This is an example of high impact volunteering. Each of these 8 students would have paid for Rs 40000 for the graphic design course they learnt for free with Shaam and his colleague. The team used the laptops they had available in their office during weekdays. Shaam and his colleague ended up volunteering 144 hours of teaching between them. And this in turned saved more than 3 lakh rupees, for the beneficiaries!
So sometimes it pays to volunteer your time in niche areas, where you capitalize on your unique skillsets and save a lot of money for the NGO you volunteer with. With the money you save the NGO, the NGO can help more beneficiaries with their programs.
Volunteers with ConnectFor are doing photography and videography assignments for our partner NGOs. Some volunteers are forming their own teams and helping the NGOs to redesign their websites. All these are high impact volunteering assignments as the NGOs save a lot of money when these skill-sets are provided by volunteers instead of paid consultants.
Amisha Vora is a fantastic, high impact generating, volunteer for the ConnectFor team! She is our in-house data whiz, and responsible for directing us to make sure we curate opportunities specific to our volunteers’ interests.