Making True Impact — Sanjana’s Story

Image for post
Image for post

“As a teenager growing up in Mumbai, I had always spent a part of my vacations helping out at local NGOs. I participated in a variety of volunteering activities — teaching kids, conducting art classes, visiting old age homes to name a few.

In 2010, I graduated high school and moved to Singapore to study engineering. As an undergrad, I took a whole bunch of classes and developed skills across the board. I no longer felt the same sense of fulfillment doing ad-hoc volunteer activities. I thought a lot about the value of skills and the impact I could create if I actually put them to use. I searched for pro-bono consulting/ skill-based volunteering opportunities and found a couple of global platforms. The technology was state-of-the-art and the projects suited my skillset; however, the lack of a personal connection to the cause and organisation made my efforts rather half-hearted.

By the time I came across ConnectFor I was already working full-time in Singapore. I signed up on the website and was happy to see several familiar names in the NGO list. I was caught up with my own busy schedule when I received an email with the ideal volunteer opening: A remote development and research project for Aangan, a Mumbai-based NGO focussed on child protection. I responded to confirm my interest and was connected with Mahi, the Aangan representative, within a few hours itself. Shortly after that, I received the organisation brief, research templates and a project requirements list. As a working professional, I have limited time and was happy to see that the entire project was planned and kicked off in a detailed and professional manner.

Over the span of two weeks, I had regular calls with Mahi to discuss my progress and steer my research in the right direction. I focussed on reviewing corporate social responsibility reports for large Indian companies and identifying those that listed causes related to Aangan’s work. When I started out, I was convinced that I would be able to identify tons of suitable corporates. However, over the course of my research I realised that most organisations want to fund causes like education and healthcare; very few want to delve into the messy business of child protection and human trafficking. At the end of the project, I had developed a small but comprehensive database of eleven organisations with over fifteen different information fields. My project closure call with Mahi went well; she expressed her gratitude and explained how this research would be taken forward. She also offered opportunities for me to build a long-term volunteering relationship with Aangan. I also had a platform to share my honest feedback with the ConnectFor team.

All in all, I had a wonderful experience with ConnectFor. Despite having a busy schedule and living away from home, I was able to dedicate my time to helping a Mumbai-based initiative, utilize my skills and make true impact. I’m looking forward to the chance to volunteer with ConnectFor again.”

Sanjana Rajgarhia is a Singapore based Project Manager. She is one of ConnectFor’s remote volunteers.

To find the best way to make your own impact, visit and start immediately!

An online volunteering platform that seeks to promote a culture of volunteering and maximize the human potential within the social sector.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store