Volunteers — the most undervalued resource of the social sector

After volunteering in Chile, Japan, and India, I graduated to designing volunteer programs. When I create a program, I often get stuck when I reflect upon these questions.

Do we care for our volunteers?

A friend of mine left her volunteer service in India due to bladder issues that surfaced as she never used the toilet in her rusty school. The latest trends show that volunteering in the education sector is not just about teaching! There are strategists, economists, and technocrats who innovatively help with their skills. Maybe if organizations hire qualitative analysts and customer experience specialists to assess a volunteer’s journey and daily life, they can contemplate issues and keep their volunteers safe?

Is volunteering a profession?

The program plan of an impactful organization will always have milestones for the beneficiaries. The envisioned impact could be manifold if they understand the motivation of the volunteers and create milestones to aid the volunteer in his/her growth. If that is not done, volunteering will remain a time pass activity or a result of the eureka moment to break free from the mundane office job.

What is the impact of volunteering?

The goals and strategies of organizations are often a black box for the volunteers. But they must know why they are doing a job for free when another professional is getting paid for it. Take teaching as an example and these questions — Can volunteering resolve the issue of the dearth of teachers in India? What kind of non-profits would surface in the future because of volunteering- those that work towards bettering the life of a teacher or those that produce more volunteer teachers?

Volunteers are passionate and dedicated changemakers and they deserve all the gratitude and professionalism to continue their journey with the same zeal with which they started.

— Blog by Tarang Mathur, ConnectFor Volunteer