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A Fun Morning for DBS — Interacting with Mann Beneficiaries

Last Thursday, 6th July, 2017, was not like any other Thursday at the DBS Mumbai office, the ConnectFor office or at Mann — a center for individuals with special needs. Since the past 3 months we, at ConnectFor, have been tirelessly working with the DBS team to ideate, plan and execute a one-day volunteering engagement for their employees. After hours of brainstorming, trying to find the best possible way to ensure that the DBS team of 75 people can make the most of their Thursday morning and add value to the lives of beneficiaries, our NGO partner Mann seemed to be the best fit for this engagement!

We have been working alongside Mann for almost 8 months now and have saved the organization Rs. 25,000 and 72 hours in value savings. Mann works with young adults with special needs and provides generalized as well as person-specific training to its students, to help prepare them for a more meaningful and independent life, helping them integrate into society.

We wanted to ensure that this one-day volunteering engagement would be a win-win for the NGO, its beneficiaries, and the DBS team. Taking this into account we carefully planned out each activity to ensure that the DBS volunteers could interact with the beneficiaries and the beneficiaries could use this as a platform to display their talents.

On the day of the event the DBS employees turned up to the event in large numbers, totalling to almost 80 volunteers. The CSR event coordinator from DBS stated that “this event had a milestone turn out!” The day kick-started with an induction and a tour by the NGO members to familiarize everyone who attended with the centre, their beneficiaries and the activities carried out throughout the year by the NGO.

Post the induction, the DBS employees made themselves comfortable and immediately started approaching the beneficiaries. To our surprise, the beneficiaries really took to the employees and were soon flaunting their talents and skills. As part of a fun and heart warming activity, the beneficiaries taught DBS volunteers how to decorate coasters and envelopes, which they would then use to raise funds. The ones who were fortunate enough to be taught product making by the beneficiaries, were engrossed in the activity and left the centre with a sense of satisfaction. They were also impressed to see how talented the individuals at the centre were.

Before we bid adieu to both Mann and DBS, Mann had a little surprise for the volunteers where the beneficiaries danced and the volunteers sang along. Those of us who attended, from ConnectFor, were so pleased to see that the volunteers were deeply touched and went home either feeling like they wanted to do something more or left the centre feeling like a changed person. This definitely made all our efforts and time spent on this engagement worthwhile and made us feel like we created a win-win situation for everyone involved!

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ConnectFor has recently started working with groups of volunteers, corporate organisations and small teams of people who want volunteer together to make a difference. We understand your needs and requirements and then plan out volunteering engagements for you with one of our 115 NGO partners. Please reach out to us for any CSR needs/requirements you may have.

To start your volunteering activity and spread smiles, sign up here: goo.gl/1KN3TR 🙂

5 ways in which the Internet has transformed Volunteering!

Renu is an avid communicator and is also good at designing creatives. She wants to use her skills to help NGOs who require support in communication. So, she browses through the website of an online platform that connects volunteers with NGOs.

Renu looks through the various volunteering opportunities available on the website. She decides to choose a volunteering project with an NGO that works for girl child education. This pro bono project involves creating and designing an appealing annual report for the NGO.

Renu and the NGO connect over an email for preliminary discussions. The NGO sends across the necessary content and pictures that they want to include in their annual report. In a month, Renu prepares the annual report!

While Renu lives in Bangalore, she had prepared the annual report for an NGO that works for the girl child education in Jaipur.

What made this volunteering feat possible? Without an ounce of a doubt, it is the Internet!

Now, wouldn’t you agree that the Internet and Volunteering are quite a power-packed combination? The Internet has spearheaded and opened up more possibilities for the field of Volunteering.

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Following are 5 different ways in which the Internet has transformed Volunteering:

  1. Volunteering beyond geographies — NGOs who need support in critical functions such as communication and marketing, human resources, information technology can now access volunteer resources across the country or even internationally. For instance, a volunteer in India may provide pro bono support to a charity in Ghana (Africa) working towards nutrition of expecting mothers from lower-income groups.

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2. Growth of Online Platforms connecting NGOs to Volunteers — The Internet has opened up enhanced channels of communication for NGOs and volunteers to connect! We have dedicated online platforms that solely focus on connecting skilled volunteers to NGOs through websites. ConnectFor is one such online platform in India which matches pro bono volunteers to its 400+ NGO partners.

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3. Rise of New forms of Volunteering — Micro-Volunteering — Have you heard about micro-volunteering? It is a form of volunteering where volunteers who are hard-pressed for time can take up smaller projects. These projects would take less time for completion. For instance, spending 15 minutes editing a thank you email that an NGO wants to send to its donor base.

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4. Community Engagement through Social Media platforms — Social media platforms have enabled NGOs to engage their community of supporters regularly. Recently, NGOs and Volunteer groups have been organizing online donation drives of old laptops and smartphones to support underprivileged children to access online learning in COVID times.

5. Community Fund-raising — The Internet has given the power to the NGOs to raise funds from a wider community of supporters. In the last six months, the Volunteers have raised monetary resources to support the COVID relief work run by NGOs and volunteer groups. ConnectFor has also recently raised funds through their online campaign to buy laptops/smartphones for their partner NGO and support deprived children to continue their online learning.

The Internet has opened up endless possibilities for Volunteers like Renu to support NGOs in their development work. Let us not lose out on this noble experience of giving back to society through volunteering.

Do you want to start volunteering? Here’s what you can do: You can browse through the volunteering opportunities available on our ConnectFor website; choose a volunteering project based on your interests and skills; then use the power of the Internet to Volunteer!

Thank you, Internet for bringing more power to the spirit of volunteering! Happy Volunteering!

Demystifying India’s Proposed Social Stock Exchange

Following the recommendation made by the Finance Minister in her 2019 Union Budget Speech, a working group constituted by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently released its report on the Social Stock Exchange (SSE). 

The report gives form and structure to the Finance minister’s vision of ‘bringing the capital markets to the masses’ and establishes the contours of what is proposed to become India’s first SSE.  

This working group culled out the broader framework of what is to be the SSE, by working closely with voluntary organizations, philanthropic organizations, regulatory bodies, social enterprises, and online fundraising platforms in a consultative manner to best address the sector’s needs.

So, what is SSE?

The SSE is at the intersection of capital markets and the nonprofit sector.  It is a platform (housed either under the NSE or BSE) for listing social purpose organizations (SPOs), which include for-profits and nonprofits, to enable them to access a flow of funds and pools of capital in order to achieve scale and fulfill the social welfare objectives of India. This ecosystem envisions supplementing the philanthropic capital with patient capital i.e. where investors are in no hurry to gain returns.  The nonprofits would be listed through the issuance of zero-coupon principal bonds, social venture funds, mutual funds, and various other securities that might come about. The listing of these SPOs would be contingent upon a minimum reporting standard which mandates sharing impact, governance audits, and financial statements with SEBI. Hence, only SPOs that create measurable social impact and report these figures of impact would be funneled into the public listing arena. 

 

What’s in it for nonprofits?

Nonprofits rely heavily upon the whims of philanthropic organizations, corporates, individual donors, and impact investors for their funding; with the larger nonprofits getting the lion’s share of the funding, the smaller organizations struggle with their functioning. Further, very little funding is permitted towards organizational development, if it’s via a non-tax deductible donation, as this is mainly to be utilized for programs. By listing on the NSE and BSE, the SSE can leverage the existing infrastructure and client relationships of the exchanges to onboard donors, investors, and more SPOs. 

Furthermore, the benefit is twofold as not only do SPOs now benefit from additional fundraising instruments and structures but the overall development sector gains from enhanced capacity-building efforts. 

Let’s first take a  look at a fundraising instrument that would help Nonprofits-

The introduction of zero-coupon principal bonds (which is like a donation certificate), would attract those investors who are looking to create social impact but do not need their funds to be returned to them. These bonds will carry a tenure equal to the duration of the project that is being funded, and at tenure, they will be written off the investee’s books. Investors will be keen to channel funds only to credible and legitimate nonprofits, which the SSE will ensure by requiring minimum reporting standards by nonprofits. Additionally, Mutual Funds like the HDFC CANCER FUND would be available.

 

Let’s now look at how the development sector stands to gain- 

In order to benefit from the SSE, the SPOs need to commit to minimum reporting standards which would ultimately separate the wheat from the chaff, bring about more accountability within the sector and create a universal framework for all nonprofits to work within. It’s akin to creating a common language between all givers and receivers, to address the issue of the trust deficit in the social sector. However, that is not to say that the reporting would be onerous; it would mainly be around areas of inclusivity, reach and depth of the work undertaken. It would mainly be through qualitative reporting via audio/visuals/descriptions of the impact. There would also be increased visibility for these SPOs than ever before, and would hope as the listing would create.

At ConnectFor, we already have a robust mechanism in place to measure the qualitative and quantitative impact made by our 400+ Nonprofits, which could possibly be used as an information repository by the SSE and potential funders.

A reality check from NGOs-

Chetna, the founder of Mann Deshi believes that while the SSE is an extremely exciting idea, it would require many changes within the functioning of SPOs when it comes to regulatory compliances. These regulatory wrinkles would need to be ironed out and most SPOs don’t have the capacity to take this on. There would also be a fear now, that all the funding that initially came from great donor relations would now be directed elsewhere and there would be an encroachment on previously available funds to a particular SPO. Also, the SSE runs the risk of turning into an elite club of listed SPOs. 

Further, the notion of the development sector facing a trust deficit is entirely misplaced and misguided as nonprofits have to jump through several hoops such as the Charity Commissioner, ITR 7, FCRA  and can even be summoned to clarify why a paltry donation of Rs.100 has been loaned out to a student.

Usually, it takes years before impact can be measured, and sometimes impact can go either way- negative or positive. Hence the report needs to clarify whether inputs and outputs would be considered as reporting metrics. 

One of the weaknesses of the report is that it does not define a for-profit organization and that could lead to several businesses entering the arena with a symbolic halo on top. 

In conclusion

At a time when there is a general pessimism about the financial security of several SPOs due to Covid-19, the SSE could not have come at a more opportune time. However,  there are several aspects that still need to be deliberated upon and only time will tell whether all that glitters is gold.

The Changing Trends in Volunteering

Our generation seems to be always engrossed in their career and goals, however, this seems to be getting us more and more conscious of the realities of the world. The urge to make a difference is something that we want to join forces with, and to be honest, we are unstoppable. 

 

 

Over the past decade, philanthropy has evolved from mere charity and donations to being present on-ground with the affected communities. The concept of volunteering has been through myriads of changes and here’s a list of some recent trends-

 

 

  • Skilled Volunteering

 

Many NGOs are stagnated in terms of their access to skills & they can benefit heavily by somebody to help them collate financial reports, offer legal advice or somebody to engage with their beneficiaries.

Volunteers have identified the problem and have offered their skills by the hour to NGOs.

Whether it is creating a framework for having proper organizational policies, helping with accounts or social media expertise. This not only helps them build on their own skills but derive purpose and meaning for the work that they do.

BEST PICK- 

Are you someone who is skilled in website designing and CMS Operations, you can sign up for this opportunity. All you need to give is 5 hours on a weekly basis.

 

 

 

  • Virtual Volunteering

 

We all know how busy we are at all times in this fast-paced society. Shortage of time has always been a problem for us to commit to volunteering. Over the past couple of years, virtual volunteering has seen a major upswing because that cuts down the time for any commute and makes it easier with smartphones and PCs handy. Volunteering virtually reduces the barriers of creating an impact that often is an obstacle otherwise. 

With the ongoing crisis, volunteering virtually seems to be much more viable. With options like adding animations to videos, writing blogs for NGOs, or offering legal advice, all of these can be done from the comforts of your home keeping you productive.

BEST PICK

Bored at the house and looking for something to do? Help an NGO with research and put it together on a database by being a virtual volunteer with them for 5 hours on a weekly basis.

 

 

  • Micro-volunteering

 

With our commitment issues, it’s almost impossible for anything to be long term. But if it’s short-term and convenient? Sign us up! Micro-volunteering is one trend that is a go-to for this generation of volunteers. We can do it at a time convenient for us, do things we love (use social media to make a point) and very easy-to-do tasks that enable us to make a difference.

What is micro-volunteering you ask?

It is bite-sized volunteering, is infrequent, and can be completed in a short time span ( from 2 minutes- 2 hours) It mostly is done virtually however there are certain on-ground aspects to it as well. It involves activities like spreading awareness through social media, translating a document, filling a survey, and many more.

BEST PICK

Miss your calling as the next Shakespeare or JK Rowling? Do not worry. Volunteer for this micro-volunteering blogging opportunity which barely needs 2 hours of your time.

 

So now that we know we can volunteer at our own pace and time, what is it that we’re actually waiting for?

ConnectFor has a range of volunteering opportunities for you to choose from, no matter what your schedule may look like.

Check out more volunteering opportunities from here- https://www.connectfor.org/virtualvolunteering/

5 ways to volunteer during Coronapocalypse!

In the times of social distancing and self quarantining, it is hard to feel truly connected with the outside world or to even know what to do with your time.

Amidst this uncertainty and isolation, ConnectFor brings to you virtual volunteering – the opportunity to feel connected to a cause that is close to your heart and be a good samaritan to those who need your help without leaving the safety of your own home. For a small amount of time, you can make a big impact on these NGOs who are doing great work! 

Check out our blog on 5 ways to volunteer during Coronapocalypse!

 

  1. Channelise your imagination and flair for writing with a Content Writing Volunteering Opportunity at Raay Foundation. This opportunity requires you to commit a total of 5 hours a week, and voila you’ve done the JOB!

 

Want to know more about this opportunity? Check out the details here – https://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/cf1767-content-writing-volunteer/

 

2. Social Media Ga Ga? Share your know-how and expertise on social media with those who are less informed about and use this experience as leverage in your next job application. The good guys at India Welfare Trust are looking for someone who can conduct research about social media for a total of 9 hours per week- do your bit and get more likes!

 

Want to know more about this opportunity? Check out the details here –https://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/cf1864-social-media-research-volunteer/

3. Calling all the Monopoly, Catan and Mono-deal Experts! Here’s your chance to take gaming life experience to real life. Tamarind tree is looking for a fundraising strategy volunteer who can navigate the fundraising landscape and come up with a way to earn corporate funding! You only need to spare 2 hours of your time to help Tamarind Tree secure a pipeline of funders and chart the way to it! We promise you, working with this really cool organization will be rewarding in itself.

 

Want to know more about this opportunity? Check out the details here – 

https://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/CF1966-Fundraising-Strategy-Volunteer

4. Does the statement, ‘with great power, comes even greater responsibility’ resonate with you? Does articulating rules and regulations also come easily to you? Does create order and structure make you happy? Maybe try your hand at volunteering for a role in policymaking at Majhipara Ambedkar Centre for Human Research and Development (March). The role requires you to dedicate 2 hours per week towards the cause.

Want to know more about this opportunity? Check out the details here – 

https://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/CF1963-Policy-making-Volunteer

5. Actually, how about you choose what you’re good at, and what you want to share? Create videos on how your skills can help these NGOs and their beneficiaries. These can be videos with Art lessons, Yoga Sessions, Cooking Tips, Teaching Lessons and almost anything else! The role requires you to dedicate 6 hours per week towards the cause.

Want to know more about this opportunity? Check out the details here – 

https://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/cf2091-vocational-curriculum-development-vol

 

Check out our website – https://bit.ly/virtualvolunteeringcf for more virtual volunteering opportunities!

 

I ConnectFor #EqualRights

“The way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights of all.” – Martin O’Malley

Featured today is the story of Nitika, the Founder of Healing Dove Foundation, an NGO working primarily for the rights of juvenile and LGBTQIA+.

Read on to find out more about her inspiring journey:

 

1. What was your initial motivation to start your own NGO?

I was pursuing a diploma in human rights jurisprudence while pursuing law. As a part of the course, I had to submit a dissertation and the topic I chose to based by thesis on was the criminal justice system which involved a close study of the juvenile justice system in Pune.

The reformation and rehabilitation of the juvenile boys there became a purpose and my determination to improve the situation led me to begin HDF. While HDF works with juveniles, we also campaign for LGBTQIA+ rights and will be opening a clinic to address mental health issues faced by the community.

 

2. Why did you choose this specific cause?

I feel there are marginalized groups within the society that need attention, especially segments of the youth who are practically the future of this country. The common problems that plagues marginalized youth groups are- stigma and ignorance. While mindsets will gradually change, implementation of programs aiming towards the upliftment and reform, be it psychological, sociological or economic, of such groups is the need of the hour.
3.Please share details of the work that you did – the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole.
We work end to end with all our beneficiaries and try to ensure that the impact is holistic. Our programs include counselling, skill training and job training/education based programs. Our partner insitutes provide placements which offers economic stability.
4.Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?
Most certainly. I have seen adolescents addicted to drugs owing to the psychological impact that social exclusion/lack of parental guidance/peer pressure give it up! I have seen adolescents with trauma and depression become happier people! Our programs have instilled qualities of self motivation, self confidence, human empathy honesty, love and kindness in our beneficiaries. Most of them are now doing what they love and their careers have given them a purpose. 
5.How has your experience of running a non-profit organization impacted you? Tell us about some of your learnings and realizations, please.
The list in pretty long actually! But in a nutshell I can surely tell you that I have changed as a person. I have become more empathetic, bold, adventurous, daring and confident. I have started believing in my capabilities. I love taking up challenges now rather than running away from them and love stepping out of my comfort zone.
6.What keeps you motivated?
My passion to make a difference! I love what I do and that keeps me going. I am juggling a law career, a career in social work and now I am a master’s student too! So yeah, that’s a lot on my plate but I have very supportive family, friends and colleagues (especially my mom, grandmom uncle and my forever cheerleader, Aakash) who give me the required motivation and strength. They always have my back.
7.Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer/ start their own NGO and be the change?
Now is the time to make a change! The world needs intervention now more than ever. I believe the youth has the intellect and the creative knack to find innovative solutions to world problems. Be it NGO leaders, social entrepreneurs or volunteers, every  changemaker is a game changer. I can’t emphasize how important it is now to have organizations who generate profits while creating impact.

 

I ConnectFor #OurFutureGenerations

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” – James Matthew Barrie

Featured here is Kalyani Basu – whose story is one our favourite and most inspiring stories and the perfect example of how volunteering can really be win-win for a cause.

 

Read on to understand why her story is so touching:

1.What was your initial motivation to volunteer?

“After I lost my husband to cancer, I was looking to find some meaning in my life and wanted to devote my time for some meaningful work which would create an impact. So I decided to volunteer.

2.Why did you choose this specific cause?

In January 2017, through ConnectFor, I got connected to the NGO Shaktii which conducts an after school program for girls, and I am still volunteering for them. Mentoring and teaching is a rewarding experience as you can see the result in front of your eyes and that’s why I chose to volunteer for this cause specifically.

3.Please share details of the work that you did – the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole.

My experience at Shaktii is of give and take. I give my time, my efforts and I get back a lot of satisfaction and happiness.  I am a permanent mentor here and help out in teaching the girls English, Biology, and History. The satisfying part of teaching here is the change in attitude we see in the girls with respect to their interest in studies. At the end of each session when a mentee has learned something new because of my efforts, it is time well spent.

In my small way, I have also tried to raise some funds for SHAKTII, however my role as a mentor is what I am more proud of and hopefully, I am able to impact some young lives!

4. Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?

Of course! This is the third batch who will be appearing for the 10th boards after I joined Shaktii and when they say that because of us mentors they are in a good place with the preparation of their boards, that is a great achievement.
5. How has your volunteering experience impacted you? Tell us about some of your learnings and realizations, please.

Volunteering has given a purpose to my life and a lot of happiness. Being amongst young minds everyday is by itself a great experience. How a little bit of affection and kindness and patience brings a lot of big changes is what I learnt. 

6.Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer and be the change?

Keep your expectations aside if you want to volunteer. Try to emulate the values of the organization you are joining!”
Found her story inspiring?
Start your volunteering journey now! Checkout various volunteering opportunities over here – https://www.connectfor.org/opportunities/

 

I ConnectFor #BreakingStereotypes

Featured today is the story of Sasha, whose love for children and her childhood dream of teaching drove her to volunteer as a teacher assistant for the specially-abled! 

Read on to discover more about her experience: 

1. What was your initial motivation to volunteer?

“Sometimes we tend to give unnecessary things in life far too much importance. Volunteering is extremely fulfilling, and apart from the positive impact it has on the lives of people we are helping, it impacts our own as well.

It makes you focus on things beyond yourself, gives you a greater sense of gratitude and compassion. It gives life more purpose knowing you’ve impacted a few lives positively.

2.Why did you choose this specific cause?

I’m very comfortable around children and absolutely love them. My aunt is specially abled. I’ve seen how difficult it can be for them and their family, which is why I volunteered at Mann where we trained specially abled children to do basic tasks and teach them life skills that would help them, and hopefully also be able to get them employment at a basic level so that they can make the most of their life in every way.

So I guess it just gives me a chance to do that sometimes and honestly I don’t think there is anything greater than learning and sharing knowledge. 

3.Please share details of the work that you did – the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole.

Teaching them life skills, daily tasks, giving them things to do creatively, arts and crafts, basic computer skills, how to use a cell phone, how to work in groups, teamwork, patience, effort, hard work were just some of the things that I did while volunteering.

4.Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?

Since it was about training specially abled children of course every little thing would make you happy and feel like you’re having an impact. But a genuine impact can only be seen in the long run when they’ve grown as individuals in the best way hopefully living their lives making the most of it. We were hoping on training them to find basic employment as well and a few did. 

5. How has your volunteering experience impacted you? Tell us about some of your learnings and realizations, please.

Experiences like these make you realise how thankful you need to be for so much in life. It just makes you feel low sometimes seeing all this but it also makes you more positive in so many ways and gives you a greater sense of gratitude. So you know not to take life and all that you have for granted.

6.Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer and be the change?

Honestly it’s just a beautiful experience and  I really think if people connect with a cause and care about what they’re volunteering for it’ll really be the best time they’ve spent.

 

This is what Sasha had to say about her volunteering experience, feel motivated yet?

Volunteer for the specially abled over here – https://www.connectfor.org/causes/specially-abled-people/

 

 

 

I ConnectFor #AColorfulTomorrow

1. What was your initial motivation to volunteer?

“We all had a holiday that day and the event was close to our house so we all went for the activity. When I asked my mom about the event she said that we are going to paint a school and I got really excited about it, as I love arts and crafts very much.

 

2. Why did you choose this specific cause?

It was the easiest and the only thing I could do, so we all went for this event as a family. I love drawing and painting very much and my mom told me before we went that the classes that I study in and the classes these kids study in has a very big difference and that’s why to help make their classrooms colorful and less boring I went for it.

 

3. Please share details of the work that you did – the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole-

I painted a classroom which had drawings like ABC and other things which I had studied earlier when I was a kid and I even colored the charts which were already sketched there.I loved this event because I went there with my family and even my little brother who is just 2 years old came for this and helped us with the painting which was really fun and we enjoyed it very much.

 

4. Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?

Yes, my mom had shown the pictures of the classroom before the painting was done and they looked really boring as compared to my classroom and when we finished the event, we could see the class was so colorful and more beautiful than before and I was thinking that the students will like it more now and have fun in their classroom.

5. Based on your experience, have you encouraged others to volunteer?

Yes, the next day when I went to my school, I told all my friends about this and even they were interested to join me for the coming events and I have asked my mom to inform if events like these come again so that I can tell about this to everyone in my clasroom.

6. Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer and be the change?

I will tell them that if they do this once they will never forget this experience and will do it over and over and even tell this to others!”

This was Sara’s story about her first volunteering experience with us. Sara was just 9 year old when she went for this event!

If her age didn’t stop her from volunteering, What’s stopping you?

 

Check out more fun volunteering opportunities like ConnectFor ArtShala, over here – https://www.connectfor.org/weekend-volunteering/

I ConnectFor #Growth

“In the future there will be no female leaders. There will be just leaders.” — Sheryl Sandberg

No one represents this quote better than Naila, who began as a volunteer with Tux Foundation and today has become their Director of Fundraising & Events.

Featured below is her story:

1. What was your initial motivation to volunteer?

I’ve always been passionate about volunteering for different causes as I believe that if you have the opportunity to help someone, you should.

2. Why did you choose this specific cause?

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always volunteered for multiple causes. But they’ve typically been in relation to children or the elderly. This time I wanted to do something different and I came across TUX’s requirement for an events planning and research volunteer on Connectfor. Initially, it didn’t really get my attention as I prefer volunteering on field as opposed to a desk volunteering opportunity. But I decided to read up on it and what really got my attention was the cause itself. TUX raises funds for underprivileged women and provides them with Breast Cancer Screening and Oral Preventive Healthcare. Now that’s a cause that REALLY got my attention!

3.Please share details of the work that you did — the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole.

I never thought that a volunteering opportunity would slowly turn into something that is now the biggest part of my life. A major part of what I do is raising funds under our Fundraiser and with those funds we set up Breast Cancer Screening and Oral Preventive Healthcare camps for Women in various sectors of the country. We’ve recently painted a women’s shelter and are trying to have more fun activities where we could involve volunteers as well. I handle the TUX Social Media, run and coordinate their events and raise funds for the same.

4. Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?

Yes, absolutely! We typically ask these women for feedback on the camps and they’re usually positive. When these women thank us and give us positive feedback, we know that we did create an impact.

5. How has your volunteering experience impacted you? Tell us about some of your learnings and realizations, please.

It’s been a year and a half since I first associated with TUX. I went from being a volunteer to now being on the Board of the Trust as the Director or Fundraising and Events. The work I put into TUX is easily the best part of my day. Sometimes it does get exhausting as I do have an actual job as well but at the end of the day, thinking about the impact it makes on these women and how even a little that I contribute could go along way, makes it worth it.

6. Based on your experience, have you encouraged others to volunteer?

The most positive feedback I’ve gotten is from our ‘Cupcakes for a cause’ and our Shelter Painting events and tons of people keep asking me about when we’re going to have more events like those so yes, I think its safe to say that I have encouraged people to volunteer.

7. Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer and be the change?

If you have the opportunity to help someone, do it!

Liked Naila’s story?

If yes, then checkout various volunteering opportunities at www.connectfor.org

I ConnectFor #AHealthyIndia

In our 8 part series for Women’s Day, we will be telling stories of #WomenWarriors who have come forward and tried to bring a change in various causes and social issues we all wish to see in this world.

Featured today is the story of Karishma, a practising dental surgeon, and the Founder of TUX Foundation, an NGO working primarily for preventive healthcare for underprivileged women.

Karishma has been conducting various oral health campaigns across Mumbai and Bengaluru as part of her work with TUX Foundation.

Read on to find out more about her inspiring journey:

 

1. What was your initial motivation to start your own NGO?
“I had seen women neglecting their health and the impact it had on the whole family.. After a close relative passed away from oral cancer, I realised I had to take initiative and do my bit towards safeguarding women’s health and empowering them by making them feel that we care for them.
2. Why did you choose this specific cause?

I am a practising dental surgeon.I know the importance of preventing a disease before it happens, so that’s what we try to do. By helping with the early detection of cancer, multiple lives can be saved.

3. Please share details of the work that you did – the projects, events or the details of the experience as a whole.
We have worked  with Tata memorial hospital, multiple NGOs in Mumbai and Bangalore, and now with the BMC in India to spread awareness and hold camps for women promoting preventive healthcare for breast and oral cancer.
4. Do you feel like you were able to see an impact through your effort?
Yes absolutely, many women were unaware that they even needed a checkup in the first place. After our lecture and camp, they were more self aware and vigilant in taking care of themselves .
5. How has your experience of running a non-profit organization impacted you? Tell us about some of your learnings and realizations, please.

Starting my own NGO has impacted me beautifully, although I barely have any time left with my dental practice and running an NGO. It’s a beautiful and fulfilling purpose for me,as it allows me to fulfill my two passions: healthcare and service. It has also been an amazing experience for me to so many beautiful souls such as our daily volunteers, who are enthusiastic, and the real change makers!

6. What keeps you motivated?
My passion to be of service and use my skills where I can for a bigger purpose, I think service is the best form of love.
7. Do you have any advice/ inspiring words for others who are keen to volunteer/ start their own NGO and be the change?
Sure, I would say think of it as a business, only then can you grow it, however always remember why you began in the first place.
It can be an extremely fulfilling experience when you adhere to your roots and your core values, those should be clearly defined right in the beginning!”

Inspired by Karishma’s story? Why not volunteer for her NGO then!

Checkout various volunteering opportunities with TUX Foundation and more at www.connectfor.org