Tips & Warnings about volunteering


  • If you want to volunteer, but cannot make a long term commitment, remember that occasional, one-time or short-term commitments can help enormously. For example, donating blood doesn’t take all that long, and you feel good about helping others as well.
  • If you are in charge of volunteers, thank them regularly. Don’t expect them to be content with an occasional praise. They don’t have to be there and their resentment can spread, ending a good working relationship or even resulting in dissolution of the organisation or club itself.
  • If you need a special skill set, special clothing or any other equipment for carrying out your volunteer work and it has not been provided, demand it. Your safety, health and comfort are as important as that of any paid employee’s.
  • Don’t volunteer simply for the credit or bragging rights. Make sure it is something you are capable of doing, and enjoy it.
  • Don’t avoid volunteering just because you can’t be bothered. All societies need volunteers who are competent, enthusiastic, available and willing. When you are capable of undertaking volunteer commitments, do so in a flash. There is an enormous trade-off in volunteering that you will only understand when you do it. While the organisation is getting your time and energy for free, you are gaining confidence and satisfaction in doing a good deed, witnessing personal growth, nurturing your character, and perhaps developing a skill set that you would not necessarily get by sticking to you and yours alone. Be open to the world and one day, it just may be you who needs and gets that help in return.



  • Don’t volunteer if you are sick. You’re not helping anyone if you end up giving them a cold. This is especially important if you are working in a hospital, or with the elderly, children or people with weakened immune systems.
  • Additionally, if you’re chronically sick, don’t volunteer if your illness could worsen by performing volunteer tasks. While some people can still carry out tasks during an illness (and for some, this is even a way of escaping the illness), if there is any possibility that your illness could be worsened by the added strain of volunteering, back down for some time until you feel better. This applies to many illnesses from cancer to chronic fatigue syndrome. You know yourself best – don’t let others “persuade” you into doing something rather than staying at home. Only volunteer your time if you truly feel it won’t harm your recovery and that you have the energy to do so.
  • When volunteering, people with varied personalities come together. This is perhaps more so than in a workplace, where certain people come together based on specific skill sets and personality traits. To deal with this, sometimes you’ll need great patience. If things get heated, let people have their say and summarise their position. Later, suggest a compromising path. You don’t want to lose volunteers because of personality clashes, or those that know it all. Often these people will fly in, tell everyone else how to do it and then drop out just as quickly as they arrived. Volunteers that succeed the most are those who stick around for the long haul, who understand what’s happening and who treat each other with respect.
  • Be aware of your environment. You may be a tempting target to the underprivileged. Consider taking a friend along if you are in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Leave valuables behind. Do not show fear. This signals weakness and could be insulting.

Cross posted from:

Why “Tough Love” Produces the Best Volunteers

Guest post by Mike Devaney

Why Tough Love Produces the Best Volunteers“Look, this has to work for you… what do you wanna get outta this experience?” she asked, squinting.

Katerina (Kat), the hospital’s volunteer coordinator, was quietly putting to bed everything I thought I knew about recruiting volunteers. For starters, she wasn’t pleading with me to join her program. Actually, quite the opposite. It felt like she was trying to dissuade me from applying!

She wasn’t, of course. But I still remember that conversation nine years later because it was so different from all my other volunteer program inquires. Based on those experiences, I had assumed coordinators were supposed to …

  • Gladly accept anyone
  • Downplay the demands of the onboarding process
  • Avoid probing questions about motives

While Kat’s program depended exclusively on volunteers, she wasn’t looking for just anybody. Why? Because visiting sick and dying patients on a weekly basis wasn’t for most people.

Motivation Drives Commitment

The first interview with applicants, Kat later told me, revealed a lot. She could predict, with a high certainty, who would follow through with the application process and who would drop out.

The program included 20 hours of classroom training, which Kat oversaw. Again, with high certainty, she could tell who would thrive as a volunteer in the hospital and who’d wash out. Discussing the big issues of life — pain, suffering, and death — reveal a lot about a person’s motivations.

Which brings me to this point: Motivation. It’s good to question an applicant bluntly, like Kat did to me, about his or her motivations. Applicants might not be fully cognizant of their driving motivation, but they should be able to articulate more than a pat answer. Why? Because it’s what’ll keep them committed and growing as volunteers.

[Grab a list of sample interview questions here.]

Now it should be said that a volunteer’s motivation may not always be altruistic. That’s fine as long as it doesn’t conflict with your organization’s mission. I stayed with Kat’s program for 4 ½ years. We became good friends and discussed a lot of things “off the record.” Some of those discussions, I’m sure, didn’t sound particularly gracious coming from a hospital volunteer, but they were authentic.

Business, Not Personal

In business, the companies who develop thoughtful, creative, even rigorous hiring processes win. The hiring process is a branding tool; word gets out quick among job applicants about the companies who do it right. From the company’s perspective, the better they screen applicants in the early stage, the more time they can devote to promising candidates in the later stages.

The same principle is true for nonprofit and charitable organizations. Put another way, cast a wide net for volunteers using vague and undefined language, and you’ll spend more time later eliminating unqualified applicants.

In my experience working with nonprofits, particularly smaller ones, I find resistance to using “callout” language when advertising for volunteers. Callout language says to the applicant “Come closer,” or “Stay Away.” It doesn’t do both. The fear is that an otherwise awesome candidate might not apply if the language is too restrictive.

That’s when I tell them about the Peace Corps. Four years after “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” slogan debuted, applicants outnumbered openings 10:1 and by 1991, 30 percent of Peace Corps volunteers were reached through this recruitment campaign.

If anything, the slogan proved that qualified volunteers respond to “tough love.” The question is, are you willing to go there?

About the author:
Mike Devaney is a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant who helps nonprofits recruit and retain promising volunteers. In addition to the hospital mentioned above, he’s also served as a volunteer at a nursing home and a church-sponsored meal program. Visit him
to schedule a consultation.

Cross posted from VolunteerMatch

25 Facts and Stats about NGOs Worldwide

#NGOfacts is an ongoing online campaign that highlights important data about non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, and charities worldwide. You can join the campaign by sharing facts and stats about the NGO sector in your country using the #NGOfacts hashtag on social media.


There are an estimated 10 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide.

Source: The Global Journal


If NGOs were a country, they would have the 5th largest economy in the world.

Source: John Hopkins University, Center for Civil Society Studies


Nearly one in three (31.5%) people worldwide donated to charity in 2015 and one in four (24%) volunteered.

Source: CAF World Giving Index 2015


The term “non-governmental organization” was created in Article 71 of the Charter of the newly formed United Nations in 1945. An NGO can be any kind of organization provided that it is independent from government influence and is not-for-profit.

Source: GrantSpace


Three out of four employees in the NGO sector are female, but the majority of leadership positions at NGOs are still predominately held by men.

Source: HR Council


There are more than 1.4 million NGOs in the United States that employ 11.4 million Americans.

Source: Urban Institute/Bureau of Labor Statistics


Eighty-four percent of Canadians donate to non-governmental organizations with an average individual donation of $446 per year. In total, that is $10.6 billion donated to NGOs by Canadians every year.

Source: Imagine Canada


There are 10,700 registered non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Mexico. 66% focus on providing access to healthcare and 27% are based in Distrito Federal.

Source: Cemefi


The majority of salaried NGO employees in Brazil are female (62%), but they only earn 75% of the wages paid to their male colleagues.

Source: Abong


With over 3.3 million non-governmental organisations, India has approximately one NGO for every 400 people.

Source: Infochange


There are more than 129,000 public-benefit foundations in Europe. Combined these non-governmental organisations (NGOs) give more than 53 billion euros annually.

Source: Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe


The NGO sector In England and Wales is made up of 165,000 registered charities, 948,000 employees, 943,000 trustees, and 3,200,000 volunteers.

Source: Charity Commission


The Hague, Netherlands is the International City of Peace and Justice and home to 160 non-governmental organizations that employ more than 14,000 people.

Source: The Hague International Center


40% of the French population volunteers with a local association or NGO and 22% regularly donate money.

Source: France Bénévolat


The Third Sector in Germany consists of more 600,000 non-governmental organizations. 40% of the NGOs were founded after the year 2000.

Source: ZiviZ


As of 2015, there were 136,453 registered non-governmental organizations in South Africa and on average, 68 new NGOs are registered every day.

Source: Republic of South Africa


The NGO sector in Kenya represents more than 290,000 full-time employees and volunteers of which 80% are under the age of 24.

Source: Devex


There are more than 600,000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Australia whose employees make up 8% of Australian workforce. However, only 60,000 of these NGOs are registered with the ACNC.

Source: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


The number of people worldwide donating money to NGOs increased from 1.2 billion in 2011 to 1.4 billion in 2014. By 2030, the number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion.

Source: Charities Aid Foundation


The estimated value of volunteer is $23.07 per hour. Thus, the value of the 7.7 billion hours of volunteer work performed by 62.6 million Americans, or 25.4 percent of the adult population, in 2013 was $173 billion.

Source: Independent Sector


Total giving in the United States to non-governmental organizations was $358.38 billion in 2014 (about 2% of GDP) – an increase of 7.1% from 2013.

Source: Giving USA Foundation


9 out 10 people in the Gulf states donate to NGOs regularly with 63% of the donations being made during the religious holidays of Ramadan and Eid.

Source: Philanthropy Age


53% of Asia Pacific citizens donate to NGOs with those in Thailand (71%), Vietnam (70%), and Hong Kong (65%) giving most often. Children’s health and education is the most popular cause.

Source: MasterCard Engagement Bureau


The NGO sector in Sweden is made up of 232,000 non-governmental organizations and 58% of its employees are female.

Source: Statistiska centralbyråns


Eighty percent of global citizens agree that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) make it easy to be involved in positive social change.

Source: Walden University


Crossposted from

Volunteer for Pinkathon 2016 | Chennai

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Volunteers needed for Pinkathon – 2016. The proceeds from the run will be distributed to United Sisters Foundation and the TATA Memorial Centre, Mumbai

Date: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Assembly point: War Memorial Side of Island ground, Anna Salai Rd.

Volunteers can choose to be at the venue from either

  • 9:30 PM onwards on Saturday, June 4, 2016
  • or at 2:30 AM on Sunday, June 5, 2016

Volunteers can also join for Bib distribution on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4

All the volunteers will be provided with Refreshments.

If you are interested please sign up below

Volunteer for RTE Awareness | Bengaluru

The Right to Education Act mandates that all private unaided schools have to reserve 25% seats for the children from disadvantaged or economically weaker sections from the neighbourhood.

Their complete education is free. Volunteer to spread awareness of this to the people in slums and make a lasting poverty alleviating impact on their lives.

The last date for RTE admissions have been announced sign up to volunteer in the form below for the FINAL RTE CAMPAIGN IN BENGALURU

Date : 12th March, 2016 (Sat)
Time: 9AM – 12PM
Venue: Devarabeesinahalli, Bellandur

Date :13th March, 2016 (Sun)
Time: 4PM – 6PM
Venue : Vibhuthipura, Near Hal

For any clarifications, please contact Mr.Vignesh @ 7259239342

Project Goodbook – Survey for Volunteers & Donors

We are students of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology. We are currently developing a platform to help prospective volunteers and donors to explore the myriad of NGOs available in the Indian scene. On that end, we would be grateful, if you could forward the following surveys to people who have either volunteered or donated in the past for their feedback and their experience in exploring various NGOs.

Click here for survey form for Volunteers

Click here for survey form for Donors

Details of the platform: The platform, currently codenamed ‘Project Goodbook’ will be a social network of sorts for various volunteers and donors to easily explore the various NGOs currently working in the fields of their choices. The platform will allow donors to easily donate and track the receipts of their donations. The volunteers can volunteer for various organized events by the NGOs and the platform will also allow NGOs to find sponsors for their events as commercial organizations can make accounts to sponsor various events. We are currently looking for features to include in our platform so as to make it fruitful for the users of the platform.

Volunteer Your Vision @ KVTC – Disability| Chennai

Karna Vidya Technology Centre (K.V.T.C.) is an exclusive technology centre for the Visually Impaired requires your support to Volunteer your Vision in helping increase the employability of Visually Challenged youth.

Vision – Empowering Visually Impaired through Employment

KVTC caters to 325 candidates with visual impairment currently and deliver vocational training towards employment of candidates

Volunteer Requirements at KVT

· Need support with Software installation.
· Need Support to demonstrate the software to candidates.
· Need improvement in spoken English.
· Need Support in creating educational materials.
· Need Volunteers to be a part of Employability Training visits – Visit to ATM to understand how it works, Visit to shopping mall – Exposure to mall culture, Visit to Bank – Understand Banking process like cash deposit, ATM card application etc.

To start Volunteering you have to attend one of the general volunteer workshops which consists of
· Grouping of Volunteers.
· Disability Awareness games – to understand disability from the perspective of a person with disability.
· Basic Sign Language and Braille workshop
· How to address a person with disability – Game.

Date & Time: will be communicated in advance

Place: Address – Karna Vidya Technology Centre RR Towers III, Thiru-Vi-Ka Industrial Estate, Guindy, Chennai – 600 032. Raghu: Mobile: 9444976822, 9840018012

Please sign up below

Turtle Walks – Animal Welfare | Chennai

Only one in in 4000 Olive Ridley turtles survive to adulthood, you can help save them!


Turtles comes to land only when there is no light or human habitat around. They lay around 100 eggs and close it with mud. Unfortunately,dogs and people in coastal area harm the eggs. So volunteers are needed to recover these eggs.

The recovered eggs are protected by several hatcheries working along the coast, after 48 days those eggs turn to hatchlings and swim their way back to ocean with help of star light. They learn the magnetic signature of their birth place during their journey from sand to sea. When these turtles become adults they will return back to the same coast using the magnetic signature they learnt to lay their eggs (Natal homing).

We take a walk seven kilometres from Neelangarai to Besant Nagar beach. We gather at Neelangarai beach at around 10.30 PM. There is a discussion about turtles and other environmental issues and the walk starts after that. The walk may go on until 4am or 5am depending on whether we find any nests, and how many we find.

To get to Neelangarai beach you have to take the turning off ECR next to Shanthi hospital. There is an arch over the road that says Kapaleeswarar Nagar. We suggest that You leave your vehicles (if any) at the Elliots beach, because when the walk ends you are likely to be tired it’s easier to get back home.

‘I am the Change’ Fellowship 2016

I am the Change Fellowship in an initiative of Team Everest NGO which is a 2 year paid fellowship program for any undergraduate or postgraduate professionals between 21 to 40 years old with 0 to 20 years of job experience.

During the fellowship period, every fellow will be allocated a unique project in the educational sector which they need to complete within their fellowship period. Every fellow will be allocated a mentor who would guide and help the fellow throughout the fellowship program.

The idea behind the fellowship program is to encourage top talents in the country to dedicate two years for the country, for the needy. That way, we can channelize the talents and potential towards the needy and increase the pace of change.

The fellow should be ready to work in Chennai for next 2 years. The skillset of a fellow includes excellent communication skills, team player, leadership skills and good project management skills. Knowing local language is an addition advantage.

The selection process includes application submission, telephonic interview, background verification, skill assessment and personal interview.

The fellows are also provided with a stipend of Rs 15,000 per month.

The fellows will have quarterly review meetings, midyear reflection point and annual result meetings to reflect upon their work. Apart from the project work, every fellow will have a learning goal to be met every quarter.

If you are someone passionate about social work…
If you want to see your actions bring about change…
If you want to do something you have never done before…
Then this fellowship might be the right opportunity for you.

For more details and to apply for the fellowship, check

For more details, whatsapp or call to +91 89399 12365.