|This is a new free site linking Mumbai-based nonprofits and volunteers|
Service for the welfare of the world without any selfish motive (karmayog) is a path to salvation as it helps one to learn how to give up the desire to reap the fruits of actions. No one is incapable or dependent on anyone or anything in following this path. So this should be the single reason for volunteering. :-)
|Some non-spiritual reasons are, however, listed below.|
|||Make an Impact: Volunteering your time and talents is a powerful way to improve the world, educate others about causes you care about, maybe you will start an organization yourself.|
|||Get Satisfaction: Give voice to your heart through your giving and volunteering, keep your talents alive, fulfill your responsibility to the youth, elders, etc., feel better about yourself, feel needed and valued, act upon and express your beliefs.|
|||Help Others: Volunteers lend their unique influence and connection to an organisation's growth, make a difference in someone's life, be altruistic, solve a community problem, give back to society.|
|||Learn: Volunteering is a learning experience. Test yourself in new situations to see what truly interests you. It gives you the luxury to fail -- the chance to risk doing something you've never done before and to learn from it. Learn about yourself, your values, beliefs and views of the world in which you live. Discover your talents, learn a new skill or new knowledge, learn about your community, better understand social justice issues.|
|||Develop Yourself: Develop creativity by trying new things, starting a new program, taking risks. Develop compassion, develop your personality, gain a new perspective on things, self-actualize, achieve, build self-esteem and self-confidence and sense of independence, get an opportunity to work independently, gain hands-on experience, interact with people.|
|||Enjoy: Have fun, feel good, take a break, get a very satisfying experience, express gratitude, reduce stress, think positively, have a more balanced life, meet inspiring people, make friends, discover tremendous energy, create and maintain relationships. Volunteer as a family and give the entire family a shared experience as a wonderful family memory.|
|||Utilize time: The truth is that any amount of time we can give is enough to make a significant difference in someone else's life. Use spare time to do activities over the internet or via phone.|
|If you are a business:|
|||improve community relations and public image|
|||enable employees to enjoy new levels of responsibility and leadership skills|
|||improve employee satisfaction, morale and loyalty|
|||get a sense of fulfillment as a result of contributing to the community|
|||Do let us know your reasons for volunteering. Do share your volunteer experiences. Do inform us of interesting articles and links|
The Business Case for Volunteering
Employer-Supported Volunteering can take many forms, and includes a wide range of programs and activities through which companies support their employees' volunteer work in, or on behalf of, the community. These may include - e volunteering, employees spending time with the community, employees sharing their expertise in administration, finance, personne&HR, marketing etc with the NGOs that require such assistance.
Every company gauges their business investments by totalling up the returns. But when it comes to social or environmental investments the same rigours don't necessarily apply. The result is that the community investments are not working as hard as they could be. However, with the field of corporate social responsibility maturing worldwide, this is beginning to change.
By sponsoring volunteering, a few leading companies around the world (Walt Disney, Proctor and Gamble, Fluor, Chase Manhattan Bank and Whitbread Brewery) and in Australia (Westpac, American Express and The Body Shop) are getting better results for their community dollar. The advantages over traditional community investments such as cash donations, donations in kind, or donations of equipment, include:
Improve Employee Skills and Training: Some leadership companies have integrated volunteer programs into ongoing training and development efforts to build employee knowledge and skills. For example, BT Group plc found that volunteering and other forms of employee community involvement helped develop a variety of competencies, including planning and implementation, communication, project management, listening skills and customer focus.
Encourage Employee Teamwork: Many community projects require volunteers to work cooperatively in teams to accomplish tasks. Such teams often involve a diverse mix of company and community representatives, spanning a variety of ages, races, cultures, and working styles. Many companies have harnessed the teamwork skills learned in volunteer activities to help everyone from line employees to senior executives work more collaboratively in their jobs.
Develop Leadership Skills: Because volunteer initiatives provide opportunities for employees to engage in activities that may differ from their daily tasks, employees can develop and demonstrate their ability to take charge in new and challenging situations. Companies find that their volunteer efforts in the community have enabled them to identify leadership skills among employees that had not surfaced during daily operations.
Develop the Local Labour Pool: Some companies direct their volunteer activities toward helping community members develop skills and abilities that enhance their employability and opportunities for advancement.
Recruit and Retain Employees: Volunteer programs can be an attractive company benefit to current and prospective employees. According to the Points of Light Foundation, in 2003, 58 percent of U.S. companies used their employee volunteer programs for recruitment and retention purposes.
Improve Corporate Reputation: Volunteer projects and strategic partnerships can yield positive media attention for companies. For example, The Home Depot has received favourable publicity for its partnership with Habitat for Humanity and KaBOOM! in the United States and Canada. The company helps KaBOOM! build playgrounds with cash donations, donations in kind, and encouraging employees to volunteer.
Leverage Philanthropic Resources: When included as part of a strategic mix of community-involvement activities, corporate volunteerism can enable companies to provide a greater benefit to the community at a lower cost than can be done through charitable contributions alone. For example, some companies make donations contributions to organizations for which their employees volunteer.
Increased Impact in Areas of Strategic Importance: Some companies give employees time off for community service to work on projects or issue areas defined by the company. This strategy is an effective tool to increase employee participation in community.
|The Process of Volunteering|
|"Each one of us should lead a life stirring enough to start a movement." --Max Lucado|