AdminUncategorized, 14 Apr, 2020
Connecting volunteers & nonprofits worldwide
A lot of the work that we were doing was restricted by the funds that were available,” said Shalabh. In responding to the recruitment difficulties that nonprofits faced and with “the ambitions we had as an organization, we could not be bound or limited by the funds that were made available.”
With seven offices in India and 350 nonprofit partners,is one of the largest affiliates in Points of Light’s global network. Last year alone, the organization engaged more than 10,000 volunteers in service across 25 cities. However, it wasn’t always that way.
i Volunteer was established as a solution to the challenges faced by Indian nonprofits in recruiting volunteers to serve their causes. Shalabh Sahai, co-founder and director of iVolunteer, explained that when the organization was founded in 2001, nonprofits worked in silos and, as a result, had trouble engaging volunteers – particularly middle-class citizens who had the resources to give back, but for whom volunteering was not a part of their culture.
“In the beginning, the idea was to found something which got people to volunteer, that would allow people to work with the nonprofits to lend a hand in all the good work they were doing,” said Shalabh.
The result was the iVolunteer platform, which is the organization’s online database of service opportunities that allows volunteers to search by keyword and pick projects that fit their interests.
“Over a period of time, we realized that simply putting together a platform would not work because volunteering itself was in a very infant stage and people did not understand NGO culture and NGOs did not understand how to engage the upcoming middle class,” explained Shalabh.
To address these issues, iVolunteer put together a number of programs that would both help nonprofits appeal to volunteers and help volunteers understand the value and importance of giving back.