AMAIDI Volunteering in India

Portal for international volunteers, interns & professionals

"Where do I find new sponsors?"

  • Spread the word – Let people know about your organization and your goals.
  • Talk to your elected officials – MPs, councilors and others . Write letters to explain your group, and invite them to come see the area you are concerned with.
  • Get letters of support. A letter of support from a politician will put your sponsor’s mind at ease when it is time to hand over the money.
  • Establish relationships with other groups that can help you, depending on the activity you are planning. If you are planting trees or naturalizing a municipal park, maybe the local gardeners club or a scouts group can help.
  • Find out about awards, and get yourself nominated for anything relevant. A few plaques will make your group look competent and well-established!
  • Release press statements to the local newspaper. If you don’t have anything newsworthy to tell them, invent some news – arrange a tour of your site or give a talk to your local high school (and don’t forget to invite your elected officials to these too).
  • Find other ways to get your information spread around. Most local radio, TV or cable stations have time slots set aside for community events, and are looking for ways to fill them.
  • Create a binder with press clippings and a video with interviews that will make you look active and credible.

Preparing the home front

  • Appoint a contact person and have a clear a mailing address. Having a group spokesperson who can answer questions and provide more information will help in media relations
  • Establish an executive or advisory board – appoint a chair, a treasurer, and a secretary, and have the secretary keep notes of meetings.
  • Look at your group members and put together a list of skills – sponsorship is complemented by the time, skills, and expertise of the volunteers. This will help explain to a potential sponsor what value-added services you bring to the table.
  • Set-up a web presence – this will help provide information that you cannot transmit orally or through PR materials

Do your homework

  • Carefully look at who you’re approaching, research your target sponsor to find the right fit
  • Look at the sponsor’s previous philanthropic activities and its programmes/projects, and align your request around them
  • Put a case-for-support paper together, something that shows where there is a role for the sponsor to play
  • Remember volunteer initiatives run on persistence, enthusiasm, and community spirit. Sponsors run on numbers. Sponsors want to see a measurable benefit, and are ultimately accountable themselves.

Moving forward

  • Look for ways to establish a stronger, more permanent presence in your community.
  • Explore procedures to become a registered nonprofit group.
  • Decide to register your own domain name on the internet. Much like a mailing address, a permanent domain name lends a certain credibility to your venture.
  • Develop brochures, posters, and interpretive books as an effective way to raise community awareness.
  • Seek support for information and ideas with NGO networks and coalitions – nationally and internationally

(Courtesy http://www.gdrc.org/ngo/funding/finding-sponsors.html)

Filed under: charity, finance, fundraising, social networking, , , ,

Free volunteering abroad. Is it possible?

The dream of every volunteer: to be a volunteer! That is: working for a good cause without being paid for it. But most definitely without HAVING to pay for it. Not so in foreign volunteering. A sometimes hefty sum has to be paid – not even mentioning a flight ticket – before the first voluntary action can come about. In orphanages, hospitals, schools and in grass-roots charitable NGO’s. On top of that, intermediairy organizations – like AMAIDI – are asking money (‘way too much’ according to some) AND the host organizations sometimes demand money too, for guidance, admin, transport and/or meals. Is this really necessary? Is it not possible – with exception to the flight ticket – to do is against paying NO extra money? Or even receiving a stipend, a salary of some sorts for the effort you bring in?

Yes, says an organization such as Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Doctors Without Borders, Health Volunteers Overseas, United Nations Volunteers, Flying Docters, International Red Cross and a number of other larger but lesser known INGO’s or sending agencies.

Free volunteering How is this possible? Often through a conglomerate of professionals, organizations, funding agencies/donors and sometimes the government as well. Through provided funds in the home country of the organization, in general. And through extensive requests to generously donate towards the organization.

Is it possible for a small organization like AMAIDI to offer its services for free? To ask for a donation instead?

I don’t think so. first of all: people – volunteers and interns that is – wouldn’t simply know how much to donate. They’d probably donate a fraction of what is needed (assuming that we at AMAIDI know best what is needed) and they’d be asking us for ‘advise’: ‘what should we donate?’, will come close to the question: ‘Okay, so what does it cost?’.

Letting the host-organization pay is a move that we discarded from the start. Most – smaller – organizations don’t have any funds available for anything close to a subscription to an org that provides volunteers. They would not even start to think about having them in the first place when money becomes an issue. Instead, volunteers are paying THEM for made expenses such as mentioned above (admin, guidance etc.)

So what to do?

Perhaps asking an even bigger amount, but from that let money flow to the projects, so that the volunteer does not have to pay there anymore for his/her expenses. This would make the work have a more ‘voluntary feel’ compared to having to raise ones wallet after having worked as a volunteer.

Welcome your feedback on this …

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

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AMAIDI Foundation

The AMAIDI Foundation is AMAIDI's latest offshoot. AF is meant to support (ex)volunteers in their funding and implementing projects they support during or after their stay/work in India. For partners in India it is also an instrument that enables them to find (new) sponsors and donors to invest in their projects. And for donors to find the implementing agencies they need to realize their social targets/harvest their profit/social ROI

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