Volunteers Guideline

Thank you for your interest in Volunteering with CCN. Our volunteers play a key role in making a difference in our community while gaining invaluable professional development in the area of leadership and consulting. Please click on the links below to review CCN volunteer Guide lines and policies as they are have important implications for your work with CCN.

Who is a Volunteer?

Someone who willingly gives help in the form of time, service or skills, through an organisation or group is a volunteer. It could vary from commitment of time or energy for the benefit of the society. Though more often then not people misunderstand volunteer work to be just field work. It could also comprise of administrative work with an organisation, helping them with their HR, computers, marketing and designing.

Why people wants to be volunteer:

  • help someone
  • feel needed
  • make a difference
  • gain or improve skills
  • make better use of their spare time
  • know a new culture
  • test themselves
  • be an agent of change
  • explore a career
  • have fun
  • do something different from their job
  • donate their professional skills
  • have an impact
  • get recognition
  • get a better balance in life
  • get a work experience
  • give something back to the society
  • do their civic duty
  • be with people who are different
  • be part of a team
  • be an advocate for a campaign cause
  • gain access to services themselves

People volunteer for a wide variety of reasons, especially wanting to help others. But it’s also OK to want some benefits for you from volunteering.

Why Organisation involves volunteers

Because they are pioneers
many community and voluntary organisations were, and are, initially set up by volunteers. They recognise the fact that certain needs are not being addressed and they come together to volunteer and create social change. Volunteers can, in this way, experiment with new ideas and ways of working that have yet to achieve public recognition or funding. In fact, many organisations are run entirely by volunteers, particularly in the early stages of their development.

Because they are a very precious resource
Volunteers, by definition, do not demand any payment for the work that they do, so their involvement allows organisations to extend their limited budgets. They are motivated to make a difference. Moreover, many times volunteers give high quality work that changes the face of the organisation or the beneficiaries. At times there are certain costs associated with volunteers such as reimbursing out of pocket expenses, training and orientation etc but the investment is most often that not worth the time and effort.

Volunteers allow organisations to do more.
Having more people to help allows an organisation to achieve its aims more effectively and more rapidly. For example, volunteers can enable opening hours to be extended, additional services to be provided, a campaigning message to get across to a wider audience, etc. They can often fill needs for which paid staff time can never be justified, but which nevertheless make a huge difference; to a client’s quality of life, for example. Volunteers can also bring the luxury of focus to their work. Paid staffs frequently have to manage many competing tasks, whereas volunteers can be asked to devote their time to specific projects. In addition, the more people are involved in an organisation, the greater the chance of continuity if someone leaves.

They bring a human touch to an organisation.
It often means a lot to users of a service that volunteers are there simply because they want to be. People frequently volunteer because they have some direct experience of the issue being tackled and thereby bring a real human element to it. This can also help to remove possible barriers between organisations and their clients.

They engender a community spirit.
For community development reasons, it is crucially important to involve local volunteers in local projects. Not only are they aware of local needs and bring local knowledge, but their involvement often signals that an initiative has been accepted by the community. Furthermore, volunteering is a very empowering activity and ensures true ownership of projects in a locality.

They increase the diversity of an organisation.
Volunteers come from all walks of life. Successful organisations involve volunteers with a wide range of backgrounds and with a broad range of skills. Such diversity means that fewer skills have to be sought elsewhere and can also prevent an organisation from becoming too inward-looking.  Volunteers often demonstrate a real passion for the cause.

They help to extend the organisation’s network.
The more people are involved with an organisation, the larger that organisation’s sphere of influence becomes. Each volunteer has access to their own network of family, friends, colleagues and other acquaintances, among whom they can raise awareness about the organisation’s work. This also gives the organisation potential access to additional people and resources. Furthermore, if a volunteer’s experience with an organisation has been a positive one, s/he will frequently continue to publicise the group’s work even after ceasing to volunteer, and May in turn become a donor of money, services, goods and useful contacts.

Before volunteering

  • If you want be volunteer take detail information about the organization and the working areas.
  • If you are going to volunteer with the NGO for more than once, just get clarity of your role. Check if you are not true spacing a permanent employee’s role. It is sensitive.
  • If you cannot make the visit, or are going to be late, let the NGO contact person know well before hand. S / he will then tell the concerned people about it. It may happen that a group of children are waiting for you to tell a story.
  • Don’t over commit yourself. Not only the NGOs, but, members of your family or colleagues in the office might miss you when you are required.
  • You may feel touching that small girl, but she may have bad experiences with male adults and can be scared. Just ask the NGO social worker, if there are any community specific don’ts, even before visiting the community.
  • Once you commit, NGOs are dependent on you. Treat your accountability to the NGO in the same degree as you are accountable in your workplace. Professionals working in corporate sector should also remember that you carry your organizations’ image with you wherever you go and if you leave an NGO halfway; your organization’s image would suffer.

At the time of volunteering

  • Have humility
  • If you are with the community which is underprivileged, flash your smile and share your warmth.
  • If possible, do try to get your family (spouse / kids) when you volunteer; it will bring you closer. And they will not miss you on Saturdays / Sundays.
  • Don’t think “You and they”. Be a part of the community.
  • Don’t expect attention from the NGO – especially when you are a senior person in your organization and are with your colleagues or with the family.
  • Never give an impression that you have come to help them
    Sure you are not supposed to wear a sad look on your face but be sensitive to the situation
  • If you are with the community which is under privileged, don’t flash your mobiles or other such items.
  • If you are teaching a group of children, or sharing a story with them or visiting a hospital, and you get a call on your mobile, don’t start talking endlessly. As far as possible, avoid the call.
  • If you are playing with HIV positive children, don’t let them know you know that. Be normal.
  • Don’t leave a long term volunteer project because you are fed up, having problems, or feel you are being taken advantage of. Discuss how you feel with the team which will be pleased to help you as much as it can.
  • Don’t carry out any job if it is against your wishes or principles. Discuss the situation with the NGO contact person.
  • Don’t betray any confidences entrusted to you as a volunteer.

After volunteering

  • Share your joy with the community or NGO through communication
    if you believe sharing the joy with your friends and colleagues would help the community / NGO.
  • If you were unattended by the NGO despite of their commitment, give them a second chance.

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