Chennai Volunteers is a social initiative that aims to foster civic engagement and ensure that non-profits can engage with volunteers in a sustainable and meaningful way. We aim to promote the values of volunteering, while building and reinforcing volunteer networks across the cities. We plan to leverage our dynamic portal, www.chennaivolunteers.org where volunteers find various opportunities to share and care, members can find local/international partners and NGOs can share resources and exchange best practices, 24x7.
THE VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK
Thank you for choosing to volunteer with Chennai Volunteers (CV). The following pages outline CV’s policies governing the relationship between CV and volunteers. It sets out what CV and volunteers can expect from each other and explains how we work together in a three-way partnership with our partner NGOs.
The handbook is designed to guide you through your volunteering journey from the time you step into an NGO as a volunteer until after your return home, and to act as a reference. Each section provides information on CV procedures along with your rights and responsibilities. The pages are intended for use by long-term and short-term volunteers.
This volunteer handbook is based on the following principles:
The signing up process for volunteers does not discriminate on the basis of gender, caste, religion, etc. and is equally welcoming to all prospective volunteers.
All volunteers must follow these guidelines & best practices and ensure that we conduct ourselves in a professional manner.
Volunteers are provided with a clear explanation of what is expected of them in a session, usually by means of a structured module.
Volunteers are provided with all the necessary training / orientation and support to carry out their assigned role and responsibilities.
Formal volunteering is an activity, which takes place in not-for-profit organizations or projects and is undertaken:
To be of benefit to the community, non-profit and the volunteer.
Of the volunteer's own free will and without coercion.
For no financial payment.
In designated volunteer positions and part time only.
By volunteering you can:
Get a chance to share your skills and teach others what you are best at.
Learn how a professional organization / institution functions.
Achieve personal satisfaction by helping others and by doing your civic duty.
Spend your leisure time constructively.
Develop a new relationship with an institution and make new friends.
Keep yourself updated on current issues.
Learn new things while working as part of a team.
Do something different from your routine job without making a serious long term commitment.
Gain recognition and self-confidence as you can make a difference by working for a cause.
Learn skills and strengthen your resume.
How do I decide on Volunteering?
Some people know exactly what they want to do or what cause they need to focus on. But for others, the choice or cause can be very daunting. Here are some tips that could help your thoughts and decision making. Asking yourself a number of questions can help narrow down the cause you would like to support.
How much time do I have or how much time can I give for volunteering?
When or which days will I be available?
How far am I prepared to travel and what are the possible expenses? Can I afford it?
What interests and experiences can I bring to my volunteering?
Do I like working one-to-one or with groups of people?
Do I have what it takes to work with troubled young people, the disabled or the elderly, and if not, would I like the challenge of finding out?
Are there particular issues or causes that I would like to help?
There are literally hundreds of ways in which you can get involved. There will be a non - profit organization in every sphere of social development. You spend some time understanding the various causes, the impact of contributing to the cause and the skills required to do require volunteering activities. It will be a good idea to list the various reasons why you would like to volunteer. This will help you in your decision making.
CV supports, facilitates and makes volunteering easy for you by:
Matching volunteer’s skills with the volunteering requirements.
Matching volunteer’s interests with the Volunteering Opportunities.
Adapting Volunteer Opportunities with time suitability.
Creating an online platform for connecting with fellow volunteers.
Creating opportunities for remote, skilled volunteering.
To recognize that successful volunteer involvement incorporates the individual’s motivations, aspirations and choices.
To ensure volunteers receive appropriate training and support to help them deliver their roles.
To celebrate the success and achievement of volunteers and volunteering.
To listen to and learn from what they have to say and consistently encourage two-way communication.
To foster a friendly and supportive atmosphere with an aim to make volunteering fun.
To constantly foster new areas of volunteering based on the needs of our volunteers as well as our partnership with new nonprofits.
To provide references, where requested, and support them with job search skills where appropriate.
CV is not involved in monetary donations to NGOs. Such activities would be direct between the volunteer and nonprofit. CV will not be responsible for any actions beyond the mandate of the organization.
Our range of volunteering opportunities caters to one-time, short term, long term and online volunteers.
One time volunteering is essentially an event-based opportunity that lasts for a day. This means devoting anywhere between 2 to 8 hours of your time most often on weekends or on public holidays. It could be a medical camp in a village, a fund raising event, a day-long trek or manning a one-day stall at your office to promote a non-profit’s merchandise.
Short term volunteering lasts between one week to 3 months and is mostly project based involving activities like helping an NGO with its accounts or in fund raising, designing a website, developing software for accounts for maintaining records of patients in health camps, or helping in project documentation, etc.
Long term volunteering is a 3 month plus time commitment for people willing to volunteer on a regular basis. This involves, for example, working with SHG ladies, working on a heath-based community outreach program, teaching underprivileged children, yoga classes at schools, counseling and mentoring slum children.
Online and remote volunteering offers you the chance to volunteer from home or from your workplace. You could help in managing a website, drafting proposals, writing content for an NGO’s brochure or designing communication material, etc.
Our expectations of Volunteers / Volunteer Protocol.
To work within the ethos and guidelines of the NGO you visit.
To maintain and uphold the good name and reputation of the organization.
To co-operate with volunteer coordinators, paid members of staff, to listen and learn from what they have to say.
To aim for high standards of efficiency, reliability and quality in all aspects of their contribution.
To be committed and punctual for all sessions.
To encourage two-way communication with other volunteers and staff, fostering a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
To provide reasonable notice, where possible, if you are unable to undertake those duties for whatever reason.
To adhere to the confidentiality, equality and diversity, general behavior and health & safety policies and procedures of our organization, in accordance with our volunteer policy.
Attend essential training and support sessions where necessary.
Maintain balanced relation with the members of the organization, or members you come in contact through CV. Any interaction with the members, beyond the volunteering hours or voluntary purpose would be personal and can create a breach of conduct with the NGO.
Avoid arguments on disagreement during the volunteering session.
Attend essential induction sessions where necessary.
Maintain a balanced relation with the members of the organization, or members you come in contact through the organization.
Avoid arguments on disagreement during the service.
Understand who you are volunteering for, their background and respect their space.
Get to know the beneficiaries and empathize with them.
Never judge or categorize them.
Never to compare or be harsh with them, however, be firm, cordial & formal. You can be friendly but you are not a friend. There is a line of formality we all adhere to.
Not share your mobile number(s); lend cash or vehicles to the beneficiaries.
Never make any promises of gifts or donations.
Never touch, hold hands or get too close to the beneficiaries, unless the group exercise demands it.
Never stay at the place after the session/event is over.
Avoid using mobile phones during the session.
Never take photographs of the beneficiaries.
Let’s start a conversation. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information/enquiries.