DaanUtsav is entirely volunteer driven — there is no owner, no organisation behind it. Volunteers across India play a key role in propagating the festival and getting more and more people to celebrate. In getting others to experience the joy in giving, they find immense happiness and satisfaction.
Listen to what some of them have to say.
Across India, over 200 volunteers propagate #DaanUtsav in various locations. These volunteers would be delighted to support you in your journey; you can join them for volunteer meets, visit organisations with them when they present #DaanUtsav to them, seek their guidance on any questions you have and understand their own experiences. Feel free to reach out as given below:
Andhra Pradesh- Vizag 95027 21417
Assam 74111 19922
Chattisgarh, Sukma 94076 88278
Delhi 93103 11354
Delhi jasminebhatia95 at gmail.com
Delhi ninakler at gmail.com
Gujarat- Ahmedabad 97244 99331
Haryana- Gurgaon 88000 91235
Haryana- Gurgaon pawasthy1611 at gmail.com
Jharkhand- Jamshedpur 94311 13764
Karnataka aashu.calapa at gmail.com
Karnataka- Bangalore 97428 01010
Karnataka- Hubbali 87623 76497
Karnataka- Manipal 97393 14682
Maharashtra WhatsApp 99207 55714
Maharashtra- Mumbai 81693 24227
Maharashtra- Mumbai 95603 23152 (What’s App only)
Maharashtra- Napgur 95610 11264
Maharashtra- Napgur 93728 02996
Maharashtra- Pune 98223 26044
Odisha 80931 40002
Odisha 98610 30623
Punjab 98730 38364
Rajasthan- Jaipur 84540 80976
Tamil Nadu 92823 39070
Tamil Nadu 95007 66101
Tamil Nadu- Chennai wordsworth.india at gmail.com
Telangana- Hyderabad 99859 51022
Telangana- Hyderabad 97019 10807
Tripura 97393 14682
Uttar Pradesh email@example.com
Lucknow, UP 91983 97111
Uttarakhand- Dehradun 98998 52556
Uttarakhand – Nainital, Kumaon 97190 07700
If you are from a location that is not covered above, you can still volunteer. Simply contact us as given below:
99207 55714 (WhatsApp only)
daanutsav at gmail.com
What work does a #DaanUtsav volunteer do?
A #DaanUtsav volunteer typically propagates the idea of the festival to others and encourages them to celebrate it. Most volunteers themselves participate and give their time, money or skills during #DaanUtsav too. A typical #DaanUtsav volunteer will:
How much time commitment does it require?
It is entirely up to you to decide how much time you want to spend. Volunteering for #DaanUtsav can take as little as 2-3 hours a week and as much as ALL your time. Since you choose how many people you want to meet, engage and support, you have significant control over how much time you want to spend.
Who can be a volunteer?
Anyone can be a volunteer, as long as you are willing to do the “work” described above.
How can I apply to be a volunteer?
Just send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details and location and we will get back to you soon. Alternatively, you could also fill up the form on the Become A Volunteer page.
What support do you offer to volunteers?
All the new volunteers are initially supported by the existing volunteers in an informal way depending upon how do they plan to engage. If there are other volunteers in your location, typically we encourage you to accompany them for a few initial meetings to learn how we talk about #DaanUtsav to people, understand how THEY would like to celebrate, suggest ideas to them, help them with connections, etc.
Volunteers are also given access to a whole lot of collaterals like short WhatsAppable youtube videos (1-3 mins) on how #DaanUtsav has been celebrated in the past, overall as well as in schools, colleges, corporates, by NGOs, in apartments, etc. We also share a list of “ideas” that you can give to people, as well as a list of videos on “how to celebrate” that can be shared with people. Closer to the festival, volunteers are given posters, #happydot stickers and other collaterals they may need.
Do volunteers get paid any stipend or reimbursements?
No. #DaanUtsav is a festival that is driven entirely out of the personal contributions of volunteers across the country offering their time free. Everyone who volunteers does so of their own accord and no one is paid any stipend, honorarium or given any reimbursements.
If any activities you plan require expenditure (e.g., printing posters for an event, etc), it is best to get the organisers to bear it. Sometimes, you could check with other volunteers in your location to see if everyone is willing to pool in and help pick up the costs.
How do volunteers engage with each other?
Volunteers within a given location (city/ district) typically tend to meet weekly or monthly. There are email and WhatsApp groups also at a local and national level. About 50 volunteers from across India meet together once or twice a year. Volunteers also engage directly with each other, both, within a location as well as across location, to share their experiences and learn from each other.
What training is provided to volunteers?
New volunteers are given an orientation on what is DaanUtsav, the principles, how we approach people, ideas to share, some quick background and past history of #DaanUtsav celebrations in their location and some strategies and ideas by other volunteers.
How do volunteers get appointments?
Volunteers typically identify people in leadership positions that they can reach out to, through their own networks or through friends. Potential people to meet can be identified from one’s contacts on platforms like LinkedIn, FB, etc. but also from visiting card collections, and from among relatives, friends, colleagues, etc. We do not recommend cold-calling strangers. If there’s someone you’d like to meet, we recommend trying to find a “common contact” who can make an introduction. Appointments sought through credible common friends or with people who you know personally, are not difficult to get.
How do volunteers follow up?
Most volunteers will follow up using a combination of email, phone, messaging, WhatsApp or connecting via social media. Typically, we pick the medium that the people we speak to are the most comfortable using and it is best to be respectful of the choices of the other person.
Occasionally, we use escalation strategies like asking the “common contact” to intervene if the person we spoke to has gone completely silent.
What help can we as volunteers give to people?
1. Typically, volunteers help those who are planning giving events in their city with-
2. Brainstorming & ideation support
3. Connections that they might have, which can be of help to the event organisers
4. Matchmaking- between corporates/schools/colleges and NGOs
Occasionally, if a large public event is being planned in their city, volunteers might help set up and accompany event organisers in important meetings, help them find potential supporters for their event, etc.
However, as volunteers, we try our best not to get involved in organising activities ourselves or in taking direct operating roles in them, as it reduces our ability to help others and to meet and propagate the idea to a larger number of people.
What is a Location Champion?
A “Location Champion” is a volunteer who helps co-ordinate with other volunteers in a given location (city/ state/ district). The champion tries to stay in touch with all other volunteers, keep tabs on who is speaking to whom, helps orient new volunteers and accompany them to meetings in the beginning and provides support to all volunteers in the location. Location Champions typically stay in touch with champions from other parts of the country by attending national concalls and then sharing the learnings with all other volunteers in their location. They are the “connecting thread” that binds the volunteers from their location to what is happening across India. A given location (city/ district/ state) could often have 2-3 champions so that there is not too much load on 1 person.
Who can be a location champion?
Ideally, a champion should be someone who has participated in or volunteered in #DaanUtsav before. However, there are some locations where not many people are aware of #DaanUtsav and there aren’t any volunteers (India being such a vast country). In such cases, anyone can be a champion.
Location champions must, however, be “available to others” on phone, email, WhatsApp and other forms of communication, and be quick in responding to them- typically getting back to people within a couple of hours for simple questions and within a day or two otherwise. A high sense of commitment to helping people is very essential for someone to be a good location champion.
How much time commitment does it require to be a Location Champion?
An effective location champion would have to spend at least 6-8 hours a week from June to October on propagating #DaanUtsav and supporting other volunteers, event organisers and people who want to participate in #DaanUtsav. In August & September, this may often go up to 12 hours a week, while in the Dec-March period, it can go down to less than 2-3 hours a week.
Do Location Champions get any stipends or reimbursements?
No. Location champions are volunteers themselves and are not offered any stipends or reimbursements.
What training is provided to Location Champions?
Most location champions are already #DaanUtsav volunteers and therefore don’t really require much training. However, if required, other champions get on calls with them and explain how to engage, attract, retain and motivate volunteers. Champions who are also new volunteers are given an orientation on what is DaanUtsav, the principles, how we approach people, ideas to share, some quick background and past history of #DaanUtsav celebrations in their location and some strategies and ideas by other volunteers. Sometimes, volunteers from other locations will visit the champion’s location and spend 1-2 days with them, helping them organise and conduct meetings with volunteer groups, doing 1-on-1 meetings with potential event organisers, etc.
What support do you offer to Location Champions?
Location champions have access to all the resources that volunteers have. Additionally, they get a lot of hand-holding and support from other location champions across the country. Champions are invited to visit other locations and get oriented, and often champions from other locations visit them and spend time to help them deepen their work, expand their volunteer networks and help them plan an expanded celebration of #DaanUtsav in their location.
Why should anyone volunteer for #DaanUtsav?
Different people volunteer for different reasons, some of which are given below. Very often, it is a combination of these reasons that drives people to volunteer.
Combating Indifference: Many of us are deeply affected by the growing inequity in society and feel the need to “do something about it”. Yet, when we look around, we find that the vast majority of society is “indifferent” on various counts- be it our consumption culture and the environmental damage it does, our apathy to the condition of the poor, our “self obsession” with our own lives or simply a “what do I care?” attitude. Most such indifference, however, comes from lack of exposure. By helping people celebrate #DaanUtsav, volunteers get a chance to make people experience these ills first hand and hence helps them combat the indifference that abounds.
Impact: Some volunteers are driven by the impact of the work they do. By inspiring, say, 20 companies to engage their employees in celebrating #DaanUtsav, they are able to accomplish significant impact goals, like setting up of a Dialysis centre or providing school uniforms to 5,000 children or helping repaint & beautify 50+ public spaces like stations, parks, etc., or help rescue or shelter 100 stray animals. Such volunteers are typically deeply passionate about a specific cause. #DaanUtsav offers a platform or an “excuse” for such volunteers to reach out to a large # of people and engage them in celebrating the festival.
Joy in Giving- Many volunteers have been “givers” before in their life- they have either volunteered in other social activities or have been donors to causes. In their giving journey, they have experienced a lot of joy and the idea of sharing that joy with others is a big motivator for them. #DaanUtsav gives every volunteer a chance to “create thousands of new givers” and help each of them experience the joy in giving.
Networks and Communities: For some volunteers, #DaanUtsav provides a fabulous opportunity to broaden their networks and become part of more and more communities. Rarely does one get a chance to work with people across social strata, and across different segments of society- be it school leaders, college faculty, corporate executives, NGO leaders and teams, bureaucrats, police and other govt officials, slum communities, members of RWAs and ALMs, clubs, etc. The amount of “social capital” an active #DaanUtsav volunteer builds will far exceed that built by attending seminars, conferences and parties. EVERYONE who has volunteered for #DaanUtsav can attest that it has helped them significantly expand their networks. For many, they have been able to form completely new friendships that have then expanded to work relationships as well.
Skill Building: Above all, every volunteer will attest to the fact that #DaanUtsav helps you pick up a whole lot of new leadership skills. Here are just a few examples:
Learning to ‘sell an idea’: #DaanUtsav is, after all, just an idea. When you propagate the concept to people you meet, you don’t have anything “tangible” to offer them in terms of a product or service. You also SEEK nothing from them for yourself, which is extremely unusual. Promoting #DaanUtsav thus helps volunteers pick up extremely valuable skills of “selling an idea” to people.
Learning to ‘lead rather than manage’: Volunteers work with other volunteers, event organisers and people, NONE of whom is being “paid to do this”. Volunteers therefore exercise no authority whatsoever but can still engage others mainly by motivating and inspiring them, and by setting a personal example. The kind of leadership skills one picks up as a volunteer are rare to be found in “organisations” where a hierarchy allows people to use “authority” to get others to do work without having to “win them over”.
Planning & monitoring skills: Most volunteers learn how to create plans and how to monitor their progress on a regular basis
Following up skills: Arguably the least understood and MOST important skill in today’s world- volunteers learn how to follow up with others on their tasks, without the use of any incentives. In today’s world, there is probably no other skill that is as useful as this one.
Communication skills: Most volunteers learn how to communicate, present, pitch, handle objections and share ideas better than they did before.
Negotiation and ‘Getting things done’: Volunteers learn how to negotiate situations and find ways to “make things work”. They also learn how to get things done by learning how to leverage the vast networks they build.
Across India, over 200 volunteers propagate #DaanUtsav in various locations, some of which are outlined below.
If you are from a location that is not covered above, you can still volunteer. Simply contact us as given below:
WhatsApp only: 99207 55714
daanutsav at gmail.com