Design a brochure

The NGO needed a brochure to be designed that they can use for promotional and communication purposes.
Mohit Sharma
Operations Manager - Tata Steel
Dhanbad, India

Currently working as an Operations Manager at Tata Steel at a Coal Preparation Unit in Dhanbad, Mohit manages a team of 67 where his primary duties are ensuring that shifts are rostered as per need and ensuring everything is fit between control parameters, without any discrepancies. Mohit has been involved in volunteering activities to his best capacity since he was a student. He previously worked with community projects in the sector of quality education and coaching students to be better athletes. He contributed his share of work as a graphic designer and handled digital marketing for the AIESEC wing at his university. This prior experience and skills obtained through these programs are what drew Mohit to take up his first project at ProEngage. His idea was to contribute in whatever capacity possible as his skill set was a match and he knew that his sister, Jahnvi was also good at this, so he roped her in and that’s how they ended up as co-volunteers!

Jahnvi Sharma
Associate Consultant, Ernst & Young
Gurgaon, India

Jahnvi was a final year student at Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad when she first applied for this project. Right out of college, she was hired by Ernst & Young where she is currently working as an Associate Consultant in climate change and sustainability services. Her job mostly involves giving sustainability advice to companies across different sectors. Jahnvi really enjoys doing so as she feels she’s contributing her bit in making the world more sustainable. Jahnvi has vast experience in physical volunteering since her college days. She has conducted numerous plantation drives and made donations before. Post lockdown, she didn’t find many opportunities for physical volunteering, which is why she was super intrigued when Mohit introduced the idea of online volunteering to her. It didn’t take long for Jahnvi to sign up for this project after, the idea was simple - she enjoys designing generally and she got an opportunity to help out an NGO, so why not!

Abhivyakti Foundation
Payal Sinha
Jharkand, India

Abhivyakti started as an informal group of young social activists to promote social and cultural activities within Giridih district, Jharkhand, which had a long void after its glorious past. They operate in a few other districts around Jharkhand in full spectrum. Their basic idea is to strengthen the local governing system and promote sustainable development practices. They stay motivated everyday by following the motto - “Listen to those people who remain unheard.”


Project Execution

Being a grass-roots level NGO, Abhivyakti runs with a team of 6 people in the core. There are no fixed roles as such, everybody contributes to the best of their ability. That also meant that there was no specific person to properly document all of the activities of the NGO and that’s how this project spawned. The NGO then decided to seek help from outside, to have someone reflect their work in a few pages.

When asked about how this project was shaped by Mohit and Jahnvi specifically, Himadri recollects that the volunteers were very punctual throughout and they’ve always delivered their work on time. They were oriented about the organisation and requirements of the project individually and all meetings that followed were very organised. It actually took him by surprise that although they aren't from the NGO sector, they understood well in the first go. They conceptualised everything and soon after began working on the project.

Both the volunteers had only positive things to say about the initial impression of the organisation and how it differed from the expectations they had set. In Mohit’s words, “Abhivyakti is way different from the typical NGOs I have worked with before. This one was very organised as they already had necessary information to keep us running. Project coordination was also very well versed with what we would require. Himadri was supportive throughout, committed to the project and regularly followed up with us. What stood out to me about him is that he listened and kept everyone's point of view with him and acted in everyone’s best interest. He was the single point of contact from the organisation as well, which was a good thing for us, as there was less ambiguity during follow-ups.” Jahnvi had mentioned to us an important takeaway for her from this project. She said “When I started, I really liked the timeline and agendas given, which helped us make an action plan. Later when I joined consulting, it is the same process followed even in a professional setting, so it prepared me for my job role as well. Understanding deliverables was easy. It was a volunteer project, shaped in a professional way.” 

It was gathered from the volunteers that the sessions began with a brief introduction of NGOs activities. They were sent a file which contained details of the engagements of the NGO. A basic framework was identified to categorise the project in 5 activities. Data analytics were required and Jahnvi had taken these up. Regular follow ups were planned amongst the three of them. 

By now, it is obviously understood that the output was pretty fruitful. Two versions of the brochure were released - English and Hindi, as the data needed to be translated locally. The brochure has been prepared in such a way that it can be edited at a later stage and re-used. The brochure is being used by Abhivyakti to reach donors and raise funds. The hard copy is also being used at workshops and seminars to spread awareness about their activities and genesis of the organisation. 

Challenges faced

It is almost not necessary to state that since COVID happened, our lives have functioned around uncertainty. So was the case with Mohit and Jahnvi as well. Although they were able to adjust timelines as the NGO was flexible with their deadlines, the whole phenomena of a timeline was distorted. Their combined adaptability to these situations have kept this project afloat. Mohit said “Timely follow ups from Chezuba and ProEngage helped us map our progress toward completion. The accountability aspect was present throughout. You see, there’s a thin line between a corporate role and volunteering. Himadri was very good at holding patient conversations with us whenever necessary, making it a swift process for us without much perplexion.”

Jahnvi kickstarted her career right through the middle of this project. When asked how she managed to do so, she said “I obviously faced some difficulty with the transition into my new job. I wasn’t able to dedicate much time like I used to before, but having a family member around was a true blessing as he stepped up for me and ensured the project wasn’t being affected.”

Himadri mentioned multiple times that despite anything, there was never any disruption from the volunteers’ end and they were extremely cooperative throughout. Infact, he recollects that at a point, the only challenge they had because of him is when the Secretary of the organization was hospitalised and his message for the brochure couldn’t be provided. There was a major delay due to this. Rightfully so, the volunteers were informed about this and they very patiently waited until the necessary information was provided.  “We had our busy periods, but had a good personal relationship”, he added.

Thousands of NonProfits have benefited using our platform

Mr. Himadri wholeheartedly thanks the volunteers for their efforts throughout the project. The end product they’ve received from this project has hugle impacted his organisation and he very much believes it will continue to do so for a long time to come. When asked if he had a message for all volunteers, he highlighted why he thinks this small act of kindness from the volunteers is important to NGOs such as themselves. In his words, he said “Being a small organisation, we cannot afford to use too many technologies. Technology has become very important in these modern times, even in the social sector. If we can get volunteers who can help us work on such things like developing apps, agricultural engineering, we believe our reach will be multi fold. Additionally, if volunteers get to see the work we do at field level, I believe they will be able to develop more attachment and commitment toward the projects.”

Both Mohit and Jahnvi shared some beautiful memories and their key takeaways from this project. Talking about this experience, Mohit said “I learnt to be patient with my sister. I was not good at it and am used to holding her overly accountable. I learnt that I should be giving her space in future activities. Working with a family member can be a double edged sword. Himadri has been a positive influence on me personally as through him, I understood how important it is to be patient. I realise that things pan out really well when I work alongside my sister, not supervising her. Yes, we are different people and do things differently but one is never less than another. She's good at what she does and it is important I recognise that.”

Seconding her brother, Jahnvi added “I realised through this project that we both make a great team. I will cherish this memory for a lifetime as I never know if I'll ever be able to work with Mohit again on anything like this.”

Mohit’s take on volunteering and ProEngage is that “One should join it to know it better. I followed the legacy of how I got to know about ProEngage and shared my knowledge with other people. I saw that immediately, three of the few people I spoke with had applied. Word Of Mouth is a very powerful tool - if a five minute conversation can enable a huge change, then why not. The butterfly effect will come into picture sooner or later.”

Jahnvi highlighted another important aspect of volunteering that she wishes everyone could hear. She says “Volunteering is a unique thing - it is a bold step and  it takes courage to do it. It makes you happier than work which you are compensated for, when you fully accomplish it. You have to add it to your routine for your personal happiness and satisfaction.”