Write fundraising proposal

This project was aimed to create a fundraising proposals for the building of an old age home.
Surendhar Kaliannan
Asst Manager - Tata Chemicals
Mithapur, India

Surendhar is currently stationed at the power plant in the instrument department. He is a key essence for the running of the power plant. His duties involve rostering the service engineers, planning upcoming projects and expansion of projects. This is the second time he’s taken part in the ProEngage cycle. His first experience was also working on a fundraising proposal but there was a personal angle to it. Surendhar feels very connected to nature since his childhood and was always interested in bringing about a change in this vertical. He worked with a NGO named Arranya who work toward betterment of the environment. On the same lines, he had applied for a couple fundraising proposal projects and got shortlisted to work with Vokkarane Seva Trust. Surendhar has quite the experience volunteering since when he was in college. He had been involved in activities like community projects, organising blood donation camps etc.

Meena G.S
Quality team - Tata Teleservices
Hyderabad, India

Meena works toward ensuring top notch quality at Tata TeleServices. In her current role at Tata, she handles transformational and improvement projects across customer service operations. She is also a part of several other initiatives driven by quality. Although Meena is a fresher to volunteering activities, she’s made quite the impact according to Vardarajan at Vokkarane Seva. She’s been an instrumental part in the completion of this project and has delivered work of the utmost quality thus honouring her work experience. She was inspired to take up this project under the guidance of her Quality Head at Tata Teleservices. She said he has been instrumental in guiding her to contribute toward society. Her interest and drive to make best use of her education and skills to support a noble cause enabled her to see this project through to completion.

Vokkarane Seva Trust
M.V. Varadarajan, Project Coordinator
Bengaluru, India

Vokkarane Seva Trust(R) was established in 2013 and is headed by M.V. Varadarajan, located in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. The founder and president is a former Mechanical Engineering Graduate who previously headed the Operations team in a Multinational Company. They aim at promoting sustainable alternate sources of energy by spreading awareness on pollution. They conduct workshops to promote communication skills, life skills and other managerial skills. They also arrange health camps in rural areas. They are working toward setting up old age homes and senior citizen day care centers.


Project Execution

The idea of publishing this project on Tata ProEngage sprouted from fulfilling the long plan of construction of an old age home. “Our idea was to transform it into a knowledge sharing center. We wanted to make it specifically this way, so that more old age people who come with varied knowledge can join and share their vision to the younger generation. Hence came up the idea of a project proposal and it is definitely better when seen with a professional approach” said Mr. Varadarajan when asked to evaluate the project need.

Mr. Varadarajan was visibly excited when he mentioned “the moment I heard it's a Tata program, I had great expectations. Their work quality and values possessed are undoubtedly the best in the nation. The team that Tata has built is the essence that prompted me to jump into the thing.”

The NGO had two proposal writing projects at the same time under the same lines and hence decided to combine both the projects. The volunteers connected with Mr. Varadarajan and he mentioned that they began by asking for the requirements of the project which he thought was a fantastic move from the team. Respective inputs and his ideologies were given to the volunteers. The expectations were clearly lined out which were understood well by the volunteers which resulted from great coordination, said the project coordinator. As Mr. Varadarajan also hails from an engineering background, the first meeting ended with satisfaction that the volunteers were a perfect match for him as well.

Highlighting the first impression Meena had when she began working on this project, Meena said “Since this was my first project, I was not sure how to establish the connection with the NGO. On the contrary, from day one of our interaction with the NGO, there was never a disconnect. The rhythm of our discussion evolved and we began to understand the requirements effortlessly.” The exceptional organisational skills of Mr. Varadarajan helped the volunteers greatly in contributing to the project to the best of their abilities. Meena thought the plan in itself was a very systematic approach. They followed with a clear plan of action chalked out by the NGO, with target timelines for closure and respective responsibilities assigned. “We connected weekly with the NGO and shared the progress and also took inputs to ensure we have not missed out on any details. There were exchanges of ideas, thoughts, discussions on what would be the best approach to go about”, shared Meena.

Speaking about the NGO, Surendhar said that he felt this NGO was dealing with bigger projects compared to the NGO he had worked with in the previous ProEngage cycle. He said the whole experience was refined and made better as Mr. Varadarajan had an extremely vast experience. What stood out for him is that the entire process was very well organised. He felt like there was learning from both sides as Varadarajan continually guided them with his industrial exposure. “I had experience from the last project so I knew where I was lacking as a volunteer. In the previous project, we had exceeded our project time greatly due to poor planning. My co-volunteers were great at planning. Using that experience, we could complete this at a structured timeframe”, added Surendhar.

Challenges faced

The uncompromising discipline and very well planned structure of the project didn’t leave much room for any notable challenges to arise for the volunteers. There were definitely a few, as anywhere but mostly personal. Although Varadarajan stuck to his schedules, Surendhar being a service engineer, missed a few meetings as he is expected to be available on call even on weekends. Similarly, other volunteers also couldn't make sometimes due to personal commitments, but the void was filled with the help of the exceptional cooperation that was maintained by everyone.

Surendhar was asked about the biggest motivation factor that kept him going through this long project and he shared “After completion of my last project, I had immense personal satisfaction. I felt like contributing more. There are many people who can share materialistically so I wanted to take a different approach and contribute through my skill.”

Likewise, Meena shared “The connect with the NGO, the collaboration with my fellow co-volunteers  and most importantly the noble cause we were working toward were my biggest motivation factors.”

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Mr. Varadarajan was undoubtedly extremely satisfied with the outcome of the project. When asked if he wanted to convey a message to the volunteers, he gladly said “I want to firstly thank the volunteers for their unmatched efforts. They worked like a professional team. They worked together and delivered what was necessary. The proposal was really good. Thanks to their exceptional inputs, now I am only left to work on the construction part of the old age centre, being worry free about the plan.”

“Everyone wants to do social service in some way or another, and NGOs provide the platform to do this. It is not always about donations, but they can help NGOs in any way possible. They should come forward and support NGOs. People can enjoy only when they give back to society as the universe will definitely find a way to reward them”, said Mr. Varadarajan.

When asked to sum up her experience and thoughts in a few lines, Meena commented “It has been a pleasant experience where a common goal brought all of us together. We worked together as a team and maintained good rapport throughout. I would encourage more volunteers to come forward and be part of the ProEngage volunteering to help the society. This, for me, was a new experience of working on a totally different subject and getting to know and mainly interacting with new people.”

Surendhar’s high point in the project was clearly his co-volunteers. Speaking about them, he said “Although all the volunteers working on this project were from different backgrounds professionally which made me feel like an amateur, I had enormous personal learning from them as to how to be a good leader in the future. I was led by their approach and decision making. I am walking away with a beautiful friendship I have built with my co-volunteers. We became like a family and they help me even today with doubts in my own work. I learnt how to strategize from Meena and it is something that will greatly help me in all my endeavours. Summing up his experience, he added “My learning has exceeded my contribution. I now have better foresight on how to improve myself to be better in the future. I feel like as a responsible citizen, we should have balance and contribute to society. As a bachelor, I can spare time but my co-volunteers have so many responsibilities but they still spent so much time contributing to the society. That has greatly inspired me and I want to cultivate this habit.”