Building a Global Volunteer Program
How do Mexican grassroots nonprofits secure the resources we need to make a social and economic impact during COVID-19? One of the important elements of our strategy is formalizing and launching our first global volunteer program.
We say “formalize” because to date our ad hoc efforts have been rather successful, especially for a Mexican grassroots NGO of our size. PSYDEH has already managed to attract high-performing collaborators from Australia, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States to help us evolve as we do. But we can do and must do better. And we think the pandemic gives us the perfect space and time to smartly institutionalize our effort whereby PSYDEH, local partners, and volunteers win.
The idea here is to build our program around three pillars pursuant to industry research and collecting information from past volunteers so that we can learn about their experiences and opinions. We want to use their reflections to create a more inclusive and beneficial space for all parties when standing up these three areas of work.
Pillar one uses online volunteer platforms like Chezuba or Idealist to link with remote volunteers wanting to produce small one-off projects.
Pillar two maximizes the potential benefits of bringing on board self-selecting, high-performing professional volunteers who want to make a measured impact via part-or full-time work for 3 or more months.
Pillar three builds on our 2019-2020 collaboration with the Secretaria de Trabajo’s “Jóvenes Construyendo el Futuro” through which we stand up PSYDEH’s “Young Professionals Corps“.
Our volunteer program is being built by our new colleague Mariana Ramirez (MX) in collaboration with Mahathi Kumar (USA), PSYDEH’s special projects coordinator, among others.
We hope to launch it by early fall whereby we meet enthusiastic volunteers from around the world at the nexus of our and local women partner’s needs and volunteers’ experiences, passions, and desires. This, we’ve come to learn over the past few years, is key to a virtuous process through which we all make and enjoy a lasting impact.