Author: Vaishnavi Srinivasan

Guidelines for clicking quality pictures!

Guidelines for clicking quality pictures!

Isn’t it important to document your amazing work?

If you are an authorised volunteer to click pictures (read the child protection policy here), these are some guidelines that will help you capture quality pictures, particularly if you are an amateur photographer.

Ready - Steady - Capture!


  • Composition: what story do I want the picture to say?
    Are the subjects and the background in sync, if not perfect sync, to convey what’s happening? For example: if you want to convey ‘teaching’, children looking into the camera rather than the notebook or discussing with peers does not convey the message right!
  • Focus: is my subject clear without any shake/blurriness/fuzziness?
    Unless it’s intended – like blurring the background to give more importance to the subject
  • Lighting: is my picture well lit? 
    Poor lighting causes noise formation and reduces the quality of the picture. Be wary of the light angles/sunrays and ensure to click in the direction of light (not against!)

As an additional tip: Share hi-res images via email or drive. WhatsApp and other social media apps tend to compress your picture, reducing the quality of the picture.

Guidelines for Centre Identification Report

Guidelines for Centre Identification Report

While we appreciate the effort and enthusiasm in identifying centres, it’s important that one understands the process that goes into this. Please take a few minutes to read these guidelines:

  1. Inform your Chapter Support Team while you plan to contact or visit any centre to avoid any duplication of efforts
  2. Get prior permission from the center management through e-mail /phone for visiting
  3. Go through this form thoroughly before visiting
  4. Kindly dress appropriately while visiting the center
  5. During the visit, greet them gently and explain to them about Bhumi and our contributions in education. You can read the details here before visiting.
  6. Then inform them about our initiatives Ignite, Joy to the world and Nakshatra Arts & Sports
  7. Please avoid any commitments regarding giving fund to them
  8. Gently ask for the data prescribed in the form and update it on the spot itself
  9. Please fill all the mandatory fields in the form
  10. Kindly avoid giving commitments about any of our initiatives to them during the first visit; kindly inform them that we will get back to them after discussing with our team members.
  11. If they ask you to come on any other day for giving the data, please follow up with them
Superheroes: Fundraising via Events

Superheroes: Fundraising via Events

Dr Prahalathan enlightened us about “how we can leverage Bhumi Events to maximise our fundraising goals.”  

Remember: Small Actions < Big Impact : Bhumi Events

We at Bhumi started conducting events ten years back starting with internal events, then events for our beneficiaries and now for external audiences. We have learnt a lot along the way and this document is to set the context on how we will conduct all these events going forward to 2020.

In the next years we will focus greater on

  • Operational excellence in all events
  • Maximizing achievement of all primary and secondary goals and outcomes
  • Holistic leadership development to build better teams for events and for Bhumi
Type of Events Events for Beneficiaries Fundraising / PR events / Knolwedge Events Internal Events External Events
Examples Nakshatra, Ignite Fest Bhumi Sports League, Bhumi India Run, Cyclation, Volcon, Fulcrum etc Bhumi Premier League, All Volunteer Meetings Corporate Volunteering events, Asian Games etc.
Operational Excellence (Doing a perfect event) Must Must Must Must
Scope of learning Operational Excellence / Leadership development of volunteers Great Less Good Less
Primary Goal High Quality event for the beneficiaries that maximizes outcomes High Quality event for the donors/supporters that maximizes funds raised High Quality event for the volunteers that maximizes Engagement High Quality event for the external stakeholders that maximizes outcomes
Secondary Goals – 1 Maximize funds raised for Org / projects / city PR opportunity to engage supporters Volunteer happiness PR opportunity to engage supporters other stakeholders / society
Secondary Goals – 2 Audience Engaged Audience Engaged NA NA
Publicity Goals High – Post event High – Pre-event High – Internally NA
Scope for Volunteer Engagement Great Less Great Good
Feedback and Feed-forward Must Must Must Must


Events for Beneficiaries

Nakshatra / Ignite Fest

After ten years and almost 70 Nakshatras conducted across India there is no excuse to not do a sub-standard event

These are the events that allow volunteers to think on their feet understand excellence and grow as leaders. This the breeding ground and learning arena for leaders for Bhumi and the best event organisers for all other events.

Success Metrics / Factors

  1. Focus on a joyful event for the children that maximizes life-skill learning outcomes
  2. No. of children reached and year on year increase in no. of children reached
  3. No. of supports or spectators engaged: Nakshatra is a performing event, hence the success of the event will also be measured by supporters / donors / corporate donors engaged
  4. Reach of publicity like newspaper, online, TV etc.
  5. Feedback rating from children / wardens / Volunteers
  6. Total funds raised:
    Each event will target minimum 200% funds raised, Example
    The cost of doing Nakshatra for 600 kids is three lakhs rupees (600*Rs.500)
    The city will target to raise six lakh rupees so that the surplus can be for running Ignite in the city
    Total estimated Funds Raised: Rs. 6 Lakhs
    Total estimated Funds spent on event organising: Rs. 3 Lakhs
    Total Minimum Surplus: Rs. 3 Lakhs

Events for Fundraising / PR Events

Bhumi India Run / Bhumi Sports League / Cylation etc.

Everyone understands these events need high operational excellence, but a high-quality event is delivered by high quality teams and people. High quality people are only developed from events which we do for beneficiaries.

Success Metrics / Factors

  1. Focus on a perfect event experience for the participants / supporters
  2. No. of participants engaged
  3. Reach of publicity like newspaper, online, TV etc. – Pre-& Post Event
  4. Feedback rating from participants / VolunteersTotal funds raised
    Each event will target minimum 200% funds raised, Example
    The cost of doing Bhumi India Run for 600 runners is three lakhs rupees (600*Rs.500)
    The city/team will target to raise six lakh rupees so that the surplus can be for running Ignite in the city
    Total estimated Funds Raised from participation fees and sponsorship: Rs. 6 Lakhs
    Total estimated Funds spent on event organising: Rs. 3 Lakhs
    Total minimum Surplus: Rs. 3 Lakhs

Volcon / Volcon +/ MLEP / Fulcrum.

Success Metrics / Factors

  1. Focus on a perfect event experience for the event attendees
  2. No. of participants engaged
  3. Reach of publicity like newspaper, online, TV etc. – Pre-& Post Event
  4. Feedback rating from participants / Volunteers

Internal Events

Bhumi Premier League / Bhumi Awards / AVMs

Success Metrics / Factors

  1. No. of participants engaged
  2. Feedback rating from participants / Volunteers

External Events

Corporate Volunteering Events

Success Metrics / Factors

  1. No. of volunteers engaged
  2. Funds raised for Org / city / projects
  3. Feedback rating from participants / Volunteers

Other Events like National Games, Government events, Fundraising events for other orgs

Success Metrics / Factors

  1. Feedback rating from event organisers
Superheroes: Corporate Social Responsibility

Superheroes: Corporate Social Responsibility

Dr Prahalathan, Bhumi’s co-founder shared some insights on why mobilising and retaining support from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is essential for running our programmes.

Section 135 of Companies Act, 2013 makes “CSR spend of 2% of average net profits … during the three immediately preceding financial years” mandatory, and under Schedule VII programmes that promote education and ensure environmental sustainability are eligible.

It’s important to:

  • Build credibility: what can be a better testimonial than an employee pitching a non-profit that he/she volunteers with?
  • Be consistent: a corporate saying no this year does not mean it’s a no forever! Continue to invite them for events, and share quarterly updates. Stay in touch, for when they are looking to add partners, they are likely to remember you!
  • Co-create: avoid judging a corporate by its size. It’s easier to connect and grow with smaller companies.
  • Convert: be open to exploring any kind of partnership. Engage the employees in volunteering with Bhumi, and the management is likely to invest in the cause a few months/a year later.
  • Plan for contingencies: “do not put all eggs in one basket” because you have little control over some decisions the company’s board is likely to make. Try for multiple opportunities.

Take your first step now! Write to to explore partnerships with the corporate you work for.

Superheroes: Monthly Giving

Superheroes: Monthly Giving

Archana Hari who currently heads Online Giving & Subscriptions at Give India spoke to us on how monthly giving is essential to build a sustainable organisation. Her key responsibility at Give India is to understand the giver’s mindset and build solutions to grow the tribe of committed donors across the world.

We hope these key insights from the webinar will clarify some of your queries and help you get started with Monthly Giving:

  • The need (in our case, to educate our children) is ongoing
  • The ask (from the prospective donor) is friendly on the pocket
  • The call for action makes the giver an ‘equity stakeholder’ – that is, the donot
  • Small contributions add up to make a big difference!
  • Monthly giving contributes towards building a sustainable organisation

Call for action:

  • Start by signing up to give monthly – much like crowdfunding, you must be the first contributor!
  • Find 20 people every year to give Rs. 300 a month (Making a list of all those you know and putting an estimated amount of donation against each name would be a good start! Do not drop any names assuming they can’t/won’t give!)
  • Reminding the donor or expecting the donor to remember to give monthly is not a concern! Our National Automated Clearing House (NACH) will ensure this is done automatically at the beginning of every month for a duration committed by the donor.

Write to for further details.

Superheroes: The art of pitching for funds

Superheroes: The art of pitching for funds

We invited Mr Kiruba Shankar, a marketing expert to share his two cents on how one can make an effective pitch; and these are some triggers he offered:

  1. Establish your credibility
  2. Establish credibility of Bhumi
  3. What’s in it for them?
  4. Get out of your comfort zone
  5. You only get when you ask
  6. Look for ways how Bhumi can benefit
  7. Use Social Media to document your experiences
  8. Focus on storytelling
  9. Practice your elevator pitch
  10. Keep the donors updated

The following note on Bhumi will help you draft your pitch/story:

Although there is no dearth of schools in the country, the quality of education is questionable for a recent survey showed that only 48% of children in class 8 can solve a simple mathematical division. This gap in learning levels makes Bhumi’s work essential.

Bhumi is a non-profit organisation that educates 25,000 underprivileged children across India. Our programme at orphanages is implemented by young volunteers who have the passion to drive social change and the commitment to teach.

A preliminary assessment helps us understand the current skills level and create content specific to the child’s needs. Volunteers then gather at the shelter home every weekend to deliver an activity-based education programme. The results of our consistent effort showed 30% increase in the learning outcomes of the children last year.

Bhumi engages 20,000 volunteers across the country and our work would not be possible without the support of individuals who donate for our children’s education.

Donate Rs.500/- annually to help educate a child through Bhumi.

Superheroes: Storytelling Checklist

Superheroes: Storytelling Checklist

The key to successful fundraising is in how well you are able to present your story! If you doubt your abilities, we have some good news. Storytelling is an art that can be mastered! Here is a checklist to keep in mind when you create your story (Courtesy: GlobalGiving)

  1. Center your story on a single character.
    Does your story contain a compelling character who is relatable to your audience?
    Studies show this approach is more likely to inspire support. Try centering your story on someone Bhumi has served and avoid making your organization the hero.
  2. Hook your audience as soon as possible.
    Does your story capture the audience’s attention as quickly as possible? Give your audience a sense of what’s at stake right away.
  1. Chronicle a transformation
    Does your story chronicle something that happened? The most memorable stories document a character’s experience, journey, transformation, or discovery.
  1. Don’t tell.
    Does your story show—rather than tell—the audience about your character’s transformation? Use rich details, eliminate jargon, and feature the character’s own voice whenever possible.
  1. Convey your character’s emotions.
    Does your story illustrate the emotions associated with your character’s transformation? Remember, emotions move people to act.
  2. Include a clear call to action.
    Does your story include a clear pathway to action—to make a donation, share on social media, or visit a web page for example?

So why wait? Get started with creating your campaign on LetzChange. Here’s how.

Superheroes: Creating a campaign on GiveIndia Fundraisers

Superheroes: Creating a campaign on GiveIndia Fundraisers

Did you know that GiveIndia Fundraisers (previously known as LetzChange) is one of the very few platforms that retains no fee on donations made? That’s right. What an individual donates comes in full to the cause!

And that’s not the only reason why we at Bhumi have been creating our campaigns on GiveIndia Fundraisers over the last few years! The interface is simple yet complete – from being able to create personalised campaigns to reach out to your family and friends via email and social media to automatically generated post-donation ‘thank-you’ emails & 80G tax exemption receipts, GiveIndia Fundraisers is a beautiful package that every fundraiser looks for.

So, why wait? Here are some simple steps to create your campaign!

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5:

Step 6:

Step 7:

If you have any queries related to creating a campaign or raising funds, contact:

Neha Singhal: 79803 89621
Dr Prahalathan: 98942-09741
Satheesh Ravi: 72991 56616
Vaishnavi Srinivasan: 98408-68441

The Lead Bhumi selection process unfolded

The Lead Bhumi selection process unfolded

Some of you had questions on the rationale behind the process. Most of these have been explained below; feel free to write back to us if you have any further queries.

Q: I have a feeling I went through a lengthy process, briefly what were the different phases and how long were we expected to plan/execute these?

A: The process from its launch in Jan second week till the declaration of results in May last week did appear lengthy, and lasted over five months. However, if we break it down and analyse, each phase was 3-4 weeks long to help the applicants complete every phase without affecting their routine. Also, most of the phases had been extended by a week or two to ensure as many applicants were able to complete the activity. The phase-wise estimated time to complete including preparation and execution were:

  1. Application phase – 1 hour
  2. Develop phase (team task) – 10 hours
  3. Ignite task – 3 hours
  4. Interview round – 3 hours

Thus, a total of 17-20 hours was adequate from the applicants to complete the process successfully. It may look ideal but that’s how any selection process is expected to be. We observed that during the team task, some teams took a lot of interest and wanted to do more than what was expected, which took them longer to complete.

Q: What is the need for team task (Develop Phase)? Especially for Ignite volunteers why we had asked to do catalyse activities as part of Festival of Volunteering.

A: The objective of the group task is to sensitize every volunteer and LB applicant in particular to realise the depth of the cause we connect to (through RTE / Educational Audit activities) as well as the potential of volunteerism (through other activities). The volunteers had the freedom to choose between an educational project and entirely new ideas aligned with ignite –  as long as it had substance and impact. Ideas such as craft workshops, building as learning aids (BALA) etc. were also conducted and encouraged.

Q: During the team task (Develop Phase) I was asked to volunteer for or coordinate something different from my area of interest. Why was I supposed to?

A: Further to focusing on his/her interest, its ideal for every coordinator to contribute towards the holistic development of the organisation. No aspect of the process is outside of our interest area but only to give the applicants a complete picture of their own interest area.

Q: I have not been able to actively take part in the team task (Develop Phase) of the selection process. Have i been eliminated for that?

A: LB process is not an elimination process. As the name states, “Develop” phase primarily helps the applicant to build his profile in their journey to become a potential coordinator. As long as one didn’t totally skip / ignore a particular activity / task / phase, they haven’t been eliminated. A consolidated view of the performance in all phases was taken into consideration while selecting an applicant.

Q: I have not been able to complete the “ignite task” (Centre visit / centre management discussion / centre identification) as part of the Develop Phase. Have I been eliminated for that?

A: LB process is not an elimination process. The ignite task has been included in the selection process as a crucial task for ignite applicants. However, we realised that the task could have been scheduled earlier, considering the closure of sessions. Hence, we have given very less weightage to this task this year. However, going forward, completion of this task will be a pre-requisite to apply for ignite project roles.

Q: I had applied for Lead Bhumi 2016-17 and my commitment is only from the beginning of new academic year. Why was it assumed that applicants will have spare time for planning and executing the event?

A: Yes, the applied role is for the next academic year and for each role the time commitment is clearly laid out in the Lead Bhumi website. However, waiting till the beginning of the year has its challenges. To draw analogies, when you apply for a new course/job or a fellowship, the selection always takes place before the commitment begins.

Q: I had to coordinate multiple times with my interviewers for the interview. Even after finalising the interview, my interviewers never initiated or called me back?

A: The interview phase is designed to give the applicants a typical scenario they would be facing in coordinating with someone – a centre management, an external partner or even a volunteer; which, mostly in real life, requires perseverance and patience.

Wishing you the best always!!  Happy Volunteering!

Job profile: Community Officer | Thirumalai Mission Hospital

Job profile: Community Officer | Thirumalai Mission Hospital

Thirumalai Mission Hospital
C/O Thirumalai Charity Trust, Vanapadi Road, Ranipet – 632 404, Ph.: 04172 247950

Job profile of Community Officer

 About the Trust: The Thirumalai Charity Trust (TCT), started in Mumbai in 1970 has been serving the rural poor in Vellore District in TamilNadu since 1983. Having offered several programmes to build their future, and empowering rural communities in health, differently abled, women development, entrepreneurship building, alcoholism de-addiction and education, TCT is currently engaged in primary healthcare in 315 villages (50 Panchayats) and hospital services in Thirumalai Mission Hospital at Ranipet.

With a focus on its mission to provide accessible, affordable quality healthcare, TCT is combating the widely prevalent ‘silent’ diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis, cancer in women, childhood asthma and allergy with relevant interventions in a cost effective way. As its team of multipurpose workers and field officers provide family care through volunteers and community based organizations, the team of medical consultants and hospital staff evolve programmes and structure them for effective delivery.

The hospital designed as a not for profit community hospital is built on a 5-acre plot with the needed facilities for outpatient and inpatient care including lab and diagnostics, pharmacy, dietary, ambulance and transport, etc. The electronic medical record system and the integrated hospital software aid in making the delivery efficient.

The vision is to build a healthcare model relevant for India and to build a community healthcare and academic and research institution.

Please visit

Roles and responsibilities:

S/He will be responsible for

  • All the health and development activities in about 100 villages
  • Coordinating field staff in these villages
  • Consolidate the reports of the staff
  • Train and develop staff assigned
  • Carry out such other duties assigned from time to time

Qualifications and Experience:

The candidate will be expected to have a post graduate degree in a related field, like management, sociology, social work, development studies, public administration, medicine, hospital administration, etc. three to five years’ experience in community work preferred.  S/he will use limited resources optimally, and will be committed and aligned with the goals and values of the Trust.

We also welcome fresh PGs in any discipline interested to have a career in healthcare and willing to go through six-month training  prior to employment with us.

What Community Officer can expect:

  • Salary commensurate with qualification and experience
  • Housing at reasonable rentals and decent schooling in the locality
  • Free hostel with subsidised food for single girls
  • Training to prepare for the job
  • A recognition for his/her valuable contribution from all the stakeholders
  • Good working environment
  • Abundant opportunities for professional and career growth

Some info:

TCT is a well established NGO with excellent track record in service. TCT has been recognized for its service to the rural people by many professional and voluntary bodies at the state and national levels.

The promoters have resided in Ranipet since early 1970s and have a great interest in developing the community. They have made significant contributions to this community for over forty years through their manufacturing industries and in social, educational and development activities through the TCT and Vedavalli Vidyalaya institutions.  They are well recognized in industry and NGO circles for their commitment to quality and ethical standards and social responsibility. | | |

To Apply:

Interested candidates can send a brief cover letter and resume to or to

The Director
Thirumalai Charity Trust
Thirumalai Nagar
Vanapadi Road & Post
Ranipet – 632404