I have always made small monetary contributions towards good causes. However just donating money did not count as a big deal to me. This talk by Simon Sinek explains why giving away your time and effort is more important than giving away money. Also I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and get an insider view on the issues.
This is when the “Impact Volunteer” opportunity came about. Considering the amount of time I had at hand, I signed up for a virtual volunteering project from their monthly list.
Cut to the chase. What did I work on?
NeedBaseIndia wanted to have a payment gateway integrated in their website. Third party transfer works, however it is not as convenient as being able to donate with you credit or debit card.
After some research we were able to identify a Payment Gateway provider who was willing to provide the service at zero installation charge and zero annual maintenance cost for nonprofits. So we quickly got to work with completing their Merchant Application process. I visited NeedBaseIndia once to explain them what I had in mind about the integration and got their feedback. Needless to say, even though I was mostly doing virtual volunteering, a personal visit always inspires you to get the job done well.
While I was at it, Sumukha Foundation had already completed the paperwork with the same Payment Gateway provider. So it was just a matter of making some code changes. Both websites went live with Payment Gateway integration about the same time.
It was not smooth sailing throughout though. Paperwork took a while for NeedBaseIndia. We were delayed because of some logistical issues. Even after the MOU was signed the nodal account setup took longer than usual. A lot of follow up was required.
We have tested both websites and they are ready to receive donations through Debit and Credit cards. Please do have a look and contribute if you feel compelled by the cause.
My contribution is minuscule in comparison to the work that actual grass root level volunteers do. However making a little dent through the Impact Volunteer program has at least got me started. Hope to keep the ball rolling and continue paying it forward.