ProjectHeena: An online platform to connect and engage micro-volunteers
No matter how ‘busy’ we might seem with our lives, we always find some time for something good, something that reins in positivity in our lives and a gives a meaning to it. And what if we can do something with the skills we possess?
ProjectHeena is such an online platform to connect and engage micro-volunteers to contribute back to causes that interest them. Be it a tech startup that you wish to code for, a NGO or non-profit where you can lend a hand, or lend an e-hand for helping a business out with social media promotions. It just can be a meeting point of anything that an individual or organisation wants and you can deliver.
Founder, Himanshu Chanda used to work at various non-profits on weekends and this is what gave him the idea, that there must be others like him, who would wish to contribute something but wouldn’t know whom to reach out to. In his words, “I realized that all of us want to contribute back in some ways but generally don’t take action because there isn’t any opportunity customized for us. Those who do take action, don’t stick around. So when I was about to complete a decade in IT industry I was sure it was time to hang the corporate boots and plunge to build a solution for this problem. The result is ProjectHeena!”
Today he is assisted by Nikhil Kataria and Jigar Jain on the technical fronts
A story behind the name
When I first came across this name, I was intrigued. Why “heena”? Heena means ‘Mehendi’ in India. It’s an urdu word for a paste that when applied on palms leaves a nice red color stain. It is used during festivals and weddings in several countries including India. “It colors not just the hands of the receiver but also the hands of the giver. Heena for us stands for happiness, help and gratitude. It increases as we share it further. When we volunteer to help someone we don’t just help the receiver; even ourselves get helped in some ways by the gratitude shown,” says Himanshu.
How it works
NGOs can register themselves following the steps mentioned on the website and ‘create’ tasks on the site. The interested volunteers would then take up these tasks.
Spreading the word
“The application itself has some growth hacking built in” , says Himanshu. Once you achieve a task the ‘karma profile’ will reflect the same & you can share on various social networks. They’re also in talks a with few education institutes that want to encourage their students and faculties to volunteer for different causes.
“We neither charge the NGOs, non-profits, startups, nor do we charge the volunteers as they provide the time and effort. We plan to have corporate sponsorships and CSR engagements done via the platform which will be a premium feature and will even generate good buzz for the corporate initiatives. There are other avenues too like the philanthropy and pro-bono market that are huge yet neglected. We think post some considerable traction we can disrupt the same,” remarks Himanshu.